Imagine having your way of life threatened by external forces beyond your control. Imagine having no place to sleep, no food to eat and no medicine to cure your wounds. Imagine no one listening to your cry for help.

That's the reality for many of Costa Rica's precious wildlife that, without help from people who care about wildlife preservation, would ultimately face death and in worse cases extinction. With nobody to help and economic expansion threatening their homes and their lives, wildlife is being displaced in record numbers.

In early 2009, local conservationist and animal lover, Vanessa Lizano, decided to make a difference in the lives of these helpless animals. She opened the Costa Rican Wildlife Sanctuary right outside the Port of Limon on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica with no funding or any government assistance. Her passion and the help of hundreds of volunteers fueled the growth of the Sanctuary and over the years countless animals were rescued, rehabilitated and released back into their natural habitat.

However, with all good things in life it did come to an end. In 2013, the government of Costa Rica chose to ignore their wildlife preservation responsibilities and instead allowed a new shipping terminal to be built where the Sanctuary was located.Earlier in that same year her best friend and fellow conservationist, Jairo Mora, was killed by turtle-poachers on the beaches of Moin in close proximity to the farm. The combination of these two events forced Vanessa to leave Limon and find a safe location more suitable for long-term growth.

That's where the Rescue Center comes in. Located in beautiful Tilaran, Costa Rica the Rescue Center borders Lake Arenal and is surrounded by three of the country’s largest volcanoes. It is the perfect destination for volunteers and interns from around the world who feel that their hard work and effort can make a difference in the lives of these precious animals.

Vanessa's mission of rescue, rehabilitation and release is once again a reality. The name and location are new but her passion is still the same. With the help of volunteers and interns the Rescue Center in Costa Rica will become a safe haven for many of the country’s indigenous wildlife.