Review of RAREC by Finnian Grahe
Myself and my partner stayed for 7 days and were looking forward to volunteering at RAREC after hearing good things about the place. Working with the animals up close was a really cool experience and it felt really special to look after them and help improve their experience. It was nice to be part of a good cause and around staff who really give their all for the animals. Especially Ingrid and Juriko, they want the best for all the animals and really put them before themselves. There were couple of things that weren’t what we expected. Firstly definitely bring your own snacks/fruit. In all honesty the meals were really bland and repetitive and lacked fruit and Veg. The breakfast especially, which consisted of corn flakes with milk only on some days, plain bread rolls and sometimes crackers - wasn’t really enough when you’re working minimum 10 hour days. The animals received fruit and veggies every day so I don’t think it’s a push to just let the volunteers eat something fresh as well. The work with the animals is amazing and nowhere else would you be able to get so close to them, but it is tiring as you’re on your feet all day and long days consecutively with the humidity just make you want to sit down to some nice food at the end of the day so you can relax and regain your energy. The price per day is high considering the price of food and living in Peru all together, and we’re completely fine with the majority payment going towards to enrichment and rehabilitation of the animals, but the food really could of been better. Another point regarding the cost is that the animal enclosures could do with some improvements, and from our experience it was Volunteers who were helping to do this, and it would just be nice to see some of the money we paid going towards getting people in solely for the improvement of the cages(making them bigger and more secure) for the animals experience. The animals do live there every day after all. As a last point though the animals have amazing people looking after them and the project has great principles for animal conservation. It has amazing potential, just needs a few improvements for both the volunteers and the animals.