A Jaunt with Joy 7:38pm, 25 February 2015
I came across loads of volunteer opportunities throughout Central America, mainly wildlife related (though plenty of orphanages and schools/English teaching too). You do have to pay for many, but I do so with a budget in mind. Here are the ones my boyfriend and I tried out:

Costa Rica : Rainsong Wildlife Sanctuary in Cabuya near Montezuma : I interned here for 6 weeks... it was definitely a learning experience. Many volunteers have issues with handling the owners dramatic personality, but if you're patient and remind yourself you're there to help the animals and the owner is struggling because she's doing this solo, then you should be fine. I brought my boyfriend here the following year for 2 weeks to volunteer. When interning, I paid around $25/week to stay in the longhouse, but after getting to know the owner, my boyfriend and I came back and stayed those 2 weeks for free. I'd double check the website to see what the current charges are to volunteer.

Honduras : Utila Iguana Research and Breeding Station on Utila Island: We paid around $70/week to stay and volunteer here, and found it incredibly worth it. However, this was because I plan on getting into reptile conservation and research as a future career. You'll get dirty sweaty and mosquito bitten, but you'll get to participate in field research and captive care of an endemic iguana species. The owner expanded and now runs a huge wildlife and environmental research center where you can study and volunteer working with bats, snakes, insects, forest ecology, etc.

Belize : P.A.W. Cat Sanctuary on Caye Caulker Island: We paid around $12.75/night to stay in a cheetah print cabina and help the owner care for loads of domestic and feral cats. Her mission is to put her rescued cats in good homes and monitor the stray cat population on the tiny island by spaying/neutering and holding health clinics for pet owners. She made sure we had a ton of time off to do tours, etc and we loved playing with the cats. We helped feed, groom, wash dishes, do litterboxes, make toys, run a few errands, and more.

What great volunteer opportunities in Central America have YOU heard about or done?
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