Rules & Conditions

Who can volunteer?

  • Anyone pursuing a career like primatology, biology, veterinary science, animal behavior, environmental science, or any other relevant careers
  • Vets, vet nurses, wildlife caretakes, biologists, primatologists, or others with a keen interest in animal conservation
  • People like carpenters, builders, electricians, plumbers, etc, are also welcome to apply
  • Anyone with expertise in fundraising, and educational programs
  • Someone with any knowledge that could be useful on a remote mangrove island
  • Someone who doesn’t mind working hard and getting their hands dirty
  • The minimum age allowed for volunteering is 21 years old

We offer unique volunteer experiences that will alow you to get up close and personal with our monkey residents. Your range of duties will be based on your experience and competence. 

Equipment to bring

Your personal belongings, insect repellent, and electronics. Long sleeve shirts, pants, and sneakers / boots. Don’t forget to bring any medication you might need with you.

Medical considerations

Health Insurance

You must have your own private health and travel insurance. You must provide us with a certificate of proof prior to your arrival.

Your health

Your health is important and therefore you should be aware of any allergies you have, and how your body reacts to diseases, wounds, insect bites, and medicine. We stronly encourage you to bring any medication you may need, as finding it in Bocas del Toro will be a difficult (if not impossible) option.

Good medical care is widely available in Panama City and David – though it’s limited elsewhere. David is located approx. 3 hours away from our island, so if you suffer from any conditions that may require you to receive immediate emergency care please restrain from applying.

Most doctors and hospitals expect cash payments, regardless of whether you have travel health insurance or not. There’s an ATM machine in Isla Colon, but it occasionally runs out of money; so make sure to bring some emergency money in cash in case you need it.

Vaccinations

We require proof that you’re up to date with your routine vaccinations 4 weeks prior to your arrival (including tetanus). We also require mandatory touberculosis & hepatitis tests. For the complete description of vaccines recommended by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) to anyone traveling to Panama click here.

Tuberculosis

Our resident monkeys are highly susceptible to tuberculosis. We require a negative test before your arrival.

Rabies

Although rabies is not widespread in Panama, there’s a risk involved when exposed to animals. We leave it up to your discretion wether you want to undergo rabies vaccination before your arrival, but pre immunisation does make the treatment much simpler, and safer in case of exposure. If you decide to get it, keep in mind you need 3 immunisation doses of the rabies vaccine over the period of one month (day 0, 7, and 28).

Other advice

Tap water is not recommended to drink in the region of Bocas del Toro. We filter our own rain water on the island, which is safe to drink. If you visit another place in Bocas del Toro restrain from drinking tap water.

Keep in mind…

Although our resident monkeys are used to people, they’re still wild animals, and therefore caution needs to be taken at all times (even while performing the simplest tasks). Monkeys can and will bite if they feel uncomfortable, scared, or simply to communicate something; but they will never bite “just because”, there’s always a reason behind why they do it. You must know how to read the monkeys’ gestures and sounds to determine if they’re upset and what’s the cause behind it. Above all, you must show respect towards the monkeys, and understand it’s a big responsibility and a priviledge to share with, and care after such incredible beings.

Cost of the program

We provide room & board (3 daily meals) for volunteers at the foundation for a total cost of $400 per month. Before your first month of volunteering begins, you need to pay the $400 in advance through a wire transfer. The $400 are not up for reimbursement, so if you are asked to leave during your first 2 weeks of trial, you won’t receive the money back. Transportation costs are not included, so keep in mind you’ll need to pay $80 for a round-trip to arrive and leave the island. You’ll also have to afford transportation to any other islands, activities or tours on your days off.

Duration of the volunteering program

The minimum duration of the program is 1 month. The first 2 weeks of the program are trial weeks, where you will demonstrate if you have the enthusiasm, knowledge, work ethic, and determination needed to succeed in this position.

Guiding values

RESPECT

Towards each individual monkey, towards each other, and everyone else

PASSION

For what we do, for moving forward, and improving everyday

INTEGRITY

To do what’s right consistently, with the upmost honesty

COMMITMENT

To the responsability of caring after the monkeys, and ensuring their wellbeing

ATENTION TO DETAIL

To not miss a thing. Being observant is crucial to understad the monkeys, what they like, and what they don’t

PERSEVERANSE

To handle any challenge that comes our way