My ARA Journey (Pt1)

My name is Jesus Alberto Mendoza Lopez but people call me Chucho. I’ve lived my whole life in Corozalito which is just 6 kilometers from the Ara Project.

Before I came to Ara Project I was working at CREMA which is a research and conservation project working in Corozalito beach. I worked for about 4 years at CREMA with sea turtles in Corozalito but the project also works with other endangered marine animals in Costa Rica. Corozalito is one of the most important beaches in the area. This is because this beach has a massive arrival of turtles three times every season, we call this event “arribada”.

I started to work at the ARA Project as a volunteer 4 years ago for just a few months each year, then this year in 2018 I was employed as the site manager. I like to work at ARA Project to help to repopulate the area with these beautiful birds and also because I love animals. Working here I feel I am doing a great thing by helping them. I know some people still don’t understand what we are doing, but little by little I can try to make them more conscientious about the importance the Macaws have in the environment.

On January 30th I got here when we released 13 new Macaws into the wild. It was a good start and since then I’ve been in training to learn everything about this job and the responsibilities that I’ll have as the manager.

The first week of training I learned about the Macaw’s diets. They receive over 14 different types of food in different quantities throughout the week. Here we work with two species of birds, the Great Green Macaw and the Scarlet Macaw. These birds receive different portions of food, so I had to learn how much they need.  Also, I learned about enrichment, which is providing different food item, plants, social interaction with other birds, toys and different things to chew.

In my second week, I have been learning how to do the tour, about the Macaw behavior and habits. Also, I have been working on a project to remodel the volunteer’s house to make it more comfortable. I’ve been making a plan on how to do it and looked for some people to help me with this project. After these two weeks of working at Ara Project, I’m starting to understand what my job entails and what I have to do.

I am very happy to help the Macaws and be part of this great project. I hope one day all the effort we are doing working with conservation and helping animals, makes this world a better place for everyone. I will do my best to do things correctly and help everyone here if I have the possibility to do it.



About the Author
Staff and volunteers at The Ara Project come from all over the world and all walks of life! Some of us have years of experience working with parrots and in conservation and for some of us, this work is brand new! But we all have one thing in common which is that we're dedicated to helping these beautiful birds roam free once again in Costa Rica.