Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Volunteer Program

Get hands on at a busy animal rescue and release center in the Peruvian Amazon


Program Overview:
ARCAmazon works closely with an animal rescue and rehabilitation center to support the care and release of captured and injured wild animals. Many of the animals at the shelter are rescued from the illegal trafficking/pet trade and sometimes the ecological police bring them from abusive homes. Some of the animals are brought in by local people because they sick or dying, often due to hunting. Species at the center include red howler monkey, red brocket deer, coati, night monkey, macaws and parrots, toucans, yellow-footed tortoise, brown capuchin and peccary.
This position provides an opportunity to volunteer with animals at a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center in the Peruvian Amazon. Participants will help assist in the physical and psychological well-being of a number of fascinating Neotropical animals which are being rehabilitated at the shelter. Volunteers typically undertakes a list of tasks each day, from feeding animals and maintaining their enclosures, to behavioral studies and interpretation for visiting guests. The position offers those following a veterinary career or course who would like experience in tropical veterinary medicine the chance to practice at the center.
Program activities include:
  • Helping prepare food for sheltered animals
  • Taking part in feeding rounds in the mornings and evenings
  • Assisting with the construction and repair of animal enclosures
  • Assisting with the cleaning and furnishing of animal enclosures
  • Helping ensure the animals are kept fit and healthy
  • Assisting with carrying of goods when the team goes into town for supplies with the Jeep
  • Guiding and teaching local and international visitors to the center
  • Helping with clinical veterinary operations if necessary
  • Designing and developing educational materials and programs for local school children
  • Enjoying a number of rainforest experiences on days off including; visiting a parrot clay-lick, canoeing on the river, local nightlife in town, climbing a rainforest viewing tower, day trips into the Tambopata National Reserve, etc.
Further Details:
Volunteers normally participate for between 1 week and 6 months (sometimes shorter or longer). Most work is carried out at the Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center located on the banks of the Tambopata River, within the world-renowned rainforest region of Tambopata-Madre de Dios, Peru. After an initial welcome and training session in Puerto Maldonado, Amazon Academy volunteers will be transported by car to the Center where they will live and work for the majority of their time with trips to and from town for supplies each week. ARCAmazon provides certificates to all program participants and is happy to consider providing character and employment references.


Placement Fee
$930 £715
Full Board, Training, 24/7 Supervisor, Daily Activities, Weekly Adventures, Airport Collection/Drop Off

2 WEEK (14 DAYS)

Placement Fee
$1,450 £1,115
Full Board, Training, 24/7 Supervisor, Daily Activities, Weekly Adventures, Airport Collection/Drop Off

3 WEEK (21 DAYS)

Placement Fee
$1,750 £1,346
Full Board, Training, 24/7 Supervisor, Daily Activities, Weekly Adventures, Airport Collection/Drop Off
Please Note:  ARCAmazon is a not-for-profit initiative and all fees are strictly used to cover the program’s expenses and direct protection of forest in the Las Piedras watershed. In cases where participants require services above and beyond our regular provisions (see ‘Included’ section below), an additional fee may be required to cover this (to be discussed on application).

Included in This Field Placement

This is what we cover for you, with your fee:

  • Transfers on arrival and departure at Puerto Maldonado (airport, bus station or hotel)
  • Scheduled transport to and from field sites during the placement
  • Shared accommodation from start to end of the period (in the field and Puerto Maldonado)
  • Three substantial and healthy 2-course meals each day
  • Clean drinking water, tea, coffee and fruit juice at all times
  • Limited use of electricity generator each day
  • Support and training which may include: Health & Safety; trail use and orienteering, basic jungle survival, basic ecology, impacts and challenges affecting the forests in Madre de Dios; research and conservation solutions for the rainforests in Madre de Dios
  • Specialized training (depending on the placement): Species identification, conservation research, wildlife monitoring (track identification, camera trapping, VES surveys), forest conservation, reforestation, community engagement, permaculture, green building, sustainability, wildlife film production, wildlife photography, wildlife management
  • Personal supervision within your chosen project/field of work, by an experienced field coordinator (2-5 participants per coordinator)
  • Care and support from an experienced logistics and administration team based at the ARCAmazon head office in Puerto Maldonado
  • Weekly excursions (macaw and parrot clay-lick, boat rides, mini-expeditions, community social events)
  • The experience of one of the most spectacular natural environments on Earth with alongside a highly trained and fun team of conservationists

This is what is not included:

  • Travel insurance (compulsory for all participants)
  • Flights and/or bus tickets to and from Puerto Maldonado
  • Spending money for snacks, drinks and souvenirs
  • Personal equipment (headlamp, bug repellent, binoculars etc.)
  • Participants may prefer to bring their own tent if they would like to camp (see accommodation section)
  • Add-ons (Tours to Machu Picchu, Cusco and other parts of Peru, full expeditions, lazy river experience, remote native community visit, etc.) – please inquire on application

The Accommodation

The Camp at Las Piedras Amazon Center is designed for expedition-style research, tours and learning programs. It has a rustic Medicine Man-style charm. For those who love nature and raw wilderness, this is the perfect place for immersion into the wild. The camp is located near beautiful streams and waterfalls. It’s surrounded by trail networks and research grids. The camp is surprisingly comfortable with raised camping platforms, a central work/dining area and a fully-equipped kitchen. There is running water, limited electricity, outdoor showers and composting toilets. The camp can hold up to 25 guests at a time.

See more about the Camp here

Accommodation / Sleeping
The camp consists of raised wooden camping platforms, each able to hold 1-4 tents. The platforms are covered with tarpaulins and the sides open to the spectacular forest surrounds. Guests may prefer to camp on the forest floor in the designated zones. Camping mattresses, hammocks, bedding and mosquito nets can be arranged for those without their own tents.

The camp has six outdoor showers and composting toilet facilities which minimize the impact on the forest. There are clothes washing facilities near the bathroom area and lines to dry washing in the sun.

Communal Area
The camp has 2 expedition-style areas for living, dining and work. This is where, among other activities, guests can interact and play games, meals are served and data is downloaded and entered. There are a number of hammocks dotted throughout the surrounding forest.

The kitchens are always hubs of activity and our excellent chefs are usually happy to have company and helping hands. We know that food is our secret weapon for getting into the hearts of our clients, the most important ingredient to a happy stay with us. Our chefs are undoubtedly the best in the region and the envy of some of the top ecolodges in the Amazon. Helping our chefs in kitchen will give visitors an opportunity to learn about cooking with local ingredients and practice local Spanish lingo. Meals are served in the common areas. The kitchen at the camp may also be used by those who prefer to prepare their own meals.

Electricity is provided from generators which are active during only some parts of the day. Guests will have opportunities to recharge electronic items and use electronic equipment in the early mornings, midday and evenings after dark. At 9pm the lights go out and the Amazon Center goes into quiet mode to allow guests to soak up the sound of the forest at night and get well rested for the following day’s activities. Guests are provided candles and are encouraged to bring personal battery powered lights/torches with enough power for their stay.

Due to the remoteness of the Amazon Center there is no phone signal and no internet. The Amazon Center staff communicate with the administration team in town twice a day via a longwave radio. The field-based team is able to get messages to and from loved ones through this means if required. In general we find our guests receive a ‘much greater connection’ without wifi!


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