Volunteers' Stories

We only had time to spend 2 weeks here and we had such a wonderful time with the monkeys. We vow that we will eventually be back adn be back for a lot longer. The people we met here were wicked and made the long hours and work far more enjoyable. We miss everyone and the animals terribly!
Left on 14 Jan 200


Comments: most amazing experience of my life, the friends i made here,  both animal and human, will always be very special to me. went for 2 weeks, stayed 6, wish i had never left.

go if you want to give your time, it is hard at times, but the reward ten fold what you put in.
like anywhere, some people you wont get on with, the place is not perfect, but with an open mind(heart), the animals will make sure you never forget them.  if you stay long enough, you will be upset by somethinng, probably having to leave..

i wanna go to the intiwarayaassi in february. i know its raining a lot in this time but maybe i just dont mind;) i still dont know in which reserve exactly im gonna go but if anybody wants to join that experience, let me know, maybe we can meet:)
mucho gusto
Left on 17 Jan 201

What a wonderful experience, of all my time in South America it has to be one of my fondest memories. The going is tough and your body takes a beating but I wouldn't change it. I spent over a month with Milli the Ocelot and with my gorgeous monkeys in Quarentine. It truly is a once in a lifetime, world changing experience.
Be prepared for the hard slog, and don't bother turning up if you are not going to dedicate yourself 100%.
Regarding the thefts at Machia - all the rooms have bars and glass on the windows now so are very safe. Remember to take a good padlock for your door. And wellies. You'll need those. There is a room full of old clothes you can buy so don't stress if you don't have much to bring, and all the money (not much to us!) goes to the park.
Go, you won't regret it!
Left on 3 Jan 200

I'm planning on going to one of the parks in January, but I am not sure yet which one of the amazing parks I want to volunteer at! I do know though, that it would either be Parque Machia or Ambue Ari. What would you guys recommend and why?? :)
Left on 7 Nov 201

Me and Magnus volunteered at Parque Ambue Ari, Wow what an experience. It has been a month filled with ups and downs. Sadly some sick animals, happily some rescued ones. A big thank you to the ITW family and a special thanks to Elsa, for being a sweet heart, to Inti, Wara and Yassi for playing so much, to Ru and Rupi and to Iskra for being wonderfully amazing. Its worth taking time out to do this volunteering. Youre needed and youll love it...but bring a mosquito hat.  
Left on 30 Dec 200


Comments: Hi. I worked in the park in 2000. It was a great experience! And i can recommend it to everyone. The stay and work inspired me to take a degree in biology and i hope to come back soon to use some of the knowlegde i have aquired. What these people are doing  is great, most animals there, have been threatet really bad before they came to the park. I hope people will go there to help and that they will bring some of the stuff that are needed in the park

Hey. I have decided to do some volunteering at Inti Warra yassy in march and april. I want to work with the cats, but I am not intirely sure where they have most cats? And where are there jaguars?? I am studying biology and want to spend some time in the jungle studying the cats behavior and the interaction with humans.

Left on 3 Feb 201

Rob Zacal

Comments: I worked at Inti Wara Yassi for 15 days in bird quarantine, I found it to be one of the best things i have done on my year out. The birds were lovely animals and it was a pleasure and an honor to be able to work with them. During my time I helped to complete one new cage for the macaw which was 6 times the size of their old cage, they seemed to be very happy with the new cage. I also got to walk with Sonko, a one year old puma and even was able to swim with him in the river, an amazing experience. The animals are amazing but they are wild and that needs to be remembered at all times as bites happen often. Also due to the nature of the financing of the park, volunteer donations, attempting any construction is frustrating as the materials are pretty poor, I spent quite a lot of my own money on any construction I did. I would definately recommend Inti Wara Yassi, but you need to be prepared for hard work, as it is not all fun with the animals


Comments: I spent 2 weeks at the park in April 2007. The park was different to what I had been expecting but a great experience none the less, I worked with the birds and loved it, while most of my time was with them i also got to spend loads of time with Quirqui, a beautiful puma, and chasing monkeys away from the birds, the people there were lovely and the team spirit really contributed to this being a really happy time during my travels, I can say without a doubt that this was one of the highlights of my trip:-)
Left on 25 February 200



Left on 16 January 200

Kat (no.1)

Comments: Being one of Chloe's 15 or so lifetime friends from the refuge, I would like to reiterate what she wrote. Not a day goes by when I dont think about the 8 or so months I spent at the refuge. Memories that will last a lifetime, the most amazing experience you could imagine.
Left on 5 October 200

Benjamin PHELIP (FR)

Comments: I had an awesome time at the monkey mirador, working with monkeys in the jungle area, meeting great people!

I really hope the community will continue for a long time, you are doing a great job there, thank you!

I wish I will be able to come back..

Amanda, England

Comments: Hard work, long days, basis accommodation, occasional bites.... It is the best thing Ive ever done! If you are an animal lover, you shouldnt miss it. I saw 3 capuchins released during my time there, and as far as im aware all 3 have managed the transition back into the wild brilliantly. Would love to go back for a longer time at some point, who knows when. Each and every time I think about that place I smile. Met some amazing people, a few of whom I spent some serious travel time with after and many of whom Im still in contact, will definately get to Israel at some point now, but also have offers in Belgium, Australia ...the list goes on.  I dont know if we got lucky and had an amazing group of people (it was just after the blockades, in 2003  so we were a small group too) but GO! What have you got to loose

Jeremy BR

Comments: I hope Charlie BR was some use to you in looking after Gato. Your website certainly helped his bereft parents imagine what you are all up to; and, importantly, it reassures us that you are a really worthwhile cause, and not some evil mechanism for conning teenagers! I wish you all the best.

What does Inti Wara Yassi mean, please? Your other readers and donors might like to know, too.

Congratulations on the powerful websit

Karen Mackness

Comments: Definitely, definitely, definitely volunteer!

Its is an amazing organisation with people devoting loads of their time to such a good cause.

I travelled for 11 months, and I have to say that working here for a couple of weeks was definitely the highlight of my trip.  I can't wait to go back and see all of the animals that I got to know whilst volunteering.  I really miss them!


My son, Luke, has been a volunteer looking after Simba. His description of his jungle walks with this Puma have been riveting. Because of running the jungle trails with Simba he will now be superfit!!  We do miss him very much, but know that this has been a wonderful time for him and he'll never forget his time with you all.
Left on 11 Jan 200


Comments: I would recommend this to anyone!Spending 2 weeks with monkeys has given me one of the best memories of my year travelling, such a beautiful place and the animals gave me so many smiles beeing this close to nature is a dream for a citygirl. I miss it and would do it again any day. Maybe more than 2 weeks next time...
Left on 24 May 200

The jungle that i left behind a year ago is never far from my thoughts, i have about 2 'jungle dreams" a week and if i don't i'm disappinted!i really miss everythin that came wih living and breathing jungle life, even when Tigre liked to go walking without me, on more than one occasion! I have burned the ears off anybody who will listen to what i consider to be the best thing i've ever done. i hope to be back and see everyone really soon xx  
Left on 20 Aug 200

Jo Slater

Comments: We worked at the park over 2 years ago - we took time out of a 12 month trip.  We hadn't planned to go, but heard about the place from other travellers.  We really couldn't decide whether to do it or not and spent an entire day in La Paz changing our minds from yes to no.  Looking back, it was the most memorable 2 weeks of our entire trip and the thing we most talk about now.  If you are thinking of going - just do it!

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Our Partners

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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