At a glance
- Get hands-on experience alongside biologists and conservation staff. Learn how to rehabilitate and socialize primates.
- Live on-site at the sanctuary with easy access to care for llamas, pumas, monkeys and more!
- Prepare food and feed animals.
- Help build and repair shelters.
16 or over
Maximum duration 6 weeks
Is Animal Care work in Argentina right for me?
This project is ideal for adventurers and those with a passion for nature and the outdoors. It’s a once in a lifetime chance to do animal care volunteer work abroad and live on site at an animal sanctuary!
You will gain hands-on wildlife conservation experience by working closely with experienced biologists. This is perfect for anyone with an interest in conservation, zoology, biology, or environmental science. You need to be comfortable with getting your hands dirty, and be willing to skip some home comforts!
You don’t need previous experience to join. You’ll be supervised by experts, and our staff are always available to provide guidance and advice.
The project runs all year round, so you can join whenever it suits your schedule. The minimum duration is two weeks with a maximum duration of six weeks.
What will I do on this animal rehabilitation project?
During your volunteering trip you will support animal sanctuary staff in the following tasks:
Your work at the animal rehabilitation centre will focus on these main areas:
Rehabilitate and socialize animals
You will observe and record the activities of the various groups of monkeys in the reservation. This data will highlight any health or dietary needs, as well as identifying strange behaviour or social issues. You’ll work alongside local staff to strengthen the health of primates and ensure they are comfortable in a group setting. The local team aims to “teach monkeys to be monkeys again” through a programme which focuses on physical, psychological and social rehabilitation. Eventually they will be reintroduced to the North of Argentina.
With over 170 howler monkeys (cayará in Spanish) and capuchin monkeys, as well as puma, llama and abandoned dogs; there are many mouths to feed! You will prepare food throughout the day and fill feeders. Larger social groups of monkeys are fed in the forest during observation trips.
It is important to keep enclosures clean and strong. New shelters will provide for further arrivals, and you will help to maintain existing structures and feeders.
Where you’ll be based in Argentina
You will live and work at a primate sanctuary located in the stunning Sierra de Córdoba mountain range within the Tiu Mayu nature reserve. It is the only primate centre in Argentina, and the only centre in the world working with Black Howler Monkeys. The sanctuary is recognised by the Jane Goodall Institute and is part of the Argentinean Representative of the Great Ape Project (GAP).
The nearest town is La Cumbre, a beautiful mountain settlement located 11km away. There are mountains, rivers, waterfalls and forests to explore across the Tiu Mayu nature reserve.
Córdoba is around 70km south of the center. This vibrant city can be easily reached by bus.
A typical day on the Howler Monkey Rehabilitation project
A typical day will start with a large Argentinian breakfast. You might clean dirty feeders and fill them with food or take food throughout the forest to feed the different monkey tribes whilst monitoring their behavior. On other days you will be responsible for moving young and elderly monkeys from their special care rooms to the community area while they are cleaned.
Maintenance activities continue in the afternoon and you can support guided tours for visitors. Towards the end of the day you can help collect firewood for the boiler (and fireplace inside the accommodation during cold seasons).
Dinner is provided in the evening. On some nights the team travels into the village for dinner, to take clothes to the laundry or to use the internet.
A typical day lasts 10-12 hours. There is important work to be done seven days a week. Your placement coordinator will help arrange a schedule so you can take time off to explore this amazing country.
What are the aims and impact of this project?
The objective of this project is to rescue and rehabilitate primates and other animals. The overall aim is to reintroduce wildlife back into their natural habitats. The rehabilitation centre where you’ll work is understaffed and requires help to care for the animals under its protection.
The local team have spent over 25 years focusing on the rescue and rehabilitation of the Black Howler Monkey. This species is now considered vulnerable as they are hunted for bushmeat, kept as pets, and have lost their natural habitat due to deforestation. This is the only primate centre in Argentina and is recognised by both the Jane Goodall Institute and the Great Ape Project (GAP).
The centre also seeks to educate and collaborate with the wider population by providing tours and lessons at the centre. The sanctuary is a place for learning and raising wildlife awareness. You will learn to live harmoniously and respectfully with other species, to take care and improve the quality of life of the animals, acquire observation skills, knowledge and experience which will stay with you for the rest of your life.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Food and Accommodation
You will share accommodation with other volunteers and interns during your time at the animal sanctuary. It’s a great way to know your colleagues better, make friends, share experiences and explore the surroundings together. You will share a room in a rustic stone bungalow.
The accommodation is safe, clean and comfortable. Your programme fees include three meals a day.
Find out more about our accommodation
Leisure activities and free time
Argentina is a vibrant South American country bursting with colour and rich heritage. Along with contributing to worthwhile projects, a trip with us to Argentina means you can explore this fascinating country.
La Cumbre is the perfect location for thrill seekers. You can go paragliding off towering cliffs or take a horse ride around the nature trails in the breathtaking mountainous reserve.
On your days off you can travel to Cordoba. Enjoy a coffee at the Plaza de San Martin, with its street performers and iconic statue of General Jose de San Martin. The perfect way to spend an evening. There are also enriching cultural experiences, like the Evita Fine Arts Museum or the Teatro del Libertador General San Martin. You can also learn more about the country’s history at local museums.
There will likely be other volunteers in Argentina with you. So you can choose to explore solo, or with a group of volunteers from different projects.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
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