Volunteer at Parque Jacj Cuisi

For information about the centre and its history, please see WCC Jacj Cuisi's profile page

For general information about volunteering, including a list of items to bring with you, requirements and more, please see our general volunteering page.

Our staff at WCC Jacj Cuisi speak fluent English and Spanish.

Work areas

WCC Jacj Cuisi currently cares for three pumas. Volunteers who stay for a minimum of 29 days can work with one of these pumas. Volunteers who stay for 14 days are able to work with our puma Capitan, who is permanently in his enclosure. People staying for less than 14 days will not be able to work with the pumas; they will be assigned to help with construction and general maintenance work, of which there is plenty. This minimum time commitment is a policy put in place for the benefit and stability of our animals.

Area

Animals

Hours

Average number of volunteers

Minimum time commitment

Additional responsibilities

Construction

Construction workers see those animals in areas needing construction.

7:30am to 5:30pm with a 2.5 hour break.

Varies

7 days

 

 

Assist with construction projects and maintenance. Work is mostly planned.

Wild felines

Pumas

8am to 5pm

2 to 3 per puma

29 days

Clean enclosures, provide food and enrichment and walk the cat through the jungle.

 

Time off

Volunteers work six days per week. They get every Sunday off, when most choose to visit Rurrenabaque.

Please do not plan to arrive on a Sunday, as volunteers will normally be in Rurrenabaque (returning sunday night). If you are in Rurrenabaque on a Sunday and wish  to find our staff/volunteers, go to Hostal Santa Ana.

Cost

Payments made by our volunteers are our main source of funding, making up 85% of our total income. These payments are normally spent within a week, on food and medical supplies for the animals, or for general operating costs of the centre.

Please note that we only accept payment in bolivianos and only in cash.

The prices listed below cover three meals per day, accommodation, bed linen and a CIWY t-shirt. Also included in the price paid upon arrival is a security deposit to cover any possible damages and discourage early departure. It is returned upon the completion of a full volunteering stay. 

 

Paid upon arrival

Security deposit

Total cost*

8-night Package

1,420 Bs.

300 Bs.

1,120 Bs.

9th and subsequent nights

-

-

150 Bs.

15-night Package

2,570 Bs.

300 Bs.

2,270 Bs.

16th and subsequent nights

-

-

120 Bs. per night

30-night Package

3,870 Bs.

300 Bs.

3,570 Bs.

31st and subsequent nights

-

-

80 Bs. per night

*The total cost is what you will have spent after receiving your deposit back.

In addition to the volunteer fees above, you should also budget for the following expenses:

•  Second-hand clothing (from 10 Bs. per item in our shop or more in Rurrenabaque)
•  Internet access (6-8 Bs. per hour) and/or cash for long-distance phone calls
•  Hotel/hostel accommodation (from 40 Bs. per night) and meals (10 to 70 Bs.) in Rurrenabaque on days off
•  Other miscellaneous expenditure

Facilities

Accommodation

WCC Jacj Cuisi’s accommodation, included in the price of your stay, is basic. There is no electricity and volunteers currently sleep in one large dorm with bunk beds. Each volunteer is given a mosquito net (when available) and a set of sheets, but we recommend that volunteers bring a sleeping bag or blanket in the dry season when nights can become cold.

There are two ecological toilets with attached showers. A nearby creek is used primarily for relaxing and bathing. Please try to bring biodegradable soaps with you as much of this water directly enters the water system.

Food

Food is included in the cost. Volunteers and staff generally take turns cooking for everyone and most meals are vegetarian.

Breakfast includes bread, jam, fruit and coffee. You may wish to bring cereal or oatmeal with you to supplement this meal. Many grocery items can be purchased in Rurrenabaque.

If you have any special dietary requirements or want specific foods, you should bring them with you. Vegans are advised to bring protein-rich foods or supplements.

Water is treated from the creek and is safe to drink. However, if you are concerned about water purity you can bring water purification tablets or purchase bottled water in Rurrenabaque.

Medical resources

San Buenaventura and Rurrenabaque have hospitals and pharmacies. Pharmacies are well-stocked, however we suggest you bring an ample supply of any prescription or other necessary medication.

Directions

WCC Jacj Cuisi is located approximately 25 km from Rurrenabaque, one of Bolivia’s best bases for Amazon exploration. While we are generally accessible from Rurrenabaque, you may need to wait a day or two to cross the Beni River en route to the centre during the rainy season.

Read on for specific directions on how to reach us from common departure cities:

From Rurrenabaque

Cross the river Beni by taking the ferry boat to San Buenaventura, this costs 1.50 Bs. From here take a minivan/shared taxi (known as a 'colectivo') in the direction of Ixiamas and Tumupasa, and ask the driver to let you off at WCC Jacj Cuisi. Tickets cost 20 to 30 Bs. Drivers should know where to drop you off, but if there’s any doubt, we’re located at km 25 (just before Arroyo Conari), about 45 minutes to an hour from San Buenaventura.

La Paz to Rurrenabaque

From La Paz there are two ways to get to Rurrenabaque:

1. By bus. Buses depart daily for Rurrenabaque from La Paz’s Villa Fátima bus terminal, leaving at 11 am and costing 70 Bs. The journey generally takes 15 to 20 hours and can be dusty or muddy depending on the time of year, so bring plenty snacks, water and patience. In the rainy season, roads can become impassable and you may need to fly. There are also rapiditos (mini-vans) that leave from the new bus terminal in Villa Fatima. They are more expensive than the bus but do get your there quicker.

2. By plane. TAM and Amaszonas Airlines fly to Rurrenabaque from La Paz, with a number of departures per week. In the rainy season, from October to February, bad weather can delay flight schedules for days or even weeks at a time. For this reason it’s best to be flexible and perhaps purchase one-way tickets. Many volunteers often wish they could stay longer.

Santa Cruz to Rurrenabaque

From Santa Cruz there are two ways to get to Rurrenabaque:

1. By bus. From the main bus terminal (tel. 348-8382) in Santa Cruz, known as 'la terminal bimodal' or 'la nueva terminal', there are daily departures for Trinidad. Most leave in the evening, cost from 25 to 50 Bs. and the journey takes 8 - 10 hours. See below for directions from Trinidad.

2. Amaszonas offer daily flights to Rurrenabaque, although they go via La Paz.

Trinidad to Rurrenabaque

From Trinidad there are two ways to get to Rurrenabaque:

1. By bus. Buses leave daily from Trinidad’s bus terminal, tickets cost about 130 Bs. The journey normally takes 12 to 20 hours, though it can take significantly longer in poor weather conditions. In the rainy season roads can become impassable and you may need to fly.

2. By plane. TAM and Amaszonas fly to Rurrenabaque from Trinidad 6 times a week. In the rainy season, from October to February, weather can delay flight schedules for days or even weeks at a time. For this reason it’s best to be flexible and perhaps purchase one-way tickets, since you may not know exactly when you want to leave.

When you arrive

On the left-hand side of the road you will see a sign that reads 'Bienvenidos a Jacj Cuisi'. Beside it is the entrance to the camp’s centre. If you enter an empty camp, feel free to throw your bags down in the house on the left as you enter and relax until someone arrives and welcomes you properly.

You will discuss accommodation and where you will work during the evening and start the very next day.

Please do not plan to arrive on a Sunday, as volunteers will normally be in Rurrenabaque (returning sunday night). If you are in Rurrenabaque on a Sunday and wish  to find our staff/volunteers, go to Hostal Santa Ana.

Contact

If you have any questions before you arrive, we strongly encourage you to visit our FAQ section. If you have any unanswered questions after reading the FAQs, please feel free to contact us.

Merken


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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.

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