On the 12th of December we celebrated Pilpintuwasi’s 10th anniversary of working in the protection and conservation of Amazonian fauna.
The rescue centre was open to all with free entrance and with a program jammed full of activities for the day. Almost all the members of Padre Cocha village, old friends and new, young and old, came participate in the celebrations.
Welcomed by local musicians playing cultural instruments, guests made their way to our newly refurbished education room to hear the founder Gudrun Sperrer’s presentation on the history and milestones of Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm and Animal Rescue Centre.
This was followed by a toast which was composed of ‘chifles’ (fried green banana crisps) and a delicious camu-camu cocktail mixed by one of our long time volunteers, Christopher Marlow, who put his previous experiences as bar man to good use!
Volunteers and workers chose their favourite enclosure to present, testing many volunteer’s Spanish, so visitors could come and go at their own pace listening to the animal’s stories including those from the sloths, pygmy marmosets, the butterfly house and hatchery, Pedro Bello the jaguar, Harry the ocelot and Chibolo the tapir.
We also had the grand opening of the animals rescued and brought to Pilpintuwasi by Animals Defenders International. Visitors were able to meet the spider monkeys, wooly monkeys, coatis and other animals which, like the majority of the inhabitants of Pilpintuwasi, products of illegal trafficking of exotic animals.
Meanwhile, in the education room, we ran some recycling activities inspired by GATIA, an NGO which uses household items such as plastic bottles, tin cans, plastic bags and more to make something useful and beautiful. Here we showed children how to use plastic bottles to make flowers which can be used to decorate their houses. The children had lots of different ideas and also gave some of their finished decorations to us for our new education room.
There was also a visit from a very talented violinist who awed the guests with her skill.
Two big pans full of thick hot chocolate infused with cinnamon and clove and pantone were served to all the guests as they watched a compilation of video clips of the animals and butterflies at Pilpintuwasi.
To round off the day we had the prize draw for the raffle. The main prize was a basket of goods and we also gave away two prints of Pilpintuwasi animals: one of the three-toed sloth and the other of a baby spider monkey.
Then the clearing up began and normality resumed. The workers and the volunteers returned to their normal tasks and afterwards everyone, including Gudrun, enjoyed an extra jug of cocktail which was forgotten about in the freezer and therefore the perfect icy end to a pleasurable but hot day.
I would like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers, workers and friends who helped make this day the success that it was.