Monday, November 2, 2015

Vacation Learning: Costa Rica #8

By far our favorite activity near Arenal Volcano was visiting Proyecto Asis. We visited the animal rescue for a tour and volunteer opportunity.  Since we were there during the low season, the tour group included an animal lover from Chile (Francisco), and the three of us. Our guide, Adrian, was fantastic with the kids.  He explained to us how the animals are rescued, healed and prepared to go back to their natural habitats.  Above the kids were saying hello to spider monkeys. 

Here they were learning about the distinctive behavior of the Capuchin monkeys. 

Adrian showed us a hybrid macaw. This spectacular but aggressive bird was confiscated and brought to keep safe at the center.  

This caiman lives in the center in harmony with the rest of the animals.

After the tour, we were taken to a sitting area to snack on fresh pineapples, watermelon, and lemonade. Once we were fed, we were put to work.  Our volunteering portion of the visit included food preparation, and feeding the animals. We cut up fruits and carried seeds, and concentrated pellets for all the animals. 

Little Guy feeding an injured porcupine. 

The kids were getting the food ready for the birds.  One inpatient bird ate its meal right out of Little Guy's hand. 

We were able to feed the capuchin, howler, and spider monkeys. Above, the kids were mouth feeding a baby monkey. The older monkeys required more distance.  We placed their food on a platform, or on the ground for them.   To our delight, the older spider monkeys were able to get the food from our hands using their tails. 

These baby monkey is being rehabilitated to go back in its natural habitat. His odds of survival and freedom are looking pretty good thanks to the dedication from all who work at the center.

Just on the side of the center there is a beautiful creek were we enjoyed skipping rocks. 

This was the ultimate field trip for the kids.  We learned about conservation, preservation, appropriate vs. inappropriate interaction with animals, and the responsibilities of living on this beautiful planet. 


  1. What a wonderful place! So much fun, and so much learning - my kind of holiday!

  2. It was truly an unforgettable experience. We visited 4 animal rescue/wildlife sanctuaries in Costa Rica. Each was very different in terms of the animal residents, but they all share the goal to try to release and protect as many animals as possible. We see animal captivity with new eyes.

  3. Costa Rica is our dream destination! I've read that they are planning to release as many animals into the wild. Your kids are so lucky to experience it at their age!

  4. JL, yes! if you go to the link on my comment you can see a video about how Costa Rica is trying to eliminate all zoos. The Costa Rican people are very environmentally aware, and they truly protect their animals. There are police road blocks where they check your car to make sure people are not removing wildlife. There are strong laws and fines against those who traffic and keep animals like macaws, sloths, and monkeys as pets.
    I have pictures from the other two sanctuaries coming up soon.


Thank you for sharing!