Review of RAREC by Isabella Foulkes

on 02/12/2019

Authentic rainforest experience with the best animals

I had an amazing, authentic rainforest experience at RAREC and I really got to know all of the animals personalities. My personal favourites were the adult woolly monkeys, especially Chacha as she was so curious. Daniel the otter was very cute and playful and Luna the Saki monkey was really sweet. The people who work and volunteer there are also great too! We had a good team and all of us supported each other.

It is quite tough work as a lot of days are 7am-7pm, but it was an amazing experience to get up close with the animals who need your help. I found it difficult sometimes as we had no water or electricity on some occasions, but go with an open mind and you will enjoy the experience.

I was able to learn about wildlife as I was collecting leaves using a machete and learnt how to plait leaves to make a roof. I also had the chance to go to the local school to teach English for one morning which I enjoyed. One day, we had the chance to go swimming in the river and watched some locals playing football. It was also nice to lay on the hammocks, and spend time with the resident rescue dogs. I felt a little bad for the dogs though, as they all had fleas.

The only thing I would mention is that vegans are not catered for very well, there was only one time where I felt full in the 9 days I stayed, which was when we were given a pasta soup as well as shakshuka. A lot of times instead of having something replaced, it would just get taken off the plate. For instance, I would only be given a large plate of rice, with a couple of slices of cucumber on the side. Others were given meat as well as that. The bread was really little, and it was always gone really quickly. They did provide soy milk, but the can would be left out all day and it would go sour. I was also given plantain with honey once so it wasn't actually vegan and I couldn’t have it. The coffee was always cold and not even sure when they changed it. It seemed the animals were treated way better than the humans and they had an abundance of food compared to the volunteers and workers. I guess it was a good way to lose weight, and it made me grateful coming home and being able to have whatever food I wanted. I did bring snacks with me but ants got into it. It was definitely a good idea to ask to get things bought from the market, so for my last days I had apples and a watermelon to snack on.