Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center, Costa Rica

Host Community:  

The Rescue Center is located in Turrucares, Costa Rica, just north from the Juan Santamaria International airport, and the original location from 2009-2015 was on Moin beach in Limon, Costa Rica. They have an on-site hospital staffed by dedicated vets/interns and comfortable living quarters which can house up to 60 volunteers at any time. The animal enclosures include an aviary, sloth gardens, and monkey cages all surrounded by nature in order to allow the animals a place as close to their natural habitat as they recover from their wounds. The Rescue Center supports over 130 animals including but not limited to monkeys, sloths, kinkajous, porcupines, parrots, and raccoons. They invite volunteer groups from around the world to learn about why the animals get hurt and how humans can serve in animal rehabilitation. 


Justice Issues:  

Captivation and abuse of wild animals:  

Many of the animals at the center have been illegal pets or use as tourist attraction.  It is one of their goals to teach tourist and people around the center the problems this has on wildlife.  If you see a baby monkey which you can pay to pet, they have to kill the mother. Young sloths are taken from the mother, and without proper nutrition they die within weeks.  The implore that tourist and volunteers not participate when they see people with wildlife offering pictures. During certain seasons, they also work with several turtle projects. Their center used to be located in Moin Limon, but do to egg poaching market and government issues they were forced to move locations. 


Animal protection and rehabilitation: 

The Rescue Center has a mission of rescue, rehabilitation and when possible release. "When possible" is because many factors create situations where rescued animals can never be released such as if an animal has been in "human contact" for far too long, or if the injuries the animal sustained are too severe even after rehabilitation the animal may be unreleasable. However, their ultimate goal is to ALWAYS if possible release animals back to their natural habitat. If and when that is not possible which is a decision by our veterinarian team we find ways to ensure that animal lives the rest of his/her life in a safe, enriched and loving environment. The animals we put up for sponsorship are the ones who will never be released. The kindness and generosity of our sponsors ensure they will always be taken care of. 



Cultural Opportunities:  

You will be expected to work with the animals, clean cages, prepare food and provide enrichment.  The center continuously needs assistance with building cages and trying to expand their small hospital. They also offer a variety of volunteer enrichment activities such as yoga, night walks, and excursions to experience local cuisine. We would have opportunities to go downtown to visit the market, local shops, and restaurants. The center has a small, welcoming staff who are passionate about the work they do and getting to know the people they host. Over the years, the center has hosted thousands of volunteers from countries around the world, and there would be opportunities to build community with other volunteers! 


Food, Lodging, Travel: 

The group leaves Minneapolis/St. Paul and arrives in San Jose, Costa Rica by plane. Some Rescue Center staff will meet us at the airport, and provide transportation to their center.  The group will stay in shared rooms. Three delicious homecooked meals a day and local transportation will be provided. They are flexible with serving dietary needs.  


Activities May Include: 


  • Prepare daily food for over 100+ animals. 

  • Cleaning and maintenance of animal enclosures. 

  • Construction of new enriched enclosures. 

  • Building and implementing new animal toys (animal enrichment). 

  • Participating in educational community projects.