Overseas Volunteer Experience Stories

Amelie Gallein

Amelie Gallein

Hey everyone, my name is Amelie and I'm from Germany. I'm taking a gap year after high school and wanted to go to Costa Rica to work with native animals and help to restore and rehabilitate local wildlife. That's why I chose Alturas! We do basic, everyday stuff like cleaning the enclosures and feeding the animals, but also help & watch with necropsies, operations or running tests. Feeding the babies at night is also one of our tasks, and the really young ones are being fed by a bottle, which is at times challenging, but also really fun to do.

One of the things that give you the best feeling is the release of animals. I was lucky and saw two releases; one of a paca and one of a Margay, one of Costa Rica's native wildcat species. The margay was in rehabilitation for over one and a half years and it was so fulfilling watching it run into the jungle. But it doesn't need to be a big event like a release to realize how important the work we do here is.

We recently moved three ducks which were kept as pets their whole life, from a smaller examination enclosure into a pond, and it was so beautiful seeing them swimming in water for the first time!

There isn't something spectacular happening every day, but the little things in between are enough and leave you with a happy and fulfilled feeling at the end of every day. I only have a couple of days of my 5-week stay left, but I enjoyed it very much and would definitely recommend it.