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Road to Freedom Internship

Our Internship gives you the unique opportunity to not only see, but to play an active part in what we call: The Road to Freedom.

About the Road To Freedom internship

Overview

Our Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center in La Garita, Alajuela receives thousands of primates, sloths, wild cats and other animals that have been rescued from the pet trade, injured, sick, or orphaned. It is at Bosque Escondido on the Nicoya Peninsula that we see the fruition of our team’s hard work, and aid the animals in their release and their second chance at life in the wild, the final step on their Road to Freedom.
If needed, we are happy to help you design a program that meets your University’s academic requirements for credit.

What will you do as an Road to Freedom Intern?

What you will learn in this program

Schedule

Every day is different, but here is a sample of what you might expect:

6:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m.:
Collect natural foods for the animals in prerelease habitats

7:00 a.m.  – 8:00 a.m.:
Observe macaws, parrots, or monkeys at the feeding stations and record data

8:00 a.m.  – 9:00 a.m.:
Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.:
Create and implement environmental enrichment for animals in prerelease habitats

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.:
Lunch

2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.:
Tracking and data collection of Spider Monkey troops

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.:
Dinner

Days off and activities

Interns have two days off a week. On days off you have the opportunity to travel in Costa Rica. We can recommend beaches, hikes, trips, and more!

After working days there will be activities like:

  • Game nights
  • Movie nights
  • Workshops
  • … and more!

Accommodation

Provided by Rescate. Interns will live in a newly renovated shared housing unit. Accommodations include utilities, Wifi, laundry, bathrooms, showers, shared kitchen and social area.

Gallery of the Road to Freedom Internship

QUALIFICATION and requirements

Interest in Conservation, Endangered Species Rehabilitation, Biology, Ecology, and/or Forestry.

Respect for and commitment to Rescate aims, objectives, and ethos.

The ability to work calmly around animals in a respectful and humane matter.

A positive “can-do” attitude and the ability to work well in a globally diverse team environment.

Over 18 age restriction alert icon

Must be 18 years of age or older.

You must be able to speak and read English or Spanish to participate in our programs. Basic Spanish proficiency is helpful but not required.

The experience traveling to a tropical country and living in a group setting are helpful but not required.

Flexibility, ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds.

Moderate degree of physical fitness.

Tolerance for various field conditions (heat, humidity, rain)

What is included?

What is not included?

Who will you work with?

Road to Freedom interns work directly with Pablo Caso Parajón, the Wildlife Internship Manager of this program.

Pablo road to freedom manager at Bosque Escondido

Pablo Caso Parajón

Wildlife Internship Manager

Apply now

Fill out this application form to start your wildlife experience at Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center - Zoave. You will receive first some more information from us. If you're interested please just reply to this E-Mail and we will get back to you as soon as possible. See you at Rescate! 🙂 🦥 🌴

When would you like to come?
Internship Experiences

Marmosets And Macaws With Wildlife Intern Paul

Hailing from across the pond, Paul made the trans-Atlantic journey to work with animals here at Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center as a Wildlife Intern for one week. As a photographer, he took great snapshots of Rescate’s permanent residents: Q: What …

Intern Reviews

Mirella Schönlechner
Mirella Schönlechner
Austria, February 2022
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I did a veterinary internship last february. I loved working with the nice team (Sara❤️❤️❤️) and how they never make you feel stupid, even when you have never worked with some of the species. They always took time to explain stuff and let us work independently - which I enjoyed very much! I got the feeling to be a part of the team and even got my own patients to look after. It was an amazing time and I learned a lot in a very short time 😊
Norm Desjardins
Norm Desjardins
Canada, October 2023
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My experience at Rescate was more than I had hoped for thanks to the program staff (Jeanne Marie, Raquel, Valeria, Matius) and restaurant staff (Marco, Jason, Charlie, Melissa), as well as your housekeeper (Damaris) and driver (David). Everyone was incredibly responsive to my needs and questions be they work, logistics, or culture/Spanish pronunciation-related. Jeanne Marie, Raquel and Valeria regularly checked in with me that my requests were appropriately handled in a timely manner. I also appreciated the links and documents of fauna shared with me by both Raquel and Valeria. These managers placed a high priority on safety throughout my stay (I was reminded more than once to avoid putting my hand on the trunks of Acacia trees...and I needed those reminders :). This was all done with a consistently positive attitude no matter how busy they clearly were. Thanks to everyone!

I forgot to mention that I appreciated the workshops provided on birds (with Eduardo), reptiles (with Luca and Monika) and Wattled Cranes (with Jeanne Marie). They helped broaden my understanding of animal observation and care 😊.
Natalya Redmond
Natalya Redmond
England, 6.–26. August 2023
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This internship has taught me so much about wildlife medicine, from working up a case without a history and handling wild animals to species behavior and conservation. The team is absolutely fantastic, very supportive and the work that they do is so important, I would really recommend anyone considering it to get involved 😊
Hannah Sollohub
Hannah Sollohub
Grenada, May 2022
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My veterinary internship at Rescate was absolutely incredible! Dr. Isabel and Dr. Sofía made it a great learning experience and allowed me to get invaluable hands on experience. This internship made me realize my passion for wildlife conservation and medicine and is something I will cherish as I continue my path as a veterinary student. I would love to go back because I know I would still learn something new everyday and I hope that so many others get to discover the amazing place that Rescate is. I recommend this internship to everyone pursing an interest in exotic animals, rehabilitation, and Costa Rica’s biodiversity!
Rúben Joel Proença Seguro
Rúben Joel Proença Seguro
Portugal, 21st February–21st May2022
Read More
I went to Costa Rica to have a new experience, a new culture shock and to learn more about one of my passions in veterinary medicine, wild animals! Being able to collaborate with the amazing Rescate project was a great pleasure and a sense of accomplishment on my part! I was always very well received by everyone, I met people and made friends that I will carry with me forever. I loved living in Costa Rica and I leave feeling like a better person, with a new culture and new knowledge.
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FAQ

Frequently asked questions
What to expect on your Internship at Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center.

This depends on the Internship you’re choosing. For more information just apply on our application-form and we will send you a detailed list of everything you will be doing. Alternatively you can also check out each Internship-Website here: Veterinary Internship, Wildlife Internship & Road to Freedom Internship

No, there is a strict policy on contact with the animals. If you are in the Vet program you will have a little bit more hands on approach, but it is strictly based on medical care. You will not be cuddling any animals. Wildlife and Road to freedom interns will not have any physical contact with the animals.

Costs vary depending on length or stay or time of year. For more information, enquire now!

We can organize for a driver to pick you up at the airport or anywhere in Costa Rica. We are located in La Garita, Alajuela about 15 minutes from the San Jose airport. For more information click HERE.

Once you sign up for our programs, we will send you a packing list and a manual to help you prepare for your experience with us. For more information fill out this form here.

We require the Covid vaccine or a negative covid test. We recommend that you are vaccinated for tetanus.

Interns work 5 days per week, 8 hours per day with two consecutive days off.

We have various different things that can be done in the evenings including night tours, our onsite movie theater, going out for dinner with other volunteers/Interns, heading to the local farmers markets, games nights and more!

There are various tours and activities that can be done as a day trip from the central valley, or you are able to explore the country with maybe a visit to the volcanos, Manuel Antonio, or other beach areas.

For the Veterinary Internship we limit participation to 4 interns, for the Wildlife Internship we limit participation to 10 participants and for the Road to Freedom Internship we limit participation to 6 participants.

Yes, for more information on traveling outside of your stay with us, you can email Amy at amy(at)rescatewildlife.org

Yes, we have free wifi in the Internship-houses and various parts of the sanctuary, including the main entrance and restaurant. There is not wifi on all of the trails.

There is a pool at Rescate in La Garita Alajuela, and a pool at the local hotel near Bosque Escondido in Nicoya.

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Alajuela, COSTA RICA