Up Close Bolivia works in close collaboration with La Paz Zoo, alongside a team of committed and high energy local and very friendly staff. They have a great program which improves the quality of life for the animals and birds, many of which have survived trafficking or abuse and come to the zoo as a refuge. Volunteers work on a programme which seeks to keep the animals entertained, fit and happy – for example, making hide and seek food games, creating “toys” to stimulate the animals and supporting the work in the kitchen because there are a lot of hungry mouths to feed. The La Paz Zoo is home to many animals from the Andes such as condors, spectacled bears, llamas and vicuñas, as well as their neighbours form the Amazon region, including jaguars, pumas and reptiles.
The La Paz Zoo serves as a big open air classroom for local schools, who come not only to learn about the animals but also to receive ecological education about recycling and animal trafficking etc. Up Close Bolivia also use the zoo for our English classes, where our students can practice at being guides and practice their English with “real-life tourists”. It is also a favourite place to bring the children from our after-school clubs to play and learn together in this beautiful, stimulating, open space right on our doorstep!
How can you participate as a volunteer in La Paz Zoo?
We are looking for volunteers who don’t mind getting their hands dirty and are willing to support very diverse tasks, from landscaping, helping in the kitchen, to developing and delivering educational programmes for schools. Volunteers (particularly short term volunteers) may not directly handle the animals, but you will be at close quarters and working alongside people who love and care for these animals. And of course, if you have ideas, please, don’t hesitate to share them; the zoo staff are very open to innovation, especially if the volunteers want to be very proactive and implement their suggestions.
Flexible Timetable: Available every day, part-time or full-time, depending on your preference.