Volunteer Vacation

Ah, cats! Don’t you just love them! Their little fluffy paws, whisker kisses, even when they are being obnoxious they’re adorable!

If you’re a true cat lover it’s time to make a selfless act of kindness and uplift the spirits of kitty’s without homes by making your next getaway a volunteer vacation at P.A.W. animal sanctuary on the beautiful Island of Caye Caulker, Belize.

When you’re not helping our furry residents you can enjoy excellent diving, snorkeling, alligator and manatee watching, plenty of sunshine, white sand, tranquility and relax in paradise on our beach front property knowing you are making the world a better place.

We have a number of different Volunteer Vacations and ways you can help.

CAT CARE VOLUNTEER – Cat care volunteers are responsible for feeding animals and cleaning their catteries.

  • Daily tasks include feeding the cats, cleaning their food and water bowls, scooping and replacing litter, brushing the cats, and helping to supervise the cats during their “free time” outside of the cattery. Cleaning of the catteries which takes about 2 ½ hours and the last ½ hour is for feeding and washing dishes.
  • The four dogs that live onsite also need some care, including walks, baths, and administering medication if needed. In addition, you’re asked to spend time with the cats as you get started with your project in order to help them feel a bit more comfortable around you, and vice versa.
  • Each person will work a different shift either from 6 to 9 and one hour again from 4 to 5 or from 9 to 12 and again from 4 to 5. You will get one day off each week.
  • If there are multiple volunteers onsite, then you’re welcome to rotate tasks, with one person cleaning the catteries and one person bringing the cats in and out for exercise every other day.
  • There is a lot of cleaning to do here but if you follow the steps and do the work as described, keeping the place maintained is easy. We don’t want to be shut down by the health department or worse have the animals confiscated and killed! So cleaning is of utmost importance.

CAT VOLUNTEER MANAGER – For this position we need people with a managerial background.

  • Responsible for cleaning & taking care of cats in one cattery.
  • The cat volunteer manager is responsible for learning the cat routine well in all 4 catteries so that he/she can supervise other volunteers to make sure the duties are being done correctly,
  • Will be responsible to liason with the hostel/sanctuary manager to inform on how volunteers are doing.
  • Manager will cover for other volunteers when they are on their day off.

POSITIVES OF THIS VOLUNTEER VACATION:

  • Providing care for loving animals that would otherwise be dead, stroking their little heads as they beg for some cuddles is priceless and satisfying!
  • It’s an experience that you gain that can be used on your resume.
  • Learning about animal welfare.
  • The island of Caye Caulker, Belize is quite small, so you can spend your free time in the early afternoons and evenings on the beach, exploring the town, and checking out local restaurants, vendors, and events.

NEGATIVES OF THIS VOLUNTEER VACATION:

  • The work will be repetitive.
  • The work can be stinky if you’re working with the animals scooping litter, if they get sick and have diarrhea and vomiting. This can be sad if a kitty is sick or dies.
  • You may be sad seeing some cats in cages that are there for legitimate reasons for example illnesses and quarantine from the other kittys.
  • We are located in the tropics therefore it gets very hot during the day. This is why we start early.
  • There can be sand flies and mosquito’s while you work.

ABOUT THE HOSTEL

PAUSE is a non-traditional beach front hostel that exists solely to fund our cat sanctuary as all proceeds of the hostel goes toward caring for the animals & conducting large & small scale spay and neuter clinics throughout Belize & Mexico, many in remote areas where there is no access to vet care to control animal population in a humane way and thus, control the suffering of so many unwanted animals.

  • Since 2003 we have been conducting spay & neuter campaigns & have prevented the births of 30,000.00 animals.
  • We are a non-smoking hostel looking for non-smoking volunteers; smoking is only allowed outside the property.
  • We have also rehomed hundreds of animals to the US & Canada.
  • WE DO NOT TOLERATE ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE!

ABOUT THE OWNER & FOUNDER

The owner Madi who is a native of the island and who has dedicated 15 years of her life to building the only non profit cat sanctuary in Belize, which rescues abused, abandoned and unwanted cats, most that have been thrown in the sea in plastic bags & left there to die and gives them a second chance at a happy, healthy life is on her first leave of absence in 15 years to recharge and come back to her beloved felines with fresh energy. Read more here.

ABOUT THE SANCTUARY & THE ANIMALS

Most of the animals were rescued from being thrown in plastic bags and left there to drown. Many of these rescued cats have been rehomed as kittens but unfortunately as is the reality in many countries, some became older and never found homes so they continue living their lives here at the sanctuary which has now become a Hospice cat sanctuary as the kitties age and have become ill and are living the last days of their lives here at our haven for kitties.

Our cats all sleep in very large catteries/catios & a couple in smaller cages at night because of illnesses & several other reasons too long to discuss here however, they go out for routine walks cattery by cattery at scheduled times throughout the day.

We are not looking for people to come and criticize the work done at our sanctuary and if you have issues with caged animals or unrealistic ideas about older animals getting adopted then this may not be the place for you. We are welcome to ideas and suggestions as long as they are realistic.

WHO SHOULD APPLY FOR THIS POSITION:

  • We are looking for people that are exceptional cleaners.
  • We need people with integrity, that we can give a routine & time schedule and know that it will be followed through & that corners will not be cut when we are not looking!
  • We need people who will behave as responsible adults!
  • Early risers that don’t have a problem starting work at 6 a.m.
  • People who are looking for a quiet laid back lifestyle, love nature, like to meditate will do better here, party seekers looking for action and constantly needing to be around crowds will not be happy here
  • People who are good, mean well and don’t mind setting a good example to other volunteers & customers & who are friendly & welcoming to our customers as the income they bring in allows us to be able to host volunteers.

If you know you are unfortunately not this type of person, please do not apply and waste our time. We are a very busy team and don’t have time to baby sit anyone. This position will have 2 days of probation.

Training takes time and resources & to house volunteers is expensive on the island, we would love to have you stay for the whole time that you commit because for every person we give a position we have to refuse many other good persons who may have honestly wanted to be here but we had to refuse to give you a position, which means that when you leave early & we try to get back to other perspective volunteers, most of the time they have committed to other positions.

If you feel you want to apply for is position, we will send you a job description of the cat routine in more detail.

 WHAT DO WE OFFER IN RETURN?

 We offer a free bunk bed in our volunteer dorm with free wifi, drinking water, fresh coconuts from the tree, use of our communal kitchen, and our kayaks, in exchange for 4 hours per day, 6 days a week.

THINGS TO DO AT OUR HOSTEL:

  • We have our own private double deck dock, which is great for lounging, reading a book, or getting a tan.
  • We have an endless amount of coconuts in our trees that you’re welcome to.
  • We get to watch spectacular sunsets every night.
  • Outstanding diving and snorkeling. A must do during your time here. With various companies offering very similar trips, it’s easy to walk around to see has the best price and itinerary for you. The most popular trip is the Blue Hole Dive, a once in a lifetime dive to see some of the most spectacular sea life Belize has to offer.
  • Water sports, such as kayaking, wind surfing, stand up paddleboarding, jet ski rentals, sailing and more. Free kayaks available on site!
  • Running trail just around the corner from the property, for those that like to be active.
  • Grab a drink and a tan, and relax at the most popular spot on the island, The Split. Less than a 10 minute walk away from the property!
  • Take an overnight or day trip to San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye. Water taxis come and go almost every hour of every day! A little more touristy than Caye Caulker, there’s many good restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, and of course ample opportunity to explore the sea.

To receive an Information Pack, please contact us explaining which type of work you are interested, any experience you have, and why you want to help.