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FAP offers you several options to contribute to the sustainable development of rural communities, to support the preservation of the flora and fauna in Ecuador and help to fight climate change. Chose one of these options to join voluntary work in different projects supported by FAP and take the opportunity to live and work with communities in Ecuador.
The Wildlife Rescue Center Yana Cocha has been working with national and foreign volunteers in the conservation of the flora and fauna of the Amazon of Ecuador.
Volunteers working with wildlife, usually have to work in the care and handling of the animals, help in the construction and expansion of cages and enclosures, improve enclosures, gather wild fruits and insects and clean the facilities. All these labors are the most common activities in working with wildlife in Yana Cocha.
Volunteers wishing to work with wildlife will be responsible for maintaining trails, work in the tree nursery, botanical and orchid gardens, help with the maintenance of the gardens where fruits for the animals are cultivated. Together with reforestation work and the botanical identification of species, these are usually the most important activities.
Volunteers may organize their working in our center according to the work needed and their interests. All volunteer work will be supervised by technicians and workers of Yana Cocha, so you can share knowledge and experiences with local people.
Volunteers will live a unique experience working with wild animals and share and exchange experiences with local communities, make friends, get to know the Amazon rainforest and help with the conservation of the flora and fauna.
• The maintenance of the center, this involves the purchase of food for the animals, purchase of construction materials and veterinary instruments.
• Hosting and maintenance of infrastructure occupied by the volunteers
• The food for volunteers.
• Payments of staff.
In Yana Cocha offers accommodation for volunteers only. The cabins offer triple or multiple accommodations. The cabins all provide basic services including light (110V) and hot water.
Volunteers have access to a common spacious and well equipped kitchen. There is a dining room where you can share moments, lectures, games, meetings and socialize with the other volunteers at the center. It also has recreational areas.
Schedule of activities
The daily work is distributed as follows:
• Breakfast is served about 7:30am.
• At 8am you start with the cleanup of closures and feed the animals.
Following this, activities are planned until 12am.
• Time to eat and rest until 2 pm.
• At 2pm volunteers meet with the coordinator to plan activities for the afternoon.
At 5 pm the nocturnal feeding begins, which takes about half an hour
• From 5:30pm on, the volunteer staff may perform any activity.
This schedule can be modified according to the needs of the center. The working days are from Monday to Saturday at noon. The rest of the weekend is free.
Puyo is a small city with some attractions; there are other nearby cities that you may visit like Banos (1 hour), Tena (1.5 hours), Ambato (2 hours) and other destinations.
In leisure time volunteers may perform activities within the center like night tours through the forest where you can admire many insects and nocturnal animals, there are small lakes for boating, a camping area, canopy and resting places with hammocks for relaxing or reading a book.
The climate is hot and humid, it rains frequently, the period of greatest rainfall is between the months of December to March and the rest of the year it rains but less frequently, so it is advisable to bring rain gear, and at least three changes of work clothes since you will make them muddy and they will get wet. During daytime it might get very hot, so it is advisable to bring light clothing, if you want you can bring mosquito net but actually there are only few mosquitos. In Yana Cocha we provide sheets and blankets but if you want you can bring a light sleeping bag, you need to bring rubber boots for the daily work, although in Puyo you can buy those at low price.
The Association Ikiam of the Shuar village of Chico Mendez is composed to 95% of Shuar, 3% Kichwa and 2% Settlers.
The community of Chico Méndez is located in the northwest of the Province of Pastaza, near Arajuno (some 10 minutes), the capital of the canton of the same name, and some 66km from the city of Puyo, the capital of Pastaza Province.
The community is related to five important areas that develop in the Ecuadorian Amazon and where you can make your volunteer activities:
- Ancestral Medicine in the botanic garden: identification and inventory of medicinal plants; organization of medicinal plants along the trail according to their use.
- Organic Agriculture: workshops on organic and inorganic waste management, organic fertilizer production by compost, integrated farming, traditional gardening, environmental signage.
- Community Tourism: workshops on the improvement of the administration and customer services, development of tourism projects and marketing plans, inventory of natural and cultural attractions, touristic signage.
- Cultural: develop marketing plans for handicrafts, create a brand for the handicraft production, search for product and marketing niches, promote the music, dance and crafts.
- Breeding station: develop an environmental management plan, help obtaining environmental licenses, set up an inventory of the species.
Two people of the community will take care of the volunteers, be their guides and help planning all activities during their stay.
Transportation to the community, daily food and lodging will be provided. The community center offers:
- Accommodation in cabins
- Three meals per day (breakfast, lunch, dinner) of local, ethnic cuisine including vegetarian options (there is a cook)
- jungle trails
- day and night hikes
- visit of the parrot salt licks
- visit of natural waterfalls
- Cultural connivance with Shuar families
- Shuar music and dance
- Shuar Art (house, war (ritual), and fishing)
- Tubing and swimming on the river Oglan
The cost of staying in the Ikiam Community is USD 20 per day, these costs cover accommodation and three meals a day, which can be Ethnic, Vegetarian and National.