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Voluntourism Wildlife Program at the Amazon Shelter


The Amazon Shelter is part of the Center for Rehabilitation and Conservation of Wild Animals , CRCAS, based in Lima and the rainforest of Puerto Maldonado. It is operated by a group of professionals and volunteers devoted to promote the protection and welfare of wild animals, free or captive, and the conservation of their natural environment. In addition to the Shelter itself CRCAS is also involved in activities related to the use of natural resources and the sustainable development of our planet. The illegal trade of wildlife is third in the world after arms and drugs commerce, moving about 20 million dollars per year (60 % in fauna). In many places this “business” is also involved with drugs traffic and corruption, which makes it very difficut to erradicate. The illegal and uncontrolled massive extraction of flora and fauna has a strong impact in the loss of biodiversity in the amazonian rainforest . Animals are our “silent workers” that recycle, clean, pollinate, fertilize and keep the delicate balance of these ecosystems that are also essential for human life. Our best tool is without doubt the information and education that we can give people to make them aware about this terrible truth. That is why in Lima and in Puerto Maldonada CRCAS gives priority to environmental education workshops for all different levels in the population.

The Shelter is a non governmental organization founded in 2005 by Magali Salinas, an animal lover who decided to fight against the illegal wild animal trade. At the beginning activities were focused on helping the authorized governmental institutions in the rescue, rehabilitation and relocation of confiscated or abandoned wild animals. “Do not buy animals” is one of our main slogans, because no demand means no offering of animals.

You can assist this mission by volunteering at the Amazon Shelter.



Day 1: Puerto Maldonado/Amazon Shelter
You are pick-up from the Airport and transfered to the Amazon Shelter a little way out of town in theAmazon Shelter Tambopata rainforest. The first half of this 45-minute trip takes us across the relatively new developments in Puerto Maldonado and the second half is along almost the entire Tambopata Ecotourism Corridor. Transport will be by motorcar, the semi-open 3 wheel motorbike transports seen in most parts of Peru. Since they are open-sided, the journey gets to be quite fresh. On arrival you will receive and orientation at the Amazon Shelter. There will be an introductory tour through the Amazon Shelter, and volunteers will get to know the animals of the Center and its different working areas. You will then have lunch.

feeding mountain lion cubAfter lunch you learn about the work to be done for the coming week, including preparation of diets and feeding of the animals. The diet for the animals is prepared on a daily basis, and varies depending on the species. In some cases, specific doses of medicine will have to be added. We will learn about this process today, and depending on the day of the week there my also be a visit to the market to do some weekly shopping. After dinner there will be a talk on the Center`s work, its activities, rescue operations and awareness-raising campaigns at schools and institutes in Puerto Maldonado. Founder Magali Salinas will talk about the challenges of leading such an initiative.         (L,D)

Days 2 - 6: Amazon Shelter
Start your days working at the shelter, including preparing food and feeding the animals. The areas where Shelter dormanimals are kept are cleaned once a week with disinfectant, and this will also be part of the routine. Once areworking with kids at the shelter week, or more if necessary, the enclosure "furniture" - branches, leaves and other enrichment items are replaced. After dinner on several evenings there will be night walks along the paths through the forest looking for wildlife. As in the daytime, the animals are wary, but with luck some sightings will be made; and signs such as tracks, voices and other indications will be noted. As it is the tropics insects, many of which are quite beautiful, will be seen. A 30-minute walk very early one morning will be taken to the parakeet clay lick, where from a hide you will be able to observe a group of dusky-headed parakeets plunging from the cliff to eat clay.

Trails around the Amazon Shelter lead mainly through the Terra Firme rainforest, and along these trails there are infographics that will give you interesting facts on the forest and the animals living in it. Through these, your work with the wildlife, and Shelter staff you will get know and appreciate one of the most diverse rainforests on the planet.These trails need to be cleaned periodically because the forest rapidly seizes what it once owned. Infographics are to be maintained, the hide cleaned, signs painted and other needs met; any of these could be included in your week. On some cases infrastructure repairs may be in order or new buildings built.          (B,L,D)

Day 7: Amazon Shelter/Puerto Maldonado
Sadly your stay at the shelter ends today. After breakfast you will be transferred back to the airport for your onward journey, taking with you the knowledge that you have contributed both to the rescue and rehabilitation of Amazon wildlife, and spreading conservation values in the local area.          (B)



Please contact us for the cost for the 7 day/6 night program, which includes transfers from Puerto Maldonado airport, accommodation in bungalows with shared facilities, all meals and the extra activities noted in the above itinerary. To the program we can arrange/organize your flight to Lima and on to Puerto Maldanado, plus add additional days to explore either more of the Puerto Maldanado/Tambopata rainforest, or other parts of Peru such as Machu Picchu and the Amazon River.