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.
We have more than 100 capuchin monkeys consolidated into four groups housed in different areas that cohabit with 3 spider monkeys, in addition to 4 white-fronted capuchin monkeys (albifrons). Work includes feeding the monkeys, cleaning the cages, providing enrichment for them and general maintenance of the area. The monkeys are in different states of freedom depending on their type of management which includes: systems of cages and tunnels, systems of runners and systems of supervised freedom.
This area requires a person who is very passionate about and committed to helping animals. The coordinator must be observant, have the desire to learn about the behavior of the Capuchin monkeys and the right attitude to manage volunteer personnel. The role of area coordinator needs an organized person who can perform the following activities: cleaning, food preparation, animal care and general maintenance of the area.
All monkeys require monitoring by humans to ensure their welfare. Monkey area coordinators are also responsible for introducing, supervising and organizing the work of the designated volunteers in their area.
Applicants must be in good physical and psychological condition, and must be prepared to handle arduous work in a high-energy work environment, in the outdoors in both sun and rain. Working with wildlife can involve the risk of bites and accidents if proper safety and care protocols are not followed.
The monkey area coordinator will be in charge of the following functions:
- Train, introduce and organize activities of new volunteers and interns.
- Implement measures to ensure the welfare of both animals and volunteers.
- Be in contact and direct communication with the main office and volunteer coordinator to assure and help the volunteers with any problems they may have.
- Work together with the biologist to update the files of the animals in the area. Record observations, deaths, births, diseases and behavioral changes in the monkeys of our Center.
- Plan, carry out and adapt the daily routines according to the conditions of each day.
- Organize the agenda of activities related to cleaning, feeding, medical treatments and coordination of free days for volunteers in the area.
- Understand, update and adapt the diets of the animals of the area according to their nutritional requirements and according to the availability of food.
- Ensure the cleanliness of the area and the health of the monkeys.
- Administer medicine and treatments to monkeys that need it under the authorization of veterinarians. Be in direct communication with the veterinarians to regulate and take care of the health of the monkeys.
- Ensure that volunteers follow the rules and report to the administrator if this is not the case.
- Ensure the proper use and return of any Center tools in all areas.
- Ensure that only volunteers and workers of the area enter it. Report to the volunteer coordinator if someone does not comply.
- Attend meetings led by the administrator or the president and maintain good communication with them.
- Know the emergency protocols in case of attacks, escapes or accidents.
CIWY’s three sanctuaries are located in remote areas of Bolivia and conditions vary. However, all our Capuchin monkey areas are located at Machía and therefore you can expect to work at this center. At Machía there is electricity, internet and water almost always, although some interruptions are possible.
You will be living in an international community composed of volunteers and staff from Bolivia and different parts of the world.
You can expect to work hard every day. You must be prepared for a work environment that requires great physical effort and demands decisiveness, creativity, ingenuity and adaptability within a context with limited economic and material conditions.
You will enjoy the pleasure of taking part in the process of giving a second chance to wildlife rescued from illegal trafficking. Your day to day activities will be focused on maintaining and improving the welfare and quality of life of animals in their process of reintegration into the wild.
The role of coordinator comes with the responsibility of overseeing a management area. Usually our coordinators are the first to arrive and last to leave the areas to ensure proper functioning.
Coordinators can expect a work schedule that usually begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. The work includes to a large extent: cleaning of cages and the area; feeding, diet and enrichment administration; repairs and general maintenance of the area; in addition to training and coordinating volunteers.
Each coordinator works 6 days, and has one day off, per week. Coordinators have a week of vacation after every 6 months worked.
Housing conditions are basic since most of our resources are invested in the animals. Machía has accommodation for volunteers and coordinators located approximately 400 meters from the central office and the work areas. This accommodation has bedrooms, a kitchen and a dining room to which the coordinators have access.
The bedrooms are shared by up to four people and have straw mattresses and shared bathrooms with hot water available. Although we have electricity and hot water almost always, electricity and water cuts occur occasionally (especially during the rainy season), and therefore, there are days where we do not have water.
The Center provides both sheets and pillows. We recommend you bring a sleeping bag for the colder nights, a mosquito net and boots as well as a padlock for the security of your room.
This position is for a minimum of 6 months. CIWY will provide you with breakfast, lunch and This position has a minimum time commitment of 6 months and does not have a salary. CIWY will take care of your breakfast, lunch and lodging.
When applying for this position you must take into account out-of-pocket expenses such as visa procedures and transport costs to the Center. CIWY only supports you with the required paperwork.
Candidates should have a strong interest in animals and specifically monkeys, in their behaviour and their well-being. Candidates should also have an intermediate English speaking, reading and writing ability. Speaking Spanish is not necessary but it is a great asset, as you will be in an environment where Spanish is used widely.
Please apply via email to email@example.com
Including your CV and a letter of application, indicating:
• Why you are interested in this opportunity.
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.