I have just completed two weeks volunteering with Patricia at the Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Centre and am excited to tell everyone about this little hidden gem.
Everything about this experience exceeded my expectations and I would highly recommend anyone to visit the Tree of Life for a tour and if your circumstances permit, volunteer.
The sanctuary itself is just amazing. I stayed in the volunteer house (I had the whole house to myself!) right in the middle of it all! Hundreds of established plants and trees of every kind. If you take the tour you will be explained many of these which really gives depth to the experience. I must say that I felt emotionally overwhelmed by the beauty and diversity here. If you want to feel reconnected to nature this is a great way to do it!
Then there is the amazing work that Patricia and her small team do here. Animals that have been neglected, kept illegally or injured are brought to the sanctuary for care. Great lengths are taken to ensure the habitats are as comfortable as possible and mimic the animals natural environment. Every week special care is taken to ensure behaviour enrichment is provided. The environments are cleaned and maintained daily as is the entire park. A full time job that requires much dedication - I greatly admire the work done here and strongly encourage everyone to visit to ensure Patricia is able to continue this great work.
As a volunteer I worked with Patricia, Jhannil and Marvin 5 days a week for 4 hours a day, preparing food, feeding and generally taking care of the animals and grounds of the sanctuary. What a thrill to greet Howler, White-faced and Spider Monkey's everyday along with many other wonderful and exciting animals (I won't list them all, you need to go find out the others for yourself!). At the end of the two weeks I can say that I have learnt a great deal about the animals and environment of Costa Rica and have many experiences to share with friends and family. It was increadibly tough for me to leave and would have dearly like to have stayed at least another two weeks. There is a good chance I will return if circumstances permit.
I wish Patricia and the team at the park every sucess for the future and encourage all to come and support them in doing so. Tours are conducted daily at 11 am everyday except for Monday for $15 - certainly well worth the money and all goes to ensure this important work continues.
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