Armi De Francia
Yanacocha Animal Rescue Centre
For me, Yana Cocha was not about the weekend trips, but the joy in the work itself. Feeding animals, cleaning after them, and the habitat maintenance work gave me the privilege of having many unforgettable experiences. I´ve seen and experienced things, many breathtaking moments that could never be captured well onto a camera. I got the chance to work with animals that I have seen in documentaries, some that I have never seen before at all, and some whose common names that i do not know in English. I witnessed a sloth being released into the wild. I got to catch and feed live grasshoppers to monkeys the size of my hand. And of course, the people I stayed with from many different parts of the world added significant value to my experiences in Yana Cocha: veterinarians with a very strong passion for their work, other friendly volunteers who enlightened me about other customs and cultures, and a very hospitable host family who accomodated all of us. From playing with monkeys, to the simple pleasures of riding in the back of a pick up truck while watching the sunset, to putting the best aji (chilli sauce) that I have ever tasted on everything edible, it was amazing! I am glad that I was given this opportunity to contribute to a center that helps animals in their time of need and prepares them to live on their own in the wild again. I now only felt an engagement with nature, but also a sense of community with everyone I worked with. Overall, my experiences at Yana Cocha and with Lead-adventures have been truly captivating!