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You have a heart for animals and are especially fascinated by the wild animals of the jungle? You want to protect rare and endangered species and support an exciting project? The rescue center in the impressive Petén, Guatemala, needs your help! Here you will assist in the daily care, feeding and rehabilitation of the wild animals, contribute to the maintenance and expansion of the park and offer guided tours for tourists. In addition, the sanctuary regularly implements projects to protect the environment and the community. Your help is needed! Learn all about the work of a rescue center and become part of a great community of volunteers from all over the world.


Type of program

Program location

Working hours

Program start


Minimum age








Sanctuary for wild animals

Petén, Guatemala

6 hours per day, 5 days per week

Every 1st Saturday of the month

1-6 months

18 years of age

Basic knowledge of Spanish desirable

Animal lover, nature lover

Volunteer house on the project site

3 meals daily included

Contact person on site

Mobile Internet with SIM card from WanderWorld Travel

From 1.490,00 €


Type of programSanctuary for wild animals

Program locationPetén, Guatemala

Working hours6 hours per day, 5 days per week

Program startEvery 1st Saturday of the month

Duration1-6 months

Minimum age18 years

LanguageBasic knowledge of Spanish desirable

RequirementsAnimal lover, nature lover

AccommodationVolunteer house on the project site

Meals3 meals included daily

SupportContact person on site

InternetMobile Internet with SIM card from WanderWorld Travel

Pricefrom 1.490,00 €

exotic animal sitting on branch in Guatemala
colorful parrot sitting on branch in Guatemala


The wildlife sanctuary was founded back in 1989 with the mission to counteract the rapid decline of species in Guatemala. While a few years ago many tapirs and jaguars were still roaming the forests, today they are hardly to be seen. The giant anteater and harpy eagle have not been sighted in recent years and are considered extinct in the region. The animals that do arrive at the center are mostly animals that have been confiscated by government authorities for illegal wildlife trafficking. They are also mostly very young. They include parrots, macaws, spider and howler monkeys, owls, hawks, crocodiles, turtles, mycoli and many more.

The sanctuary houses various shelters and cages for its wild residents, designed to meet the special needs of the animals. In addition, there is a dedicated veterinary clinic with veterinarians. The focus of the rescue center is on the welfare, rehabilitation and reintegration of the wild animals living there into their natural habitat. It is very important for the welfare of the animals that they do not have much close contact with humans and do not become accustomed to humans. Endangered or injured animals of the jungle are taken in by the project, cared for, doctored and fed, and stay in the rescue center until they are ready for the wild again. You can actively support in all these areas. To do this, each of the employees adapts their own daily routine to that of the fascinating animals.

injured jaguar in wildlife project in Guatemala
Volunteers with transport boxes in the wildlife project in Guatemala

The project handles many exotic animals, such as jaguars, monkeys, coatis and numerous birds. The team also breeds the majestic macaws, the large colorful parrots. They raise the parrots until they can survive on their own in the wild. In this way, they hope to increase the population of the free-ranging Mayan macaw in the long term.

In addition to caring for the animals, there are many other activities that the sanctuary puts on and volunteers can get involved in. The grounds are maintained around the clock and new cages are built. The storage of the many food items for the feedings also has to be organized.

In addition, the rescue center offers guided tours and educational exhibitions at the project site, organizes environmental protection activities and projects for the community.

zwei bunte Papageie auf der Stange im Wildlife in Costa Rica
Gruppe Waschbären im Wildlife in Costa Rica


The work in the rescue center is varied and no two days are the same. It is important that everyone works as a team, coordinates and sticks together. After all, animals do not live according to people’s schedules, but follow their own internal clocks. Your working hours will vary accordingly.

Most of your work in the project consists of cleaning the animals’ enclosures in the rescue center and feeding the animals. Of course, your personal safety is your first priority. In special cases, volunteers help in quarantine, clinic and rehabilitation cages. For long-term volunteers or those with advanced knowledge in animal care, there may be opportunities to feed young birds such as parrots, woodpeckers, toucans and many other species.

The sanctuary is equipped with a fully functional veterinary clinic where admitted animals receive immediate examinations, attention, special diets and treatments. Here you can get a taste of the daily routine of a wildlife veterinarian. Depending on your experience, desires and skills, you may also be asked to assist with veterinary treatments and surgeries, as well as the regular blood tests that must be performed to monitor the health of the animals.

colorful toucan sitting on branch in Guatemala
little monkey looking at camera with big eyes
Close up of jaguar in Guatemala

In addition to feeding and caring for the animals on a daily basis, the organization offers special activities in which volunteers can participate. These activities include, for example, building cages or additional buildings, collecting wild foods for the animals, tours and exhibits, participating in environmental activities and community projects, and building toys and perches for the cages.

Your own creativity is also needed! Time and time again, volunteers develop their own projects. For example, volunteers take on studies of animal behavior at the center and organize educational activities in neighboring schools. Get involved and put your ideas into action to enrich the sanctuary. The animals and local people will thank you.

Baby animal in wildlife project in Guatemala
Volunteer helps baby skunk in wildlife project in Guatemala
Wildlife wild tapir in Guatemala


Petén is located on the edge of the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) in the northern Petén region of Guatemala and is part of the Mesoamerican Maya Forest. This is the second largest remaining tropical rainforest in all of the Americas – simply stunning.

The sanctuary is located in the middle of the vast jungle in a nature reserve right next to the breathtaking Lake Petén Itzá. In the surrounding area are numerous smaller lakes and historic Mayan ruins. Like for example the former Mayan city of Tikal. There you can experience the huge temples and the exciting history of the Mayas up close.

The cities of Flores and Santa Elena are located in the heart of Petén. The beautiful, quiet town of Flores is only 2 km from the sanctuary and is located on an island on the large Petén Itzá Lake and is only connected to Santa Elena and the mainland by a bridge. There you can do sports and rent a kayak or mountain bike or explore the lake by boat. In your free time you can go on excursions to the fascinating Mayan ruins or just relax in nature.

Machu Picchu in Tikal Mexico
Backpacker on jetty by the sea in Guatemala


You do not need any special qualifications for this program. Of course, you should have a desire to work with wild animals and be motivated to improve the lives of the animals in a sustainable way. You will work a lot with locals and other volunteers. You should be open-minded and motivated to get to know a new culture and everything that goes with it. The work in this project will improve your Spanish skills in a fun way and will also have a positive impact on your life. A wonderful experience that you will remember for a long time.


The national language in Guatemala is Spanish. You will be around a lot of locals who don’t know English. A basic knowledge of Spanish is definitely an advantage. If you do not have any knowledge of Spanish at the moment, we recommend that you take a language course, which we will gladly organize for you. You can take the language course before your time in the project.


All volunteers live together on the project site in one big house. Depending on how many volunteers there are in the project at the time, you will have a room either alone or in pairs. Meals are included in the price. The project has its own cook who will provide you with three meals a day. The food is typical Guatemalan, there is also vegetarian and vegan food. There is also a swimming pier where you can swim and sunbathe in the afternoon. W-LAN is available in the project only to a limited extent. You can also use internet cafes or restaurants in Flores.

Outdoor area in Guatemala accommodation
Outdoor area in Guatemala accommodation


Alejandro is Guatemalan and grew up in Antigua. Therefore, he knows the city, the country and its culture like no other. He has a great passion for Germany, has visited there several times and speaks the language fluently. Alejandro always has an open ear for your wishes and is happy to bring you closer to his home country.

WanderWorld employee smiles



Shared room:

  • 1st month in starter package: 1.490,00 €
  • Extension month: 900,00 €
  • As 2nd or 3rd program: 1.260,00 €


Find out more about our services here.


Liv mit einem Hundewelpen auf dem Arm


“I can only advise everyone to embark on this adventure. Viel zu oft bleibt man in seiner gewohnten Umgebung oder traut sich etwas nicht zu. I learned that it pays to jump over your own shadow.”