May 31, 2013

Top Ten Memories of Volunteering With Amazon CARES (Part 1/2)

By Shannon Sullivan

In June 2011 I had the privilege of traveling to Iquitos, Peru, to volunteer with Amazon CARES. While the entire experience was memorable and life-changing, I have narrowed down the top ten memories of my jungle adventure.

You can learn about upcoming veterinary volunteer trips and other ways to volunteer (even from home!) at the Amazon CARES website.

After three of four planes on our way to Peru.
1. Traveling with Friends

I traveled to Iquitos with four friends. Leaving from North Idaho, it took four airplanes and a boat to reach our final destination. Needless to say, plenty of memories were made and laughs were had along the way!

After a rainy and adventurous MotoKar ride in Peru,
Justin & I shared a laugh. Not Dr. B. though!

2. Mobile Surgery

While I had assisted with countless surgeries prior to volunteering with Amazon CARES, I had never assisted with a mobile clinic. The clinics were fast-paced and efficient. The mobile surgery sites were much different than anything back home. I really put my skills to the test and was surprised at the quality of medicine that can be provided in such remote locations.


Ascending a rope to the top of the canopy.
3. Zip-lining Through the Rainforest Canopy 

Every volunteer trip with Amazon CARES incorporates some type of ecotourism. The first four nights of our trip we stayed at the Tahuayo Lodge, home of the Amazon's longest zip-line. Climbing to the top of the canopy and soaring through the tree tops
was exhilarating and an experience I'll never forget.

4. Boating to Work

Traveling by boat to and from work was definitely new for me! The tranquil boat rides every morning and evening allowed for time to reflect and a chance to take in the rainforest's beauty.

5. Meeting the Animals

While I met hundreds of animals while volunteering with Amazon CARES, two dogs stood out in particular. I met Jimmy at the CARES clinic shortly after he had been taken in. His sweet personality left quite the impression with me, and as I left I knew he was in great hands.

At left: Jimmy the day I met him.
At right: Jimmy after being treated by Amazon CARES.

Clotilde was a street dog that the crew came across during one of our mobile clinics. She was taken to the Amazon CARES no-kill shelter for care and treatment. Within a few months I could no longer recognize her! There is no doubt that she is a much happier and healthier dog.

At left: Clotilde the day I met her.
At right: Clotilde after being treating by the CARES team.

Read Part 2 of this series here!    

You can help support upcoming Amazon CARES veterinary trips by visiting our Crowdrise site!

Learn about upcoming veterinary volunteer trips and other ways to volunteer (even from home!) at the Amazon CARES website.

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