The big changeover – human edition

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volunteering abroad

The big change


When our life is run by a volunteer scheme, things change regularly. People come and people leave again. Its the nature of volunteering abroad. This week everything changed.

When we started this project we didn’t know about “Work away” and volunteering abroad. We didn’t know how important it would be to the growth and running of this place. If it wasn’t for the 100+ volunteers we would still be building the first building and having only a handful of horses and animals. However things for the best evolved and we grew enormously very quickly. We started with only 1 volunteer. Then 3 volunteers at a time (all of these who have come back for multiple volunteering visits). As we grew, the amount of volunteers grew too. 2 years ago we were all working together doing everything. The girls were feeding and cleaning the animals, but as we didn’t have many this didn’t take much of our time. Then we got our building clothes on and left our mark on the buildings. I know more about cementing that I though I would in my life!

This was a lot of fun and we were just like a small family. Sitting around a candle and eating from a camping gas hob cross-legged in the dark. Carrying the “poo chair” around to find a secret spot to make a bathroom break. This was all before we had running water, electricity and a toilet! But we survived and had a lot of fun.

Over time things changed. We got a little more sophisticated when we installed the first “poo bubbler” natural waste cleaning and we had our first bathroom. Then came the solar panels. Then came more animals and subsequently more volunteers. Living In tents, caves, vans or anywhere we could find. ( things haven’t changed much on this point)


Fast forward to today we have 25 volunteers.

All with different roles. It may not be the funny family, all hands on deck style fun chaos we started with. But it still has 1 thing in common. Lots of lovely volunteers all living harmoniously together (mostly) for the good of the project. We evolved with the needs of this place to get it up and running with 1 goal in aim. Always. To grow for the good of the animal welfare on the island. We aim to get bigger and rescue as many animals as possible. To ensure this goal is met we are now organised chaos! Everyone has their own rule, all equally important. From animal care, building to filming for youtube videos, building social media and even cooking for the other volunteers.

team of live-in volunteers animal sheltermoving a caravan


We even have some amazing volunteers who have now been with us nearly 2 years.

Some who come back for the winter months and most that stay over 6 months. But eventually things have to end. This is exactly what happened this week when we sadly had to say goodbye to 3 couples and 2 more girls this week.

1 of the couples is our winter regular along with his girlfriend who we sadly have to say goodbye to every year. But we hope to see again soon and the end of the summer season.

Another couple came to us 6 months ago as a “stand in” between travels, but they fit in so well that stayed so long until eventually we had to say a sad goodbye.

The last couple met here, 1 having been here for 9 months and the other 6 months. Finally it came the time for them to move on and start their life together.

This week coming we will say more sad goodbyes to a 9 month horse girl ( who's insurance has run out) and our computer expert who was coming for “1 month” which was over 3. Both of which we expect to say hello again to soon enough.


We wish them all the best on their travels and have enjoyed having them here as such an important part to this place. We could not have done it without every single one of them and thank you so much. See you all again 1 day!

But as sad as it is to say goodbye to so many people in 1 go we are all excited to say hello to all the new people, returning people that are coming to join the team with new ideas, fresh faces and put the mark into Tenerife Horse Rescue community.

For more information on volunteering check out the page

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