Monkey Sanctuary

founded in 2003
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Coordinator | Marion
Coordinator | Marion
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Explore Chile, one of the most amazing and diverse countries in the world
Boost your CV with international volunteer experience
Grow as a person by broadening your intercultural skills
Improve your Spanish skills by practicing on a daily basis
Make memories you will never forget during excursions
Help take care of monkeys that have been rescued at this monkey sanctuary in Chile. Support the physical and psychological rehabilitation of these cute creatures. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

You are a big fan of our animal ancestors and would like to contribute to their protection? As a volunteer at the Primate Center in Santiago de Chile, you can do just that. Support the Monkey Center allowing them to live a species-appropriate life in captivity.

The Primate Center close to the capital of Chile began their work back in 1994 with the resuce of a woolly monkey and the idea to release it to its natural habitat. As time went by, more and more monkeys came to the rescue center and the founders quickly realized that there is a lot to do in the area of ​​primate protection. Two years after its founding, the Center applied for official approval as a rescue center for confiscated monkeys at the Chilean Agriculture and Livestock Authority. Since then, the center has intensified its efforts to protect primates.

Note: Chile is not a natural habitat for monkeys, so the animals entering the center were confiscated primarily by customs and at border crossings and were thus saved from illegal animal trade. Others come from private homes or from zoos and circuses.

The initial idea of ​​giving the monkeys the chance of recovery and rehabilitation and then releasing them again into freedom quickly turned out to be utopian. Most of the animals come to the center with serious injuries and irreparable damage from hunting and life in captivity. Some of the monkeys are blind, mutilated or suffer from chronic diseases. In such cases, integration into the natural habitat is unfortunately rarely possible and the monkeys stay in the sanctuary.

Support the work of the Primate Center and help stop the illegal pet trade so that animals can have a species-appropriate life in their natural habitat.

Typical day

Any work in this volunteer project in Chile directly supports the well-being of the monkeys. From 1996 to date, the center has taken in 175 monkeys of twelve different species. The majority recovered well, some chimpanzees were even rehabilitated to the point where they could be transferred to Zambia (Africa) and now live freely in a protected jungle.

This is the result of years of work by animal rights activists. They spend a lot of time observing the monkeys, analyzing their personality, and studying the behavior in the group. It tries to keep the contact with humans as low as possible. For this reason, the center is also not accessible to the public and tourists.

As a volunteer, you support the daily work of the animal resuce center. These tasks include:

• Preparing meals for the animals
• Cleaning the monkey enclosures
• Construction, repair, painting and maintenance of the enclosure
• Gardening
• General maintenance of facilities

Volunteers will not work directly with the monkeys. (This means that you will not interact very close with the monkeys, cuddle them or be put into closed areas with them).The keepers aim to limit interaction to a respectful minimum and encourage the monkeys to be as wild as possible.

​​​​Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as number of volunteers, weather, season, current needs of the project, as well as self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.

Free-time activities

Chile is a country that unites many different climates and landscapes. Due to its remarkable length of 4,300 kilometers you can discover extremes such as deserts, salt lakes, volcanoes, temperate rainforest, mountains over 6,000 meters high and eternal ice fjords. With its indescribably large variety of landscape, vegetation and climate, Chile is a popular destination all year round.

The capital of Santiago de Chile never sleeps and in recent decades has developed into a very popular and modern metropolis. There are activities that your heart desires! There is something for everyne; for art lovers, nature fans, culture enthusiasts and party people. Santiago’s location is just perfect since within about an hour can either be in the mountains or at the beach. You can find outdoor adventure sports, like hiking, rafting, climbing, horseback riding, and so on, or just relax at the beach during the weekend.

In Santiago you can:
- Hiking/walking in the hills and parks
- Sightseeing
- Visiting museums and art galleries
- Exploring beautiful neigborhoods
- Strolling through local markets
- Shopping
- Enjoying restaurants and bars / nightlife
- Meeting up with other volunteers
- Doing sports
- Going on day excursions to the amazing surroundings

Winter Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak Spanish (basic level) or English (basic level)
Required Documents
CV and Volunteer Questionnaire
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

What's Included

Services by South America Inside

  1. Homestay, shared room with other volunteers
  2. Full-board (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  3. Airport pick-up in Santiago
  4. Consultation from our experienced staff
  5. Translation of application profile
  6. Volunteer work placement
  7. Advice regarding travel insurance
  8. Advice on local travels
  9. Orientation session upon arrival
  10. Orientation kit
  11. Country handbook
  12. Local support
  13. 24/7 Emergency Number
  14. Certificate of Participation

Airport Pickup at Arturo Merino Benitez Airport
You will be picked-up at the airport in Santiago from a member of the volunteer project.

Volunteers in Chile will stay in one of the three family houses on project site and will get the chance to be a part of the family. Normally, you will share the room with one or more volunteers depending on the amount of volunteers at the center. Sheets and blankets, etc. are provided at the center. A bathroom, kitchen, and other facilities will be shared with the family and other occupants.

All the houses have internet (WiFi), a washing machine, tumble dryer, hot water, cable TV, telephone, etc. One of the houses also has a swimming pool, which is available for volunteers.

The three houses are located in the same town. The main one is where the center started and the two others are next door to each other on the second land area that the family bought when the monkey population started to increase. (In the event that the accommodation is full when you participate, the center has the opportunity to accommodate you with a local family).

Dorm Room Guest Family
Food & Beverages

Full-board (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) is provided.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Arturo Merino Benitez Airport (SCL) in Santiago. We assist you to find cheap flights to Chile.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Chile provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Chile you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Chile.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

The volunteer work can be joined throughout the year. The start and end date can be set flexible, according to your availability and travel plans. Ask our experienced staff to coordinate your participation in this meaningfull volunteer project.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$563 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. South America Inside will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with South America Inside during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Monkey Sanctuary

Help take care of monkeys that have been rescued at this monkey sanctuary in Chile. Support the physical and psychological rehabilitation of these cute creatures.


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