WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Guatemala is home to some of the most intriguing and varied species found anywhere on the planet. Many of these animals suffer as a result of a variety of human-wildlife conflicts, including poaching, the illegal trade in exotic pets, loss of habitat through deforestation, and exposure to foreign pathogens from humans and organisms introduced from abroad. Many of the animals that arrive at the rescue centre are traumatised and in appalling condition on account of their treatment at the hands of poachers and traffickers. They are usually malnourished, stressed and often have injuries inflicted by their captors. The aim of the project is to enable the animals taken into the centre to eventually be rehabilitated and returned to the wild. One of the most exciting aspects of volunteering on the programme is the possibility of being present at a release, your involvement being dependant on the animal and release conditions. Unfortunately, some of the animals recieved at the rescue centre are ex-pets and are dependant on humans or are injured and can therefore not be released, and the centre provides a suitable alternative home for them.
The work carried out on this incredible project is invaluable, and those who join it as a volunteer are sure to have a totally inspiring and unforgettable time here!
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
You really will get a true hands on insight into the work of the rescue and rehabilitation centre, and the range of activities that you will be carrying out are very varied and extremely interesting for anyone with a passion for wildlife conservation. You will live and work in the beautiful Peten forest environment, helping with feeding the animals, cleaning the enclosures, maintaining the trails, and making and recording behavioural observations of animals ranging from coatimundis, anteaters, spider monkeys and the charming margays, found only in Central and South America. The animal enclosures are spread throughout the forest in order to minimise stress to the creatures, and consequently you will have the opportunity to see much of the incredible forests here, as you move between areas. You may also be helping care for the animals in quarantine, where each rescued animal is housed on arrival to ensure that it harbours no pathogens.