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Each journey begins with a single step... Two kiwis escaping from the island to explore strange new worlds and boldly go where thousands have gone before... . .

Volunteering in Fatima and Zanjarajuno

ECUADOR | Monday, 15 June 2009 | Views [3714] | Comments [1]

Carol being mugged!

Carol being mugged!

The bus from Riobamba took us thru Baños, which is a popular town where there are thermal springs and lots of touristy things to do. A strange name for a town, kinda like Te Teko near Rotorua...  However we did not stop here but continued on to a small metropolis called Puyo. Here we were met by Medardo who loaded us into his truck after we raided the supermarket and took us off to Fatima and an animal refuge we were to help in for a few days.

We stayed from Monday to Friday in a small house in the refuge where we stayed on our own. Each day here we took visitors, mostly local, around the refuge and introduced them to the animals. Carol did the talking and Kent did the 'here is the animal for you to see' bit. The animals here were: a medium sized boa constrictor, a small anaconda snake, 5 different types of turtles, a coati called Bernadita, a few caiman (aligators), Guanta and Guatusas, loros, a macau called Patricio, 2 pecaries, and a large tapir called Bambi.

Patricio became a firm friend, he lived in the tree next to the house and would come down if he thought we might even be thinking about eating food and also for a cuddle and scratch behind his ear. Bernada also spent some time with us, his job was to accompany those touring the grounds which he enjoyed doing. We especially thought Simon would love to have a pet like him.

You will see the animals in the pics and see that most were very friendly and we really enjoyed out time there.

On Friday Medardo took us to Zanjarajuno where we met his family and found our wee house up in the forest, also here on our own. Our first introduction was to Nipo a Capuchin monkey, such a character. He jumped onto Carols head and would not get off, he pulled her hair so tight she was in tears but we finally got him off by squirting the hose water at him. After this intro he settled right down and we all became firm friends, he is a crazy little fellow and full of character and fun.

Each day here we fed the monkeys, there are 3 types (other than Nipo) squirrel monkeys, which were also at Fatima and are really cute and soft and hop on you quite happily. Brown woolley monkeys, these are bigger and only come near enough to take a banana, one of them was carrying a baby which was so cute (see the pics). Tamarins, these are so tiny, smaller than the squirrel monkeys but they are not the smallest there are, they move really fast and had to race the squirrel monkeys to get fed.

Each morning at sunup we would be woken by bang bang bang on the roof as the squirrel monkeys (led by Nipo we are sure) would wake up for the day. We would ignore them and turn over and sleep on and get up and feed them later. The woolley monkeys would come in the afternoon wanting a banana and stole some out of a closed cupboard - pretty tricky. The tamarins we only saw one afternoon.

There were other animals there, dogs, a cat, loros, different types of Guatusa - don't know the english name for them but they are like a capibara but smaller in differing sizes. While we were there Kent constructed two water systems for the animals in cages so that they had a continuous supply of water (it rains every day) and also Kent made another water system for the boa that lives in a terrarium in the house.

Medardo and his wife Lucero and son David were very welcoming and lovely to be with, we really enjoyed our time here. We left on Wednesday 24/6 and headed for Macas.





just to make sure if anyone finds this on google, like I did, they know the two centers are in ECUADOR not Colombia. How do I know? I just spent 4 weeks there and loved it. Patricio says hello :)

  Lukas Cech Sep 15, 2012 2:17 PM

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