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“I believe we are a species with amnesia, I think we have forgotten our roots and our origins. I think we are quite lost in many ways. And we live in a society that invests huge amounts of money and vast quantities of energy in ensuring that we all stay lost. A society that invests in creating unconsciousness, which invests in keeping people asleep so that we are just passive consumers or products and not really asking any of the questions.”

 

- Graham Hancock

FUNDACIÓN MAIKUCHIGA

Fundación Maikuchiga is a sanctuary and rehabilitation center run by the Mocagua indigenous people located in the heart of the Colombian Amazon jungle.

 

Founded 11 years ago by biologist Sara Bennett, the sanctuary provides a safe place for monkeys and injured, orphaned or threatened wildlife. 

 

Their efforts go beyond wildlife care as they are also improving the local natural flora and fauna by creating a place for these animals to recover and play their symbiotic role in the ecology of the Amazon.

WILLKA HAMPI

“Empowering conscious leaders to initiate inter-connected communities and projects, rooted in ancestral and sacred plant wisdom.​”


Willka Hampi is a life changing non-profit organization and community committed to re-discovering life’s sacred sciences through shamanism. They offer several courses, immersive plant medicine ceremonies, and two transformative volunteer programs. Additionally, they are supporting the local Peruvians by offering free community education.

WILDLIFE FRIENDS FOUNDATION

Wildlife Friends Foundation (WWFT) is a verified ethical organization. Their Elephant Refuge and Education center was Asia’s first completely chain-free elephant sanctuary. Most of the rescued elephants at WFFT have experienced decades of abuse. The vast majority were exploited in trekking camps and/or for logging. The forested land around the rescue center allows the rescued elephants to roam around in near-natural surroundings.

 

Their Wildlife Rescue Centre has given shelter to thousands of wild animals. Many of these animals are rehabilitated and released back into the wild. Those that cannot be released are provided with shelter for the rest of their lives. These two sanctuaries offer an incredible and humane volunteering opportunity for animal lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.

EXUMA HUMANE SOCIETY

This animal clinic and humane society heavily rely on the support of donations as resources for locals are limited on this tiny island. The team is dedicated to the care of pets and stray animals by providing quality health care, surgeries, grooming, foster care, and adoptions.

 

Donations can be made by PayPal to Exuma Animal Clinic (@issahhanson​), or if visiting the island, check out our Exuma Instagram story for instructions on how to donate. You may even get a chance to play with the dogs as a volunteer takes them for a beach walk!

PROTECCIÓN ANIMAL ECUADOR

Protección Animal Ecuador is a non-profit foundation working towards the defense and protection of defenseless animals who have been abandoned and mistreated. They offer volunteer opportunities and community awareness initiatives to promote better treatment of the animals.

KOHKOH PUPS

We had the pleasure of volunteering at @kohkohpups, a nonprofit animal rescue, founded by the lovely Lara, on the island of Koh Tao.

She has dedicated herself to the mission of helping abandon, at risk, and ill dogs (and cats) on Koh Tao, giving them the care they need, and finding them foster homes and permanent owners. It was a joy for us to spend time and help out with the dogs, and inspiring to see someone fully putting in their heart, soul, energy, and own finances to give these sweet animals the compassion & care they deserve.

A big part, if not the biggest, of our intention with 4Aluna is to connect with people like Lara everywhere we travel. People that are making a positive impact.

Check out @kohkohpups and donate or if you ever make it to Koh Tao we highly recommend volunteering and make your vacation more purposeful.

AVIARIO NACIONAL

Colombia is the country with the most bird species in the world!

 

Aviario Nacional is a conservation organization that promotes knowledge about Colombian biodiversity, its sustainable use, and its responsible management through animal welfare practices. They allow visitors to walk the grounds of their sanctuary to get an up close view of the rich wildlife (some free roaming and others in protected areas) and offer educational experiences.

LA SIERRA ARTIST RESIDENCY FOUNDATION

La Sierra Artist Residency Foundation believes in the power of art to improve and transform lives through environmental education, community empowerment, and revitalization of arts and ancestral knowledge.

 

By purchasing an Eco-Book, you support the donation of books to kids from rural schools in Sierra Nevada, Colombia.

CALANOA AMAZONAS

For more than 30 years Calanoa has contributed to the conservation of the biological and cultural diversity of the Colombian Amazon and the indigenous territories.

They do this through their environmental education projects, sustainable economic practices, and the conservation and recovery of ancestral knowledge and cultural practices. They seek to deepen and record the use of medicinal plants and hold the belief that if we understand the medicinal plants,

they are easier to preserve.

CALVARY HOSPICE

One of the best end-of-life care programs, Calvary Hospice is run by a team of dedicated professionals and wonderful volunteers who provide invaluable support and care to dying individuals and their families.

 

Our own time as volunteers at Calvary has been a rewarding and spiritual experience, full of lessons, insights, incredible conversations, and special bonds. We fully believe in the importance of developing a relationship with death and creating the space to have open conversation about it. Challenging at times of course, it is also deeply moving and healing to spend quality time and learn from with those who are passing.

 

Volunteering here is truly life changing and soul expanding!

 

Big shout out to Stefan, the amazing volunteer coordinator and music therapist, who has inspired us as someone living their life's purpose and channeling their gifts and energy in an incredible way.

CRADLE OF LOVE BABY HOME

Cradle of Love baby home is an amazing 100% nonprofit for orphaned, abandoned, or for vulnerable babies who need temporary care before they can be reunited with their family.

 

The vast majority of the children here have lost their mothers during or shortly after childbirth and their families do not have the resources needed to care for an infant. By 3 years old if the children are unable to return home or are not adopted, they move on to another orphanage if they are well enough and can eat solid food.

 

This organization is doing incredible work which we have witnessed as volunteers and it runs entirely on donations which go towards everything from baby formula/food to the electricity and staff salaries. 

SAKSHAM

Saksham! Where to begin?! Saksham which translates to “capable”, is a center for child education and women empowerment dreamt of and run by Nitin and Deepti Sharma-two of the most gracious and inspiring people we’ve ever met. They have dedicated their lives to provide 100% free education to underprivileged children and women, promote gender quality, teach how to care for the environment and live more sustainably. They are actively working to fight illiteracy, malnutrition, poverty, and teach classes about health & hygiene. They have taught many women how to read, write, learn skills such as industrial sewing, and basic accounting so they can make an income and become self sufficient. They also sell sustainable clothing pieces made by the women in their program and these earning are reinvested back into the project. We were privileged to stay in their Airbnb homestay, and volunteer with some of the children and visit the new school house they have just opened.

So far 500+ children and 250 women have received free the education.
Nitin first began teaching children under a tree in his neighborhood not far from where he grew up, then moving to a 1 room little schoolhouse, and now their new building which will provide more adequate space for the growing number of children and women who are being taught at Saksham.

It has been a long effort in the making which they have put all their resources into along with the help of one special angel in Australia who helped raise funds to manifest this vision into reality.

If that wasn’t enough already, Saksham has a plans to expand their project to open a farm and volunteer center in the outskirts of Jaipur to care for street cows and dogs who are consuming massive & fatal amount of plastics and toxins from the garbage where they scrounge for food. A safe place where they can be cared for and live amongst nature.

There are a few ways to get involved with Saksham and support their mission-stay in there Airbnb (highly recommend), volunteer at the school or in future at the animal sanctuary, purchase one of their sustainable handmade products, or donate directly to their GoFundMe.

For reference, a new beautiful & clean bathroom in the schoolhouse cost about to build $120. Donations go a long way, and make an enormous difference!

PACS

PACS (Phangan Animal Care For Strays Foundation) the only free animal hospital for dogs & cats on Koh Phangan which runs 100% on donations & volunteer help. PACS provides life saving treatment to ill and injured animals on the island and well as preventative medical care, vaccination & sterilization. Every animal here is precious and worthy of love & care.

SAMUIE ELEPHANT HAVEN

“We are motivated by a desire to free elephants from a hard life working in antiquated forms of elephant tourism and provide a caring home where the elephants can recover from the trauma of their past, and live in nature with peace and dignity.”
Maew Suriya
Founder of @samuielephanthaven

Samui Elephant Haven- an ethical sanctuary for rescued elephants. This place is a refuge for elephants who have been abused, neglected and used for cruel tourism purposes. You will not find elephant riding of any kind (including the mahouts), swimming, bathing with visitors, or unnecessary posing and touching of the elephants for Instagram photo ops. Here the elephants are given a life as close as they could have had had they been born, or raised in their natural environment. What makes this place especially exceptional is the story of founder Maew Suriya. Maew is 5th generation in the elephant business. His father who learned from his father ran circuses, and wanted Maew to follow in the family trade, but as a true animal lover at heart, he knew from a young age that he wanted to rescue elephants and save them from the tourist industry.

Maew had the fortune of meeting Lek Chailert from Elephant Nature Park-the first ethical sanctuary in Thailand. He was able to see how a center can be run that protects and cares for the elephants wellbeing. Despite warnings & criticism from others that he wouldn’t make any money this way, he had a vision for a rehabilitation center and a much needed haven for elephants. He has accomplished to do this for several years now through immense dedication & resourcefulness. Of course running an elephant sanctuary properly, and giving the occupants an excellent quality of life is a huge financial undertaking, and unfortunately Samui Elephant Sanctuary is in jeopardy of losing their leased land if they can not raise enough funds each month to make rent. There is no government help for nonprofit animal sanctuaries and they struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic, but Maew & the team are so committed to keep going, whatever it takes.

The ultimate goal would be to purchase the land to give the elephants a forever home and continue rescuing more from slavery and suffering. Please DONATE to this worthy cause. If possible come for the experience of a lifetime as volunteer or visitor, or on the website buy an elephant cake (see photos) and receive a personalized video from the elephants.

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