Overseas Volunteer Experience Stories

Jasmin Mandix

Jasmin Mandix
Jasmin feeding Julietta, one of our yellow-naped Amazon parrots

My name is Jasmin, I am from Denmark and am currently a volunteer at Alturas wildlife sanctuary. I was supposed to be here for 4 weeks, but because of the world situation, I am here until June.

This is not my first time volunteering at the sanctuary. My first time here was in October 2017, where I volunteered for 4 weeks. I absolutely fell in love with the place and what we do here. So much that I actually came back in march ‘18 as the Assistant Volunteer Coordinator. It was an incredible experience getting to work with some awesome volunteers and animals. And so after 2 years away from Costa Rica, I was longing to get back. Although this time it is a little bit different, as we are only 3 volunteers left. After the COVID situation, the Sanctuary decided not to take in any more volunteers and asked local volunteers to stay home to ensure everyone’s safety and risk of getting infected. This has meant that we (the volunteers) together with the amazing staff, have been cleaning, feeding (and enriching) the animals on our own. The work is definitely hard, but it is all worth it when you see animals getting released into their natural habitat. Even just the little things, like an animal enjoying and interacting with the enrichment that I prepared for them, is for me, an amazing feeling. The situation has also meant that most volunteer activities have been canceled, as we can’t go to the beach, town, etc. But the staff have been absolutely amazing in finding alternatives and fun activities for us!

Lastly, I want to acknowledge that this place is truly amazing with dedicated staff, which have shown over the last couple of weeks. I know that a lot of sanctuaries are suffering in these times, and have had to close down for the intake of new animals. But the staff here is working so hard so that we are still able to help animals in need. Therefore I would strongly encourage everyone to donate or share. Every little bit helps a lot.

Stay safe and healthy!