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Naiara in Bolivia: "I did amazing things, met wonderful people and felt inexplicable things. A great adventure".

Naiara in Bolivia: "I did amazing things, met wonderful people and felt inexplicable things. A great adventure".

Naiara with one of the monkeys in the centre of Bolivia.
Naiara next to one of the monkeys in the central Bolivia.

In May, Naiara left her city, Lleida, to travel to Bolivia together with Tumaini. Although she has a degree in early childhood education, she decided to go on a solidarity trip in a centre for the protection of rescued fauna. And the experience has been worth it. "Dealing with animals, feeling their affection, knowing that you help them, meeting people, travelling alone, getting to know yourself better... Everything makes you really miss it when you leave.

You collaborated in an animal rescue centre with several areas, which one were you in and what tasks did you perform?

I was in the Capuchin Monkey Land Area. There live 22 of them and 3 spider monkeys, they were wonderful! The most special moment was when I interacted with them and gave them affection.

What was your day-to-day life like in the NGO in Bolivia?

The day started at 7 o'clock in the morning. At that time, we would give bananas for breakfast to the monkeys and clean their area. Afterwards, the volunteers would have a delicious egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. From 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. we would go to the jungle to look for twigs to clean their cages and set up a small jungle inside them. We would place various elements among branches, hiding places, etc. so that they could entertain themselves, and prepared food for them and then gave it to them.. After lunch, we continued with the chores until 4.30 p.m., when the monkeys had their dinner and we gave them their blankets to sleep. It was the best time to play with them! Some of them were very sociable with people - they were adorable when they asked you to scratch their backs or wanted to give you a manicure!

At 6 p.m. I took a motorbike to go to the village market to buy some things. Later I would go to my room, A hot shower was welcome! After a short rest, the volunteers had dinner and a few laughs before going to bed.

One of the monkeys in the Bolivia project
One of the monkeys in the Bolivia project.

Was every day different in the jungle?

Yes! Throughout this whole routine, every day different things happened that made every day a special day. It was an incredible experience, I did and saw amazing things, met wonderful people and felt inexplicable things. A great adventure.

What was your relationship with the other volunteers like?

Very good, with some you have a great connectionWe had a lot of fun, especially with your roommates, with whom you share the day-to-day life. Some nights we would order food from the village, we would even go to the pool halls there to celebrate the farewells!

"The affection the animals give you is the best thing about this project".
"The love the animals give you is the best thing about this project.

What do you think of the work of the project?

Mind-blowing. It is touching how Nena, the founder, gives her all for the animals and wants the best for them. Seeing the relationship she has with them is incredible, how they love her and she loves them. I hope the Bolivian government will allow her to keep the centre open for many years. Hopefully more and more people will volunteer to help them and they will get all the money they need to feed them.

What did you like most about the experience?

Waking up every day in the jungle to the sound of birds and monkeys. But above all, the special relationship you have with some animalsThe love they give you!

Feeding the monkeys is one of the tasks of the volunteers.
Feeding the monkeys is one of the tasks of the volunteers. 

And the least?

It rained every day, at any time. Every night. It was hard to work like thatEspecially when you had no dry clothes left!

What would you say to someone who is hesitating to make this solidarity trip?

Let it do so without a doubt. It is a sometimes hard, but very beautiful and unique experience.. Dealing with animals, feeling their affection, knowing that you help them, meeting people, travelling alone, getting to know yourself better, adapting to different conditions, getting to know a new place. Everything makes you really miss it when you leave.

Naiara collaborated with the wildlife rescue centre in Bolivia from 7 to 19 May 2018.

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