Volunteer opportunity at a zoo in Ecuador’s Amazon region ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡จ

volunteer at a zoo, Ecuador, program, opportunities, volunteers, voluntouring

Volunteer at a zoo in Ecuador! โ€“ Zoorefugio Tarqui was created in 2008 by Willian Lรณpez and Fanny Bonilla, with the main objective to help the animals that are victims of illegal trafficking, we take care of them and provide what is necessary to improve their quality of life. Volunteer help is really important for all the animals, as we do not receive funds from the government, it is hard work but it is wonderful to care for them, we need help from people who love animals and do not mind getting their hands dirty, volunteers help is needed all the year.

Volunteersโ€™ activities range from cleaning enclosures, and paths, to feeding the animals, caring for the animals in quarantine (arrived animals, or baby animals), and working in the enrichment area.

Location – Where is your volunteer project located?๐ŸŒ

Puyo, Pastaza-Ecuador

What are you looking for help with?
  • Animal keeping ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿด
  • Building ๐Ÿ› 
  • Cleaning ๐Ÿงน
  • Computer/Web ๐Ÿ’ป
  • Farming/Gardening ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿ„
  • General Help ๐Ÿ’โ€โ™€๏ธ
  • Marketing ๐Ÿ“ˆ

Volunteer at a zoo in Ecuador! Photo Credit: Zoorefugio Tarqui

What’s the mission of your community? ๐ŸŽฏ

By volunteering at our zoo you will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with our various big cats including Jaguars, Ocelots and our Puma family. As well as big cats we also have and offer you the opportunity to work closely with capuchin, spider and woolly monkeys, macaws, peccaries, and tapirs as well as many more animals. Resources are SCARCE as we do not receive any funding from the government or any other organisation, so your contributions are vital to help us save the local wildlife and improve the lives of our resident animals.

ย How many volunteers could you host? ๐ŸŽŽ
  • We can host groups of volunteers
When do you usually need volunteers? ๐Ÿ“…
  • All year round
How many hours of help per day? โฑ
  • 6 hours of help per day
How many days of help per week? ๐ŸŒ’
  • 5 days per week – 2 days off
Note about the volunteer work and other expectations ๐Ÿ“

Volunteers are asked to work 5 days a week and between the hours of 8:00-12:00 and 15:00-17:00 just 6 hours a day. Usually, it is Monday to Friday.

A typical volunteer day begins at 8:00 am.
  • First, they prepare their breakfast to start the day, then they walk to the nutrition area where they meet with the zookeeper and all the volunteers to prepare the different animal diets.
  • Feeding the animals from 8 am -12 pm includes cutting fruits or vegetables, cleaning the enclosures, and receiving food scraps.
  • During the day the volunteers can carry out different activities such as painting, cleaning the trails, and making some repairs, things that sometimes the volunteers are very skilful
    At noon volunteers have lunch at the center.
  • After lunch, the volunteers have a break until 3:00 pm where they end up feeding a few animals until 5:00 pm

Finally, the volunteers have dinner at 5 pm and then go to the volunteer’s house.

After dinner volunteers are free, so can do other activities such as walking, visiting the town of Tarqui, and visiting the nearest city Puyo.

Additional rules
  • Keep the room and the bathroom clean, so change trash bags when it is necessary, and keep the communal area in the house clean. In addition, ask Fanny about trash bags, and materials to clean.
  • The fee is paid before the volunteers โ€˜arrival.
  • In your free day, the food is not our responsibility.
  • Be respectful to the others, and do not be noisy when the others are resting or sleeping.
  • Be on time for the meals and the work.
  • Breakfast 7-7:30 am. It is prepared for each volunteer
  • Lunchtime at 12:00 -12:30 pm. It is prepared by a cooker.
  • Dinner at 6-7:00 pm. It is prepared by the cooker.
  • After the meals wash your crockery.
  • After breakfast, there is a meeting with the coordinator or zookeeper to organize the daily activities.
  • Put the stuff away.
  • If any inconvenience with another volunteer first tell Fanny, do not act for yourself.
  • Always lock the doors.
  • If there is no petrol for the hot water, tell Fanny or Willian.
  • If there is no pure water, bring the empty bottle and fill it with new water.
  • Any inconvenience with water, electricity or others, tell Willian.
  • Take care of your stuff, especially if you are leaving for Puyo at night. Zoorefugio is not responsible for the lost stuff.
  • Do not smoke near animals or people; in Ecuador are not allowed to smoke in public places.
  • Do not drink alcohol, or use drugs in the zoo and the house. (The use of drugs is illegal in Ecuador)
  • Do not take the food of the animals.
  • Do not take unknown people or friends to the volunteerโ€™s house (the house is just for the volunteers)


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Un post condiviso da Zoo Refugio Tarqui Volunteers (@zrtarqui)

Are accommodation and food included? ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿœ

Yes, we offer food and accommodation [see fee transparency below]

What type of accommodation can you provide? ๐Ÿ•
  • Dormitory/shared rooms ๐Ÿ›Œ
  • Private home ๐Ÿ 
  • Private room for a couple ๐ŸŽŽ
Diet – nutrition information ๐Ÿฅ—๐Ÿฅค

3 meals a day are included, Monday to Saturday.

The midday and evening meals are prepared by a cook. Volunteers can prepare breakfast in the kitchen. In general, there is milk and fruit (pineapple bananas, passion fruit) according to taste. Drinks, ice cream and the like are not included in the participation fee, as are meals on holidays.
If the person follows a specific diet, he must inform the person in charge and we will prepare it without any surcharge.


Sunday (full day) and Saturday (only evening) meals are not included.

volunteer at a zoo, Ecuador, drinking, volunteering, voluntouring

Fee transparency ๐Ÿ†“๐Ÿ”

The price is 400 US dollars for two weeks. The volunteers’ contribution is for their food and the needs of each animal in our centre.

VISA SUPPORT – Are you able to assist with visa support, and information, or provide invitation letters? ๐Ÿ›‚

Yes, we can help with Visa/invitation letters โœ…

Volunteers’ benefits ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ…

ZOOREFUGIO TARQUI organizes a full-day jungle tour which consists of visiting an indigenous community and carrying out different activities such as walking, visiting the viewpoint of Puyo, canoeing, visiting the cocoa farm, and observing giant fish called Paiche. This tour has no cost but the volunteer has to pay for the activities they want to do.
In addition, we take our volunteers to the river if it is a sunny day, as well as get to know the city if there is not much demand at the Zoo.

What are the available activities during free time? ๐Ÿšด๐Ÿšฃ๐Ÿฆ’

Ecuador is beautiful and we want to show you all of its best parts.

indigenous communities, Ecuador, tribe, anthropology, volunteering

We have every type of landscape here, from Jungle to snow-topped glaciers, plains, mountains, caves and epic waterfalls. We encourage you to go out and explore our wonderful country on your days off and we can arrange where to go and how to get there to make everything easy and cheap for you. In the neighbouring tourist town of Baรฑos there are many activities like bridge jumping, ziplining and canyoning.

volunteer at a zoo, Ecuador, Tarqui, refugio, animal shelter

Baรฑos lies at the foot of an active volcano and there are regular tours, when it’s not overly active that is, to see the lava from a safe distance.

Language ๐Ÿ—ฃ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง


Geography ๐ŸŒณ

We are located in a small town called Puyo, in the Amazon region of Ecuador, we are surrounded by nature so it will always be sun and rain, in addition to the fact that the humidity proliferates a lot.

wildlife, volunteer opportunities, Ecuador, Tucano, parrots, puma, ocelot

Volunteer at a zoo in Ecuador! Photo Credit: Zoorefugio Tarqui

How to get to your site โœˆ ๐Ÿ—บ

The nearest airport is located in Quito city on the north side, it is called Tababela airport, when you are in the airport you should take a bus or taxi to the bus station located in the south of Quito city called TERMINAL QUITUMBE, there you have to take a bus straight to Puyo city it takes around 5 hours to get in Puyo. When you arrive at the bus station in Puyo, you have to take a bus or taxi to Zoorefugio Tarqui, it takes around 10 minutes to get to Zootarqui. Zoorefugio Tarqui is located in Tarqui Town.

If you prefer to take a taxi from the airport to Zoorefugio Tarqui, just let us know. It cost 170 US dollars.

Is there internet access? ๐ŸŒ



You can contact us by email: zoorefugiotarqui@gmail.com
Nuestras redes sociales:
Instagram: zootarquiโ€” zrtarqui
Facebook: Zoorefugio Tarqui
X: Zrtarqui
Hostname ๐Ÿ“›Fanny Bonilla
Host Email โœ‰ fannybonillachonata@gmail.com

Volunteer at a zoo in Ecuador! Photo Credit: Zoorefugio Tarqui

volunteer at a zoo

Volunteer at a zoo in Ecuador! Photo Credit: Zoorefugio Tarqui

Photo Credit: Zoorefugio Tarqui

volunteer at a zoo

Volunteer at a zoo in Ecuador! Photo Credit: Zoorefugio Tarqui

Author: Voluntouring staff

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