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Internship | Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary Internship in Guatemala

Flores, Guatemala

Location: Flores, Guatemala

Duration: Minimum 2 weeks, maximum 6 months commitment

Start Dates: 2017 - May 15th - May 28th, July 3rd - July 16th, July 31st - August 13th

Cost: $1500 / £1200 for initial 2 weeks course + $225 / $175 for any additional weeks  - see 'Costs' tab for further details


  • Work alongside veterinary and support staff, treating and rehabilitating many different species in this amazing location.
  • Flexible placement, tailored according to your interests and abilities.
  • Opportunity for individual research, investigation & dissertation research.
  • Serious veterinary internship ideal for students of veterinary science, biology & zoology

The veterinary internships are available as 2-week placements with the option to add extra weeks as a volunteer. Depending on the length of your placement, you will take part in various procedures, lectures and daily veterinary activities around the centre, as well as a few outings to sights in the nearby area.

Students on a 2-week placement will be able to take part in the following activities;

  • 6 hours of lecture time focusing on primates, psittacines & reptiles.
  • 5 hours of necropsy review of documented past cases.
  • 4 hours of practice, capture and management of primates, psittacines and reptiles.
  • Obtaining and processing of blood samples and faecal matters of 6 species; primates, psitacines, reptiles, deer, coatimundi & one other, discussion and administration of needed treatment, and follow up.
  • Participation in necropsies and administration of various veterinary treatments (surgery assistance and type of treatment depending on cases)
  • Routine work with the animals and enclosures (cleaning, feeding, maintenance)
  • Potential work with infant animals (case dependent)
  • Possible additional work in Petencito zoo (1 day a week)

Veterinary curricula may vary in the order of material presentation and sometimes staff may assume you have knowledge of a subject to which you have not yet been introduced. This is especially true for first, second and third-year students. Don’t be afraid to admit inexperience. Remember, it’s better to admit inexperience than injure a patient!

You will be met at the local airport (connecting in Guatemala City international airport) where you will be taken to the Project HQ.

You will live at the Centre in a spacious two-story wooden building situated in a beautiful tropical forest with comfortable wooden bunk beds, "western" shower and toilet facilities and US-style 110 electricity. Volunteers eat and socialize at a separate spacious kitchen/dining room rancho and enjoy a very nice floating dock for late afternoon swims. There is a laundry service at an additional cost available at the Centre. You can get online in the nearby town of Flores, usually visited on weekends.

In general, interns are expected to become a willing part of the Rescue Centre team and to take an integral part in the day-to-day operations of the Centre. We also expect that, barring physical limitations, all interns take an equal part in performing some of the tasks at the Centre regardless of background, training or educational level.

It is important to remember that your stay at the Rescue Centre will involve more than veterinary work. You will be expected to perform the same types of chores as other interns, including cleaning cages, manual labour and kitchen work. In addition to the regular daily feeding and care of the animals, there are usually special on-going activities in which you can participate, including:

  • Construction of cages or extra buildings
  • Trail maintenance
  • Research into the wild diets of the animals

At times there is a lot of work, especially during the breeding season (June-August) when we receive the majority of our seized animals. The Centre receives between 450 and 700 animals each year, meaning there is always work to do! We ask for your understanding and cooperation in these matters.

In addition, interns are encouraged to develop their own individual special projects. If you see potential for such a special project, let us know and we will work with you to translate that idea into practice. There are lots of great ideas out there; the difficult part is putting them into practice. In the past, interns have taken on projects such as developing interpretive trails, studying the behaviours of some of the animals in the Centre, designing and painting signs and murals, but this would require an extended stay at the project.

In your free time you can take advantage of the beautiful surroundings by taking hikes, swimming, or simply taking a well-deserved siesta in the shade.

Internships are arranged on an individual basis. You should send us a short essay explaining you personal motivation for participating in the program, work plan and a CV.

  • No minimum or maximum age
  • You must be be studying or have relevant experience / qualifications in veterinary science
  • Minimum 2 weeks commitment
  • Basic - Intermediate Spanish
  • Full travel & medical insurance
  • Necessary vaccinations including rabies, tetanus and hepatitis.
  • Necessary flights & visas
Total Fees - initial 2 weeks$1500£1200
Additional weeks$225 / $175***£115

* Currency conversions are approximate.
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee.
*** 1st additional week is $225, all extra weeks are $175
**** Admin fee of $250 included in price.

What's Included:

Project Fee includes all food, accommodation, airport pickup and drop-off (local airport), orientation, in-country support and project activities as well a two-day overnight trip to the Mayan Tikal Temples (excluding the park entrance fee).

What's Not included:

Flights, insurance, visas (if applicable) and vaccinations.

Full assistance will be provided in getting all these arranged if you choose our Premium Support.

Placement Support Package

For your trip, we will help you organise and plan everything you will need from start to finish. Our coordinators know each project & country like the back of their hand, and will be able to offer personalised advice to ensure your trip is well-planned & executed to perfection.

This includes one-to-one assistance planning and booking; 

  • Pre-departure Support - Flights, Visas, Vaccinations, Insurance, Essential Items and anything else you will need before you set off.
  • Ongoing In-country Support - whilst you are on the project you can Contact us at any time with any questions or concerns and we will do whatever we can to help.
  • 24/7 Emergency Support - a phone number that you or your family can ring at any time, night or day in case of emergency.

Our Placement Support Package costs £349 / $449 / €425 per person, and can be purchased once you are ready to confirm your place.

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