In 2010 I spent a month in Ecuador and knew that I wanted to spend some part of that volunteering with wildlife. I spent countless hours researching trying to find the perfect place to spent a couple of week and I stumbled across Merazonia. It was a small wildlife park that I could get to with connecting buses from Quito and the park itself looked beautiful.
The park itself is located down a dirt road that a taxi can only take so far. From that point, you have to walk in and when I got there it had been raining, so it wasn’t the easiest journey! It was, however, beautiful and when the park peaked into view the hike in became totally worth it. There’s a bridge crossing the river and then the animal kitchen adorned with hand painted murals comes into view, shortly followed by the main building.
My time at the park was spent preparing meals for the animals, assisting with construction of a new enclosure for the capuchins, and painting the roof, among other things. In my spare time there were many of amazing trails to explore around the park, and I took full advantage of that often cooling off by swimming in the river.
The food and chores around the park are on a rotation and everyone takes a turn. It was a fun way to experience peoples different ideas on meals, and the best part is that there are chickens at the park so all of the eggs are fresh. Plus, the rest of the produce is brought in weekly from the local markets so it’s also super fresh and delicious!
If you ever find yourself in Ecuador and are looking to volunteer with wildlife, Merazonia is definitely the park for you!