Volunteering for KSTR….what’s it all about?


Our volunteer season has arrived early this year and to kick it off was Chela Crinnon’s group from the Fieldston School and True Nature Education who returns to KSTR every year with groups. Now our individuals are arriving now until Mid –August and we even have a few families volunteering and staying with us.

So, you want to be a volunteer and know what your day will be like here @ KSTR? Why do you have to pay to volunteer? Let’s get the money issue out of the way first. Kids Saving the Rainforest is solely operated on donations; therefore your donation (registration fee/volunteer fee) helps to feed and care for the animals of the sanctuary and covers the expense of food and housing for you. Your dedicated hard work is your volunteering for the amount of time that you are with us.

A volunteers’ day will almost always consist of 2 animal feedings a day, cleaning cages, behavioral observations, enrichments for the animals (toys or objects to keep them from getting bored) and even sometimes you may get the special chance to walk an anteater or even get to help out with the animals in our Rescue Center. Most volunteer will not get the chance to work with the Rescue Center/Clinic animals due to us wanting to limit their contact with people since once they are well, they will be returned to the rainforest. Although at times we get so many animals in the Rescue Center help is needed.

We also often have volunteer groups come in for the day and do a major cleaning and enriching  of cages which is always fun to see what volunteers come up with that’s new and exciting for the animals. Getting to see an animal actually use something that you made is pretty rewarding and watching them try to figure what it is and what to do with it is even more fun!

Our volunteer program is growing more and more every day and saving animals lives and giving people an experience that they will treasure for a life time makes us happy and to continue this we will always need the support from you.

We accept day volunteers, 1/2 day volunteers and you can stay with us in either the volunteer center bunk rooms or a cottage for a minimum of 2 weeks. For more information please go to:  http://www.volunteer4kstr.org/ or email the Volunteer Coordinator at: volunteer@kidssavingtherainforest.org

Other ways you can help Kids Saving the Rainforest is by donating or even taking a tour of our KSTR Wildlife Sanctuary. To find out more: please go to: www.kidssavingtherainforest.org




What a year!!! What’s to come in 2014?

Wow, as I sit here and review our holiday newsletter from last year, it is absolutely amazing of the progress and changes KSTR has been through.

Since moving the rescue center to BBI in Mar 2013, we’ve had several animals come and go. Some have survived and been released back into the rainforest and some are still here growing and gaining strength for releases in the future. Unfortunately, some have also passed away but I assure you that their time here was pleasurable.

Our Vet tech Sam Trull has learned so much on her own, from our Gerente Vet Pia Martin and even from other animal caretakers in other countries. Sam’s knowledge has strengthened incredibly and we are so proud of her and that she’s on our KSTR team.

Pia Martin has and will always be an integral part of caring for the animals during the days she visits us to do check-ups. We continue to support and learn from her. Her monthly wildlife report keeps us and our supporters up to date on the statuses of the rescue center and sanctuary.

The multi species enclosure is completed!! Currently we have 8 titi monkeys and a porcupine living in it. We are still in the process of learning about which animals can live there in harmony. We’ve enriched the enclosure with more trees, plants and blue rope for the animals. We’ve added an additional door to make it easier to feed them.

Vernita Gundy has taken to wearing several hats for our organization. She is not only the Volunteer Coordinator but is also the Administrative Assistant and the BBI Hostess. She steps in at any given time whenever she is needed!


Dani Dion who’s been part of our team for quite some time took on a huge responsibility to help out a man with a terminal illness who had several dogs that he asked us to help find homes for in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area. To date we’ve adopted out 7 of the dogs and still with the possibility to receive more in the coming months.

Dani also continues to help out with the animal feeding and anything else that goes on at the sanctuary. Her official title is Canine Captain, Monkey management & Wildlife caterer. Wow …that’s a fancy job! J


Hannah Lindstrom, our repeat volunteer who just can’t stay away from us extended her stay here as an intern to assist in the research, releasing and tracking of Al the anteater. She has come to love Al and although she will be sad to see him go, she will be very happy to see him return to where he belongs………back in the rainforest.


Oh and to top it all off, we’ve had an incredible volunteer season! But wait there’s more…….incredible donations from funding to supplies brought to us from people visiting Costa Rica and the local community helping us transport animals.

We are creating awareness, growing and making so many improvements here that we can’t even keep up! And you know what? We love every minute of it and we hope everyone will continue on this journey with us.

I really wish I could type every single person/group that has played a part in our growth but it’s impossible. There are two words that I can say though, “THANK YOU!”  We hope to do it all again in 2014!! Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!!


KSTR Crew and KSTR animals



Thankful for your support!



The holiday season is fast approaching us and it’s now time to be thankful for what you have but also give from the heart to those in need. Here at KSTR, we solely run on the donations from YOU and we are forever grateful for every single one of you that have helped us over the years. We’ve grown so much and we will always need your support in helping to feed our animals.
Speaking of the animals,much thanks to past volunteer Martie Stothoff, who created a Thanksgiving Feast last year for the animals that we’ll continue to use for years to come. Check it out below!

                                      Thanksgiving Day ~ 4 PM

Did you know that making a holiday special for animals in captivity is a very important part of enrichment in their lives and that is crucial to their mental health?

“Turkey” – They will get chicken but they will think it is Turkey! (Turkey is $8 a kilo here) The little monkeys will get it cut up, the big monkeys can get legs and hunks and stuff.
“Gravy” – Take the chicken broth and veggie broth and mix together. This is the “turkey stock.”
“Beans” – Cooked green beans!
“Stuffing” – We will make a bread stuffing with cooked celery, eggs and chicken broth for flavor.
“Mashed Potatoes” – Cooked potatoes and make their normal potato cubes (they won’t eat it mashed). Can always add gravy.
“Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows” – Or use yams. Don’t mash it because they won’t eat it, just keep it cubed.  They will love this! We can put it in round containers to make it look like their pie.

Sounds good right?

Without your donations , KSTR would not be able to survive!  Please donate or maybe even donate in someone’s name as a holiday gift: http://www.kidssavingtherainforest.org/makeadonation.php.htm

 Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from all of us!


Photos by Primatography/Sam Trull

A Day in the Life at KSTR

Do you really want to know what goes on here on a day-to-day basis? We live in Costa Rica on a beautiful property with over 70 animals that have to be fed twice a day.

Our mornings start at 7am with the cleaning of all the cages and food containers and then we proceed at 8am with the chopping of all of the fruits and veggies for the AM feeding. Then we must make sure all of the animals are taken care of: sanctuary,rescue center and the animals in the clinic. Certain animals need meds, goats milk or nan milk formula before even getting their actual food. Then cage by cage we deliver the food to our monkeys, kinkajous, raccoons, birds, porcupines and a squirrel.


food prep          Volunteer Martie Stothoff prepping food in the monkey kitchen

038FYI…we no longer feed animals bread…just in case you were wondering!

Feeding normally takes about 1 hour and up to 1 1/2hrs. Sometimes the marmoset monkeys like to play try to get me by escaping during the food delivery!  During  the feedings we do a count to make sure all of the animals are accounted for, check for injuries and check for any holes in the cages so that there are no escapees aka MARMOSETS!

alex volunteerFood delivery by volunteer Alex Jimenez

Once the animals are fed, there’s always work to be done . Enriching the animal’s cages plays a huge part in keeping the animals engaged and healthy so they can enjoy living out there lives at our sanctuary. Our volunteers play a huge part in the daily care taking and without them it would make it very difficult to do.


cage enrichment

cage enrichment 2Getting enrichment ready for the cages


lily and barb electrocuted monkey

electrocuted titiAt any given time we can get a injured animal and we have to be ready to treat them.

alexmanVolunteer Alex Jimenez helping to release a titi monkey

 When we’re not feeding the animals we try to squeeze in some clicker training, which will come in handy when we need to weigh,give  shots or exam the animals.

clicker trainingBarb Braman and Vet Tech Sam Trull clicker training spider monkeys Darwin and Nina

observationsAt times when we are introducing animals for the first time into a cage, volunteers  need to do observations to make sure no fighting is going on and everyone is getting along. Observations are very important because you can also find out which one is the dominant animal.

We also have daily tours to educate tourist about Kids Saving the Rainforest and the animals that we care for everyday.

barb talking about marmosetsBarb Braman educating a group about marmosets

Besides taking care of our animals we do get to do fun things like making our own cheese  and learning about gardening.

cheese3Seanna Daise and Carissa Ward making mozzarella cheese

chip explaining pineapple plantationFinca Owner Chip Braman discussing what should be planted next in the garden

Our day starts with feeding and ends with feeding with activities in between  and  at the end of the day we have happy healthy full belly animals.


Although we do feedings everyday twice a day, everyday is alway a different experience and full of surprises! So feel free to follow  our blog or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kids-Saving-the-Rainforest/146280833519 or visit our website: http://kidssavingtherainforest.org

simonsquirrelPhoto courtesy of Primatography/Sam Trull

Thank you Alex!!!



We did have Alex Jimenez from the Forever Wild Sanctuary helping us out for a few months. He was our sanctuary tour guide for guest, he fed the animals in the sanctuary and he helped our Vet Tech release two monkeys that were rehabilitated at our rescue center.

He even became a “big brother ” to one of our Blue Banyan Inn guest. Alex will be leaving us on 5/18 and heading back to California. The animals will miss seeing your face at feeding time and we will miss your silly jokes!

Thank you for all of your hard work and we hope to see you again.


The Volunteers are coming, the volunteers are coming!!!

We will soon start the busy volunteer season here at KSTR .Volunteers start to roll in late May all the way into early August.

Our new Volunteer Coordinator,Vernita Gundy is busy getting our KSTR Volunteer Handbook revised with help from her Assistant Dani Dion and searching for fun arts and craft project to hopefully sell in the KSTR Store at the Mono Azul .

We are looking forward to getting some research projects from our Vet Tech Sam Trull so we can learn more about the animals here living in the Wildlife Rehab and Sanctuary.

We also have an abundance of plants,trees, fruits and veggies growing on our self sustainable farm and our volunteers will enjoy learning about and eating what is here on the property. I’m pretty sure some our our volunteers will be visiting up here to blog about their experiences. So enough typing here….we have to get back to work!!!

Pura Vida!