Wild and domesticated animals rescue center

Cusco, Peru

Animal care volunteers may be placed at an animal shelter or a small zoo run by the Zoology and Biology departments at a local university. Please note that due to the availability and seasonal needs at our projects, we cannot guarantee any particular type of facility. However, all the projects we work with promote the values of care for and conservation of animals, and your participation is valued. Volunteers may have the opportunity to work with animals such as dogs, cats, crocodiles, snakes, geckos, turtles, and a variety of other wild and domesticated animals.

  • Bathe and/or groom the animals
  • Provide basic obedience training
  • Clean cages, feed animals, maintain the project area
  • Interact with and host visitors to the project (often children)
  • Play with and walk the animals
  • Assist with small construction projects
  • Photography, administration, and fundraising
  • Minimum age of 17 years

    In order to join the program, you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.

  • A background check

    Background checks can be obtained from local police departments or online at websites such as SentryLink.com and BeenVerified.com. We accept background checks that have been made within one calendar year prior to your program start date. In lieu of a background check, we accept 2 reference letters from two different people such as an employer, colleague, or professor, but NOT a family member. Reference letters must include how the reference knows you, how long they have known you (must be longer than 1 year), as well as their contact details and signature.

  • Airport pick-up

    We can also arrange a pick-up at the bus station or at nearby accommodations instead of the airport.

  • Accommodations

    You stay with a pre-approved middle-class Peruvian family in a shared room. You share the room with 1-3 other people of the same gender.

  • Food

    Breakfast and dinner are included seven days a week.

  • Orientation

    Your orientation upon arrival covers additional safety information, rules, and expectations.

  • Airfare

    To get a better deal, please purchase your tickets to Cusco, Peru well in advance.

  • Travel insurance

    We strongly recommend purchasing international travel insurance that covers emergency medical expenses.

  • Daily transportation

    As a volunteer, you are responsible for your daily transportation to and from your project site. Local bus rides are very affordable, and a one-way trip typically costs $1.75 or less. Taxis are more expensive; costs vary based on the distance travelled. We recommend budgeting about $5 per day for transport.

  • Getting around

    Please be ready to travel to your designated project on a daily basis. Our projects are located in the Cusco area. Walking or taking the bus is the most effective and cheapest way to get to and from your project. Travel time varies widely from project to project, and you should expect to spend 10-60 minutes traveling each way. Depending on your project and housing locations, you may need to change buses. If you prefer to take taxis, they are also widely available. On your first day at the project, you will travel on local transport with a host organization (Maximo Nivel) representative who will provide you with the necessary information on how to get to your project and back.

  • WiFi

    Included in your program is access to a computer lounge at the host organization (Maximo Nivel institute). You can also bring a laptop, tablet, or other personal electronic device to use the free WiFi at the institute. Please note that your host family may not have WiFi available.

  • Water

    Tap water in Peru is not potable. Drinking water is provided for you in your accommodations, and bottled water is easily purchased throughout Cusco and the rest of Peru. Tap water is safe to use for showers and brushing your teeth.

  • Arrival (Sunday)

    Airport pick up, accommodations and orientation. You can arrive earlier, and we can help arrange lodging for your stay, but the accommodations included in the price will be available on Sunday.

  • Working hours

    Working hours may vary slightly, but you can expect to work 3-4 hours per day, Monday through Friday. Your volunteer shift is in either the morning or the afternoon, depending on the needs of your project.

  • Clothing

    Cusco is truly a land of extremes, with intense sun during the day and cold mountain nights that remind you that the city is located at an altitude of 11,200 feet (3,400 meters). If you intend to travel outside of Cusco into the Amazon Basin, Sacred Valley, and/or Machu Picchu, you will also need to be ready for more heat and humidity. Loose, cotton clothing that can both protect you from the sun and be layered for warmth in the evenings is a great option. In all cases, you should be prepared for some rain.

Price: $725 / 1 week

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