Read what our volunteers say about their time volunteering
“I really enjoyed my time at the project. Everyone was extremely helpful. You feel like you are making a difference. The process is simple and easy and nothing went wrong. I would go back again!
What did you find most rewarding?
Walking the baby animals
What did you find most challenging?
The jet lag
What advice would you give others considering doing this placement?
Do it. You are helping a great project
Why did you choose Pod Volunteer and would you recommend us to your friends?
Yes! It is a good company”
“I interned for four months, I absolutely loved my time spent with them! Not only did I gain the most incredible experiences but I made life-long friends! I truly felt as though I was welcomed into a family. I was able to work closely with the animals and vet, as well as conduct research. I would (and often do) highly recommend volunteering there to friends!”
“I spent about four months volunteering last year. To say this experience was amazing would be an understatement!
I came through a university program and was able to live out my dream job for four months. I got to have hands on experience rescuing and rehabilitating animals to be released, I got to learn all about the animals of Costa Rica, and I got to meet so many kind, funny, and passionate people. It is about a 15-20 minute drive from the nearest town, so it’s close enough to be able to go out to eat occasionally or go hang out at the beach on your day off, but it’s also far enough away from civilization that you feel like you’re really in the rainforest which makes for a tight-knit community of volunteers and staff.
You have to be really careful when choosing to volunteer at animal rescue/rehabilitation centers because there are so many out there that are unethical—I can tell you that with this project, you don’t have to worry about that. It’s an ethical organization that works to rehabilitate and release animals back into the wild, while also putting up preventative measures to stop so many animals from needing to be rescued. There’s no unnecessary animal handling, and the interest of the animals comes before anything else.
I absolutely would recommend volunteering here to anyone interested in learning more about animal rehabilitation or anyone who is interested in stepping out of their comfort zone for a couple of weeks. I hope I have the opportunity to go back soon!”
“I went for 3 months and gained the best work experience I have ever had. While some organizations have volunteer programs that involve a good amount of observing, this program is extremely hands-on. You get the opportunity to experience all aspects of working in an animal rehabilitation center and sanctuary. For example, you gain experience learning what it is like to be an animal caretaker: prepping food, feeding animals, cleaning enclosures, and designing animal enrichment. Long term volunteers are asked to give educational tours to visitors. I absolutely loved being a tour guide! Educating people on the importance of conservation is critical and can be very rewarding – something I learned at the project. In the summer of 2016, I returned a third time to conduct research for my ungraduated senior thesis. They were happy to have me there and worked with me to produce a project that I am now going on to get published! All in all, this volunteer program is one of the best out there. They are willing to work with you so that you can achieve your dreams, whatever they may be!”
"I volunteered for a month and it was truly an unforgettable experience. Every day is different from another and is full of adventures. I was learning something new every day from the vet or other volunteers and I was constantly improving my knowledge about animals, welfare and nature. Every other animal organisation needs to learn from them regarding their welfare standards, their handling practices and the way they care about animals. Highly professional people work there and they work around the clock to make sure animals are healthy and happy. The owners are amazing people as well, they are very easy to get along with and they would always listen to you and help. I was doing my research on squirrel monkeys and this was a perfect place to do that, they helped me a lot and together we did an amazing report. I gained a valuable experience by working with there and I would recommend everyone to volunteer with them. "
“My experience was awesome! I expected to fall in love with some animals, to get my hands dirty and my muscles sore, but what I didn't predict was how wonderful the people would be. The dedication and passion of all the people behind the project blew me away. I'm so grateful to have gotten to know them and taken part in the important work they are doing. I'll never forget them and the beautiful animals they care for. I hope to return very soon!”
“My husband, sons, and I have visited and volunteered at the Sanctuary five times over the last four years, and we enjoy it for a few different reasons. We started coming because it is doing life-saving work for the animals, and helping to restore the rain forest, and we wanted to be part of that work. Over time, we saw, too, that they provide excellent care for the animals; we respect how they take care of them, and this is a top priority for us. Our trips are also rich in learning about the animals and the environment, and ways we can all help; we appreciate that educational piece.
Furthermore, the owners and staff engage our sons and get them involved in the work when they are there, which is empowering them to become advocates for the protection and care of all animals, which is important to us as parents. Finally, the owners and staff are so warm, friendly, caring, and professional, volunteering there is a very satisfying, meaningful experience for us. We are proud to be part of this organization and look forward to continuing to be involved and support it.”
“For the past three summers, I've spent a few weeks volunteering at the project. This organization, grown from the dreams of two young girls, amazes me every time I visit. Whether responding to a middle of the night call to pick up an injured animal or coordinating an educational service experience for a group of college students, the individuals who work there do so with passion, dedication, and ingenuity.
One of my most memorable experiences was with an anteater named Al. Each day, I'd bring him to a different tree and watch him while he ate ants. When we started, he was timid and only climbed a few feet high….but soon enough he became bolder…until he decided to climb eighty feet high in a cecropia tree…and take a nap. A four hour long nap! I was so worried…but he eventually came down. Many months later, Al was released to the wild and I felt like a proud momma!
I'm an educator from California and would have had no clue how to begin rehab with an anteater without the leadership and support of the staff. The diversity of animals who reside there staggers me and I commend the staff and volunteers for taking the time to research the specific dietary, environmental, social, and behavioral needs of each. With minimal resources, the staff provides excellent medical care and nurtures sick, injured, and orphaned animals back to health.
I don't want to think about how many animals would be lost if not for the project.
That said, their impact stretches beyond the immediate benefit to the creatures of Costa Rica. Children and adults from around the world have embraced the stories of their miracle orphans and, as a result, developed a respect for the rainforest and appreciation for its critical importance.”
“This was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had in my life and I know that I will never be able to explain to my family and friends what happened here without getting emotional."
"You can't help but give everything you can to the experience that the project gives you in helping make a difference to the rainforest and its many treasures. What you get back is far better than anywhere else out there."