Wild Animal Rescue Center

Quick facts:

Sloth laying on the ground
Sleepy sloth!

Where exactly is it? Alajuela, Costa Rica

What exactly will I be doing?  Caring for injured and confiscated rainforest animals such as sloths, monkeys, birds and other exotic animals.


The animal rescue center was started to rehabilitate injured rainforest animals and to teach locals how to be good stewards of the environment.

The center was recently relocated from the Caribbean coast as it was evicted from their property by the Costa Rican government in order to build a new shipping port.  Not to be discourage the center was able relocate all of their animals to a small forested area near the airport and are reconstructing the site to continue to be able to care for these animals, most who have been confiscated from poachers or have been found injured in the rainforest needing medical attention.


  • Feeding and taking care of exotic rainforest animals (sloths, monkeys, kinkajous etc)
monkey on shoulder
Baby howler monkey
  • Cage building, maintenance and beautification
  • Exploring Costa Rica
  • Learning just as much Spanish and culture from the locals as they learn from you
  • Opportunities to make many new local and international friends


A typical day at the center involves feeding all the animals, checking their health, beautifying the cages, and supervising animal play time.  This happens twice a day in the morning and afternoon.  Upon completion of these activities participants can rest or work on other site improvement projects.  Volunteers work six days per week.

Starting Dates:

Start dates are on Saturdays and Sundays year round, except during Christmas, New Year’s and Holy weeks.  Participants should plan on arriving to Costa Rica on Sunday during the day.


Participants stay at the project site in shared dormitories.  They are provided three meals per day by local rescue center staff.  Costa Ricans are known for their Shared dormitoryhospitality and always make sure the everyone is well cared for and is having a good time.


Ages 12 and up (ages 12-17 must be accompanied by an adult).  Participants must come with the right attitude and enthusiasm for their work.  They need to be open and outgoing in order to get the most out of their experience.

Spanish is not required however the more you know before the better.  There is also the option to take classes before starting the project.

When Can I apply?

Placements are available throughout the year, however there may be a limited number available depending on the time of year.  It is advised to apply at least a couple months in advance to ensure availability.

hanging sloth
Just slothing around!


  • Feed and care for recovering/injured animals
  • Maintain/beautify animals habitat/living space
  • Supervise animals during play/social time
  • Help with repairs and general construction projects

Services included:

  • Project placement: Follow-up, assistance throughout the placement
  • Pre departure manual
  • Donation to the project (this forms an important part of the contributions for projects)
  • Accommodation/meals


Flights, visas (if necessary), passports, travel medical insurance are not included however we are able to help in arranging flight and insurance.

Optional Activities:

  • Spanish lessons before your placement
  • Weekend excursions to volcanoes, national parks, or the beach

Request more info

Apply online

See what volunteers have to say about this project:


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