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South America Inside

Volunteer at a Monkey Rescue Center

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

The Project

This project was started in 1994 with the arrival of Cristobal, an 8-month-old male monkey. In 1996, the project requested authorization to create a shelter for primates seized by the authorities from the Agricultural and Livestock Service of the Chilean Government (SAG).

Originally, the idea of the center was to rehabilitate the monkeys, and when possible, return them to their natural habitat. The center quickly realized that it was no more than a fantasy because the majority of the monkeys entered with severe injuries or were previously taken into captivity. Some of the monkeys have arrived to the center in Chile blind, mutilated, and with chronic diseases like hepatic cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, and cardiac diseases. Surprisingly, the project has even had monkeys that have been alcoholics, drug addicts, etc. Unfortunately, these traumatized monkeys will never be able to return to their natural habitat. Other primates like “Eusebio” and “Toto” (chimpanzees), have had better luck. “Eusebio” was moved to a sanctuary for chimpanzees in Zambia, Africa in December 2000, and Toto in September 2003. Today, both roam free in a protected jungle.

From 1996 until today, the project has received 175 primates of 12 different species. The majority have recovered physically and psychologically and will remain in the center for the rest of their lives. The center is not open to the public / tourists. This is so the primates can live in an environment with as few humans as possible. The center provides a great environment where the primates form a sociable colony. To help educate future generations, the project is also involved with community education regarding primate and rainforest conservation and protection. They regularly visit primary schools, high schools, and universities. The project hopes to give the next generation of Chilean school children a better understanding of the natural environment, influence them to help stop illegal pet trading, and learn about deforestation.

Objectives of the project:

  • To rescue primates that are being kept in circuses, houses, and other isolated and depriving captivity conditions so they can live together with others of their kind
  • To rehabilitate physically and psychologically all the primates that have been confiscated by authorities, due to illegal captivity
  • To try to reintroduce primates to their natural habitat when possible
  • To fight the illegal trade of exotic animals, especially primates
  • To educate present and future generations regarding the care and conservation of primates
  • To build connections with other international organizations that share the center’s goals
  • To promote the wellbeing of the animals and the modernization of laws for animal protection.

The project has a permanent staff of 5-8 people. The languages spoken onsite are English and Spanish.

Your Tasks

The project offers an opportunity for volunteers to take care of a colony of monkeys. All the work performed here, both directly or indirectly, is to benefit the monkeys. The center hopes to influence visitors to play an active role in the conservation of the Amazon Rainforest in addition to their local environment. The center also hopes that volunteers will gain awareness regarding the constraints of captivity for intelligent and sensitive primates. By volunteering here, you are helping to continue the efforts of this cause. A one month stay can be long enough to start recognizing individual monkeys and understand some of their social structure.

Climate

The climate of Santiago and the project area is Mediterranean, with hot summers and mild winters.

What to Bring

  • Comfortable working clothes, working gloves and at best rain proofed
  • Long pants and shirts
  • Boots and sandals
  • Insect spray and sunscreen (at least SPF 15)
  • Towels and a swimsuit
  • Hat
  • First aid kit
  • Water bottle
  • Lighter and flashlight

Please Note

Hepatitis A and B, Typhus, Rabies, Tetanus, and Diphtheria vaccinations are recommended, but be sure to check in with your doctor for additional advice.

If you are interested in joining this program with your family, please keep in mind that the youngest family member should be at least 14 years old.

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Typical day

There is a variety of work tasks for volunteers. Upon arrival, you will first get an orientation. After that, volunteers will help with:

  • Preparing monkey food
  • Cleaning monkey territories
  • Helping with building, repairing, and painting the monkeys' structures
  • Gardening
  • General maintenance of the house and grounds

Volunteers will not work directly with the monkeys. (This means that you will not interact very close with the monkeys or be put into areas with them). Keepers spend many months learning to recognize not only each individual monkey, but also their personalities and the group dynamics. The keepers aim to keep interference to a respectful minimum and encourage the monkeys to be as wild as possible. This approach has assisted the colony with the successful development of a highly social way of life.

Details on Arrival

This program starts on any day of the week, and you can enroll at any time with at least 4 weeks' notice.

Program Requirements

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). Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak Spanish (basic level) and English (basic level)
Health Declaration
required
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 from 08:30 - 18:00

Any questions? Just ask. We at South America Inside are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator

Free-time activities


Swimming
Concert/Music
Climbing
Hiking
Museum/Opera
Sports
Riding
Winter Sports
Contact & Reservation
$351
/week
$351
/week
2 - 12
weeks
2 - 12
weeks
18+
age
18+
age
Airport Pickup
Housing
Food
Internet
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Included Services

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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if South America Inside cancels your trip
Resolution Support
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Services by South America Inside

  • Consultation from our experienced staff
  • Translation of your application documents 
  • Orientation session upon arrival and orientation kit 
  • Local support 
  • 24-hr Emergency Number 
  • Accommodation with host family 
  • Full-Board
  • Advice regarding adequate travel insurance 
  • Flight booking service (optional and free)
  • Certificate of Participation
  • Application fee

Airport Pickup at Arturo Merino Benitez
One member of staff will pick you up at the airport upon arrival.
Accommodation

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 for you at the project site.

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.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
$890.00
3 weeks
$1,110.00
4 weeks
$1,330.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$3,090.00
Average fees
$351.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Santiago de Chile/Chile between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. 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.

Get ready to volunteer in Chile

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Chile. Please check the visa regulations for Chile.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in Chile and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in Chile.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Chile.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Arturo Merino Benitez (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.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Chile you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Chile.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in Chile while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Santiago de Chile, Santiago de Chile, Chile zoom="6"

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