I decided to spend some time abroad after finishing school and came across ARCAS online, but I could have never anticipated how much it would have affected my life. I spent three months living in the Peten Rescue Centre in 2012 and I can truly say that it was an experience of a lifetime that influenced my future career path. I was only meant to stay for 6 weeks but extended my stay after only a few days and if possible would have stayed much longer. I didn’t have much experience working with animals but soon found that this was what I wanted to do with my life. Be prepared to work hard and long hours, get dirty and be woken up by howler monkeys at 5.30 in the morning. But it really is worth it since it is such a rewarding experience. Being from a country where it is pretty much impossible to work this close with these amazing creatures without any training I was amazed by how much knowledge and hand on experience you can collect from helping these animals in need, especially when staying in the sanctuary for several months. The staff all are amazing at what they are doing and are welcoming towards everyone. I bonded quickly with the fellow volunteers and am still in contact with many of them even years later. I returned to the rescue centre the next summer for another two months where I also carried out some research for university and I cannot wait to finish my degree in Primate Conservation and return to ARCAS.