Get involved with a wildlife sanctuary in Bolivia. The sanctuary has a 45-hectare protected nature reserve in the province of Santa Cruz. All ecovolunteer programs here
An animal sanctuary in a 45-hectare reserve
The program takes place in a rescue and care center for wild animals, created in 2009 by a Swiss animal lover. The center is located in a 45-hectare protected nature reserve in the province of Santa Cruz. The reserve is set in a tropical landscape of great biodiversity. Primitive forests, swamps and savannahs provide the best conditions for wild animals to live in complete safety. The extensive facilities for wild animals give them a second chance at a better life.
Biodiversity under threat
Neither the Bolivian government nor the province of Santa Cruz provide any financial support to the independent NGO responsible for running the animal sanctuary. The center's existence is therefore heavily dependent on donations and volunteer support. The animal sanctuary was created for a variety of reasons and needs. Bolivia is one of the world's most biodiverse countries. But local flora and fauna are threatened by deforestation, poaching and the illegal trade in animals. Huge tracts of untouched rainforest are being destroyed, wetlands are drying up and countless animal species are endangered.
Animals are sometimes released
The center takes in and cares for species resulting from illegal wildlife trafficking. It also cares for wild animals voluntarily surrendered and kept as pets by private individuals. In the best of cases, the animals are then released back into the wild, but this rarely happens. These animals are generally no longer fit for life in the wild.
First aid for animals can be provided
The sanctuary has a kitchen for preparing daily food and storing fresh vegetables and fruit for the animals. It includes large grounds for the wild animals. There are also veterinary facilities, such as a small first-aid room with the necessary medicines, an enclosed quarantine room and a special "nursery" where young abandoned wild animals receive special care.
Visitors can access part of the grounds via hiking trails, enabling them to discover different natural environments: marshes, lagoons, pampas, jungle... This is an opportunity to learn about the amazing flora and fauna of Santa Cruz.
The role of volunteers at the refuge in Bolivia
The sanctuary's volunteers contribute to the preservation of biodiversity in a breathtaking landscape, while promoting the well-being of the animals.
The sanctuary is home to around 350 wild animals, but this number is subject to change. These animals were often kept as pets or poached, despite Bolivian law prohibiting the possession of wild animals. Many of these animals were chained, kept in small cages and exposed to constant stress. Among the animals are numerous species of monkey, tortoise, deer, wild boar, badger, toucan, wild cat, coatis, kinkajous and fox. The lagoons are home to numerous turtles, and the species-rich jungle is home to around 80 sloths.
The main tasks entrusted to ecovolunteers
- Preparing feed for animals
- Feed animals (2 to 3 times a day)
- Cleaning animal pens
- Intensive care for small animals in the "kindergarten".
- Repair and construction of fences and cages in the care center and animal park
- Planting trees, shrubs and fruit plants
- Checking animal park fencing
- Helping to transport wild animals from Santa Cruz to the animal sanctuary.
Volunteers spend around six hours a day, five days a week at the center. They must be particularly motivated. They are also encouraged to help feed the animals at weekends.
Please note: tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as the number of volunteers, time, season, current project needs and personal motivation. Not all volunteers can be fully involved in all tasks.
Dates and fee
- Minimum 3 weeks all year round
- Application fee: €150
- Program cost: €745 (for a minimum 3-week stay)
- Additional week: €165
Included in price
- Shared room in the volunteer house
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner
- Professional advice in English
- Translation of your application documents
- Volunteer internship in Bolivia
- English-speaking support in the country
- Manual on Bolivia
- Intercultural guide
- 24/7 emergency number
- Information on suitable travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
Not included in price
- Airline tickets
- Travel insurance
In this animal protection project in Bolivia, volunteers can discover what it's like to live in the midst of verdant nature and the sounds of exotic animals. Volunteers live together in comfortable, rustic accommodation, located directly on the project site. This space can accommodate up to 14 volunteers. In addition, there is a large communal area that volunteers can use as a gathering place, where they can play games, read books and relax.
Located some 50 kilometers north of Santa Cruz, this wonderful animal protection center offers volunteers the chance to enjoy a life-changing experience. Santa-Cruz de la Sierra is a charming colonial city with a population of around 2 million. As Bolivia's largest city, it is home to diverse cultures from the western highlands, the northern and eastern Amazon region, and the Guarani culture. This makes it a fascinating center of cultural exchange. Santa Cruz is the most advanced city in the country. Agricultural products grown nearby are processed and constitute the main industry. This city is a perfect example of how traditional values can coexist with a modern way of life. A tropical climate, South American joie de vivre and a fascinating culture are just some of the city's attributes.
There are two seasons. The rainy season runs from November to May, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 38 degrees Celsius. The dry season, from June to October, with temperatures ranging from 18 to 35 degrees Celsius.
During your free time, you can explore the beautiful city of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz offers a wonderful blend between a modern world of contemporary shopping malls, chic hotels and fine restaurants, and a more traditional world embodied by traditionally dressed people respecting ancient customs and colonial architecture. Hiking, wildlife watching, rafting and sand surfing are just some of the unforgettable outdoor activities available just outside the city.
Le partenaire is an intercultural agency founded in 2003 by Marion, a German living in Chile. Marion specializes in organizing solidarity and participatory trips, ecovolunteer programs, language stays and educational programs throughout Latin America. This agency offers missions in Chile, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Ecuador... Whether you're a student, professional or retired, its trips are designed for those who want to experience Latin America in a different way from that of a simple tourist. All stays with South America Inside