Volunteer Opportunity

Construction Coordinator - Machía

Posted by
Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY)
Villa Tunari, Bolivia
Published 3 months ago

Do you have experience with construction? Are you interested in a jungle change? If you are looking for an opportunity to apply your skills and support rescued wildlife in the Bolivian Amazon, then this is the role for you!

Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) is looking for a Construction Coordinator to start immediately at Machía. The candidate must be highly motivated, with demonstrated experience in construction, plus be willing and able to live in a remote area of Bolivia.


Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) is a Bolivian NGO, made up of a team of committed Bolivian professionals, Bolivian and international volunteers. Founded in 1992, CIWY was the pioneer of the environmental movement in Bolivia and is recognised nationally and internationally for founding centres dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife. CIWY currently manages three Wildlife Sanctuaries: Machia (Cochabamba), Ambue Ari (Santa Cruz) and Jacj Cuisi (Rurrenabaque, north of La Paz). Each Sanctuary offers refuge to wild animals rescued from illegal trafficking, offering them a better quality of life.


Machía houses more than 500 animals from more than 30 species. It is a Wildlife Sanctuary with approximately 38-hectares of land and is located in Villa Tunari, Chapare, at the beginning of the Amazon rainforest. Ambue Ari cares for over 70 animals, of more than 20 different species, including three threatened species. With 800 hectares of land, it is by far our largest centre. The Centre specialises in the care of large felines. Jacj Cuisi houses three pumas. Its 300 hectares border Madidi National Park, a 1.8 million-hectare reserve, lending to its serene beauty. Each species is different and needs specific conditions for their management and wellbeing. It is necessary to know each one of these animals, their biology, behaviour and particular management, to be able to offer them a better quality of life. The work is hard, and sometimes accompanied by difficult environmental conditions. However, it is also incredibly rewarding, unique and sure to be a memorable experience.


The Construction Coordinator is required to oversee and conduct all construction and maintenance projects, and work with the Administrator and volunteers in order to get jobs done. You will need to come up with creative ways to complete projects with limited resources.


  • Work closely with Centre administration to plan and manage new construction projects including volunteer and staff management, buying supplies and materials according to the budget.
  • Undertake regular maintenance of Centre buildings and infrastructure including plumbing, electrical, carpentry, power tool operation and maintenance, and welding.
  • While we strive to build new enclosures each year to improve the lives of the animals we provide a home to, most of the work will consist of maintenance on existing enclosures, and working closely with management area coordinators to assist them with the maintenance needs of their areas.
  • Manage the daily routines and change them according to the conditions of that day.
  • Ensure the proper use and return of any Centre tools in all areas.
  • Take measures to ensure the safety of yourself, the volunteers, staff and visitors to the sanctuary. Help volunteers with any problems they might have.
  • Organise the calendar of work tasks and provision for days off.
  • Ensure that volunteers comply with park rules and report any breaches to the Administrator immediately.
  • Attend sanctuary meetings as directed by the Administrator or the Sanctuary President and maintain a good level of communication with them.
  • Complete and hand in reports at the end of every month to update us on the progress of your projects and the plans for the next month.
  • Have a full understanding of emergency procedures in case of accidents, animal attacks or escapes.
  • You might have to help with the day to day caring of the animals that are currently at the Centre should volunteer numbers become low.


CIWY’s three sanctuaries are located in remote areas of Bolivia and conditions vary. At Machía there is electricity, internet and water almost always, although some interruptions are possible. Conditions are more basic at Ambue Ari and Jacj Cuisi (limited electricity and cold water only), and there is a possibility that you may be asked at some stage over the year to travel for work to these centres should the need arise. In each sanctuary, you will be living in an international community composed of volunteers and staff from Bolivia and different parts of the world.

You can expect to work hard every day. You must be prepared for a work environment that requires great physical effort and demands decisiveness, creativity, ingenuity and adaptability within a context with limited economic and material conditions. You will enjoy the pleasure of taking part in the process of giving a second chance to wildlife rescued from illegal trafficking. Your day to day activities will be focused on maintaining and improving the welfare and quality of life of animals in their process of reintegration into the wild.

Commitment & Work hours

The Construction Coordinator should commit to a work period of at least 13 months, one as a volunteer and twelve with a salary. Usually our coordinators are the first to arrive and last to leave the areas to ensure proper functioning of the Centre. You can expect a work schedule that usually begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. with breaks for breakfast and lunch. 

Each staff member works 6 days a week, with two weeks of paid vacations annually. 


Housing conditions are basic since most of our resources are invested in the animals. Machía has accommodation for volunteers and coordinators located approximately 400 meters from the central office and the work areas. This accommodation has bedrooms, a kitchen and a dining room to which the coordinators have access.

The bedrooms are shared by up to four people and have straw mattresses and shared bathrooms with hot water available. Although we have electricity and hot water almost always, electricity and water cuts occur occasionally (especially during the rainy season), and therefore, there are days where we do not have water.

The Centre provides both sheets and pillows. We recommend you bring a sleeping bag for the colder nights, a mosquito net and boots as well as a padlock for the security of your room.

Financial agreement

CIWY receives no government funding, the only financial support comes from volunteers and donations. Funds are still not available to offer competitive salaries, but the organisation will offer a small salary of 1000 bolivianos (approx. $145 USD) monthly. CIWY will provide you with breakfast, lunch and accommodation.

When applying for this position you must take into account out-of-pocket expenses such as visa procedures (in the case that you do not already hold Bolivian residency), and transport costs to the Centre. CIWY will support you with all the required paperwork.

Experience & skills required

The ideal candidate will have strong abilities in construction and knowledge of a variety of trades and be able to work independently to get projects completed. You will need to be prepared to work in difficult and physically demanding conditions with limited resources. Candidates should be able to improvise and come up with ideas that will benefit the organisation. Candidates should also have at the minimum an intermediate level of written and spoken English and Spanish.

Do you have experience with construction? Are you interested in a jungle change? If you are looking for an opportunity to apply your skills and support rescued wildlife in the Bolivian Amazon, then this is the role for you!

Comunidad Inti Wara…

Details at a Glance

  • Schedule
  • Time Commitment
    Full time (30+ hrs/wk)
  • Recurrence
  • Stipend Provided
  • Housing Available
  • International Volunteers Welcome


Parque Machía, Villa Tunari, None None, Bolivia
Avenida Integración

How to Apply

Apply via email to 

Include a current CV, three references (as a minimum) and a cover letter, indicating:

• Why you are interested in this opportunity and how you meet the requirements for this role.

• Your experience working in construction, plus your interest in wildlife.

We will start interviewing as applications are received. Interested applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible.

Please contact us with any enquiries.

Apply via email to 

Include a current CV, three references (as a minimum) and a cover letter, indicating:

• Why you are interested in this opportunity and how you…

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