Volunteering in the Sanctuary
The sanctuary is located in the Priorat region, about 40 km from Tarragona. You’ll receive the exact address when the date for your visit is established.
You can get to the sanctuary by car or by train. If you travel by train, we’ll collect you from the nearest station.
Yes. If we have to collect you from the train station, we have to organize the day’s work. Besides, an experienced volunteer will help you with the rules and the way we work at the sanctuary, and that requires planning. Either way, if you arrive on your own, we have to organize to welcome you and give you all the information you need.
We ask that before signing up, you make sure you’ll be able to stay. We currently have very few resident volunteers and we have a lot of work to do. If you sign up for a certain date, it means that other volunteers will have to sign up on other dates, to be able to distribute the work, so we always have someone helping out. If you cancel at the last minute, it’s very unlikely that we’ll find new volunteers to cover for you, and that could be detrimental for the animals. If you’re coming for one day, you can cancel the reservation through the link that is in the confirmation e-mail you received when you signed up.
To come as volunteers, everyone must follow the same procedure: register as volunteers and have a phone/Skype interview. You can’t bring kids along because they can’t be looked after appropriately.
We are currently not holding visits because of the amount of work we have. If you want to be informed of when we start having visitors, let us know and we’ll happily keep you informed. Please write to [email protected]
It’s not possible to bring non-human animals to the sanctuary, because all the animals that live here have different habits and it can be very stressful for them to meet new animals. Every time we perform a new rescue, we have to follow an adaptation protocol, and you can understand that if we were to follow the same protocol every time a new volunteer comes to work here, it would be very stressful for everyone.
The sanctuary has wi-fi but the connection is not very good, so we must save it for the administration of El Hogar. We have 3G coverage but not in all the areas of the house.
All the food in the sanctuary is exclusively vegan. It’s cooked by the volunteer in charge. Every day that task is assigned to a volunteer.
You’ll need to bring sheets, towels, and everything you usually use when you travel (pajamas, shampoo, gel, toothbrush…). You should take into account that the work you’ll be doing will get your clothes dirty, so you should bring clothes that you don’t mind staining. It’s also advisable to bring two pairs of shoes, in case one gets wet. Since you’ll be at the sanctuary for several days, you should always bring warm clothes, even if it’s not winter, because sometimes it’s very cold during the night. You don’t need to bring too many clothes, since the sanctuary has a washing machine for its human inhabitants that is used practically everyday. Remember to bring a cap, sunscreen and a bathing suit if it’s summer (you can enjoy the small pool on your days off), and a warm knit cap if it’s winter. Try to bring comfortable clothes that are fit to walk around in the mud.
If you’re spending several days in the sanctuary, try to bring clothes for various weather. Better safe than sorry 😉 during the summer, it’s very warm during the day, but may be quite cold at night.
How? Volunteers are asked to contribute 7 Euros per day to help with the expenses for the maintenance of the house, and for food. We would prefer not to ask for this, because we know that you are helping us immensely with your work, but we have very few resources and we need to cover your expenses. We hope you can understand. This 7 Euros per day contribution is paid in advance when volunteers arrive at the sanctuary and it’s considered a donation, and is therefore not refundable under any circumstance if you decide to leave early.
When you arrive at the sanctuary another volunteer will explain the basic rules. It’s important that you follow them because since many animals live together here, certain routines are necessary for the sanctuary to work well. Some of the most important rules are: always leave the doors like you found them and try not to raise your voice, which would cause the inhabitants unnecessary stress.
You’ll share a room with other volunteers, so we must be patient about all that this entails: sharing a space, snoring, etc. Other non-human animals live in the house as well (cats that will probably want to sleep with you, dogs, roosters that crow during the night, etc.)
It’s very important that you tell us about your allergies before you arrive at the sanctuary, so we can find the best way for you to enjoy your stay.
El Hogar Animal Sanctuary has room for everyone. Tell us about yourself and together we’ll find a way for you to contribute, if that’s what you want 🙂
You have to keep in mind that many animals live together at El Hogar Animal Sanctuary, and that we’re in the middle of the countryside so you’re very likely to encounter insects. We can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to avoid the animal you’re afraid of, but tell us about your fear and we’ll talk about it beforehand.
Of course you can! we want you to show the world how wonderful El Hogar’s inhabitants are, but try to make us look cute, ok? 😉
Spring/summer (European summer time): 8.45-14; 17-22 (then we have to cook dinner)
Autumn/winter (European solar time): 7.30-13.00; 15.00-19.00 (then we have to cook dinner)
Hours are approximate and they depend on emergencies or situations that may arise.
The time limit to arrive at the sanctuary (as a resident) is 18.30 in Autumn/winter (European solar time) and 19 during the Spring/summer (European summer time), because of the animals’ routine. If you arrive later than that, the dogs would not adapt to you as a new volunteer and may bark all night, for example.
The arrival hours at the sanctuary (for residents) are: Spring/summer (European summer time): 9.30-13.30; 17-19 ; Autumn/winter (European solar time): 9.00-13.00; 15-18.30 If you’re not a resident, and are just staying for a day and it’s your first time, it’s better if you arrive in the morning, between 9.30 and 11.30, so you have more time to learn, and we have more time to teach you 🙂
No animal products are allowed, all food must be vegan. Other objects product of animal exploitation such as pelts, silk, wool, etc, are not allowed either.
You can’t smoke or do drugs in the sanctuary, and we also avoid yelling and pointlessly stressing the animals.
Try to bring everything you need, but keep in mind that you’ll be sharing the room with other volunteers.
The sanctuary needs many things, so of course it would be great if you could help out. Ask us and we’ll let you know what we’re needing most at the time of your arrival, and please give the food to the person responsible so she can take care of it.
Work at the sanctuary is very hard, and not all tasks are directly related to animals, although they’re very important for them and for the residents. For example, it may be necessary to clean common spaces and perform less pleasant tasks such as picking up feces, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. We want you to take that into account to avoid disappointment, because it’s wonderful to be close to the inhabitants but you should know that come night-time you’ll be exhausted.
You can enjoy a few days in a completely vegan environment, work alongside other advocates for animal rights, and learn about the stories and personalities of all our inhabitants, such as Angelines, Gota, Feliz, Terra, Boira…
Online volunteer, events, awareness promoter, mobilization
Yes, you do. The national law for volunteers requires that we ask this information to any volunteer of any type. We assure you that your information will be treated as confidential, as required by law, and will not be shared with other organizations.
Please send the signed agreement through the Volunteer Form, as required. If you’ll also come to the sanctuary as an on-site volunteer, you need to bring a printed copy of the agreement as well. Remember to fill in all the boxes and sign every page. Signs must include your full name and be legible. These are all legal requirements.
Write to us and we’ll remove you from the volunteer list. We’ll erase all your information, except the information that the law requires we keep (name, last name, address and ID number), along with the dates of registering and removal. Under no circumstance will we use the information to bother you 🙂