Thursday, February 28, 2013

Proyecto Asis, Javillos Costa Rica

You guys.
I'm going to have to start 2x/day blogging.
Is that wayyyy too intense?!?  
I am getting so behind.  
The last 3 days have been completely out of control with new experiences and fun times.
But because I am so elated about today's events...
I'm skipping some posts I had in the que to share these photos.
And there were WAY too many photos to post them all here, so check facebook for the entire album.
Since of course, you are as excited about me getting my hair pulled as I am :)
Today we went to Proyecto Asis, a wildlife conservation center in Javillos, Costa Rica.  
We took the bus via Chachagua at 7:15 from La Fortuna.  Just tell the bus driver that you want to go to "Javillos/Proyecto Asis" and he will (hopefully) let you know when it's time to hop off!  The tour begins at 8:30am, so that worked out perfectly for us! 

(FYI:  Some of my readers are confused why I include details like this... I am writing things of this nature so that people who google search "Proyecto Asis" will have a resource and kind of know what to expect.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, the blog is mostly for MY readers, but I also want to help fellow travelers!)

The conservation center cares for animals that are orphaned, injured or need care for whatever reason.  Their primary goal is to rehabilitate and set them free again, but depending on the species and the situation, it is not always possible.  It felt very different from a zoo, and wayyyy cooler!
 Look at that eye!  Ah!

We did the "tour" portion in the morning and then paid to "volunteer" directly after that.  We are so thrilled that our volunteer portion was to feed the animals instead of clean their cages... :)  Lucky break!

This is a peccary.  They have 3 at Proyecto Asis-- 2 wild ones who are muy peligroso (very dangerous) and destroy everything: lions, trees, snakes, alligators, birds, even other peccaries who aren't in their family.  They travel in families of 45 and if you find a herd deep in the jungle, they will kill you.  They can run way faster than humans, so your best bet is to climb a tree.  But since you're deep in the jungle nobody will come for you, and you'll eventually have to get down, at which point the entire family will eat you as a feast.  They are very similar to wild boars.


They have this hump on their back with a spout to spray a VERY strong odor (which our guide touched, and made us smell...)
This is to mark their territory, much like a skunk.

This is a "Costa Rican Badger".  Very similar to a honey badger, but not the same.  He is in the ferrett family.  The guide kept telling us he cannot jump ("not yet, but soon!") but I SWEAR that this is so fast and full of energy, I am sure if he wanted to he could have jumped at us!
 Carlos was such a sweet guide.  He loves the animals and they love him.  
 The toucans bit me!  Scott let them bite his finger, so I wasn't about to walk away without the experience too!
 The baby spider monkeys are so soft and cuddly!  We are just glad we are up on our immunizations :)  More pics of these on facebook!
And, we actually let our child touch the boa constrictor.  Really?!?!  Scott kept encouraging Carlos to do it- they both say she will love the photos when she is older.  I hope so because that freaked me out!  (See Facebook for the pic with a boa around T's neck!)  Carlos held the head very tight as T was inspecting the snake.
 I love this photo soooo much!  Staring contest :)
 Oh the baby monkey!  I think this one was 3 months old.  So tiny, but they can sure bust open a banana fast!
 Ahh!  The monkey was very interested to see down Scott's shirt! Lol!  They were so funny and much like humans!
 Going into the macaw's cage was really neat.  They just bite into the watermelon and leave a beak-shaped bite out of it.  Too funny!
 And maybe my favorite photo of the day:
We got a 15 minute break after 2.5 hours and they gave us some juice to tide us over.  We ended up getting some rice and beans at a Soda down the street before our 1pm bus back to La Fortuna.

The day was quite expensive $28 for the tour and then some more to "volunteer."  To us, it was totally worth it.  Not only did we get to see new and different animals, but we got to hold them and feed them.  An experience of a lifetime for sure! Proyecto Asis offers Spanish lessons, home-stays and volunteer experiences for up to 2 weeks.  I think this would be a really neat way for a Spanish-loving animal guru to spend some of their summer vacation :)  Be prepared and come with long pants and/or mosquito repellant.  
Proyecto Asis is true jungle!!   


Cecile Laurence said...

Stefanie, this is so amazing! Thanks for letting us wannabes live vicariously through you and your awesome blog!


Chelsea said...

I LOVE EVERYTHING! Maybe you guys should get a pet monkey. In that picture where Scott is holding Tatum and you are holding a monkey, it looks like such a happy family!

Kimberly Moore said...

You KNOW I would read two-a-day posts! Go for it UNLESS blogging starts to take away valuable time exploring or experiencing something new! And I like the extra details in case we happen to make our way down there someday! :) great shots- looks like a fabulous day! And that hair pulling shot is priceless!!

Josh Scott said...

Love it guys! Now that you've done Baldi and Tabacon, all thats left are the Tico hotsprings behind the back wall of Tabacon. Once you pass Tabocon, you'll come to a bridge in the road. Go on a trail you'll see to the right of the bridge and follow it underneath. Not as fancy as Baldi or Tabacon, but these are free and where all the Tico families go. haha. Great blog! Keep it up!