Wildlife Rehabilitation in Guatemala with Jennie of the Jungle

Last August I took a group of dedicated wildlife lovers to work with ARCAS Rescue Center in Flores, Guatemala, and what an adventure it was!

ARCAS is a sanctuary and rehabilitation center where orphaned and injured wildlife is taken in and nursed back to health or cared for until it is suitable for release back into the wild.
Three of our JOJ members were new to traveling abroad, and new to working with animals, and so I had the immense pleasure of watching their eyes light up as they had the chance to connect with the rescue animals at the sanctuary.

Macaws, parrots, toucans, peccaries, monkeys, and deer were just a few of the animals we had the opportunity to work with. We spent our days making diets for the animals, feeding them a mixture of fruits, veggies, and forest berries and leaves. We got to hang out with them as we cleaned their enclosures, and there is nothing that brings a smile to your face quite like being in the presence of adorable jungle animals.

Some of the animals…

How I Started Working with Animals

The question I get asked most often is how I got started working with animals.
Well let me just tell you this; it wasn't easy. Many are familiar with the struggle of following their passions in life, because for the majority, passions don't pay. Fortunately I've found an avenue into being paid to do what I love, and if you're interested in my story on.
I grew up in low-income household with little prospect for success. But I remember being fascinated as a child by educational programs on PBS. In the absence of parental education, PBS became my mentor. My favorite show was Nature, which I watched religiously. That's where my love of animals and the natural world began. Though owls, foxes, and cheetahs were my favorite, I learned to respect all of the different species because of the role each one plays in its ecosystem.

In high school, I took up modern dance classes and found dance to be a great outlet for the frustrations of my childhood and living situatio…