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This project takes place in Tambopata, Peru. A remote jungle area on the banks of an Amazon tributary, nature will surround you in one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world! Don’t worry, 30 minutes away is the local town of Puerto Maldonado, where volunteers can enjoy their days off and explore the area. There is a tour called Lago Sandoval, which you ride on the amazon river and will no doubt spot a variety of wildlife unique to the area!
Any volunteer who signs up for the program won’t regret it. The animal sanctuary is one of the few in the Madre de Dios region that releases animals back into their natural habitat. As a volunteer, you will help rehabilitate animals that have suffered from destructive human activities, such as logging, mining, farming, road building, and illegal wildlife trafficking.
The Amazon Shelter was founded in 2005 by Magali Salinas, who still runs it today and is a dedicated wildlife rehabilitator. She single-handedly built the Amazon sanctuary from a single enclosure, caring for a handful of animals. Today, the shelter cares for over 80 animals at one time and releases dozens into the forest every year! As the shelter continues to grow, volunteers play a key role in daily activities and the goal of releasing the animals back into the wild.
Volunteer work will include:
Typical volunteer day:
*this volunteer schedule is subject to change
Volunteers can choose an area they prefer to work in – either primates (monkeys), terrestrial mammals (Tapir, deer, agouti), sloths, or birds (Macaws and parakeets). Once you select an area, you can help improve and enrich the enclosures.
Upon request, you can work with our full-time vet to learn about animal care and help administer medicine to animals.
You may also be asked to assist with any educational tours taking place.
Internet: No Wi-Fi is available onsite, but volunteers can buy a sim card with internet from town.
Laundry: Station for hand washing clothes is available on site or laundry services in Town (for an extra fee).
Accommodations: Volunteers will stay in double rooms in a comfortable wooden bungalow on site. Facilities include a shared bathroom with showers (cold water), toilets, and electricity. You’ll be sharing rooms, but only 4 per room. If you are traveling as a couple, please mention this during the application interview to discuss the potential of a private room.
Food: Three meals a day provided to all volunteers. The onsite chef provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Should you have any dietary requests such as vegan or gluten-free, just mention it in your application form, so they can make preparations.
Volunteers have afternoons and one day a week free to explore!
A lodge situated only a hundred meters away offers kayaking and boat tours to spot Macaws in the morning, as well as nighttime caiman watching.
The town of Puerto Maldonado is a 20-minute taxi away. It is an excellent base to visit Lake Sandoval – where they have giant river otters. Other tours include canopy walks, zip lining and monkey island (where they have released domesticated monkeys to live a ‘wild’ life.). The local team can assist with organizing extra activities. For example, a whole day tour that includes these activities costs around $50 per person.
Puerto Maldonado also has a jungle market and a central square with lots of pleasant restaurants and bars.