Vet (volunteer position)

We are looking for a candidate who is willing and capable of living in a remote location and in a small community of permanent staff and volunteers. The work is dynamic and not a typical 9 to 5 one may be used to, but extremely rewarding.


Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) is a Bolivian NGO, made up of a team of committed Bolivian professionals, Bolivian and international volunteers. Founded in 1992, CIWY was the pioneer of the environmental movement in Bolivia and is recognised nationally and internationally for founding centres dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife. CIWY currently manages three Wildlife Sanctuaries: Machia (Cochabamba),  Ambue Ari (Santa Cruz) and Jacj Cuisi (Rurrenabaque, north of La Paz). Each Sanctuary offers refuge to wild animals rescued from trafficking, offering them a better quality of life.


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 as well as the day to day running of the clinic. The vet must have a strong level of teamwork, responsibility and initiative. It is essential that the vet understands the work and the importance of keeping the animals in good health. There will also be times that the vet has to aid the head veterinarian in treating human patients. The main goal is that the animals receive the best possible care and attention in the most efficient way possible.

Accompanying and/or carrying out the following:

1. Inspection rounds to all the animals in the different areas

2. Medical rounds (to visit animals that are presenting any symptoms or signs of illness before starting a treatment regime).

3. Implementation, fulfilment and monitoring of treatments (including accompanying volunteers and instructing them on the best way to administer medicines).

4. Coordination of the different areas.

5. Carrying out inventories of the vet clinic’s supplies and materials every two months.

6. Keep the treatment files up to date with daily activities carried out, as well as each animal’s clinical file.

7. Implementation of the zoosanitary calendar.

8. Carrying out coprological techniques on different animals.

9. Preparing medicines and vitamins in the morning for the volunteers to give to the animals.

10. Upkeep of the vet clinic.

11. Carrying out external examinations/checks on domestic animals belonging to people in neighbouring communities.

12. In the event of there being more than one medical or clinical emergency, the Vet Assistant would be expected to attend to one of the two on their own.

13. Manage the diets of the different animals (mammals, birds, reptiles and primates).

14. Advise volunteers about diets, treatments etc. as necessary.

15. Administer basic first aid to volunteers.

16. If required help with the cleaning and feeding of areas.

17. Ensure that the cleaning and disinfection of food and areas is carried out correctly.

18. Carrying out necropsies and their respective reports.

19. Carry out the activities of the Vet when the main Vet is absent.

20. Carry out monthly activity reports.

21. Instruct, evaluate and assign an area of work to students that are carrying out an internship or dissertation/thesis.


CIWY’s three sanctuaries are located in remote locations in Bolivia and the standard of facilities is basic and varies at each site. 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 hours

Work will include cleaning cages and areas, feeding the animals, working in the clinic and sometimes even volunteer training. The days start at around 7am until 7pm 6 days a week. You will have 1 day off per week and 1 week off every 6 months.


CIWY´s accommodation is basic. Volunteers currently sleep in shared dormitories with bunk beds. Rooms and bathrooms are shared.

Financial agreement

CIWY will provide you with meals and accommodation; however we are unable to provide any form of remuneration. However, if you are able to stay longer and prove to be an asset to the organisation there might be a possibility of a small salary. CIWY asks that any future publications that should arise from your work here include a reference to the organisation.

Experience/skills required

Candidates should have a strong interest in wildlife, a veterinary related degree and at least 2 years of experience in the clinic (competent in routine surgery such as castrations, ovariohysterectomy, amputations etc.) and some experience in large feline care. Candidates should also have at the minimum an intermediate level of written and spoken English and basic Spanish or willingness to learn.

To apply

Please apply via email to

Including a letter of application, indicating:
• Why you are interested in this opportunity.
• Your CV and at least 3 references.

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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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