Volunteer work at Monkey Park Zoo and Animal Rescue Center


A memorable experience for Wildlife Fans

Monkey Park Zoo and Animal Rescue Center is located in the North Pacific area of Costa Rica. It is 200 Kilometers from San Jose City, and 18 kilometers from Flamingo, and Tamarindo beach.


The Reserve covers 23 hectares, and was founded in the year 2000. It's mission is to rescue and protect abandoned and mistreated wild animals that were captured and mistreated. They also provide environmental education to children and adults of nearby communities. This rescue center is legally registered with the Costa Rica Ministry of Environment and Energy – MINAE, and is regulated and supervised by this government institution.

Monkey Park is supported by donations received from the volunteers, and other public or private donors and corporations. These donations provide food, and drugs for the animals, pays for the veterinary services, materials to build new cages, the salaries of the permanent Park staff, and more. Environmental educational programs educate people on the importance of nature, and the need to preserve it for the current and future generations. And the impact that our nature resources have on the economy of nearby communities and the country.


An important part of the organization are the volunteers who perform many of the necessary duties of maintaining the park. Volunteers also carry to the rest of society the importance of the care and preservation of our natural environment.


The temperate climate is between 26 degrees and 32 degrees celcius. (78 to 80 Fahrenheit) And the rainy season is from mid May to mid November during which time there is moderate rain most days. The forest flora transitions from dry tropical to wet.

Cuadro de texto: This is one of the most active wildlife rescue centers in Costa Rica, with a large variety of wild animals. Following is a list of animals living at the zoo as of June 20th of 2020:

1 Crocodile

20 Turtles

1 Ocelot (This is a small size feline)

2 Mottled Owls 

3 Toucans, one of them is a Rainbow beaked Toucan 

2 Scarlet Macaws

5 Red lored parrots

20 Amazonian parrots

6 Parekeets

3 Chachalacas birds 

3 Cararas birds (a kind of Gavilan)

1 Pava bird 

3 howler monkeys, 3 marmoset monkeys, 2  tamarin monkeys, and 2 spider monkeys. A few of them living in cages, more of them living in a forest within the property.

1 Saino (Collared Peccary commonly referred to as javelina, also known as the musk hog and Mexican hog)

1 female coyote

2 Tepezcuinte (Lowland Paca (Cuniculus paca), also known as the Spotted Paca)

2 crested caracara eagles (also known as the mexican eagle - found commonly in some areas in Texas)

5 Deer

Some species such as the three toed sloths, coatis, raccoons, white faced monkeys or Titi monkeys often receive temporary medical care and are returned to the wild within a few days.

The shelter team includes a Zoologist that is also an anesthesiologist, the person who prepares animals for surgery (Mika) and a General Director who is in charge of all administrative duties (Vanessa), and two staff members who attend to visitors, and feed the animals along with other duties (Johnny and Rosa). There is also a chef (Marielos) at La Coyota restaurant. And a veterinarian is 'on call', when the lives of the animals are in danger from illness or injury.


Monkey Park is located near many attractive beaches, such a Playa Grande, Brasilito, Conchal, Flamingo and Tamirindo, which offer many beach and water activities.


Available services include potable water, electricity, Wi-Fi  internet access, and a three bedroom guest house with 2 bulk beds, bathroom and a closet in each room, plus a nice small pool, a gas stove, and a laundry area.


The mission of Monkey Park Zoo is to rescue and treat wounded and mistreated wild animals and reintroduce them into their natural environment. Volunteers at his project  have an  opportunity to participate in an enriching experience and gain valuable knowledge and experience in the care and treatment of wild animals, while providing a valuable service to the natural environment, and nearby communities.

Volunteer duties may include:


Cleaning animal cages

Collecting and recycling of non-biodegradable materials

Preparation of food, and feeding the animals

Providing assistance to the Veterinarian upon request

Cleaning existing trails and making new ones.

Planting trees

Assisting with normal building maintenance

Providing tours of the park to visitors

Teaching environmental education to children and adults at nearby communities and schools.


A new program is now in progress at Monkey Park, which is under the supervision of the MINAE called “Program of rehabilitation and liberation of the howler monkey”. This is a scientific research project in a 3 hectare area of the Park, dedicated to increasing this particular species of monkey in captivity for later release into the wild. Individuals must wear camouflage at all times when in contact with these monkeys, which makes the release of the animals back into the wild an easier transition. Volunteers will also be requested into the wild.


The volunteer work shift is five days a week, six hours a day, from 8 am to 2 pm. All volunteers must respect the “Volunteer Guidelines”. See more information below.


And complete the form: “Volunteer Application Form


Work Requirements:


A basic level of Spanish is helpful, but not mandatory


A minimum stay of 2 weeks is normally required for this volunteer program, however, shorter and longer stays also are available for family and group reservations.  Contact us for more details.


Desire to work


Love of animals




Accommodations are provided for volunteers in a house within the project. There are 3 rooms with 2 bulk beds and private bathroom in each, and a small living area. Volunteers are responsible for keeping the house clean. A washing machine is available but you have to bring your own laundry detergent. 




Meals consist mainly of rice, beans, plantains, vegetable salads, chicken beef or pork, eggs, fruits and occasionally corn flakes and milk for breakfast. Meals are provided in the Park`s restaurant at 8 am (breakfast), 12 noon (lunch), and 6 pm (dinner) Additional snacks and drinks are available for purchase at the restaurant.


If you are allergic to any foods, please notify us with in advance so we can adjust your menu accordingly.


What to bring:


Blanket, sheets, mosquito repellent, sun lotion, tooth paste and brush, soap, deodorant, comfortable casual clothing and closed shoes.

Cuadro de texto: Guidelines for Volunteers

* Each volunteer is responsible for keeping his/her room clean as well as the other living areas in the house. 

* If you use the washing machine, you must remove your clothing immediately after the washing  and drying cycles have ended.

* Volunteers are expected to be respectful to the other volunteers sharing the house with you. Treat others in the same way you want to be treated.

* Turn off lights and fans you are not using to conserve electricity. 

* Keep the screen doors closed to prevent insects from coming into the house. 

* Keep the room closed when you are out of the house. If you lose the house key, you will have to pay for a replacement key.

* Drinking liquor, smoking, or the use of any illegal drugs is not permitted either inside the house or on the premises.

* Phone calls may be received in park only.  

* Phone calls may be made by using a pre-paid phone card with the prior permission of the person in charge. 

* You may request medicine, personal care items, or pubic services such as taxi, or other assistance through your supervisor.  

* Polite behavior and appropriate dress is expected at all times and in all situations. Excessive noise or foul language is not allowed.  Respect must be shown to supervisor of volunteers at all times.
* You have 2 days Off per week: Saturday and Sunday. Your supervisor must be informed if you plan to sleep and eat in the park on these days. 

* Never touch any animals without authorization. These are wild animals and It is important you understand they are not pets and should be treated with respect. 

* Special camouflage clothing must be worn while treating or touching animals. Perfume or other artificial fragrances may not be used. And you may not touch any of the animals if you feel sick or have a cold.  

Observance of these guidelines will ensure you a more enjoyable stay. Non-compliance with these rules may result in consequences that could vary from moving to a new project with similar characteristics - depending upon availability - or more serious violations could result in total expulsion from the program, including all other pending travel arrangements, with a "No Refund" responsibility on the part of the agency.

Violations of the law, could put you at the disposition of the local civil authorities

The package at Monkey Park Zoo includes:
+ Two weeks (14 days/13 nights) of accommodations at the project in a shared room with a Bulk bed, and a prívate  bathroom with hot water. A single room with a double size bed and prívate bathroom is occasionally available. The volunteers also have free Wi-Fi internet access.
+ Three daily meals: Costa Rican style breakfast, lunch and dinner.
+ Certificate of participation provided by Monkey Park Zoo and MERCY TRAVEL.
+ All Costa Rica Tourism taxes.
Not Included: International airfare to/from Costa Rica, Hotel room and airport-hotel transfer for your arrival date, prívate or shuttle transfers to/from Monkey Park, meals and drinks not specified in the program, and any gratuities or costs associated with changes in your itinerary for reasons beyond our control.
The price for this package is $485 per person

Special Prices for groups or long term Stays are available

If you can only volunteer for less than two weeks, let us know and we will try to get an exception for you

For ADDITIONAL information and Reservations

    Toll free line USA & CANADA:    888-225-4748…...

Phones direct: (778) 214 6719    Canada………
                   (506) 600 31 323    Costa Rica              
         (808)  557 1434    USA
       (44) 791864 2151  UK
            E-mail: reservations@mercytravel.net     …………...

                                                         (Prices are subject to final confirmation)




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