Welcome to the jungle!!

Ratings
Overall
10
Housing: 8
Support: 9
Fun: 10
Value: 9
Safety: 10
Review

Getting on the flight was one of the hardest and scariest things I have done. Finding yourself in a foreign place with no one but yourself is both terrifying and incredible experience, but one I will never forget. I found myself two months prior to leaving, not knowing where to go or what to do for the second semester of my gap year. I felt lost. I went to one my group leaders on my semester through Africa and asked him "What he thought?" It turned into a discussion about passion, spirituality, and adventure that I will never forget. Because of him I found myself arriving at one of the greatest places I have even been. Parque Ambue Ari. He told me many stories and prepared me for the lifestyle, the work, and the people there and I could not have been happier. I remember arriving to closest town, having everything written out in my journal and using all my skills I acquired through my first semester, it was getting dark and I had just grabbed the next bus out. I told the driver El Parque, and we were on our way. 45 min later I arrive, at the dead of night into this desolate looking camp located in the jungle. This place was my home for the next 4 months. My life comprised of me waking every morning at 6:30 in the morning and beginning work at 7. Every morning the volunteers would complete our daily and weekly task, which would consist of cleaning bathrooms to feeding Tapirs. At 8 we would all file into the comedor(dining hall), and have our breakfast of eggs and bread. Then it was off into the jungle for the morning. Each volunteer was assigned one or more cat to work with. I had Maggie, a Puma in the mornings, and Ru a Jaguar in the afternoons. Each day was a new and unbelievable experience with these animals, and everyday your bond with them would grow stronger and stronger. The work consisted of enriching there everyday lives, feeding, cleaning, clearing trails, etc. The conditions were not easy, and it was hard at times. But it was worth it, and the people you were with were there for the same reasons, you all loved and wanted to help these amazing animals! The people at the park were great, and I created so many great bonds with so many different people from around the world. Before arriving I was a shy kids, and many people at the camp commented on how much I had changed from my first 2-3 weeks at the park, to this outgoing, crazy, fun loving, weird kid. The change I saw in myself was great, and I have Carpe Diem to thank for that! Following my first three months at the park, I left and traveled around Bolivia a month meeting new people along the way, and making some new and great friends. I biked down death road, went swimming in Lake Titicaca, relaxed in hot spring under the stars in salar de uyuni, and so much more! The skills I had acquired on my first semester not only taught me about myself and the world around me, but how to live as nomad and have fun doing it! After traveling Bolivia for a month I decided to head back to the park for my last month, because It was the greatest place I went on my travels. Heading back to the park felt like I was heading home! Now I am home writing this review working as much as I can to save money for my next big adventure. I can't thank Carpe Diem enough for the time and effort the put into making this year the best I have had. Please if your reading this take a gap year through them, you wont regret it!

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed
2014
Media
Photos