Help to rehabilitate injured and abandoned Howler monkeys, including orphaned babies, in South America. The objective is to one day be able to release them back into the wild to live a natural, happy life. The monkeys are often in a terrible condition when they get to the Centre. Many are malnourished and unable to fend for themselves after being separated from their mothers. You’ll assist in helping to rehabilitate the monkeys.
This conservation volunteering project abroad is ideal for those who are looking to gain experience with animals, and also for people who are skilled in various areas. Biologists, vets, administrators, technicians, web designers have all contributed in the past and have helped build this project over time.
The main activities that you’ll be involved with includes the following:
- Feeding the Monkeys: the monkeys that are in the process of being rehabilitated need constant care and attention, and a huge part of this involves ensuring the monkeys are receiving the nutrients they need on a regular basis. Your work will involve preparing the food for the monkeys, and feeding them at designated times throughout the day.
- Caring for the Orphaned Baby Monkeys: The unfortunate result of baby monkeys being taken from their mothers at a young age means that they are not nurtured and are unable to fend for themselves – so a big part of this project involves providing the baby monkeys with the care that they so desperately needed from their mother.
- Data Collection: A lot of the work at the Centre involves observing the species to monitor the success of the rehabilitation programme. For example, you may be required to study the interaction of the free social groups, and record this data. This data is vital in ensuring that the rehabilitation programme has been successful and that the monkeys released in groups (also known as ‘troops’) will eventually be self-sufficient.
- Monkey Capture: During your programme, you may have the opportunity to assist with the rescue and capture of new monkeys in the surrounding forest. Due to the unpredictable nature of new captures, it is uncertain how often this will take place – but if it does, it’s an extremely exciting element of the project!
- Cleaning and Maintenance: You’ll also assist with the cleaning and upkeep of the Centre as a whole, which may include cleaning the enclosures and the plates used to feed the monkeys.
- Construction: You may at times be asked to assist with general construction activities at the Centre, such as fixing enclosures or working on ways to improve the various facilities at the Centre.
- Working in the Tree Plantation for the Monkeys: Some work is required in the tree plantation at the Centre, for instance by planting new trees that will be used during the rehabilitation process (please note that this is available during the winter-season only).
- Care for Other Animals: As well as monkeys, there are also a number of domestic and other wild animals that you may be able to care for during your placement, including: dogs, cats, geese, horses, llama’s, donkeys, sheep, ducks, and chickens.
The Rehabilitation Centre that you’ll work at is situated near La Cumbre, in Cordoba Province. The Centre has been successfully running the monkey rehabilitation programme for 22 years. The work of this project is absolutely vital in ensuring the monkey population in Argentina does not decline any further. There are three key challenges facing Howler Monkeys in Argentina at present, all of which are sadly contributing to their decline:
- Their natural environment is declining at an alarming rate due to forestry and agricultural activities.
- Poaching is widespread, with many baby monkeys being illegally separated from their mothers and sold on as pets. It is estimated that, sadly, only one baby out of every six that are captured survives.
Out of the monkeys that are kept as pets, many are mistreated and eventually abandoned – leaving them extremely vulnerable in the wild. The project has three main aims – to rescue, rehabilitate and eventually release the monkeys back into the wild, so that they are self-sufficient. They have successfully reintroduced over 100 monkeys back into the wild to live a natural life in their natural habitat. Some monkeys are unfortunately unable to be rehabilitated due to their condition and, because of this, they are cared for permanently at the Centre.
You’ll be accommodated on-site at the Centre itself, in a volunteer house. The accommodation is basic, but it is comfortable and has all of the facilities that you’ll need. Rooms are typically dorm-style with bunk beds, and you’ll most likely be sharing with up to 6 other volunteers on the project. Bathroom facilities are shared. Bathrooms are located outside of the house, as there is no running water within the house itself. There is also a communal area at the accommodation for volunteers to socialise, which is equipped with a kettle, cooker, and fridge to store snacks.
Wi-Fi / Internet: There is no Wi-Fi on site, but you can visit internet cafes in the nearby town of La Cumbre (approx. 11 kilometres), where you will also find laundry facilities. In some of the higher parts of the sanctuary you can get a mobile/cell phone signal for which you can buy a local SIM when you arrive in Argentina.
FOOD: Food is included in the programme, and three meals a day will be provided by the project staff. Food is typically a mixture of local and international dishes – with rice, vegetables and a range of meats available. Sometimes a packed lunch will be provided if you are required to be on-site throughout the afternoon. You’ll share a dorm room and have access to kitchen facilities.
WHAT YOU’LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT
- An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
- New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
- The enormous satisfaction of helping displaced animals and an in-depth understanding of the important contribution their protection is making to wildlife conservation.
- An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
- An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
- Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
- Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
- And best of all … an unforgettable experience!
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Talk to us – We’re there to help you. Most of our team are ex Travellers volunteers and are ideally qualified to offer advice and guidance because they know what you’re looking for. They’ll help you find your perfect project – and then make it all happen!
If you’d like to apply for this project. Visit our website and complete the application form. As soon as we receive it, we’ll liaise with you and then start making your travel adventure happen. It’s as easy as that.