Volunteers (English)


The Centre of Rescue and Rehabilitation begins in the year 1994 with the arrival of Cristobal, a male woolly monkey of 8 months old. During the year 1996 the project requested the Agricultural and Livestock Service of the Chilean government (SAG), authorization to create a centre to shelter primates seized by the authorities.
In the beginning the idea was to recover the monkeys, to rehabilitate them and, when possible, to return them to their natural habitat. Rapidly the centre realized that it was a fantasy, because the majority of the monkeys entered with severe sequels left by the traffic, when they were hunted or for the life that they have taken in captivity. Some of the monkeys have arrived to the Centre blind, mutilated, with such chronic diseases as hepatic cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, and cardiac diseases; also the project has monkeys that have been alcoholic, drug addicts, etc. Obviously, they will never return to their habitat. Other primates like Eusebio and Toto (chimpanzees) have had better luck. Eusebio was moved to the Sanctuary for chimpanzees in Zambia, Africa in December 2000 and Toto in September 2003. The 2 nowadays are free in a protected jungle.
From the year 1996 up to the date, the project has received 175 primates of 12 different species. The majority of them have been recovered physically and behaviourally and they will remain mainly in the Centre for the rest of their lives.


  • 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 confiscated.
  • To try to reintroduce to their natural habitat those who can.
  • To fight the illegal trade of exotic animals, specially primates.
  • To educate present and future generations regarding the care and conservation of primates.
  • To make contact with international organizations that share the centre’s targets.
  • To promote animal wellbeing and the modernization of the laws for animal protection.


There are different ways the monkeys arrive to Centre

  • Authority S.A.G Confiscation : Circus, Not authorized privates Mini-Zoos.
  • Voluntary delivered to Centre: Home Pets, Circus, Laboratories.
  • Other authorities rescued ( accident monkeys , bitted people).
  • Other Centres in other countries.

When a primate arrives to the Centre it can come in very bad physical and psychic conditions, with strap to the neck or to the abdomen, with mutilated and infected teeth, with parasitic diseases, fungi,wounds and with severe behavioural problems. This will take most of the time a long recovering period.
If the monkeys are injured, the majority of the treatments are realized in the Centre, the professionals like vets must come here and bring equipments of examinations as for example portable ultrasound scanner. It is very stressful and dangerous to extract primates to other places considering how difficult it is to manage and handle them, and also that the effect of the anaesthesia lasts approximately 15 minutes.


  • Beatriz Garcia España
  • Daniela Farias, estudiante de veterinaria de la Universidad Mayo
  • Dave, voluntario , Australia
  • Ilse y Ramon Holanda
  • Jacqueline Horz Suiza
  • Lenka
  • Paul Irlanda
  • Rose and Sophie UK
  • Sarah Pickens USA
  • Sira Caccione Italia
  • Tiffany Australia

By being a volunteer on this project you will support this project’s work in two ways:
Volunteer donations contribute to the day-to-day costs of running the project. These costs include food, healthcare and the provision of new and updated housing and its enrichment for the monkeys.
Volunteer participation in the work of the project is essential, as each volunteer brings unique skills and perspectives to the organization. And volunteers work will be that the keepers have more time to develop new plans and move the Centre forward.
Period / duration
Volunteers are welcome all year round.
You are free to choose your own arrival date.
The duration of your stay must be 2 weeks or longer.
Normally maximum stay is 3 months, but longer stays are on request.


There are no specific skills, nor previous animal care experience, required to participate at the project.

However, volunteers must be:

  • A minimum of 18 years old.
  • Very motivated.
  • Be able to work in a team.


The costs per person to participate at thisproject are 1.400 US dollars or 1.200 Euros
These costs include:

  • Accommodation.
  • 3 meals a day and beverages (like water, tea or coffee)
  • A donation to the project.
  • Training and supervision.
  • Administration costs.

These costs not include:

  • Flight to and from Santiago, Chile
  • Passport / visa
  • Travel insurance,  which is compulsory for all participants and a cancellation insurance
  • Personal expenses such as telephone bills, internet, souvenirs, etc.
  • Any excursions undertaken by the volunteer


Volunteers will stay in one of the three family houses (depending of which one has enough space at the moment of arrival), so you will get the chance to be part of the family life and routine as well.
Normally you will share the room with one or more volunteers it depends on the number of volunteers at that moment at the Centre. Sheets and blankets, etc. are provided at the centre. Bathroom, kitchen and other facilities you will share with the family and with the other occupants as well.

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

The three houses are located in the same town. The main one is where the Centrestarted and the two others are next door to each other in the second land that the family bought when the monkey population started to increase. The threehouses are being used by the family members, but have special space for volunteers.


The project offers an opportunity for people to take part in the care of a colony of monkeys. All the work performed here, is directly or indirectly, benefiting the monkeys. The Centre hopes to influence visitors to take a more direct role in the conservation of the Amazon Rainforest, and their local environment too. Additionally, it is hoped volunteers will also gain an awareness of the constraints of captivity for such an intelligent and sensitive being as a primate. In volunteering, you help this work to continue. A 1 month stay can be long enough to start recognizing individual monkeys and understanding some of their social structure.

There is a variety of work at the monkey project at any one time. On arrival you will first get an orientation. After that volunteers will join the centre team in:

  • Preparing monkey food.
  • Cleaning monkey territory.
  • Helping with building, repairing and painting monkey’s territory 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 try to put in braces 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 discreet and respectful minimum, to encourage the monkeys in their care andterritory to be as wild as possible. This approach has assisted the colony with the successful development of a highly social way of life.

Volunteers will work from Monday – Friday from 08.30 am – 18.00 pm and Saturday morning. You will have free time at Saturday afternoon and on Sundays.


The geography of Chile is extremely diverse. Chile, officially the Republic of Chile (Spanish: República de Chile, is a country in SouthAmerica occupying a long and narrow coastal strip wedged between the An. Voluntariado para extrangerosdes mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific forms the country’s entire western border, with Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east.
The capital of Chile is Santiago. A modern city with a shiny face and has one of South America’s most dynamic economies. Santiago is also the central point of a region filled with attractive sites and activities. Only 60 km away are the main South American ski centres, and the beautiful beaches of the Pacific are only an hour’s drive to the northwest. Just south of Santiago lies the rich and beautiful vineyards of the Maipo Valley, one of the world’s most esteemed wine producing regions.

The project is situated about 30 minutes drive from Santiago, the capital of Chile.
In Santiago there is much to see and do. The coast, for example Vina del Mar (‘the garden city’) and Valparaiso (‘Jewel of the pacific’), are about 1 hour and 40 minutes from the project. Here you can horseback riding, diving, sky diving, relax at the beautiful beach, etc.

The climate of Santiago and the project area is Mediterranean, with typical hotsummers and mild winters.

September – November
Temperatures are mild, which contributes to the flourishing green colour of the plants and trees

December – February
This period it is dry and hot. Temperatures can reach over 30º Celsius and will cool down at night.

March – May
Temperatures decrease gradually.

June – August
There are heavy but short rains. The annual average temperature is 14ºC.
It only snows in the mountain range area, specifically at the winter resorts, snowfalls often starting in the second fortnight of June, and lasting until the first fortnight of October.

Flight arrangements

Volunteers have to make their own flight arrangements.

Passport and visa

To visit Chile you will need a valid passport, which must be officially valid, on arrival, for at least six months.
To visit Chile you will not need a visa by all nationals for stays of up to 90 days except the following:
nationals of Greece for up to 60 days and nationals of Romania for up to 30days.
Nationals of Australia, Canada and the USA entering Chile for tourist purposes (like working at this project) will be charged a processing fee payable on arrival and in cash only. For nationals of Australia, the fee is US$56; for nationals of Canada, the fee is US$132; and for nationals of the USA, the fee is US$100.
Passport and visa requirements are liable to change at short notice. Volunteers are advised to check their entry requirements with their embassy or consulate.


Every volunteer is required to have a travel insurance policy (which covers extra medical costs, accidents and repatriation costs), and cancellation insurance is highly recommended. Without this travel insurance you will not be permitted to work at this project.

Arrival in Santiago, Chile

You will be responsible for arranging your own transport to Santiago, Chile.
Providing we have received your arrival details, you will be met at the InternationalAirport of Santiago and brought to the project by a member of staff.

Medical advice

Because volunteers will work with monkeys in Chile and sometimes you will have direct contact with these animals, you will have to take precautions for your own protection and that of the animals.


This document is provided for information purposes only.
As a participant in this project, you are responsible for yourself.  Our advice is to behave responsibly and always listen to the project staff.
Required vaccinations
There are no vaccinations required at this project

Recommended vaccinations

You are recommended to be vaccinated against:

  • D(K)TP.
  • Hepatitis A (and B if you want to participate for a long time).
  • Typhoid.
  • Rabies.

These vaccinations are not required, but are still very important to have. If you don’t take them it’s on your own responsibility.

Medical service in Chile

There are good medical services available in Santiago and in Peñaflor   If you should need a doctor, you can go to the hospital, which is just 5 minutes from the project site. An ambulance service is also available if needed. Public’s health is a very good option in Chile.
If you need any medication, you can obtain it from a pharmacy, which is also situated close to the project.

Personal equipment

Some items are provided at the project, such as:

  • Pillows.
  • Bedding (like blankets and sheets).
  • Towels.

Essential items

Here are some essential items, which you should bring with you:

  • Valid passport (and visa).
  • Clothes for work, like cotton (lightweight) shirts and trousers.
  • Wet weather clothes.
  • Clothes for evenings.
  • Nightwear.
  • Strong work shoes / hiking boots.
  • Sandals / Flip flops.
  • A Hat or cap.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Sunscreen (it’s recommended to use for at least SPF 15).
  • Insect repellent.
  • First-aid kit with for example plasters, disinfectant, painkillers, etc.
  • A camera (and photographic materials).
  • Bathing/swimming suit.
  • A towel.
  • Toiletries.
  • A water bottle.

At the project all meals are included.
Meals will be prepared and eaten in the house of the family.

Beverages like water, coffee and tea are included.

If you have special dietary requirements, or if you are a vegetarian, please indicate this on the booking form.

Typical meals in Chile consist mainly of lots of meat, especially beef and chicken, rice and potatoes, fresh fruit and vegetables. (Many of the family members at the project are vegetarians, so vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters are welcome).

The list of typical Chilean food is:

  • Pastel de Choclo: corn casserole with meat stuffing.
  • Empanadas: pastry filled with meat, cheese or mussels.
  • Cazuela: homemade stew with beef, chicken, corn, rice and potatoes.
  • Asado: barbecue of beef, pork or chicken.
  • Reineta, Congrio, Corvina: the most typical fish.
  • Locos: a rare type of molluscs.
  • Jaiva: shrimp, crab.
  • Centolla: king crab with tender meat of reddish colour.

Close to the project you can find supermarkets (5 minutes walk), where you can buy pretty much everything in terms of food, snacks, batteries etc.

Every 8 blocks there are two wonderful markets in Peñaflor (be careful with wines: they are very cheap, very good and veryhigh in alcohol degrees)

Laundry services

There is a wash machine available at the project, which you may use.

There is a telephone available at the family home, which you may use. If you want to use the phone for international calls, you can buy a calling card (available at the supermarkets and pretty much everywhere in town).  Of course it’s possible to receive calls as well. Communications in Chile are the international standards and the best in Latin/South America.

If you come form Europe, most mobile phonescan’t be used because Costa Rica has another network than in Europe, but for sure we advise you to contact your phone company or phone service in your own country before departure.

If you come from North-Central or South America, most mobile phones can be used, but for sure we advise you to contact your phone company or phone service in your own country or please check the local service providers.

Internet access

Internet is available at the project (at the home of the family).
There are also Internet possibilities available in Peñaflor. For example at Cyber cafés, here it is very cheap.

There are a lot of Internet possibilities in Santiago.

Chile has an electricity voltage of 220 Volts. A 3-leged plug can be used. It would be handy if you bring an adaptor with you, but you can check this in a specialised shop in your own country.

If you want to go somewhere outside of Peñaflor you can take the bus or taxi.
To Santiago, a bus ride it will cost you about 2 USD.
If you would like to go to the coast it will cost you about 40 USD.


There are a lot of beaches in Chile. The coast (Vina del Mar (‘the garden city’) and Valparaiso (‘Jewel of the pacific’)) are about 1 hour and 40 minutes from the project. Here you will find different beaches, for example the Reñaca beach. This is the most popular in the region, with white sand and wonderful waves.

Excursion arrangements

Chile is ideal for making different trips. You can arrange excursions by yourself or by travel agencies.
Here are some examples:

– Visit Santiago
– Visit the coast and its beaches; where you can relax, horseback riding, windsurfing, and diving, etc.
–  Visit the Mountain (near 2 hours from the project)

All excursions are at your own expense.

Photo and film materials

Films for cameras are available and you can buythem in supermarkets and photo shops.
There is a photo shop located in Santiago (30 minutes public locomotion)
Slide film and videotapes are alsoavailable.

The monetary unit of Chile is the Chilean Peso. ($ or CHP), which exists in banknotes of $1000, $2000, $5,000, $10,000, $20,000 and coins of $1, $5, $10, $50, $100 and $500.

Cash and traveller checks can be changed inmost banks. We advise you to bring traveller cheques (in US Dollars, English Pounds or Euros ) instead of cash, because they are insured most of the time and the exchange rates are usually better.
In commercial and banking areas as well as gas stations, it is easy to find Automatic Teller Machines (Redbanc network) / cashmachines honouring cards of all local banks as well as Cirrus cards, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Exchange rates are very good. Instructions are also available in English.
You can find banks in Santiago and there isalso a bank about 15 minutes of the project. There are more banks in the next town, about 10 minutes driving.
The banks are open on Monday – Friday from 09:00 am until 14:00 pm (Saturdays and Sundays they are closed)
Exchange offices are open on Monday – Friday from 09:00 am until 14:00 pm and from 15.00 to 18.00 pm.
Never change money in the street, always go to a proper exchange office for safety.

Master Card and VISA are accepted in most shops and big hotels.