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 Sanctuaries dedicated to the rehabilitation of wildlife. CIWY currently manages three Wildlife Sanctuaries: Machia (Cochabamba), Ambue Ari (Santa Cruz) and Jacj Cuisi (Rurrenabaque, north of La Paz). Each Centre offers refuge to wild animals rescued from trafficking, offering them a better quality of life.
The small animal area in Machia is home to up to 20 coatis and 1 tayra. At Ambue Ari animals in this area vary as this is a temporary holding zone. However, common animals include kinkajous, night monkeys, titi monkeys, tapirs, exotic birds (such as toucans, macaws, parrots, and rheas), peccaries, squirrel monkeys, tortoises and coatis.The work here includes feeding the animals, cleaning the cages, providing enrichment for them and the general maintenance of the area. Some of the animals are able to spend their days outside their cages, and you will need to watch over them to make sure that they are safe. You will also be in charge of the volunteers in your area.
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. The main goal is that the animals receive the best possible care and attention in the most efficient way possible.
• The small animals area coordinator will be in charge of the area and of the care taking of the animals.
• Training new volunteers and teaching them the management techniques that have been put in place there as well as introducing them to the animals.
• 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 animals.
• 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 animals.
• 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 Sanctuary meetings as directed by the Administrator or the Organizaton 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.
• Maintain a proactive involvement in the management of the group’s diet, including volume of food given and variety.
CIWY’s three Centres are each located in remote areas of Bolivia, and the comforts of each vary. At Machia there is electricity, internet and water available most of the time. Ambue Ari has limited electricity to power the office, fridges and electronics charging stations only. A well/borehole provides drinking water and the water for the showers is not heated. At Jacj Cuisi there is no electricity and volunteers currently sleep in one large dorm with bunk beds. The toilets are ecological and do not use plumbing. At both Ambue Ari and Jacj Cuisi there is limited mobile phone signal at specific points in the sanctuary, however only with the provider Entel and there is no Wifi. At all three centres there are straw mattresses. You will be living with staff and volunteers, both Bolivian and international, who work hard day to day to keep the project running. You should be patient, adaptable and above all, be prepared for physically hard work in difficult conditions
Work will include cleaning cages and areas, feeding the animals, construction and volunteer training. The days start at around 7am until 6pm everyday.
You will have one 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 will provide you with breakfast, lunch and accommodation, however we are unable to provide any form of remuneration. CIWY asks that any future publications that should arise from your work here include a reference to the organisation.
Candidate should have a strong interest in animals, in their behaviour and their well-being. Candidate should also have at least an intermediate level English or Spanish speaking, reading and writing abilities and the willingness to learn both languages.
Please email email@example.com with:
• Cover letter
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.