Belonging to the CIWY team has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life, not only as a veterinarian but also as a person. I can say that this organization is now part of my family.
The role of the veterinarian at CIWY is essential, not only because you are in charge of the wildlife management, but you also learn to coordinate large teams and to make the most of time and resources. Given the large illegal wildlife trafficking in Bolivia, we work daily with a wide variety of species, which makes you learn a lot about disease management and prevention. You get to know people from many different countries and cultures, you share experiences and knowledge, and at the same time, you improve your languages very quickly!
But being part of this implies being willing to work in a difficult environment. On the one hand, it is a centre in the middle of the Pantanal jungle; which is flooded several months a year, where you have to cross the water up to the waist almost daily to check the animals. In addition, you have to learn to live with the dreaded mosquitoes and the suffocating heat all year round. On the other hand, given that no help is received from the state, resources are very limited, and medication, resources and personnel are scarce.
That's when the challenge comes. As a veterinarian, you must sharpen your wits and make the most of each of those few resources. It is essential to carry out a fairly strict check-up routine in order to prevent possible diseases as much as possible and prevent the numerous animals with chronic diseases from worsening and to remain stable with a good quality of life. Luckily, the surgeries at this centre are minimal because there is a lot of emphasis on safety management. It is essential to have patience, not only for the environment but also for the workload and responsibility.
For all this, to come as a veterinarian it is very interesting to have worked previously in clinic and wildlife management, as well as having a medium knowledge of English to be able to communicate with your colleagues in a fluid way and avoid accidents. But, above all, to be a CIWY veterinarian you must be willing: having a desire to learn, to discover and, without a doubt, to live. Only in this way can you value each day of life in the jungle.
For me, it has been an unforgettable experience. I have endured very hard moments, emotionally and physically, and I have overcome my personal limits in an unimaginable way. I have improved my knowledge in the clinic area in order to get the most out of a treatment or a supplement, and I have also learned a lot about the management of South American fauna. I got to know a country and a wonderful culture, as is Bolivia. I have made friends for life, with whom I share the same vision and the same struggle around conservation. I have felt loved, valued and respected in equal parts. All that I would;t want to change for anything else.
New Howler Monkey Enclosure, Thanks to IPPL! The International Primate Protection League (IPPL) funded the construction of a new Howler Monkey Enclosure at Ambue Ari Sanctuary.
Current results and discussion from the research underway at Ambue Ari - VIII Bolivian Congress of Mastozoology and IV Latin American Congress of Mastozoology - La Paz 11.07.2018 Potentially unusual jaguar abundance within a 3.9km2 section of WCC Ambue Ari and the potential importance of surrounding landscapes to future jaguar conservation. Ollie Bartlett - Coordinator of Environmental Research
Socialization Programme for our Capuchin Monkeys News about our socialization programme at Machia
CIWY research projects An update on the progress of our research proyect in Ambue Ari
Working as a vet with CIWY Read more about Marta's experience as a vet at CIWY
My experience at CIWY Karen shares with us what she learned and lived while being at CIWY
Tejon Garden Update Check out how the construction of our Tejon garden goes
A new enclosure for Ivan Our tayra at Machia gets a new space
Back to Freedom The history of 7 boas
Artist in Residence 2017/18 Meet Silvia and her art
Calling all Artists interested in #conservation and #wildlife! Applications are now open to join our Artist in Residence programme in 2018.
News from Machia - November 2017 Snakes, Caimans and insects at WCC Machia
News from Jacj Cuisi - November 2017 Capitan's enclosure and our vegetable garden
News from Ambue Ari - October 2017 Information about our new squad member, the construction of the Tejon Garden and Maggie
News from the research project at WCC Jacj Cuisi Habitat preferences of the endangered lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris)at WCC Jacj Cuisi.
CIWY is celebrating 25 years as an organization, with already 21 years in Machia. In Ambue Ari we have been working for the past 15 years and also in Jacj Cuisi it has been already 8 years now.
Research Project - Jacj Cuisi An update from our Research Project in Jacj Cuisi
News from Ambue Ari - Mayo 2017 News from our WCC Ambue Ari including saying goodbye to Sama, constructions on Leo's management cage and new members.
Come and join us at Pete the Monkey Festival! We are looking for 4 volunteers who have visited CIWY in the past to help us run a fun, awareness-raising, craft activity
Friends of Inti Wara Yassi (FIWY) is our sister organization in the UK. They have been a major source of support since their founding in 2008. Find out more about FIWY here.
Quest Overseas organizes gap year trips for British and international students. Since 2001, Quest has worked with CIWY to bring much needed volunteers and funds. If you are interested in the programs they have with us, find out more here.