ASIS Wildlife Rescue Center
December 27, 2019
Costa Rica is very eco-friendly. And not just with recycling, plastic practices… the countries reserves and animals are protected by the taxes that they collect and the country as a whole has strong sense of responsibility to the environment and resources.
We like to find a way to give back through volunteerism when we travel. For this vacation and all the diverse wildlife, we felt this was the perfect way to experience volunteering at the ASIS Wildlife Rescue Center in the Arenal Valley.
We started our morning at the newly built Sloth rehabilitation sanctuary with a private educational tour of the facility and close up viewing of them in their natural habitat. Learning about these fascinating animals that are indigenous to Costa Rica region was a highlight followed by seeing them fed by their handlers, watching them gracefully move from location to location feasting on lettuce, green beans and bell peppers.
We had an hour between our Sloth tour and meeting with a naturalist for our wildlife tour and volunteering. We were directed down the street to a nearby Soda (Costa Rican diner) for lunch of, yes you guessed it, rice and beans. After lunch we headed back to the center and met our guide Carlos who guided us on a tour of the facility and stories of the rescue animals they are rehabilitating for release back into their natural environments. After our brief tour, came our hard work which was the most fun of our day. We became chefs and were tasked with creating meals for the animals. Most of the animals are fed by dropping fruits and vegetables into their cages, but the highlight was the squirrel monkeys who were frantically trying to take fruit from our guides hands before they could place them into their cages.
This was a great experience and a nice mellow day after the previous days activities. We highly recommend this for animals lovers, eco-enthusiasts and families with young children. The minimum age for volunteering is 5 years old.
We headed back to Heliconias Lodge for an amazing dinner hosted by our Costa Rican family Omar, Alex & Jose. Highly recommend the Barbecue platter of homemade marinaded chicken, pork ribs, brisket, seafood, plantains and beans & rice with enough to feed your family. Don’t miss the hand crafted mango caipirinha made with Guaro and fresh fruits from the on-site organic garden.
We were sad that this was our last night at Heliconias Lodge as we really enjoyed our time here, but we were ready to get to the tropical coast.