Road to Freedom Internship

Road to Freedom Internship

Help us care for and return wild animals to the wild and gain valuable animal care experience in a lush tropical setting with all the comforts of home.

Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release

Have you been searching the internet for “wildlife volunteer,” “wildlife internships” or “volunteer Costa Rica”? Interning with Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center (RWRC) is a life-changing opportunity to work with wild animals in Costa Rica and assist us with our mission to protect and restore Costa Rica’s biodiversity through wildlife rehabilitation and release.

Our Road to Freedom Internship Abroad Program

Our Bosque Escondido internship gives you the unique opportunity to not only see, but to play an active part in what we call: The Road to Freedom. Our Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center in La Garita, Alajuela receives hundreds of primates and other animals that have been rescued from the pet trade, injured, sick, or orphaned. It is at Bosque Escondido on the Nicoya Peninsula that we see the fruition of our team’s hard work, and aid the animals in their release and their second chance at life in the wild, the final step on their Road to Freedom.

If needed, we are happy to help you design a program that meets your university’s academic requirements for credit. 

What you will be doing:

  • Working with teams to monitor and release critically endangered and rescued Spider Monkeys, Howler Monkeys, Capuchin Monkeys, Peccaries, Macaws, Parrots, and more
  • Collecting data during the prerelease process to help us determine release fitness
  • Monitor the animals post-release to ensure their long-term survival 
  • Prepare food, refill wildlife feeding stations, and quantify how much has been eaten 
  • Conceptualize, create, and implement environmental enrichment activities for the animals in pre-release 
  • Identify and collect natural foods to teach the animals to forage for food post-release
  • Personal Project: Volunteers who stay 8 weeks or longer, have the opportunity to create and carry out a personal project based on an area of their interest or conduct research for your university 

Example Schedule

Again, every day is different, but here is a sample of what you might expect:

6:00 – 7:00: Collect natural foods for the animals in prerelease habitats

7:00  – 8:00: Observe macaws, parrots, or monkeys at the feeding stations and record data

8:00  – 9:00: Breakfast

9:00 – 12:00: Create and implement environmental enrichment for animals in prerelease habitats

1:00 – 2:00: Lunch

2:00 – 4:30: Tracking and data collection of Spider Monkey troops

6:00 – 7:00: Dinner

What you'll learn?

  • Ethical wildlife conservation and critically endangered species practices
  • Wildlife behavioral observations 
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Wildlife tracking techniques
  • Learn how to utilize the ZooMonitor program
  • Ability to identify and collect various natural foods for wildlife 
  • Ability to conceptualize, create, and implement environmental enrichment for wildlife 
  • Field experience alongside experts


  • Interest in Conservation, Endangered Species Rehabilitation, Biology, Ecology, and/or Forestry
  • Respect for and commitment to Rescate aims, objectives, and ethos
  • A positive “can-do” attitude and the ability to work well in a globally diverse team environment
  • The ability to work calmly around animals in a respectful and humane matter
  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Moderate degree of physical fitness
  • Minimum length of stay is 2 weeks, but you can stay as long as you like


  • Health insurance while in Costa Rica
  • Basic Spanish proficiency is helpful but all our internships are conducted in English
  • Tolerance for various field conditions (heat, humidity, rain)

Costs & Benefits

Internship costs vary depending on the length of stay.

Housing: Provided by Rescate. Interns will live in a newly renovated shared housing unit. Accommodations include utilities, Wifi, laundry, bathrooms, showers, shared kitchen and social area

Meals: 3 meals a day are provided 7 days a week. (Special dietary requirements can be accommodated on request)

After-hours activities: Game nights, movie nights, workshops, and more

Other: All other costs are to be paid for by the intern. This includes travel expenses, medical insurance, offsite entertainment expenses

Days off: Interns have two days off a week. On days off you have the opportunity to travel in Costa Rica. We can recommend beaches, hikes, trips, and more! 

Certificate and University Credit: If you stay a month or longer, you have the opportunity to receive a certificate of completion. We are happy to help you design a program that meets your university’s academic requirements for credit.

The program will be available from June 16, 2023.

Please reach out via email to if you have any questions about the internship or the application process, we look forward to connecting with you.

How to apply to become a Road to Freedom intern