"In July I spent one month at the Valle Alto rescue centre in San Placido and without a doubt it was one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences in my life. Viviana and Frank work tirelessly and have dedicated their lives to providing a safe, natural environment for the protection, rehabilitation and eventual release of animals in their care.
Each day I was excited to wake up and connect into nature and of course be amongst all the animals with all their crazy quirks; cheeky parrots, banana stealing howler monkeys, colourful macaws, squawky parakeets, excitable spider monkeys and capuchins, adorable ocelots, Pepa the pig, fluffy owls and much more.
Work activities included cleaning the quarantine and food preparation areas, preparing food and feeding the animals (twice a day), cleaning and sweeping cages, clearing pathways, gathering food resources from the surrounding forest, repairing cages (when required), providing medical assistance (when required) and assistance when animals were released. While at the centre I was overjoyed to see the release of owls, an anteater, an amardillo, a sloth, a howler monkey and parrots.
Each week the centre gratefully received food donations from the ministry but extra food always needed to be purchased to feed the demands of a growing animal family especially when the police or the ministry brought rescued animals to Valle Alto and thankfully a local veterinarian was available to help any animals that needed medical attention.
If you want to volunteer here come with an open mind, an open heart and be prepared to work hard. The shower is cold, there is no wifi and gumboots are worth it. Take the time to get back to nature, take photographs, enjoy these gorgeous animals and have a laugh with Viviana and Frank. I loved my time here and hope to return someday.
Thank you Vivi and Frank for the memories"