Volunteer Blog: Pascal

Volunteer Blog: Mathilde
April 26, 2022
Challenges of Great Green Macaws Reproducing in the Wild
February 9, 2024
Volunteering at Ara Manzanillo is absolutely fantastic and an unforgettable experience! I already had been very passionate about parrots before I came to Ara Manzanillo, from having worked with these wonderful birds in different places all over the world. Big breeding facilities were the most impressive to me – until I volunteered at Ara Manzanillo. Seeing these incredible birds fly-ing around wild was better than anything else.

Every day starts with the screams of the Great Green Macaws – how wonderful! The station im-mediately became my home, it has a certain magic energy -- so many parrots, toucans and mon-keys, beautiful vines and trees and an ocean view!

Aside from the daily routines like feeding birds, cleaning the facility and hand-rearing chicks, the tree climbing and giving visitation tours became my favorite things to do.

Honestly, the tree climbing was a real challenge for me, because I was afraid of heights. The first time I climbed up to an artificial nest, I was extremely nervous and could not really enjoy it. But being on eye level with the birds, I loved it the most, with great views over forest and Caribbean Sea, I overcame my fear in a beautiful way!

Guiding the tours and talking about conservation and the project and the macaws was my absolute favorite task. Sharing valuable ideas with visitors, making them aware of the importance of conser-vation of the Great Green Macaws and their rainforest habitat as well as daily lifestyle decisions, and connecting with new people were the most fun.

Also, the “office work” done in the jungle I liked a lot. For example, I have been working on a scien-tific paper about the diet of the Great Green Macaws in Costa Rica, which I really enjoyed.

The whole lifestyle, aside from work at the station: birding in the jungle, meditating at the beaches and exploring everything in the area, one of the most beautiful areas in Costa Rica not only sound incredible, it is actually incredible! Life at the station is simple but very valuable and peaceful. I really enjoyed taking this quiet time for myself, thinking and reflecting on my life, goals and visions – there are probably few better places where you can get into such peace like here in the Costa Rican rain-forest.

Being with the other volunteers and the team is a lot of fun too: talking about birds all day long, learn-ing about the Costa Rican culture and common cooking sessions made my time at Ara Manzanillo even more diverse.

Ara Manzanillo is also a great spot for networking. In the two months I was there, I met incredible people from around the globe. Conservationists, veterinarians, film makers and influencers. I defi-nitely made a lot of valuable connections and learned many things from all these people.

I am very grateful for this experience. Thank you Duaro, Enrique, Emily, Marcelo, Jewinson and Lilli! I got some unforgettable memories!
Pascal stoked to be climbing a mountain almond tree to conduct a nest box check!
Posing on the tour platform with founders, Emily and Enrique