Wildlife Rehabilitation Medicine Course in Guatemala.


The wildlife of Guatemala is under threat from habitat loss, unsustainable hunting and capture for the illegal pet trade. The decline in local populations of wild animals is obvious and dramatic. This wildlife rescue centre was opened in response to the alarming disappearance of native species from the wild. Initially the centre was built to rehabilitate wild animals that were confiscated on the black market by the Guatemalan government. The rescue centre is situated on 45 hectares of land on a lake in northern Guatemala and includes a quarantine area, a veterinary hospital, and rehabilitation facilities with a large flight cages and enclosures scattered throughout the jungle. The wildlife veterinarians and staff recognize that up and coming veterinarians are important part of future wildlife conservation efforts. Their Wildlife Programs for Veterinary Students will provide instruction in the capture, management and husbandry of Primates, Psitacines and Reptiles and will include hands-on instruction with medical treatments and surgery (as cases permit), sample collection and processing and necropsy techniques in a variety of species.

This is a medical placement specifically for veterinary medicine as well as veterinary technician students. There is a minimum of 4 students and a maximum of 12 students. In the unlikely event that the minimum number of participants is not reached, you will be notified 60 days before departure. You will have the option of receiving a refund or using it to take part in another experience. When applying we will need you to have on hand a letter of recommendation from a faculty member at your program

Includes: Airport pick up and drop off (at closest airport, you will need to budget an extra flight out of Guatemala City airport), accommodation, meals, on-site training, AEI Travel Manual, Partner Organization’s volunteer handbook, $10 Credit in our Zazzle store (towards the purchase of recycled water bottles, reusable bags, etc), American and Canadian clients get 50% off at the online AEI IceBreaker store, Emergency support while at Placement, Carbon credits to offset 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, Premium Individual Travel Insurance (up to $500, 000 USD in emergency medical coverage), Travel discounts (through automatic membership to a volunteer only travel discount program), 24/7 Travel and emergency assistance, guided trip to Tikal National Park (all accommodation and meals are provided but clients are required to pay the $25 park fee) and a visit to the Private Natural Park, Ixpanpajul. Are you thinking of fundraising for a portion, or all your fees? Many of our clients have been very successful with their fundraising efforts. To learn more about their successful fundraising projects and see how you can fund raise for your experience, please visit our fundraising page!

Excludes: Flights, Entry visa costs, International and domestic airport taxes, Immunizations and medications. Note: The rabies vaccine is recommended but not required for this Experience. Please note that the average cost for pre-exposure rabies immunization is $600- $1000 in North America.

Students must provide their own: Stethoscope, Three scrub tops (not brightly coloured), Digital wrist watch, Rubber boots, Non sterile gloves (for sized XS and XL).

Accommodation: You will be staying on-site in the organization’s volunteer housing. All meals are provided by the Placement Partner. Are you nervous about travel and your safety? It's okay, travelling and volunteering can be overwhelming, that is why we exist! To help you travel safe, volunteer smartly and get back home in one piece. To read more about how we help you stay safe, please read our Guide to Safety. Do you have questions about safety in Guatemala, specifically? We have answers right: Guide to Safety in Guatemala!

Program Itinerary: 6 hours of lecture time (Primates, Psitacines, Reptiles, lesser mammals, medicine and preventive management, teleinjection); 5 hours of necropsy review (documented past cases); 3 hours of case discussion (documented past cases); 8 hours or practice, capture and management of Primates, Psitacines and Reptiles, lesser mammals, and non-Psitacine birds; Collection and processing of blood samples and fecals; Participation in necropsies; Discussion and administration of needed treatments for patients in care (surgery assistance and type of treatment depending on cases); Potential work with infant animals (case dependent); Additional work in Petencito zoo (1 day a week); Routine work at the rescue center helping to feed, clean and care for the animals in care which include parrots, macaws, spider and howler monkeys, margays, ocelots, coatimundis, tayras and kinkajous. Programs would begin on Mondays so volunteers are asked to arrive Monday morning.

2017 dates:

May 15-28.
July 3-16.
July 31- August 13. 

Classification of Placement: Medical: Entry and Advanced.

If you are interested in volunteering with Wildlife in Guatemala and are NOT a veterinary medicine or technology student, please visit the AEI Experience – Wildlife in Guatemala.

OAVTThis is an official pre-approved OAVT Partnership. All participants are eligible for a minimum of 5 Continuing Education credits.
Trip Cost
length of stay
2 weeks $ 2730
Additional weeks of regular volunteering $ 300