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Volunteering with Wild Animals at Proyecto Asis

proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue Monkeys, toucans and more monkeys – Oh my! (I just had to) When we were planning our trip to Costa Rica one thing we knew we wanted to do was find a place to volunteer with animals. Through some online research we learned about Proyecto Asis, located just 20 minutes outside of La Fortuna, Proyecto Asis serves as a wild animal rescue refuge, volunteer center and Spanish school – pretty awesome right!? proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue We arrived at 8:15 am, just in time to hear the rooster’s first crow of the day. We joined the small group that was forming and met Alvaro, the Director, for the half-day tour and volunteering. There’s also an option to do the afternoon tour, but especially if you are visiting during the rainy season, we highly recommend the morning tour as it rains most often in the afternoons. Here’s a photo of Alvaro and Michelle, now that’s what we call monkey love.proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, monkey, monkey hug, monkey love She let me hold her hand too, as long as Alvaro was by her side: proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, monkey, monkey hug, monkey love Our tour began with learning about some of the local plants and flowers. The photo below shows a cashew fruit, each one of these fruits bears one cashew nut – just  one. This may help explain why cashews are one of the most expensive nuts available! proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, costa rica flowers, cashews, cashews tree, cashew fruit Here we have a red passionfruit flower, which is not only stunning but, if you are a hummingbird, it also absolutely delicious! proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, costa rica flowers, We also learned that most of the wild animals on the property had been rescued from homes where people tried to keep them as pets.  Once these “pets” grew into adults, they naturally became too aggressive – they are wild animals! – and so the families no longer wanted them. Perla, for example, a wild Paccary, slept in bed with the children and was fed rice beans, spaghetti and bubble gum: proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, peccary, costa rica pig Many of the birds on the property had had their wings clipped by their owners, leaving them unable to fly. Some of them now suffer from anxiety and are constantly pulling out their own feathers as a form of distraction. It made us so sad to see such beautiful animals unable to enjoy life as they were made to. At Proyecto Asis they are committed to nursing these animals back to health and releasing them once their feathers are long enough for them to fly and they are strong enough to survive in their natural habitats: proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, green parrot, costa rica birds proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, green parrot, costa rica birds, toucan, costa rica toucan proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, green parrot, costa rica birds, maccaw, costa rica maccaw proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, green parrot, costa rica birds, maccaw, costa rica maccaw Once our tour was complete, we got ready to volunteer. We prepared pounds and pounds of bananas, watermelon, pineapple, papaya, corn and lettuce for our, I mean the animals’ lunch time 😉 proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescueWe never knew how much parrots loved bananas! proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, parrots, green parrot And the monkeys were the most incredible to watch! They ate so fast and were definitely not fans of sharing: proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, monkey, monkey hug, monkey love, monkey eating, eating watermelon, watermelon white face monkeys Look at this amazing little face: proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, monkey, monkey hug, monkey love, monkey eating, eating watermelon, watermelon white face monkeys proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, monkey, monkey hug, monkey love, monkey eating, eating watermelon, watermelon white face monkeys Hercules, the spider monkey pictured below, was all about his greens: proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, monkey, monkey hug, monkey love, monkey eating, eating watermelon, spider monkey, monkey eating lettuceAfter lunch was served, this little monkey pressed her face up against her cage and gave us some of the best monkey faces we had ever seen: proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, monkey, monkey hug, monkey love, monkey eating, eating watermelon, spider monkey, monkey face, funny animals, funny animal face proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, monkey, monkey hug, monkey love, monkey eating, eating watermelon, spider monkey, monkey face, funny animals, funny animal face “What are you looking at?” proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, monkey, monkey hug, monkey love, monkey eating, eating watermelon, spider monkey, monkey face, funny animals, funny animal face “Wasssuuup.” proyecto asis, volunteer with animals costa rica, costa rica monkeys, costa rica zoo, animal rescue costa rica, arenal animal rescue, monkey, monkey hug, monkey love, monkey eating, eating watermelon, spider monkey, monkey face, funny animals, funny animal faceSo classic.  Needless to say, we had an incredible experience sharing our time with the animals and learning about all the good that Proyecto Asis does for these precious creatures. If you are looking to make a difference and meet some new furry and feathery friends, this is a must do for your Costa Rican adventure!

Be sure to check out our other posts from our time in Costa Rica: Exploring Manuel AntonioWhitewater Rafting on the Rio SavegreCelebrating my Birthday with Kayak JacoGetting Engaged on Isla Tortuga with Calypso Cruises and Surviving Montezuma’s Revenge and Hiking Cerro Chato from the Arenal Observatory Lodge!

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