Caribbean Wildlife

Belize

Assist keepers with the care of over 150 rescued native animals including jaguars, tapirs, howler monkeys and many more species. Educate the local community about the conservation of their local wildlife and habitat. Explore the rainforest, coral reefs and beautiful beaches of Belize in your free time.

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Key Info

key info
  • Location: Near Belize City
  • Start dates: Every Wednesday
  • Duration: 2 – 4 weeks
  • Age requirement: 18+
  • Availability: Spaces available from 16th August
  • Cost: From £895 / €1075 / $1210 - see fees table below

Project Information

Volunteer role: What will I be doing?

Volunteers contribute to the two main areas of the centre’s work; animal management and education. When you are assigned to the animal management department you will be paired to a zookeeper at the start of each working day and will assist in:

  • food preparation
  • animal husbandry practices including cleaning and maintenance of enclosures
  • watering
  • providing enrichments
  • animal encounters and animal introductions when they occur
  • caring for newborns or orphan animals

When you are assigned to the education department you will work with the education department staff and will be involved in a range of activities which could include:

  • interactive sessions with visitors with the boa constrictor, sharing natural history and conservation information
  • carrying out the centre’s interpretive education programme
  • participating in and organising events
  • accompanying the education department on outreach education visits to local communities
  • helping to create lesson plans for educational visits
  • assisting in weekly reading programmes at a primary school

You’ll get to know jaguars, pumas, ocelots, tapirs, harpie eagles, crocodiles, howler monkeys, gibnuts, scarlet macaws, toucans, king vultures, boa constrictors, coral snakes and many more beautiful and incredible animals of Central America.

There is also the opportunity for volunteers to experience a night tour of the centre and you may enjoy exciting encounters with a jaguar and harpy eagle as part of their placement.

Working days and hours

You will normally volunteer for 5 days per week (Monday to Friday) and generally the day will start at 8.30am and end between 5pm and 6pm.

Other volunteers

There are 1-2 volunteers at the project at any one time with a maximum of 2. You will be working within a larger full time team of staff.

Volunteer reviews

Read about volunteer experiences and challenges in our Belize Caribbean Wildlife reviews.

Why are volunteers needed?

Volunteers make a major contribution to the welfare of animals in Belize. Their time and efforts will help to care for the animals.

The centre receives visits from over 15,000 school students each year and there is always a need for passionate and energetic volunteers to help to educate the local community about their native wildlife and how to preserve the environment.

“Volunteers offer invaluable assistance to our staff in the daily care, enrichment, and socialization of our resident wildlife ensuring animal welfare is a priority. As a small organization with many responsibilities, eager and capable volunteers help to share the workload and ensure that tasks are completed efficiently. This is especially true in the case of juvenile or significantly ill/injured rescued wildlife that require more intensive attention than typical residents.”Jamal, Head of the Education Department

How is the Caribbean Wildlife project making a difference?

The Caribbean Wildlife Centre houses over 150 animals in their natural habitat, keeping only native animals of Belize which have either been orphaned, born at the centre, rehabilitated, or donated to the centre from other zoological institutions.

The centre provides the optimal level of care for these animals and is set in 29 acres of Belizean tropical savannah. They have sensitively fenced and maintained the land to ensure that the animals live in an environment as close as possible to their natural habitat.

The centre believes that by bringing the people of Belize closer to the animals which are their natural heritage, they will feel proud of these special resources, and want to protect them for future generations. They educate the local communities on how this is possible and have active education programmes in local schools.

Where will I be living?

The centre about an hour away from Belize City and is well located to allow you to explore the wonders that Belize has to offer.

The Tropical Education Centre (TEC) where you will live is about a mile from the centre and you will be provided with a bike to travel between the two places. Volunteers live in shared dorms at the TEC. The dorms are divided into single sex twin rooms with a shared living space and a screened veranda. Bathrooms are shared and are a short walk from the dorm. There is a dining area where volunteers eat and socialise together. There is WIFI internet access available.

You can chose to spend your free time hiking in the tropical rainforests, snorkelling on amazing coral reefs or just relaxing on its beautiful beaches. From Belize City you can take a water ferry out to some beautiful Caribbean islands including San Pedro and Caye Caulker. There is also a popular bar and restaurant which is only a 5 minute bike ride from the centre.

What's Included?

Before you go:

  • Carefully selected and vetted volunteer project
  • Support from our friendly and highly experienced Pod UK team
  • Single point of contact - Erin is your dedicated placement manager
  • In-depth Volunteering Guide on your volunteering placement
  • Travel information - visa, health and safety advice
  • Access to specialist travel insurance at exclusive rates
  • Recommended travel agency for flights and tours
  • Access to special deals and resources
  • Fundraising guide and support
  • Financial protection for monies paid to Pod

On your placement:

  • Animal care volunteering placement
  • Arrangement of airport pick up (Belize City)
  • Accommodation - a simple shared room
  • Food - all main meals
  • Induction
  • T-shirt
  • Onsite support from local team
  • Support from Pod UK office by phone and email
  • 24/7 emergency back up
  • Incident Management and Emergency Response Plans

On your return:

  • Contact from your placement manager
  • Feedback scheme
  • Volunteering certificate (on request)
  • References (on request)
  • Member of the Pod community

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, visa (if required), cost of pick up and transfers. Budgeting guidance is provided in our Volunteering Guide which we will email you when you apply.

Pod Volunteer is run as a non-profit organisation. Fee levels are set to match costs and any surplus monies are distributed to the projects we work with via the Pod Charity.
Price table
2 weeks £895 GB Pounds
Extra weeks £295 GB Pounds
Apply

Fees in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP. For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com

150+

rescued native animals

"Pod is a no nonsense volunteer organisation looking to change lives"Cian

Erin

Pod UK Specialist

Erin has visited the project, apply and you'll hear from her soon!

We look forward to receiving your application! There is no commitment by applying and we will send more information.

Apply

VOLUNTEER REVIEWS

  • Belize Caribbean Wildlife volunteer – Katie

    “My trip was absolutely amazing! Volunteering at the zoo was one of the best experiences I've had in my life! I got to meet so many awesome people and work hands-on with amazing Belizean wildlife.”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Belize Caribbean Wildlife volunteer – Jacob

    “As someone who hopes to study zoology and work with animals in the future, this was an incredibly rewarding experience that allowed me to get up close and personal with numerous animals native to Belize”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Belize Caribbean Wildlife volunteer – Kim & Trevor

    “Truly the best "vacation" we've ever had. My husband and I had an absolutely amazing time. We spent hours with amazing animals and people! How sad we were when the 2 weeks flew by. We would absolutely go again!”

    Read more volunteer reviews

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AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal