Merazonia is a wildlife centre located in Mera, Ecuador whose goal is to rehabilitate and release rescued animals back to their natural environment. Opened by a group of people who all had experience working, and volunteering at various wildlife organisations, Meraoniza began to fulfil the need for a rehabilitation and release centre. Many of the animals found at the facility were brought in as a result of illegal pet trade. Since their beginning in 2004, they have successfully released many animals, and continue to care for a variety of species including sloths, kinkajous, parrots, otters, monkeys, a puma and many more. Rehabilitation is their main focus, as such, much research and understanding goes into successfully releasing these animals depending on their environmental needs. Meraoniza continues to grow, as does their success with rehabilitation - it makes for a wonderful place to visit as a volunteer!
Because Merazonia’s main goal is to release these animals, they do not guarantee which animals you will have the opportunity to work with as a volunteer, with the exception of their non releasable animals who reside at the centre. What makes Merazonia different from many other volunteer projects, is that they have a strict hands-off policy. Instead of offering you the opportunity to cuddle with cute animals, they require volunteers to assist with the daily care of the animals, while keeping a safe distance, so the animals can keep their natural behaviours, required for a successful release. Volunteers will assist with food prep, feeding, cleaning, and upkeep of the site. They limit the amount of volunteers they accept, and require volunteers to be 18 years of age, a minimum of two weeks is required, but a 4 week or more stay if preferred, and during certain months of the year a 4 week stay is required. A visit to Merazonia is sure to be a very rewarding working holiday.