Kris and I had always wanted to visit “Raquel’s Ark” in Volcan. I first found Raquel’s posts on Gringos in David where she has often mentioned that people are welcome to visit and see the various animals. Raquel says “I have an organization called Raquel’s Ark that was set up to help injured or abused wildlife of Panama. I am located in the mountains of Panama near the Costa Rica border. I hope to expand to help as many animals that I can. Presently I have owls, tucans, ferrots, kinkajous, raccoon, coatimundi, neque and two-toed sloths. To support my project I have to find work.”
Raquel bought the land 10 years ago and little by little she added many areas designed to house the animals. The Ark is a work in progress that Raquel self-finances from her Oracle consulting outside of Panama. Volunteers take care of the animals while she is off making money for the next round of expenses.
We found the place without too much difficulty, parked the car, and within minutes after meeting Raquel we both were given a sloth (mother and child) to hold (actually, they hug you more than you hold them).
After putting them in a short tree we went in back to the caged area where most of the animals are kept.
Raquel took out many of the “safe” animals and answered our many important questions such as “does it bite?”.
It was great to Meet Raquel and have her give us the tour and answer our many questions. What she has done deserves recognition, the concept of the Ark started as a dream and now many animals benefit from what is now the reality. Kris and I will never forget getting to see these beautiful animals up close and even get to touch and hold them.
Her devotion to the welfare and happiness of the animals was obvious and touching. Our visit was really special, I encourage everyone to take the time to visit Volcan and Raquel’s Ark.
Make the trip, you might even get to have a sloth hug you!!!