Are you looking for the opportunity to work in the Bolivian jungle? This is your chance! Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) is seeking construction and gardenin volunteers to join our team at Wildlife Sanctuary Jacj Cuisi, in Bolivia as soon as possible! Live an incredible experience in a multicultural environment with staff and volunteers from around the world, surrounded by wildlife! The volunteers must be highly motivated with a willingness and ability to live in a remote location.
Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) is a Bolivian NGO, made up of a team of committed Bolivian and international professionals and volunteers. Founded in 1992, CIWY was the pioneer of the environmental movement in Bolivia and is recognised nationally and internationally. CIWY currently manages three Wildlife Sanctuaries: Machía (Cochabamba), Ambue Ari (Santa Cruz) and Jacj Cuisi (north of La Paz).
We offer a better life to all the animals we shelter who are victims of illegal trafficking. We offer them a better life. Some of them are rehabilitated and released and others unfortunately remain in the sanctuary forever.
We are developing an area of about 300 hectares to home rescued wildlife that is in our care. Our location is bordered by indigenous land the beautiful National Madidi Park.
Currently we have a basic camp set up and we need help to build more infrastructure, such as more sleeping quarters, bathrooms, chill out areas etc. Our plumbing needs to be redone and expanded. We have an electrician coming to plan and redo our electricity in October, though currently we have some charging outlets to use.
In the jungle, we need to build multiple enclosures to house our rescued monkeys, coatis, birds etc. We also need to repair two enclosures that can house pumas. This construction requires cutting walking trails to the building sites with machetes, carrying sacks filled with rocks, sand and cement there. We also need to carry all the fencing, posts, roofing materials etc.
For those with a green thumb, we also want to develop our plantation area so that we can be as self-sustainable as possible. Our banana trees, copoazú, avocado and pineapple are producing fruit for our volunteers. Ideally, we would want someone to join us who can grow our plantation to produce different fruits and veg all year round. Our seedlings need a lot of care and our compost system needs an overhaul.
Our living environment is mostly dorm accommodation with a handful of private accommodations. If you are a builder, you can also organise to build your own private accommodation if this is important to you. We have limited electricity and charging outlets that need to be shared. Our small volunteer refrigerator and our freezer for our cat meat take priority so you may not be able to charge items every day. We take our water from the creek that originates from springs within our land. We have no hot water for showering, but as most days are hot and sweaty, we have no complaints! You are not able to cook for yourself except if you use the BBQ on the free days. If cooking is a passion for you then we can discuss this being one of your responsibilities in camp. Our location is rural and remote; there are spiders, flies, mosquitoes and the occasional snake. We ask that you come prepared with the appropriate clothing and footwear for working in this environment. It is also advised that you have appropriate health insurance.
We are offering now no charge for volunteers who are useful in construction and are willing to stay at least a month. Useful in construction means people with a trade such as plumbing, carpentry, welding, gardening etc. Also includes people who are good at getting things done, people with off grid living experience etc.
For non-skilled, short-term volunteers of less than a month, we are willing to teach you if you are willing to learn and work hard. We do ask for a payment of 40 Bolivianos (less than 6 USD) per day to cover food costs.
The volunteer must commit at least for a 1 week . The days start at around 6:30 am until 6pm everyday. You will have one day off per week.
Being here is a wonderful escape from the outside world; we have no phone signal and limited contact with others. Our buildings have plenty of ventilation and sunshine. Anyone wishing to stay with us needs to respect social distancing, use phase masks and hand hygiene when interacting with others outside of our camp. This is regardless of your personal beliefs and is out of respect for the others in our community.
What we are asking from our volunteers is a lot of hard work. In return, you will be part of creating an excellent wildlife rescue center that will provide a better life to animals illegally taken from the nature. You will have the opportunity to improve your Spanish and learn new construction skills as you work alongside our local staff and international volunteers. Depending on the work of the time, you will be spending your days in the jungle surrounded by beautiful trees and fresh water creeks where you can bathe. As mentioned, our location is close to many touristic places like National Madidi Park and on your free days, you can go explore the beauty of Bolivia.
Are you looking for the opportunity to work in the Bolivian jungle? This is your chance! Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) is seeking construction and gardenin volunteers to join our team at Wildlife Sanctuary Jacj Cuisi, in Bolivia as…
Jacj Cuisi is approximately 25 km from Rurrenabaque, passing San Buenaventura.
We recommend downloading map applications that work without the internet to help you find the sanctuary. Maps.Me and Google Maps offer this service.
It is always advisable to arrive before dark. Also, keep in mind that on Fridays everyone goes to Rurrenabaque until Saturday night, so we recommend that you arrive during the week or that you notify us to meet the staff in Rurrenabaque.
If you are coming in the wet season (from October to March) we recommend that you come to Rurrenabaque by plane, since collapses on the road are frequent and it becomes impassable. You can email us to check the state of the roads.
Getting to Rurrenabaque
From La Paz to Rurrenabaque
From La Paz you can take a plane or a bus to Rurrenabaque.
From Santa Cruz to Rurrenabaque
From Santa Cruz you can take a bus or plane to Rurrenabaque:
From Trinidad to Rurrenabaque
From Trinidad there are three ways to get to Rurrenabaque:
From Rurrenabaque to Parque Jacj Cuisi
From the airport or the bus terminal, take a motorcycle taxi (10bs) or a taxi (15-20bs) to San Buenaventura “parada de taxis”.
From the airport take the Amazonas transfer bus (10bs) to the centre of Rurre. Then a moto taxi (5bs) to San Buenaventura.
Also, once in the centre of Rurrenabaque, you can walk across the bridge that joins Rurrenabaque and San Buenaventura (20-30mins walk).
When you take the taxi, indicate that you are going in the direction of Tumupasa and that you will stop at “Parque Jacj Cuisi” (although they know it as “Yacusi”). Taxis and rapiditos leave when they are full, cost between 20 and 30 Bs and take 30-45min, depending on the season.
Normally all drivers know where the sanctuary is. In case they do not know it, explain that it is 25km from San Buenaventura, just after Chiquitos (a large farm property) and before a small river and Everest village. If you end up on a paved road, you’ve gone too far.
When you arrive
On the left side of the road you will see a sign that says “Bienvenidos a Jacj Cuisi”. Enter the camp through the door and the first building you see will be the volunteer house where you will sleep. Feel free to leave your bags at the house, use the bathroom, or walk to the kitchen (dining room). The buildings are signposted with signs. Usually there will be someone to greet you, but if not, you can rest on the premises while you wait.
On the day you arrive, you will be given a tour of the sanctuary, followed by an overview of the rules, and assigned work areas.
Again, try to arrive before dark and try not to arrive on Friday nights or Saturday mornings because most of the team will be in Rurrenabaque.