Animal Care and Rehabilitation Volunteer

Chiriboga Ecological Protection Foundation - Quito, Ecuador
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-818 Location: Quito, Ecuador Sector: Wildlife and the Environment Category: Animals and Wildlife Min Duration: 1 week Lodging: Host Family / Lodge Language: Basic
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Volunteer Job Description

The Chiriboga Ecological Protection Foundation manages or assists several projects in different provinces of Ecuador. They offer volunteer programs of short, medium and long term duration that provide unique opportunities for volunteers to learn first hand about the wildlife in Ecuador and the environmental conditions that are affecting said population.

This program is located in the Ecuadorian Amazon, volunteers will work in different parts of the Amazon and promote conservation of wildlife in the region. It provides the best living conditions for rescued animals in captivity and in semi captivity until their reintroduction into their wild origin if and when possible.

This rescue centre was established at the request of the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador. Some of the animals were seized at police checkpoints and were the victims of smugglers. Others were donated by pet owners who no longer wished to care for their animal's needs and still other animals were abandoned by their owners and left in the streets of Ecuador to fend for themselves.

Activities start early in the morning with the preparation of food to be distributed to the animals. Animal rescue assistant volunteers are responsible for feeding the animals, cleaning their cages, building new cages, clearing and maintaining trails and providing assistance to the local staff and the veterinarian, when required.

Volunteers learn about the animals of the Amazon Jungle and other animals who have been rescued and living at the centre but are not native to the Amazon. After the first week of orientation the animal rescue assistant volunteers may be asked to work as guides at the centre. Thus contributing their help in obtaining economic revenues for food, maintenance and medical care for the animals.

This program is great for those wishing to have experience in the care of wildlife animals of the Amazon Jungle. The placement provides rich environmental knowledge and would be ideal for volunteers who wish to continue their education in this field of work. The volunteers are not required to have had previous experience or knowledge in the care of animals but must be willing and able to do manual labour in the outdoor Ecuadorian climate.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Trail Maintenance

The rescue centre has trails that go to the animal cages. Animal rescue assistant volunteers may be asked to help with the cleaning and reconstruction of these trails.

Feed the Animals

An animal rescue assistant volunteer would be expected to feed the animals and make sure that they are all getting the proper amount of food they need though out the day. This would also include an adequate water supply at all times.

Clean Cages

An animal rescue assistant volunteer would be expected to assist staff and other volunteers to clean the cages of the animals at least once a day. For this task volunteers need to bring their rubber boots and gloves.

Assist the Veterinarian

Animal rescue assistant volunteers would be expected to help with the sterilization of surgical equipment and the cleanliness of all areas. They would also assist with the ordering, restocking and/or record keeping of supplies and equipment. Volunteers would support the organization's veterinarian with all the work that needs to be done all over the park.

Public Service

Depending on the language necessary to best communicate with visitors to the centre, volunteers may be asked to address the various needs of the visitors. Be it discussing the impact animals have on the environment, the importance of protecting endangered species of animals, the necessity of neutering certain animals, the humane treatment of animals, the recognition that some animals should remain in their natural habitat, etc.

Host Organization Details

Chiriboga Ecological Protection Foundation

The Chiriboga Ecological Protection Foundation's main objective is the protection and conservation of the environment, through promotional endeavours in the surrounding communities of economic development, keeping in mind environmental issues.

The Chiriboga Foundation manages or assists several projects in different provinces of Ecuador. They offer volunteer programs of short, medium and long term duration that provide unique opportunities for volunteers to learn first hand about the wildlife in Ecuador and the environmental conditions that are affecting said population.

With help from the communities, international volunteers and the participation of government institutions related to equity relationships between the population and its environment the foundation is helping Ecuadorian's and international tourists realize the importance of reforestation, agriculture, protection of the environment and the wildlife within.

The Chiriboga Ecological Protection Foundation strives hard to protect the forests in the Western Andean Mountains in the province of Pichincha that has over 300 species in their primary forest.

Community development is one of the objectives of this foundation and one of the ways this is promoted is through their endeavours to elevate the quality of education in the rural and urban primary schools in Ecuador.

They help to promote and support academic education such as learning the English language, computer courses and environmental education. Through inter-cultural exchanges between the international volunteers, the students and the local Ecuadorian people much can be learned by these unique experiences.

When They Were Founded

The Chiriboga Ecological Protection Foundation is a non government, non profit organization, that has no religious, racial or political convictions. It was founded by a group of environmentalists several years ago that wanted to protect several sites in Ecuador and the communities around them. The Ministry of the Environment of Ecuador recognizes this foundation as a legal organization.

How Are They Funded

The Chiriboga Ecological Protection Foundation was founded with private help from several organizations that are involved in protecting the environment. They also get help and funding from several donors and organizations outside of Ecuador who also are pro active in conservation issues.

Placement Location Information

Quito, Ecuador

The Chiriboga project is located 50.5 miles south-west of Quito, near the village of the same name at an altitude of 1,680 meters above sea level; it belongs to the cloud forest of the northern foothills of the Andes in the province of Pichincha.

The Chiriboga Reserve Project encompasses approximately 200 acres of land where endangered species of flora and fauna are protected. The volunteer house is located in the Clouded Forest. It is a wooden house with all the facilities volunteers would need. Because the foundation is so far from Quito it is recommend that volunteers stay at the foundation during volunteer work.

Transfer From BaseCamp

The Chiriboga Reserve Project is located 50.5 miles south-west of Quito.

You would get on a bus at the North Bus Station that is a green bus that says La Magdalena. When you arrive at your destination a member from the foundation will pick you up at the station. A taxi is not recommended due to the cost.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 55 km
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 1:15

Weather in the Area

Because Ecuador is located on the Equator line, Quito's weather is very unique. Due to the Equator, Ecuador has no seasons; there is summer and winter. The year has six months winter and six months summer but the number of months for each changes from time to time.

Because Quito is so high up in the mountains, the sun is very strong and the wind blows really hard; it can get pretty cold at night. Quito always has a temperate climate with temperatures ranging from 10 to 27 ° C.

City/Village Description

Quito or also called "Luz de America", is the capital of Ecuador; a country located in South America, on the Equator line. Quito is considered one of the most beautiful cities in South America because of its amazing colonial architecture, historical sites, fantastic landscapes and panoramic views all surrounded by incredible mountains, rivers, parks and volcanoes.

Quito was founded in the 16th century by the Incas Tribe and is located at an altitude of 2,850 meters above sea level.

Centro de Quito, (colonial city) is the largest and best conserved colonial city in South America; this is why the UNESCO named it a "World Cultural Heritage Site" in 1978. The city's structure on the 320 hectare compound is an outstanding example of superb architecture from the sixteenth to the twentieth century; surrounded by volcanic stone with very narrow streets within, (built stone by stone), there is much to see.

The historic centre of Quito has ancient colonial homes, priceless churches, chapels, monasteries, convents, as well as plazas, museums and republican buildings with interesting architecture.

Once outside of the historical centre of the city, Quito takes on a completely different personality in the “new town” where many high rise and government buildings are found.

Though Quito is old and historic, the public transportation is fairly efficient and the city is served by a network of buses that travel throughout most of the areas; it is a cheap way of getting around. Since the city is very long and narrow, it is divided into three zones and many buses run in each zone of the city.

Currently, the heart of the capital is full of vigour and culture, such as "Heritage Nights" where citizens and visitors can enjoy the unique attractions in the, "jewel in the crown of Ecuador", through images and videos.

Nearest Medical Clinic

Clínica San Francisco
Av. 6 de Diciembre 2043 y Colón
TEL 1: 593 2 2 561 775
TEL 2: 593 2 2 562 291

Placement Address

Chiriboga Ecological Protection Foundation
Puruha Oe-2-781 Y Epiclacima- Ciudadela De S. Jose - La Magdalena Quito - Ecuado

Accommodation and Meals

All of our volunteers begin their stay in Ecuador at our BaseCamp Center in Quito. Given that this placement is more than a 1 hour 15 minute commute from BaseCamp, volunteers here will be living with a host family after your orientation. Living with a host family is an awesome experience for a person looking to really experience Ecuador and its culture.

The following information outlines a brief description of life at BaseCamp and also what someone can expect living with a host family in Ecuador.

If you think that living with a host family is not for you, then this placement might not be the best fit with what you are looking for. You should try completing our application. It's totally free and will allow our team in Ecuador to come up with a list of exactly which placements they would reccommend for you based on your personal preferences, background, skills and interests.

BaseCamp Ecuador

BaseCamp Ecuador
BaseCamp Ecuador Address

Juan Rodriguez E8 - 72 Y
6 De Diciembre
Quito, Ecuador

BaseCamp Ecuador Contact Details

Tel: 593 2-254-7737 (Guest House Jazmines)
Mobile: 593-0-998-221-438

BaseCamp Ecuador is located in the trendy Mariscal district of Quito. Within easy walking distance of banks, restaurants, internet cafes and more; BaseCamp in Quito is perfectly situated for any need. Whether you are taking advantage of the rich and vibrant night life of La Mariscal or visiting a local market, BaseCamp Ecuador is always just a few minutes away.

There are six dormitory style guest rooms and five wash-rooms. Pillows, sheets and blankets are provided. There are two common areas on the main floor, including a small resource centre, containing books, magazines, games and other Ecuadorian publications. As well there is a large selection of local movies and documentaries which are available for guest viewing. In addition to the two common areas, BaseCamp Quito has a rooftop terrace, the perfect spot to watch the street come awake with a morning cup of coffee, or spend an afternoon relaxing in the sun.

BaseCamp Quito is also the orientation and training centre for international volunteers visiting Ecuador. In addition to accommodation and meals, BaseCamp Quito also provides volunteers with orientation, Spanish Language training (1 - 8 weeks), placement consultation and work plan seminars, as well as follow up and continued support while volunteers are at their placements. All of these services are available to guests who are interested.

Living With a Host Family in Ecuador

Living with a host family in Ecuador is a fantastic way to gain a deep understanding of and appreciation for the people and customs of the country. Each home-stay will provide a bed and three meals per day for our volunteers. The majority of host families offer private rooms with only one or two volunteers living with the family.

In the case of a volunteer lodge or ranger station (which is often the only option for placements within a National Park), volunteers will be living in dormitory type accommodation and meals will be provided in a mess hall or dining area.

Living with a host family can greatly enhance your performance at your placement. For one, it will have a huge influence on the speed with which you gain familiarity with the local language. This, along with your deeper understanding of cultural practices and beliefs that you are likely to gain in this environment, can go a long way to improving or strengthening your relationships with your team mates at work. Furthermore, a significant percentage of our host families are closely affiliated with the organizations with which our volunteers work. As such, even the evening meal or hanging out around the house can become valuable time during which volunteers can share their ideas and continue their support of their host organization.

All of this being said, living with a host family is not for everyone. It is very important for volunteers to honor the house rules in their host family and to be punctual. Also, depending on how remote your placement location, host families can be very rustic. Our staff in country can give you a better idea of what exactly you can expect from a host family in any particular community. However, in general, if these things sound like they might pose a challenge for you, we strongly suggest that you look at a placement within commuting distance from BaseCamp Ecuador.

How the Program Works

Our program structure and costing is completely flexible which lets our volunteers ensure that they only pay for exactly the degree of support that they want.

Option 1 - Free Services

Some volunteers prefer to coordinate their own accommodation, meals and other support while overseas.

Anyone is welcome to use our volunteer placement search tool to help in finding a placement that is well suited to their interests. Once someone finds a placement that they wish to work with, they are welcome to make all the rest of their arrangmeents on their own.

As well, our team of staff overseas are often able to offer a few helpful pointers for volunteers 'doing it on their own'. Just send us an email with your questions and we will put you in touch with our team abroad. We only ask that you keep your requests fairly general, as this type of advice is exactly how our team earn their living. :)

Option 2 - Placement Support - 250 USD

Other volunteers would like assistance in selecting and confirming their placement, but they plan to manage their own accommodation and other expenses on their own.

These volunteers have the option of choosing to only have our assistance with selecting and confirming their placement. This option also includes ongoing placement support while abroad, so a volunteer would be able to ask our team for help if things at their placement were not working out.

In providing Placement Support, our team works with each volunteer through email, telephone and either Skype or Google Hangouts, to ensure that each volunteer has a clear understanding of their placement options. Our in-country staff will put together a custom list of placement options for each volunteer that they believe are the most appropriate matches with the volunteer's background, skills and interests. Then each volunteer can work with our team both in Canada and abroad to go through each of the options and narrow-down their selection.

Option 3 - Full Program Support

For most volunteers who are volunteering for less than a year, they are looking for an option that includes their accommodation, meals, airport reception, country and program orientation and placement support. This is what our Program Fees are designed for.

We are proud of how over the years we have ensured that our program fees are amoungst the most reasonable of any program in the world while we continue to provide exceptional volunteer support both at home and abroad.

Our Program Fees and listings of what these do and do not include are listed below:

Program Fees

Program Fees - Ecuador

  Registration Fee
  1 Week
  2 Weeks
  3 Weeks
  4 Weeks
  5 Weeks
  6 Weeks
  7 Weeks
  8 Weeks
  Additional Weeks

Ecuador wildlife and conservation placements require an additional $7 USD per day fee to cover park fees and accommodation. All program fees are listed in US Dollars.

What is Included
  • Pre-Departure support
  • Placement consulation
  • Airport reception & transfer
  • 2 Day orientation
  • Accommodation (BaseCamp or host family)
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Emergency & placement support

What is Not Included
    Before Departure
  • International flight
  • Travel medical insurance
  • Visa costs where required
  • Work permits where required
    While Overseas
  • Daily transportation to and from placement
  • Transport to airport on departure
  • Placement fees if requried

Program Dates

Our regularly scheduled program start dates are the first Friday of each month, every month of the year. We strongly recommend beginning your program on one of these dates as this will allow you to go through our orientation alongside other international volunteers.

If you would prefer, our application will also allow you to select a custom start date for your program. Keep in mind that there is an additional fee for a custom start date which ranges from 50 to 75 USD.

Feb 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022 Apr 01, 2022
May 06, 2022 Jun 03, 2022 Jul 01, 2022
Aug 05, 2022 Sep 02, 2022 Oct 07, 2022
Nov 04, 2022 Dec 02, 2022 Jan 06, 2023
Feb 03, 2023 Mar 03, 2023 Apr 07, 2023
May 05, 2023 Jun 02, 2023 Jul 07, 2023
Aug 04, 2023 Sep 01, 2023 Oct 06, 2023
Nov 03, 2023 Dec 01, 2023 Jan 05, 2024


These dates are the day that volunteers should plan to arrive on the ground in country. We can accommodate arrivals in-country at any time day or night on these dates.

Give us a Call
Canada / USA 866-646-4693 (toll free)
UK 866-646-4693 (toll free)
Australia 866-646-4693 (toll free)
International 613-353-3000
Send us a Message