Merazonia is located on 250 acres of Amazon rainforest, near Mera, Ecuador, South America. We combine passion for nature with a professional approach on animal care and release, along with rainforest conservation and research. Volunteers help us in the day to day care of the wildlife.
A typical day starts with feeding the animals and cleaning their cages at 7.30 a.m. After breakfast we work on maintaining and keeping the park clean, or building new trails and enclosures. The animals get fed again at 3 p.m.
Volunteers stay in our 6-sided jungle abode, which consists of a large dorm-style room, housing up to 8 volunteers. There is also a large deck area where we usually eat our meals, relax in hammocks, or strike up a game of cards. Our bathroom facilities are next to the volunteer house, and consist of composting toilets and our famously hot showers.
Food tends to be vegetarian and/or vegan. Fr meat eaters there is a meat option usually on shopping days which are twice a week. People use the shopping to make their own breakfast and lunch, but volunteers take turns in cooking and/or cleaning the communal dinner.
The volunteer fee is $150 per week for the first two weeks, which covers lodging and food, which we shop for and prepare communally. It also includes a contribution to medical supplies, animal food, and building materials for the continued development of the reserve. For those staying longer, weeks 2-6 are $130 per week and all weeks after that are charged at $95 per week.
Medical supplies, tools, chocolate!
Volunteer coordination, animal supervision
In the Amazon, the weather runs from brilliantly sunny to downright wet (it is the rainforest), so we recommend raingear and layering work clothes (and liquorice or chocolate if you really want to get in good with the managers). While we provide linen and blankets, if you are prone to chilliness, we recommend bringing a sleeping bag for extra comfort. We also provide candles, but a flashlight is always handy for the dark jungle nights.
We regularly look for one or two long-term volunteers to help us with the coordination and day-to-day work of the refuge. We are unable to make this a paid position, but offer lovely accommodations in the jungle, and the chance to make a difference in an up-and-coming refuge. We like to think of it as an amazing learning experience (it has been for us!) and an impressive resume builder
Animal care and park maintenance year round.
We are caring for monkeys, kinkajous, cats, other mammals and parrots. Our volunteers help us care for the animals, as well as continue to construct enclosures and trails to improve the centre. We work on both rehabilitating and providing release programs for the animals. If animals are too injured or imprinted for this, we will give them a chance to live as naturally and comfortably as possible.
We also place importance on outreach, education, and research, and plan on implementing local educational programs as well as welcoming international students and researchers.