Thursday, October 8, 2009


For the past week Sarah, Emily, and I have been fundraising at the park. A few of us are probably not coming back here for awhile and we wanted to take on some sort of construction project before we left.  There is so much that the park needs and although we all can donate money when we go home you still need volunteers at the park to make it happen.  After debating what was needed most we chose to build new cages for Koru (a young puma) and Mariano (a small Brazilian jungle cat).  We picked projects that we could realistically raise the funding for and complete within a month before we leave the park.  Things have been going great!  We have been making breakfast and desserts every night for volunteers to purchase and it has been a big hit.  We also held an auction where people could bid on things like a 45 minute massage, a romantic dinner for two, and having your laundry done by another volunteer.  We also convinced two of the guys to wrestle in the compost (gross!) to benefit the auction which raised 1000BS alone.  So, today Sarah and I are in Santa Cruz to buy all of the fencing and tools we will need to build the cage.  We raised over 10,000BS in just over a week which is about 2/3 of what we need altogether!  We are going to continue the fundraising and hopefully we´ll be able to purchase the rest of the materials soon.  Volunteering at the park is awesome, but you don't always know whats going to happen in the future to the animals you work with.  We all hope that the next volunteer to work with your cat will to their best but it will be great to contribute something that will permanently improve their lives.  Koru was brought to the park in an emergency, when he was discovered tied to a dumpster living on a military base and since the park didn't have any room he was temporarily put in a very small cage intended for birds or small animals.  Mariano has been at the park for a year, but since he is not a large cat he has not always had a permanent volunteer when numbers are low.  Unfortunately he has been living in the quarantine area for all this time and he is often switched into a smaller cage to accommodate new animals coming to the park.  Now he will have a decent size permanent enclosure.  Anyone who wants to help can send a donation by mail!  We will be fundraising for about one more week. Since everything here is purchased in Bolivianos a donation of just $5 is equal to 35BS :)

On another note, I'm switching cats.  Im really excited because tomorrow I get to go back to Leo!  Unfortunately, the reason I'm switching is because Engine jumped me pretty violently.  He got my arm when he jumped and by chance he got quite close to an artery so it was bleeding a lot.  I'm fine now but it was a bit scary.  Regardless, they decided his previous volunteer would switch back onto him because he is becoming more difficult to work with.  Marc may have more success anyways because sometimes the male cats respond better to male volunteers.   It will be awesome to get to work with Leo again for my last few weeks :D  Jane Goodall is visiting the park next week too!  There´s a short article on the CIWY website about her visit.  We took a half day to do construction projects for her arrival and I helped paint all of the dorms which was a fun and they look great!

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