Macaw StationMacaw Station

This project is dedicated to the conservation of the two native macaw species, both of which are endangered, the Scarlet Macaw (Lapa roja; Ara macao) and the Great Green or Buffon's Macaw (Lapa verde; Ara ambiguus). We breed birds that have been confiscated by MINAET (the Costa Rican Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications) or otherwise rescued in order for their chicks to be released in their appropriate habitats, therefore helping to stabilize their populations. The Ara Project incorporates breeding techniques, aviary management, habitat and release site research, and conservation issues, in order to carry out controlled release programs in conjunction with MINAET and Costa Rican wildlife laws.

Volunteers are an essential part of our program! We rely on them not only to help us support our program, but also to expose the danger these wonderful macaws face and hopefully transmit our mission to their country of origin! 

You will be living in a rustic volunteer cabin and you have to cook for yourself or eat at the local 'sodas' in the village (please see the costs on the site 'prices'!).

Your work at the pacific center includes

Minimum stay 4 weeks – 6 days work per week - selfcatering

  • General aviary maintenance and husbandry
  • Cleaning, scrubbing, sweeping, repairs, perching, health issues
  • Environmental enrichment
  • Making toys from an assortment of materials
  • Food supplementation and feeding
  • Collecting, chopping and feeding of birds, several times daily
  • General center maintenance
  • Help with education at local schools

Your work at the caribbean site includes

Minimum stay 4 weeks – 6 days work per week – self-catering 

  • Cleaning and maintaining of the release site and the volunteer cabins
  • Help with education at the local schools
  • Tree nursery and planting
  • Monitoring the birds at their nest sites
  • Feeding the birds the controlled amount of sunflower for monitoring purposes
  • Collect data
  • Carry out any extra research our head field biologist feels is necessary

Things to bring

  • volunteer at the breeding center:
    • Affinity to birds are helpful; handling bird for deworming, transportation between aviaries
    • Basic English knowledge; Spanish knowledge not necessary but recomended
  • volunteer at the release site:
    • Affinity with birds
    • Higher education in science or proven analytical ability
    • Basic English and Spanish knowledge 
  • Ability to work in a team and to work independently
  • Sense of humor and patience!
  • Quick-dry shirts and pants, swim suits and towel, rain coat, sun hat, closed shoes, sandals
  • After bite, insect repellent, sun cream/block SPF 30+, personal first aid kit and/or any personal medications you require
  • Watch/Alarm clock, camera with extra memory cards, torch/flashlight, cigarette lighter (for candles, matches get damp), re-usable water bottle, good binoculars


The program is ongoing throughout the year. 


Our breeding and release center is in Punta Islita, Guancaste, pacific coast.

Our release site is in Manzanillo, Limón, on the caribbean coast.