Availability from January 2022!

As a volunteer at Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary, you will be involved in all aspects of the sanctuary. As our aim is to rehabilitate the majority of the wildlife in our care and eventually release back into the wild, we prefer volunteers with a real passion for our project and the work we do, who are looking to commit to a longer time period. We require a minimum commitment of 1 month, but prefer candidates who can commit to 3 months or more.

Volunteer responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Creating and implementing enrichment ideas
  • Food preparation
  • Cleaning habitats
  • Putting out fresh leaves
  • Scrubbing soiled blankets
  • Laundry
  • Syringe feeding infant wildlife
  • Physical therapy sessions
  • Observing behavior
  • Preparing sleeping areas
  • Keeping the sanctuary grounds clean and presentable, including all facilities
  • Keeping all work spaces clean

One of the most important tasks for volunteers is researching and implementing enrichment projects. These can be related to the animals’ food: finding stimulating ways to feed the animals to recreate challenges they might face in the wild. The enrichment projects can also be related to entertainment; reconfiguring habitats and building toys or objects for the animals to play with, interact with or climb over. All volunteers must have approval from management ahead of building and implementing enrichment projects.

Please note that direct contact with all wildlife is limited. If you are looking for a place to play and cuddle with monkeys, Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary is not the place for you.

Working hours depend on the number of volunteers that we have. On a normal volunteer schedule each volunteer has either 1 full day and 2 half days off per week or 2 full days off. The working days are 7am – 6pm, however we try to stagger volunteer shifts so no one is working the whole day. Normal lunch breaks are 1.5 hours long.

We are looking for mature, flexible, open-minded, hardworking volunteers. Preferably 21+ and independent.
We need caring individuals that are fine with tedious, dirty work. Working with vulnerable and young animals can be hard; mentally and physically. Volunteers need to be eager to work, self-motivated, respectful and most of all: flexible. Volunteers will be working both in team-setting as well as independently. Volunteers will get hot, wet, dirty & tired, but in the end the results of your work will be your reward!

Costa Rica has a very hot & humid climate which doesn’t make work easier. There are many insects here, but there is no malaria.

Some level of Spanish is appreciated, but not required. Fluent English is mandatory.

All volunteers need to have an up-to-date tetanus vaccination and international health insurance.

Volunteer Accommodation

Volunteers who wish to live on-site can stay at the volunteer casita for $300 per month. Long term volunteers (staying for over 3 months) may be offered free accommodation and all food costs covered after completing a successful probationary period of at least 1 month.

Our accommodation includes the main casita building with 2 volunteer bedrooms (2 beds each), 2 bathrooms, full kitchen with fridge/freezer & oven, washer/dryer and a communal living area. There is a tent that houses an extra 2 volunteers that has shelving, electricity, 2 single beds and private bathroom. Volunteers staying in the casita must be open to sharing a room with another volunteer of the same sex.

We provide rice and beans for lunch and dinner for our volunteers living on-site. If you want anything else to eat, you are more than welcome to purchase your additional groceries and cook your own meals.

There is WIFI available at the casita, however it can be unreliable at times. Please be aware that the Internet connection at the casita does not support Netflix or other streaming services.

About Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary

Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary is a sanctuary focused on Costa Rican wildlife, specialized in howler monkeys, located in the Santa Marta Area of Nosara.

Our mission is to provide orphaned and displaced wild animals with safe sanctuary, rehabilitation, and eventual release into the wild. Rehabilitated animals will be released back into their natural environment.

We also provide a permanent, spacious sanctuary and ongoing care for wildlife that, due to psychological or physical injury, it is not possible to release back into the wild.

Physical injury to Costa Rica’s wildlife is most often caused by human encroachment. Deforestation, development and fragmentation of their natural habitat has led to frequent electrocutions on power lines, dog attacks and injury or death due to fast moving motor vehicles.

In order to give the animals that survive but have been handicapped the attention, care and safety they need, our goal is to:

  • Construct large habitats encasing natural surroundings, designed to meet the specific needs of handicapped residents
  • Incorporate daily massage and physical therapy when required
  • Provide visual and auditory stimulation
  • Develop and research enrichment activities

We are also educators and advocates who work cooperatively with other organizations to rescue injured, orphaned and displaced wildlife when they are unable to, and with Costa Rica’s electric company (ICE) to prevent electrocutions.