• Brazil
    • Rio de Janeiro
2 to 12 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
Year Round
Small Group (1-15)


Starting Price
Price Details
Airport transfers included. Participants in the wildlife program live together in the lovely on-site guest house with western style amenities and shared rooms. Groceries for all meals are provided.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Airport Transfers Meals Transportation Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Sep 12, 2019
Mar 11, 2017
21 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Volunteer with an organization that has painstakingly replaced non-native plants with indigenous species on 183 acres! Now the sanctuary is home to parrots, tortoises, tapirs, bush dogs, ocelots, pumas, jaguars, spider monkeys, and dozens of other types of animals! Some were the victims of abuse or injury, but many of the valuable animals were rescued from the illegal rare pet trade. Consequently, the park is closed to the public and the address is not published.

ELI volunteers help with the following activities: Feeding the animals, cleaning enclosures, breeding programs, planting, monitoring animal behavior, assisting the full-time biologist and/or visiting vets, researchers and permanent staff as needed. Volunteer apartment provided on the property.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Brazil is world famous for it's sparkling white sand beaches.
  • Meet volunteers and day visitors from all over the world.
  • Become a Bossa Nova expert and learn the samba!
  • Contribute to the conservation of one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world.

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Program Reviews

4.67 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 5 rating 66.67%
  • 4 rating 33.33%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.7
  • Support 4.7
  • Fun 4.35
  • Value 4.7
  • Safety 4.35
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Whole Other World

I went to Curitiba as part of the ELI program ins summer of 2015. I wanted to experience a culture I hadn't encountered before but I also wanted something to do while I was there. I wasn't interested in seeing sites; I wanted to work and learn. ELI Abroad's program was the perfect match!

The staff made the application process easy and answered questions about the visa process. They arranged everything for me. I was picked up at the airport and driven to the wildlife sanctuary The housing was very comfortable and just as described. It was an apartment on the wildlife sanctuary's grounds, which was shared by a few of the volunteers (some stayed off site). My roommates varied over the first week but all were very nice, and I had the place to myself for the last half of my trip (which I loved!).

Every day, I helped the wildlife staff prepare food and clean enclosures. It was fun! The morning hours were spent chopping all kind of food in different sizes to fit all the different mouths and nutritional requirements of the animals. I was paired up with a different member of the staff each day so, by the end, I had gotten to know everyone and gotten to work with all the animals.

Most days, they got a delivery of produce from grocery stores - the overstock that was about to (or had already begun to) go bad. The entire group of us would plow through and divide up the food into what was fresh and what had to be tossed (the pigs got that). I admit, the smell was pretty overpowering.

I used Duolingo to get conversational in Portuguese before I left on my trip, so I was able to speak with the staff. Not well, but enough to joke and talk. There were also some English speakers who helped, too.

I am vegetarian and they were able to accommodate my eating preferences. I simply sent a text to the Director of the sanctuary when I was low on groceries and they dropped whatever I needed off the next day.

The people were fantastic - they clearly care a lot for the animals and work very hard, 7 days a week for them. They were a fun group and I loved it - even though it left me wiped at the end of most days.

I would highly recommend ELI Abroad. In fact, I am hoping to go on another trip with them soon!

What would you improve about this program?
I had a very good experience and cannot think of how it might be improved.
99 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Environmental Conservation in Rio de Janiero

I spent this past summer volunteering in the Tijuca National Park Rainforest in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. I was originally interested in this specific forest because it is the largest urban rainforest in the world! I am studying Environmental Sustainability at The Ohio State University and really wanted to get a hands on experience with resource conservation in a such a diverse area! I am so thankful for this experience as it definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone but I was able to make some lifelong friendships and learn a ton about the natural ecosystem that exists in a global city! I worked a different site in the forest every day (4 days per week) and was not only fully immersed in the natural environment, but also was able to help care for it through invasive species removal and tree planting. I would definitely recommend this experience for anyone who likes being outdoors, even if you do not have any prior experience studying the environment. The National park staff are incredibly friendly and helpful and my host family was absolutely amazing. Rio de Janeiro is the perfect combination of a city that's culture can be explored through nature, art, food, and music!

What would you improve about this program?
There was a bit of miscommunication between myself and my site supervisor originally as I showed up to the wrong site multiple times so communication could be improved!
95 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome and inspiring trip!

I came into this program wanting to get more experience with animals I have not worked with before. I am an aspiring veterinarian and was extremely interested in the animal care aspect at this center. I was not disappointed! This experience solidified my love for wildlife animals and inspired me further in regards to future goals.
Anyone who participates in this experience will be a part of something truly special-- everyone I met along the way is filled with passion and warmth.

106 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

There is a cost to the excursion, which covers everything but the flight. Not sure if it includes insurance.