Sloth Sanctuary

Sloth Sanctuary Volunteer

Sloth sanctuary volunteers are in charge of the research, protection and rehabilitation of sloths. Volunteers can use this opportunity to protect these funny and fascinating animals from the threats they are facing in the wild. Sloths have become quite popular over the past years, which unfortunately is not to their advantage. The animals are often captured from the wild to serve as tourist attractions and illegal pet trade.Volunteers at a sloth orphanage have the possibility to change this! Join a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica and volunteer with other wildlife in Costa Rica. Work with rescued baby sloths and care for them until they can be released back into the wild. Take action and volunteer for wildlife conservation at a sloth rescue center!

Local Animal Rescue Center

As part of our local animal shelter, you’ll be responsible for a variety of activities such as feeding, maintenance and engaging with animals

Animal Rescue Center Supporter

Our program is a volunteer program designed for volunteers to assist in all tasks like feeding, maintenance and entertaining animals

Animal Rehabilitation & Rainforest Conservation

Merazonia combines passion for nature with a professional approach on animal care and release, along with rainforest conservation

Sloth Monitoring and Turtle Conservation

Sloth as ambassadors of our Costa Rican nature, they are a very important part of our program, for this reason we carry out monitoring of their population

Sloth Sanctuary Rescue Projects

Have you always wanted to witness a lethargic, slow creature hanging out in the treetops for most of the day? If tropical forests are your thing, take this unique opportunity to explore the South American jungles of Costa Rica, Peru or Ecuador. Savor these natural treasures while you help protect sloths which are becoming increasingly threatened. Sloth conservation is a hot topic because of the important role of this animal in the ecosystem. Pack your bags for a jungle volunteer program abroad and get ready to learn more about these interesting wildlife creatures that are known for being very cute and incredibly lazy. Get ready for the ultimate sloth experience!

What is a Sloth Sanctuary?

A sloth sanctuary is a facility for injured, orphaned & abandoned sloths. Sloth sanctuaries or sloth farm project are becoming increasingly important in Latin America, especially in Costa Rica.

Given the deforestation activities in both Central and South America, these animals are quickly losing their natural habitat. This could be catastrophic for the sloth populations as well as the local rainforest. Ranging from global warming to pollution, the animals are facing some serious threats. This is exactly why sloth conservation projects and sloth rescue programs are so necessary. If you are concerned about the survival chances of the wild sloths, this is your chance to do your part as a sloth conservation volunteer abroad.

In what follows, you can learn more about the importance of the unique opportunity of volunteering at one of the sloth rehabilitation center programs. We will not only tell you more about what you will be doing as a volunteer abroad but go into more detail about the importance of sloth conservation work and sloth rescue centers around South- and Central America.

How many Sloth Species are there?

Let’s start with the different types of sloths. There are two categories of sloths: the two-toed and three-toed sloth and a total of six species.

  • Three-toed Sloth
  • Two-toed Sloth

Sloth Conservation Status 2021

Fortunately, not all species are endangered. However, the pygmy sloth is critically endangered and the maned sloth is considered vulnerable according to the IUCN red list. You can make a difference by volunteering for sloth conservation and lending a hand to help turn the tide for the pygmy and maned sloth which are the ones that you will come across during most of the volunteer programs, especially in Costa Rican sloth sanctuaries

Why are Sloths Endangered?

You may be wondering why they are endangered in the first place and why we have to rescue sloths. It’s important to understand the root cause of what is causing these innocent wildlife animals in Costa Rica and other areas of Central and South America to become endangered in the first case.


The main reason that sloths are endangered is that of deforestation. Continuous loss of forest for the logging and mining industry as well as for agriculture in South and Central America has lead to sloths losing the tree top canopies which they inhabit.


Humans are another real threat to these animals because they are poached to serve as entertainment in the tourism industry or sold for their flesh which is considered a delicacy.

Global warming

The ongoing change in the world’s climate is affecting different animal species living in all parts of the world. When a species disappears, it has a chain reaction affecting other species within the ecosystem that rely on them for survival.

Low genetic diversity

Considering that some sloths are characterized by low genetic diversity, to begin with, this means that the death of a select few animals could result in the death of an entire population.

The goal of any voluntary work in the sloth sanctuary must be to protect the natural habitats of this cute animal species in South America. Join one of the projects and help make sure that wild sloths are not killed by hunters in the first place.

 Best Places to volunteer at a Sloth Rescue Center?

Volunteering with sloths will bring you to beautiful South or Central America. One of the most exciting and naturally dense areas of the world. You can find sloth volunteer projects in natural gems like Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru. It will simply depend on your personal preferences which country you will end up in. Keep in mind that volunteering for sloth conservation could also mean volunteering at a sloth sanctuary or rescue center. Sanctuaries and rescue centers take care of other wildlife animals as well.

Be sure to check with the organization in advance to be sure whether sloths are part of the program. Some projects are focused on general wildlife conservation center and not solely on these animals. There are centers that are only focused on these lazy creatures so don’t worry, just take a good look at the programs and look into what to expect before you head off.

In addition to helping to turn the tide of the dwindling number of sloths, this will be a great opportunity to brush up on your Spanish.

Latin America

South America is a melting pot of culture and exquisite nature. It’s known for its unique wildlife and rainforests which is in need of help. As a volunteer, you can experience the heat and the humidity of the jungles while you help with the conservation of creatures that are fighting the ongoing threats of industrialization.

Costa Rica

Known for its lush forests and year-round warm temperatures. Experience nature in its purest form and see this animal in its element in one the planet’s green gems. If you’re dedicated to sloth conservation then Costa Rica is your best bet to observe this unique animal species in its natural habitat or Costa Rica sloth sanctuaries


Ecuador has a rich culture to offer alongside its breathtaking nature. If you need a break from the remoteness of nature, Ecuador also has some lively cities in store for you.


Topping almost everyone’s bucket list these days, Peru is one of the touristic hotspots of the world. If you don’t want to miss out on this and are eager to volunteer, definitely join one of the animal conservation projects in Peru.

How to Rescue Sloths

As a prospective sloth conservation volunteer abroad, you may be wondering what kind of work you will do. Your tasks will vary greatly depending on the sloth conservation project you have chosen but we can give you a general list of tasks which are similar for most programs. A day at a sloth sanctuary or rehabilitation center will most likely include one or more of these items:

  • feeding sloths or other wildlife animals at the sanctuary/conservation center
  • cleaning pens or enclosures of the animals
  • helping with the administration of much-needed vet treatments
  • giving tours of the sanctuary to visitors

Some sanctuaries use guided tours as a way of making money since sloth conservation is expensive. More importantly, these tours serve to educate both tourists and the local population. After all, education is key in order to avoid future threats to sloths.

Monitoring & Research

An important mission of most sloth conservation programs and local sloth sanctuaries in Costa Rica and other countries in South America is not just to rescue the animals and rehabilitate them, but to do research about the species as well. As a sloth conservation volunteer in Central America, you can help monitor and track the local sloth population. All of the data that you will record during such excursions will also need to be analyzed. As part of this line of work, you will complete various data-entry tasks provided by your sloth conservation program. Additional office tasks might also be part of your job description. You can also help with fundraising or call potential donors to help support the programs financially.

Given the huge variety of tasks that you will be asked to participate in each day, you won’t get bored. For each sloth conservation program that we put you in touch with here, there is a more detailed description of the tasks on the projects. This will make it easier for you to decide which conservation program is a great fit for you.

 Why Should I Volunteer at a Sloth Sanctuary?

The ongoing environmental issues have definitely caught up with these slow creatures that reside in the canopy of the jungles of South America. Contributing your time and effort to protecting the sloth population will undoubtedly have a positive effect on you as well. Let’s take a closer look at the opportunities that may unfold if you decide to volunteer at one of the sloth conservation programs.

Learning Opportunities

Not only will you learn more about the sloth during the project but you will also learn about the importance of their environment. You will get hands-on experience in caretaking activities at the sanctuary or develop wildlife observation techniques. The volunteer experience will give you opportunities to do valuable research and it will also bring you in touch with the local community. This will be a wonderful opportunity for cultural interchange as well.


Besides the local community, you will also connect with other volunteers who have the same goals and interests. Rest assured that you will make meaningful connections with those who share your love for wildlife.


If you’re an adventurer and love to travel, nothing will stop you from discovering your surroundings. Grasp this chance to explore and discover the breathtaking world of the sloth.


Volunteering abroad is a brilliant way to expand your perspective of the world. Issues that seemed like huge problems before, may seem trivial after your volunteer experience. Life experiences like this provide valuable baggage that can prove helpful in the future. Volunteer and witness how you become a stronger individual and is an excellent starting point for future endeavors abroad.

Health Improvements

Multiple research has demonstrated that volunteering leads to better health and a healthier state of mind. Those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, function better and suffer less from depression later in life. Volunteer for one of the projects with sloths and experience the satisfaction of knowing you are helping an endangered species. Volunteer abroad and see what it does for your health and happiness!

Volunteering at a sloth rescue center will teach you a great deal more than the habits of this lazy lounger. You will learn about their environment and the culture of your new destination. Volunteer for a sloth sanctuary project and reap the benefits for years to come. The most beautiful destinations in South America are only a click away and you will get to witness the most extraordinary wildlife in places like Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru. If you’re an animal lover with a soft spot for sloths, quickly take a look at the different wildlife rescue centers we have available