The Park: Our newest park, Jacj Cuisi, is located in a remote and serene area, across the river Beni from Rurrenabaque. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Bolivia’s traffic and tourism, and live a simple life working with cats and / or aiding in construction work whilst listening to Macaws flying overhead, Jacj Cuisi could be for you! Having the smallest number of volunteers, joining the team in Jacj Cuisi is like joining a big family - you will work together, cook together, live together, and spend days off together, leading to an incredibly special and memorable experience.
Every year we strive to improve our facilities and Jacj Cuisi is the realisation of that goal. We need your help to construct Bolivia’s first Biopark, and CIWY’s most ambitious projects to date! Jacj Cuisi is the future of animal rescue and rehabilitation in Bolivia, and you could be part of it!
What you'll be doing: We ask you to work for up to 6 hours a day, after which you will take it in turns to pitch in making dinner, and of course spend time enjoying the tranquillity of living in the Amazon. When there are many volunteers, there is substantial work here in mostly construction, carrying, digging, mixing cement, and up to eight volunteers work and care for our four pumas: Simba and Lishou, Luna and Sacha. However, in times with few volunteers, work will be almost exclusively with pumas. We have very few volunteers from November to February. Please note that we still ask that volunteers stay for at least one month to work with pumas.
How to Apply: Due to the changing volunteer numbers in the refuge, we do not require that volunteers book ahead - you can arrive at any of our refuges and volunteer whenever you wish with no notice; no prior application form is required. PLEASE NOTE: it is unusual for any of the parks to be full up (and all three parks have never been full simultaneously), however we will post updates on the ‘Volunteer’ section of the website if we are either full up, or are desperate for volunteers at any particular one of our three refuges. However, if there are no updates on the 'Volunteer' page then we have availability at all three refuges, so please keep an eye on this.
Payments made by our volunteers are our main source of donations, comprising 85% of our income, and the minimum amount with which we can feed and care for the animals. Most often these payments are spent within a week on food and medical supplies for the animals or general operating costs of the park. We can only accept Bolivianos and only accept cash payments.
The prices listed below cover three meals, accommodation and linens. In addition, a security deposit is paid upon arrival in order to cover possible damages and avoid early departure. It is returned at the completion of a full volunteering stay.
*The total cost is what you will have spent after receiving your deposit back.
Please Note: We strive to offer the animals the best quality of life possible, so we encourage our volunteers to work for a minimum length of time that varies depending upon the work area assigned. Work with felines requires a minimum commitment of 30 days, so the 30-night package payment is required upon arrival. If you are working in areas that only require a stay of 15 days, you will only be charged the 15-night package. We maintain this policy for the benefit and stability of our animals. If you can only stay for a few days, we offer the opportunity in Jacj Cuisi to help with the construction. In this case, the price will be 90 Bs. per day.
Location: Jacj Cuisi is located approximately 35km from the village of San Buenaventura, opposite the town of Rurrenabaque, one of Bolivia’s premier places to view the beauty of the Amazon, and is easily accessible most of the year.
How to get there by bus: Buses leave daily from La Paz in the Villa Fatima district at 11am for 70 Bs. The bus generally takes 15 – 20 hours and can be dusty or muddy depending on the time of year, so bring snacks, water and lots of patience.
How to get there by aeroplane: Two airlines service Rurrenabaque from La Paz with multiple daily flights that. For those interested in flying, flights can be booked online or anywhere in Bolivia with TAM or Amaszonas airlines. Please note: Weather in the jungle can delay flight schedules for days or even weeks at a time so it’s best to be flexible and perhaps only buy one way tickets until you know exactly when you want to leave.
Please note: Although the bus takes considerably longer than flying, please do bear in mind that it is a much more environmentally friendly way to travel than by plane! (did you know carbon emissions from flying impact negatively on the rainforest?!) If you do choose to fly, please consider offsetting your carbon emissions - one of the best organizations for doing this is http://www.carbonretirement.com/.
From Rurrenabaque: cross the Beni river to San Buenaventura (1Bs) from here you can take a minibus in the direction of Ixiamas and Tumupasa. Buy your ticket for Chiquitos (10-15Bs) at the bus stand and ask the driver to let you off at Jacj Cuisi, or “el campamento del gringos”, which is at Km. 25 (just before Arroyo Conari) and about 45 – 60 minutes after leaving San Buenaventura.
On Arrival: On the left hand side of the road you will see a sign that says “Bienvenidos a Jacj Cuisi.” This is our entrance, so just walk on in the gate and give a yell to see if anyone is in camp, if we aren’t then feel free to throw your bags down in the house and have a look at the new volunteer handbook until we return and welcome you properly. Please Note: if you arrive to Rurrenabaque on a Monday evening, please don't go to Jacj Cuisi, as most volunteers go into Rurre on a Monday and there may not be any volunteers left in jacj Cuisi. You can then travel to jacj Cuisi with other volunteers on Tuesday am.
Accommodation/Facilities: Jacj cuisi is a startup and this means that conditions are rather basic. The park itself is very new and is yet to have electricity. Accomodation is in one large dorm with bunk beds. We provide a bed, mattress, mozzy net, and sheets as well as a roof.
Rurrenabaque, which is 35km away has internet, restaurants, international call centres, food markets, hotels, tour operators, pharmacies, an ATM and a hospital.
Food: Food is provided and included in the cost. We generally cook ourselves and for the most part it is vegetarian.
What to bring:
Children: The minimum age for volunteers is 18 (17 on referal) The park is not open to visitors.