All founding members of Merazonia have a background in volunteering and worked as volunteers at several wildlife centres throughout the continent, before joining forces and embarking on a new adventure: creating their own wildlife rescue centre, with a focus on rehabilitation.

A small jungle path
The first work started in the fall of 2004, with every partner investing his own money in the project. This was enough to buy 100 hectares (250 acres) of rainforest and invest in building materials. There was no access to the land other than a small jungle path, and we commuted between the town of Mera and the land every day.

Volunteers joined us from day one in the heavy physical labor, carrying massive amounts of rocks and sand, and dragging beams through the forest. The only help we had was from our loyal workhorse Monty. Little by little the centre started to take shape.

Animal refuge
By the time the basic structures were up and all paperwork issues were sorted, it was early 2009. On a day in January, a small baby tamarin monkey called Lukas, was brought over the bridge and truly inaugurated Merazonia as an animal refuge. Little Lukas grew up to lead his own group of tamarins and lived a free life on the Merazonia premises.

Team effort
Since then, hundreds of animals, as well as volunteers, have crossed that same bridge. Slowly the centre expanded, so more animals could receive our professional care. With so many fury residents, volunteers nowadays mostly spend their time taking care of the animals. We continue to build towards a better centre every day: enclosures get improved, diets get adjusted and release projects are executed with more detail and innovative methods.

We are proud to have built this centre with our own hands, along with the many volunteers that joined us. Merazonia was truly built by volunteers for volunteers (and animals of course) and this remains a big part of what makes Merazonia special.