Pilpintu(wasi) is a Quechua word meaning butterfly (home). The owner, Gudrun Sperrer, started in 1995 looking for host plants for butterflies. In 2002 she started officially as a butterfly farm to breed endangered butterflies as a buffer for disasters in the wild. Because of her love of nature and animals, the government and tourists started dropping off confiscated and rescued animals. The first animal she received was a Red Uakari followed by Pedro, the Jaguar. Pilpintuwasi has grown over the last 20 years and now serves as a official rescue and rehabilitation centre and orphanage for animals in need as well as a butterfly farm. Despite being an official rescue centre recognised by the government and supporting the wildlife police in their efforts against wildlife crime, Pilpintuwasi receives no funding and relies on the support of donations, sponsorship and volunteers.
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 they may speak. Pilpintuwasi delivers daily educational tours to thousands of visitors from Peru, South America and all over the world each year, which provide visitors with information on species biology and conservation, increasing their understanding of the threats to biodiversity and the anthropogenic influences acting in the region, raising people’s awareness of the issues and helping people to be ethical in the travel choices.
- Feeding the monkeys every morning
- Making monkey toys and designing enrichment activities for all the animals
- Walking the coatis and ocelot
- Digging for worms for our coatis
- Fishing in the lake (Harry, Pedro and the coatis love getting fish)
- 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.
There are many more activities, new things arise on a daily basis and we’re open to utilising the unique skills that a volunteer can bring to the centre.
It’s 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, but all the work you do contributes to their enrichment. If you want to work somewhere that you can ‘hug a sloth’ then this is not the right place for you, you will only have contact with some of our animals when it is in their best interest; the animals recovery and well being is our primary concern and handling them is not always necessary or advised. We require volunteers who have mature attitudes and can appreciate this, and explain it to enthusiastic visitors.
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. Monday is volunteers’ day off.
We ask volunteers to stay a minimum of 4 weeks, to allow time for the animals to become accustomed to you.
We do not supply housing, but 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) and we can help you arrange all this before you arrive.
We do not charge volunteers lots of money to volunteer with us, all we ask if that volunteers cover their own expenses, which will be less than $100 for everything (food, accommodation, transport, and treats) a week and that volunteers make a small $50 (plus payment fees) one off donation to the running of the sanctuary to help with the operational costs as we receive no funding. This is done via Paypal or Transferwise to protect you and us!
How to Apply /Questions
Please send an email to the Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org, with the following application form. Pilpintuwasi- Volunteer application form
Once we receive this we’ll send you 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 🙂
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.