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.