Project Description

Pilpintuwasi is a wildlife rescue and temporary custody center located on 20 hectares of land in the village of Padre Cocha, 20 minutes outside of Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting animals affected by the poaching and trafficking industry which thrives in Iquitos.

We work with the ecological police to take in animals confiscated from markets, airports and homes, which often arrive with injuries and malnourishment.

SAM_2035-300x225We believe in a semi-captive environment; once recovered many of our animals live free of cages or in enclosures mimicking their natural environment.

We have many species living with us- various monkey species, coatis, capybara, ocelot, jaguar and more. We also have a butterfly house on the property where we breed and display many species of butterflies.

We are a small organization with 5 full time employees. We need all the volunteer help we can get, and accept up to 5 volunteers at a time.

Volunteer Information

Volunteers help with a variety of activities depending on their interests.

Volunteers help with guiding tours of the facility, in English and any other languages you may speak.

There are many varied tasks to do for the animals everyday- feeding the monkeys every morning, making monkey toys and designing enrichment activities for the animals, walking the coatis and ocelot, just to name a few. Volunteers may also help with the butterflies- collecting eggs and maintaining the plants in our mariposario. You may end up gardening or helping to maintain enclosures.

It is important that you be willing to help out with all types of work and not be afraid of getting wet or dirty. You will not always be working in direct contact with the animals- also with tourists, and many of our animals are better off with limited human contact.

Normally volunteers work 6 days a week, from 8:30am to around 4pm, though this can be changed depending on the volunteers schedule and other commitments.

We ask volunteers to stay a minimum of 4 weeks, to give time for the animals to accustom to you.

The project is unable to pay a salary, or provide free accommodation or food. Volunteers have a few low cost options for bed and board in Padre Cocha by staying with a local family or in a hostel, depending on preferences. Costs range from 20-30 soles daily for these options ($6-10 USD). We can help you arrange all this before you arrive.

How to Apply

Please send an email to Jenna the volunteer coordinator at pilpintuwasi_volunteer@hotmail.com, with the following application form.   Pilpintuwasi- Volunteer application form 

Once we recieve this application form we will send you a response which will include all the information you need about our volunteer programme to help you decide if you wish to come and work with us. We aim to respond to you within a few days 🙂


Helping out with feeding chores.Please consider including the Amazon Animal Orphanage and Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm in your gift-giving throughout the year by donating in behalf of friends and family.

Caring for wild animals is extremely expensive — example: I’ve been caring for a colony of domestic feral cats for the past few years at the cost of about $2,000 per year. If domestics cost that much, imagine what Gudrun and the volunteers are up against! No government funding is granted for their efforts.

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