Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) is a Bolivian NGO, made up of a team of committed Bolivian and international professionals and volunteers. Founded in 1992, CIWY was the pioneer of the environmental movement in Bolivia and is recognised nationally and internationally for founding Rescue Centres dedicated to the rehabilitation of wildlife. CIWY currently manages three Wildlife Rescue Centres: Parque Machia (Cochabamba), Parque Ambue Ari (Santa Cruz) and Parque Jacj Cuisi (Rurrernabaque, north of La Paz). Each Centre offers refuge to wild animals rescued from trafficking, offering them a better quality of life.
The Spider Park is one of our most successful programs here at Machia Sanctuary. We currently have 23 Spider Monkeys (Ateles chamek). 19 of them are handled in a semi-free manner; they are free to roam around the jungle but depend on our care. The other 4 of them are on cords as part of our ‘runner system’. This system allows the monkeys to have space and freedom to move around on a system of cords in the trees and on the ground.
The role requires autonomy and organization in carrying out the daily routine, which involves cleaning, preparing food, checking the animals and overseeing the volunteers’ work. The coordinator must have a strong level of teamwork, responsibility and initiative. It is essential that the person in charge of this area understands the work and the importance of encouraging the animals to be less dependent on humans so that they don’t lose their freedom. The main goal is that the animals receive the best possible care and attention in the most efficient way possible.
• The Spider Park Coordinator will be in charge of the Spider Park and of taking care of the monkeys.
• Training new volunteers and teaching them the management techniques that have been put in place, as well as introducing them to the monkeys.
• Take measures to ensure the safety of yourself, the volunteers, staff and visitors to the park.
• Working with the biologist to update the animal files and liaise with the Administrator to make sure that all information is up to date on the computers.
• Record observations, deaths, births, and illnesses and learn the behaviours of our spider monkeys in the park, integrate into their group and know where they are hanging out during the day.
• Manage the daily routines and change them according to the conditions of that day.
• Assure the safety of the volunteers and help them with any problems they might have.
• Organise the calendar of activities, such as bleach days and treatment days and provision and cover for days off.
• Understand the foods that they can and cannot eat and change the daily diet and meal times depending on what is available here in the park.
• Listen to the volunteers, as they might be able to see things that you do not see.
• Oversee the cleanliness of the area and the health of the monkeys.
• Administer medicine and treatments if necessary and communicate regularly with park vets to ensure that health issues are communicated clearly and are being managed appropriately.
• Carry out, when required, general repairs to your area.
• Ensure that volunteers comply with park rules and report any breaches to the Administrator immediately.
• Ensure the proper usage, safekeeping and return of all park equipment by all area volunteers.
• Ensure that only volunteers assigned to your area are allowed to enter and report to the volunteer coordinator if any individual attempts to enter a prohibited area.
• Attend park meetings as directed by the Administrator or the Park President and maintain a good level of communication with them.
• Monitor the conduct and performance of all volunteers in the area and report to the Administrator or Volunteer Coordinator for any cause for concern or performance related issues.
• Have a full understanding of the emergency procedures in the case of animal attacks, escapes or accidents.
• Work alongside the Biologist and Veterinarians to ensure that the introduction or reintroduction of animals to the group is managed in an appropriate and responsible way.
• Work alongside the Veterinary Staff and Biologist to develop species appropriate development plans relating to territory, integration or cord group members and the maintenance of a well-balanced group.
• Maintain a proactive involvement in the management of the group’s diet, including the volume of food given and variety.
CIWY’s three sanctuaries are located in remote locations in Bolivia and the standard of facilities varies. At Machia, electricity, Internet and water are available most of the time. You will be living alongside a community of Bolivian and international staff and volunteers, all of whom work exceptionally hard on a day-to-day basis. You must be patient, adaptable and prepared to deal with difficult, often physically demanding conditions.
Work will include cleaning cages and areas, feeding the animals, construction and volunteer training. The days start at around 7 am until 6 pm every day. You will have 1 day off per week and 1 week off every 6 months.
Rooms and bathrooms are shared, with up to 4 people in each room.
This position is for a minimum of 6 months. CIWY is able to provide you with breakfast, lunch and accommodation; CIWY is not in a position to offer a salary. However, if you can stay long term and if you prove that you are of value to the organisation there is a possibility of a small stipend in the future.
Candidates should have a strong interest in primates, in their behaviour and well-being. Candidates must be able to walk through the jungle carrying heavy buckets of fruit and vegetables. Candidates should also have as a minimum an intermediate level of written and spoken English or Spanish and the willingness to learn both languages.
Please apply via email to email@example.com
Please send us your CV as well as a cover letter detailing:
• Why you are interested in this opportunity
• Your experience working with primates
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.