Arrive in Lima at any time. There are no planned activities so check into our hotel and enjoy the city. A G Adventures representative will hold a general briefing in the evening, normally between 7 pm and 8pm (a note will be posted in the arrival hotel with details). Peru is made up of three main geographical areas: the Andes, the Amazon and the desert coastal area. On this trip we concentrate on exploring two of the more spectacular regions that Peru is known for - the Andes and the Amazon. Known as the City of Kings, Peru’s capital city Lima was founded by Francisco Pizarro on the Day of the Three Kings (Epiphany) in 1535. The Plaza Mayor is the heart of old Lima, and it is here you find the Cathedral, Government Palace and Archbishop’s Palace. The Cathedral dates back to the 1700s and houses the remains of the conquistador Pizarro. To get a feel for colonial Lima, take a cab to the Plaza de Armas and watch the changing of the Palace Guard at noon. Walk the streets surrounding the Jirón de la Unión for great examples of Spanish-colonial architecture and to get a taste for life in a large South American city. An optional city tour visits many of the city’s highlights. There are many fine museums in and around the city, including the Museo Rafael Larco Herrera, which houses an equally impressive collection of pottery, jewelery, mummies and textiles from the Paracas and Nazca cultures. The more affluent coastal districts of Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro offer good nightlife and cafés all within walking distance. Limeños (Lima’s residents) are friendly, and the city is filled with excellent restaurants; seafood lovers in particular should be sure to try a ceviche, for which Lima is well known.
Fly to Puerto Maldonado and transfer to the volunteer project, where you will spend three days volunteering at a center for the rehabilitation and conservation of wild animals. Work alongside staff to feed and take care of animals so they can be successfully released back to their natural habitats. Other activities may include assisting with maintenance of an interpretive trail, construction of animal enclosures and interaction with the local community. Amazon Shelter is a group of professionals and volunteers devoted to promote the protection and welfare of wild animals, free or captive, and the conservation of their natural environment. You will spend 5 days volunteering with Amazon Shelter’s Center for Rehabilitation and Conservation of Wild Animals which acts as a rescue, educational and research center devoted to the protection of wildlife and the environment. Their mission is to conserve and protect Peruvian Amazon wildlife by working on the rehabilitation of wild animals that arrive at the Center, with an emphasis on species threatened by the destruction of their habitat and illegal trade. Amazon Shelter also interacts with local communities and visitors in general, promoting the conservation of the rainforest and the sustainable management of natural resources. OBJECTIVES * Rehabilitate and adopt abandoned or confiscated animals from illegal trade, giving these animals a second chance to go back to their natural habitat. * Develop biological and veterinary research of Amazonian wildlife. * Create consciousness in the population through educational programs about the importance of environmental conservation, natural resources and biodiversity. * Support the general community in the formation of appropriate wildlife management * Support the governmental and private institutions that work against the illicit traffic of wildlife species in the area. Background The illegal extraction of flora and fauna has a strong impact in the loss of biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest. Illegal wildlife trade occupies third place in the world after arms and drug trade, moving about 20 million dollars per year (60 % in fauna). In many places this “business” is also involved with drug trafficking and corruption, which makes it very difficult to eradicate. WORKING AS A VOLUNTEER Volunteers will work alongside staff and other volunteers at the Amazon Shelter. Activities will be based on the needs of the center at the time of your visit but general volunteer activities include: Animal Care The Amazon Shelter is one of the only 3 official rescue centers in Puerto Maldonado. The animals that arrive to the center must pass a time of quarantine while they are in rehab. They are then transferred to enclosures that simulate the natural environment. You will work helping staff to take care of the animals so they can be successfully released back to their natural habitats. Trail Maintenance Due to the hard work of the volunteers that have visited in the past, an interpretive trail has been created to recognize the diversity of flora and fauna of the area and to be used as an educative trail to promote environmental awareness and conservation. Maintenance and development of this trail is an essential part of the daily work at the Animal Shelter. Flora and Fauna You may help to gather data and information that will allow staff to do the research they need to promote the conservation of this invaluable ecosystem. Animal Enclosures The staff are constantly upgrading and enlarging the rescue center. With the construction of more enclosures they are able to accommodate more animals in need and to expand their goal of rescuing and rehabilitating more animals. Community Awareness Staff are also dedicated to working with the local community in order to achieve a sense of respect for the environment. With the staff you may have the opportunity to interact with the community through educational programs, workshops and cultural-language exchange. Many of the local people don’t understand the importance of protecting their ecosystem and that is why one of their main goals is to work with the local community so they can join their mission to protect the Peruvian Amazon. VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS No previous experience in education, veterinary or biology is required just an interest is nature and love of animals.
Travel by motorized canoe to our G Lodge Amazon in the Tambopata Rainforest Area. Spend 2 days exploring the jungle with local guides in an area that holds the world record for the most bird sightings in one area and participate in a variety of activity options including piranha fishing, jungle hikes, cayman spotting and more. Upon arrival at the lodge unpack and unwind. There is a short orientation and briefing before our afternoon activity. The lodge itself combines native architectural style and materials with low-impact eco-friendly technology. Rooms are simple but comfortable, with mosquito netting for individual beds, flush toilets, showers (no hot water), and kerosene lamps for lighting (no electricity). Local community members make up the majority of the lodge staff, including multilingual Naturalist Guides. Here you have the opportunity to learn from them not only about the area’s rich flora and fauna, but also about their extensive practical uses for medicinal plants and other forest plant resources, through traditional techniques for building, fishing, and hunting.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the Puerto Maldonado airport. Your flight from Puerto Maldonado must depart no earlier than 10:00am. Please note that return flights are not included in this tour. Add extra weeks to your volunteer experience, please ask your G Adventures agent for details.