Macaw populations have declined significantly over the past decades. The main causes are illegal poaching for the pet trade and the loss of mature forest habitat, which they rely on for feeding and nesting. MRN’s vision is to see a future with thriving parrot populations in healthy, connected forests, across their former ranges. The Wild Macaw Reserve is MRN’s release site for Scarlet Macaw and a key location for local tourism.


To be able to reach its mission, Macaw Recovery Network is completely dependent on donations, gifts and grants. Daily tours at the Wild Macaw Reserve in Punta Islita are a key income source for making this work possible. The Tour & Communications Volunteer will be leading and managing bookings of the daily tours at the reserve for an international audience. Additionally, the volunteer will be responsible for upkeep of the visitor center’s facilities and tour trails. Additional projects may be given to improve the quality of the visitor’s experience. Depending on the needs of the site, this person may also be involved in some of the day-to-day husbandry of the captive Macaws at the breeding center.

Volunteer Duties:

  • Be the formal face and representative of the Punta Islita Wild Macaw reserve, answering visitation related email and phone inquiries, reply to online reviews (Tripadvisor, Google and elsewhere) and ensuring visitors overall satisfaction
  • Management and development of the online booking system(s), incl recording externally requested bookings or cancellations of existing bookings (through phone or email), updating booking payments after each tour and generating reports when requested
  • Execution of the daily tour presentation and ongoing development of the content and quality to stay up to date on the project’s impact
  • Ensure visitor emails and additional donor information are collected and passed on to the appropriate colleagues
  • Manage merchandise stock and sales records, is always working to improve its display in the visitor center and promote them actively during the tours
  • Financial management of all cash incomes from tour fees, donations and merchandise sales
  • Active collaboration with MRN’s financial officer to ensure all tour visitations are charged
  • Facilitate good partnership and communications with local art group, enabling the collection and payment of merchandise and providing supportive feedback
  • Facilitate good partnership and communications with other partners who send us clients and develop an increased partner base
  • Communications with other MRN team members to ensure the tour can be run smoothly as an integrated part of the organization
  • Manage ongoing maintenance of facilities and collaborate on development projects to ensure tour facilities, trails and parking are of high standards
  • Supporting in promotional efforts to increase tour visitation from the region
  • Possibility of being involved with other communications projects such as social media or fundraising campaigns
  • Possibility of being involved in community outreach related activities if applicant is sufficient in the Spanish language
  • General bird husbandry and different site maintenance or development tasks may be assigned depending on our current needs and the skills and abilities of the volunteer


Although not essential, this applicant preferably has:

  • An educational background with or is currently studying in a relevant field
  • Experience with and is comfortable presenting in front of an audience
  • Writing skills
  • Demonstrable experience in a field of communications, hosting or guiding
  • Experience with basic graphic designing
  • An eye for photography
  • Exquisite communication skills and correct English grammar, spelling, punctuation and vocabulary
  • Being comfortable leading groups and talking in front of an audience
  • A background knowledge in bird biology and behavior
  • Prepare written analysis, evaluation, summaries, recommendations, correspondence and reports
  • Adhere to deadlines
  • Understand and effectively communicate MRN’s purpose and programs
  • Principles and techniques to strategically plan, develop and coordinate the programand has methods to evaluate program objectives and goals
  • And is comfortable being away from family and friends for long periods of time


The volunteer is expected to work on a flexible schedule as tours can be on a daily basis at 7.30 am and/or 4pm. General work hours are from 7am until 5.30pm with a three-hour break, but longer on weekends. Other volunteers will start at 5.30am to feed birds, which you might provide support for when needed. We ask for flexibility and an independent work attitude.

Duration of Work:

The minimum duration is three months up to six months, with a possible extension of stay.

Desirable personal qualities:

  • Dependable and responsible
  • Independent
  • Motivated and positive with a desire to contribute
  • Interested in conservation
  • Flexible, friendly, patient and optimistic
  • Sense of humor is helpful
  • Able to live in an isolated location in basic conditions
  • Approachable, flexible and reliable
  • Personable, ambitious and self-motivated with a passion for all things social
  • Highly communicative; to be able to convey passion and excitement and clearly convey a clear message and call to action
  • Comfortable taking on a leadership role
  • Attention to detail is crucial
  • Efficient in work, will need to be able to juggle and organize competing priorities
  • A supporter-first mindset and passionate about developing two-way relationships with visitors

Other benefits:

  • Great experience both in terms of travel and supporting a non-profit
  • Increased understanding and appreciation of different values and lifestyles
  • Increased skills in creative problem-solving and time management
  • Development of an independent work attitude and quick decision making
  • Increased skills in teamwork
  • Increased skills of presenting in front of an audience 

Anticipated costs:

All international and national travel costs to initially get to the site are the responsibility of the applicant. However, once on site, accommodation, daily transport, and utilities are provided. All team members buy and prepare their own food, for this we recommend you budget for at least $40 per week, or more if you like luxuries. Comprehensive insurance cover for the entire stay is a must and should be arranged and paid for by the applicant.