Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center

The Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center is a non-profit organization that gives animals a second chance at life. Our dedicated staff and selfless volunteers work tirelessly to help these animals heal, keep them safe, rehabilitate them, and eventually re-release them into their natural habitat in the Costa Rican rainforest.



At the Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center we are dedicated to protect and help endangered Costa Rican wildlife with all means available to us. Our first and foremost goal is to ensure the welfare of the animals at the center and help them recover from both, physical and psychological wounds that have arisen from their past suffering.

Since many animals become victims of abuse in the tourism sector or illegal pet trade, we want to raise awareness about their mistreatment. Our work is our way of leading the change to more animal welfare and a sustainable way of living in coexistence with wildlife.


After being forced to move from Moín, near Puerto Limón, in March 2015, the center found a new, but temporary, home in San Miguel, Alajuela. The location was too small for our animals and volunteers and so the search for a new location began immediatey!

Luckily just a short drive down the road, in Cebadilla, we found a fantastic site with little rivers, medows, hills and big beautiful fruit trees! It suits our animals and volunteers perfectly  and we began the move here in June 2016; with lots of volunteers helping in the process - who we are eternally grateful for! We are still working every day on improving the place and enclosures but so far we built a animal hospital, a huge aviary, two sloth gardens and various big monkey cages, including trees and equipped with many enrichment items to keep our rescued ones active - physically and cognitive.


All the animals at the center have different backgrounds of how they came to be with us and there are no two stories that are 'the same'. You can read more by clicking here on the meet the animals.

Sometimes animals are brought in by local people, tourists, or even volunteers, who have found them injured or abandoned in the streets and the wilderness. These rescued animals are often smaller or younger animals, or infants that have lost their mother and would have no chance of survival on their own.


At the center, we aim to rehabilitate animals and give them the best possible conditions to recover from their physical and sometimes also mental injuries. When new animals come in, they are examined by vets who determine what actions need to be done for each individual situation. Care, treatments and retraining are within the responsibility of permanent staff, and volunteers often get a chance to take over parts of tasks depending on the requirements of the tasks and each volunteer's qualifications. 

Apart from the medical attention we give to injured animals, there are some that require active enrichment in and around their cages as well. Which evolves from building toys, climbing constructions, houses or swings to providing a diversity of food in different forms and manners in order to get a more natural environment and express their natural behviors.

and giving animals additional opportunities to spend time in a more natural environment, or providing a diversity of food in different forms and manners in order to keep them healthy and challenge them to follow their instincts.


Want to help the animals today


Our team of workers consists of permanent staff as well as volunteers, and all of them take up an important part in keeping the center running.

In order to manage all the tasks and duties that our center requires we depend on the help of motivated and responsible volunteers. Volunteer general tasks involves food preparation, cleaning and maintaining enclosures, building activity toys and providing enrichment for animals. Apart from daily tasks, we also need help with any additional projects that may come up in the course of the day and most require extra work.  You can learn more about projects on the Projects page.







Raised on a farm Marielos always had a love for animals, but pursued her passion for art as a career. While running an art Gallery in San Jose her love for animals caught up with her and she moved to Limón to open her first rescue center (11 years ago), with the help of her daughters. Since then people have been bringing her sick, injured and orphaned animal to take care of and give a loving home to.