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Animal Volunteer Work in PERU

What comes to mind when someone says Peru? For most people I would assume…



But there is so much more to Peru! I’m talking cool little surfing towns, cheese flavored ice cream, the best fish dish I’ve ever tasted, and of course a wealth of volunteering opportunities!


1. Amazon Animal Orphanage & Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm

Located near Iquitos, off deep in the Peruvian amazon is this wonderful rescue and rehabilitation center. They take in animals rescued from markets, homes and airports, and return them to their rightful home in the wild. The center houses a capybara, coatis, ocelot, jaguar, many different species of monkeys and a butterfly house. Volunteers can help out giving guided tours, designing and constructing animal enrichment toys, feeding the animals and walk ing the coatis or the ocelot. Volunteers may also work in the butterfly house caring for plants and collecting eggs or doing gardening and construction around the facility.

Volunteers typically work 6 days a week, from 8:30 am to 4pm and a minimum 3 week stay is required. There are no volunteering fees and lodging is available in town from 4 to 12 dollars a night.

*This program only accepts 4 volunteers at a time so you may want to apply early.

2. Esperanza Verde

This is a very new rescue program that is still undergoing construction. Most of the work will be mapping the area, setting up a water system, reforestation and cage construction. The living is quite primitive (no hot water or electricity). But you do have the chance to live in the middle of nowhere, bathe in a fresh waterfall, hike through beautiful jungle, and most importantly help build an excellent program from the ground up. Volunteers are asked to stay for at least 2 weeks and pay 75$ a week to cover food, lodging and the development of the center.

3. WWOOF Peru

A list of  approximately 20-30 hosts that need volunteers for farm work. Animals can be anything from llamas to horses to guinea pigs (be warned: guinea pigs here are for eating, not for petting). The volunteer work is free AND includes food and lodging;

Here’s a llama, there’s a llama….

Although the work and living conditions will vary from host to host. Some spanish is probably useful here, as not all hosts will speak English.

4. The Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre- Puerto Maldonado

Volunteers work along side veterinarians as well as the conservation team to care for the animals. Volunteers are responsible for cleaning and construction of enclosures, daily feeding and health checks of animals and guiding and teaching the visitors of the center. On days off volunteers can canoe the river, climb the rainforest viewing tower, or take day trips into the Tambopata National Reserve. An excellent learning experience, particularly for veterinary students who want to gain experience in tropical veterinary medicine. The program does include all food and lodging as well as airport transfers, but is still rather expensive at 70$ per day for 1-5 days, 60$ per day for 6-10 days or 35 dollars a day for 11+ days.

Have you volunteered in Peru? Comment and share!

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By (author): Lonely Planet, Carolyn McCarthy, Carolina A Miranda, Kevin Raub, Brendan Sainsbury, Luke Waterson

#1 best-selling guide to Peru*

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Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Carolyn McCarthy, Carolina A Miranda, Kevin Raub, Brendan Sainsbury, and Luke Waterson.

About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveler community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travelers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves in.

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List Price: $25.99 USD
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