Idealist logo

Sacha Yacu Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Center

Puyo, Provincia de Pastaza, Ecuador |
Joined in June 2012

About Us

Sacha Yacu is a wild animal rescue and rehabilitation center based in the Ecuador’s rainforest and supported principally by volunteers from all around the world.

We work with the Environmental Police (UPMA) and the Ministry of Environment in the fight against wild animal trafficking and abuse.

This volunteering opportunity is aimed at all people who love Nature and who want to give us a helping hand in the fight against threats to animals in the Amazon Rainforest, a place of inestimable importance to world biology and ecology. We offer volunteers the unique opportunity to experience life in the jungle, to work closely and directly with native Ecuadorian wildlife, and work alongside people of the local community. The money contributed by our volunteers helps directly in the purchases of food and supplies for the animals, veterinary care, as well as construction and other supplies for the Center. Just as well, volunteers help to increases economic activity in the area when they stay at local hostals, buy souvenirs, and take advantage of guided tours and activities.


Volunteers do not need any previous experience to come and work with us. Some of the work can be quite strenuous so a basic level of fitness is necessary. Volunteers need to be over 18 years old.

Volunteer tasks:

During your time here you will be primarily involved in day-to-day care of our big variety of animals at the Center. You will be involved with the cleaning and preparation of diets and repairing of the enclosures, which require general construction and maintenance on a regular basis. Just as well, you will engage in building new enclosures as we expand and develop the Center. The Center is not a zoo, and therefore works to limit the amount of human intervention with the animals. The animal enclosures replicate natural habitats in order to improve the process of rehabilitation, and we try to keep the animals within these enclosures for their safety and wellbeing.

Volunteers work in groups. In these groups volunteers are in charge of several animals during their stay, becoming specialists in the care of those animals, focusing in their diet, and observing any strange behavior or signs of illness.

We also run observation and enrichment projects where the volunteers are encouraged to spend a couple of days observing the behavior of their chosen animals. Most wild animals spend a big part of the day searching in order to find food or refuge. We have to encourage our animals to continue to practice these natural behaviors in order to keep their lifestyles as close as possible to innate tendencies and instincts. The volunteers will also have the opportunity to build a toy or game for the animal, and observe how it uses the toy, as well as how this benefits the animal. This work is invaluable to the animals to relieve the boredom of their captivity and is a contribution that the volunteers really enjoy.

Every week volunteers are taken a little deeper into the jungle to experience picking fruits for the animals. This activity is done on the family’s land where various plants are cultivated, such as cocoa, yuca, papaya and sugar cane.

Accommodation and meals:

Volunteer housing is a very basic, but comfortable, wooden bungalow. Rooms are mixed dorm-style, usually sleeping about 4-5 people. Bedding is supplied and electricity is provided during a few hours in the evening (usually 6pm-9pm). You will be able to charge your electronic devices during that time.

As we live together, we divide the responsibilities of cleaning, cooking, and other tasks among each volunteer so that everyone has the opportunity to help.

Dates and Duration:

We welcome people all year round but ask for people to arrive either on a Sunday evening or a Monday morning.

We require volunteers stay for a minimum of 2 weeks.


Every week the volunteers pay $125 per person to stay at the Centre. It includes meals and accommodation, food for animals and basic veterinarian supplies, building materials, and other expenses for the Center.

Stay with us for longer than 2 weeks and you can get a discount!

1 Week: $125

2 Weeks: $250

3 Weeks: $350

4 Weeks: $450

Questions? Contact us!


Sacha Yacu is a wild animal rescue and rehabilitation center based in the Ecuador’s rainforest and supported principally by volunteers from all around the world.

We work with the Environmental Police (UPMA) and the Ministry of Environment…

Areas of Focus Include

  • Agriculture
  • Animals
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Volunteering


  • Calle 20 de Julio
    Puyo, Provincia de Pastaza 160150

Join Idealist

Sign up today to save your favorite organizations and get email alerts when new ones are posted.