Argentina Monkey Sanctuary

Volunteer with the Amazing Howler Monkeys at the Argentina Monkey Sanctuary

Volunteer at the Argentina Howler Monkey Project and help rehabilitate howler monkeys that have been taken from their natural habitats and sold as pets or as exhibits in zoos. This unique project has been helping preserve Argentina's howler m0nkey population for more than 20 years but despite being a protected species they are sadly still listed as officially vulnerable.

“Volunteering was an amazing and rewarding experience and I'd highly recommend it.”

Maria, Teacher, Ireland

Project Overview

The Project: The Argentina Monkey Project has been working for over 20 years with howler monkeys - a species which inhabits the forests and jungles of northeast Argentina but is hunted for sale for the domestic pet trade. The resident monkeys have been rescued from around the country through seizures by the government, zoo closures, voluntary hand ins etc… and they now live a happier life at the sanctuary.

Project Location: The project is in a rural location north of the Argentinian city of Cordoba.

Main Volunteer Activities: Volunteers work with the local project staff preparing food for the monkeys, feeding and caring for them and maintaining the sanctuary.

Hours: Volunteers work seven days a week at this full-on project.

Duration: Volunteer placements are year-round and for 2 to 12 weeks.

Accommodation: Shared rooms, in very simple, rural conditions.

Volunteer Requirements: Volunteers at this project must be aged 18+, have a good level of fitness and a passion for animal welfare.

Volunteer Placement Fee: From UK£1,000/ US$1,185

What’s Included

        √  Airport pick up and transfer from Cordoba.      
      √  Accommodation at the project.
        √  Three meals a day at the project.

        √  Argentina and project orientation guide and induction on arrival.
        √  In-country support from project staff. 
        √  Comprehensive pre-arrival information and advice.

        √  All necessary project equipment and materials.
        √  All necessary project training by experienced staff.
        √  Project donation.

What’s not included
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Vaccinations and inoculations
  • Meals, drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Onward transport at the end of your placement
  • Personal kit
  • Visa cost
Project History

The Argentina Monkey Project has been working for over 20 years with howler monkeys - a species which inhabits the forests and jungles of northeast Argentina but is hunted for sale for the domestic pet trade.

Although howler monkeys are a protected species in Argentina, enforcement of this status is not effective and the howler monkey is now listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species as ‘vulnerable’.

How the project is helping

 The project is in an area which sees very little in the way of tourism and provides a safe area away from civilisation to allow the undisturbed rehabilitation of the howler monkeys. At the project there are more than 100 monkeys that live freely in areas within the sanctuary. These animals have been rescued from around the country through seizures by the government, zoo closures, voluntary hand ins etc, and now, thanks to the tireless work of the sanctuary they are able to live a happier life, just as nature intended.

Why the project need volunteers

The project receives no state funding, but through volunteer support, private donations and grants the project continues working with the children of Oropesa and their families, setting them up for a bright future.

We need volunteers to help feed and care for these monkeys, to provide them a safe place to recover and to help them through physical, psychological and social rehabilitation, teaching them to be monkeys again.

Typical Volunteer Duties

The  work at the Argentina Howler Monkey Sanctuary takes place all year round, seven days per week. Caring for the primates is from approximately 9am in the mornings to between 6pm and 8pm in the evenings. Plenty of breaks are available but it is a full time job caring for the monkeys.

There is always a range of tasks to be carried out by volunteers and you will work with our local staff on some or all of the following:

  • Feeding and caring for the monkeys 
  • Observation, study and data input on the behaviour of the monkeys
  • Maintenance of the monkey refuges and other areas
  • Working in the tree plantation (only in wintertime)
  • Helping to keep volunteer areas clean and tidy
  • Giving visitors guided tours of the project 
  • Helping with the care of the other rescued animals in the sanctuary including dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, llamas, sheep, chickens and ducks!


Volunteer Accommodation

In keeping with the project's rural surroundings, accommodation at the sanctuary is simple and basic. There are few urban comforts but it provides volunteers with a true back-to-nature experience.

The accommodation is in shared rooms (2-3 people per room) in basic stone huts in a very rustic environment. There is a toilet and shower in an outhouse about 5 minutes walk from the rooms. The shower is heated by lighting a fire - full instructions are given when you arrive!

There is no electricity or running water on the rooms themselves, but there is electricity in the salon where volunteers take meals and relax. There is no internet on site but you can visit internet cafes in La Cumbre, where you will also find laundry facilities. In some of the higher parts of the sanctuary you can get a mobile phone signal for which you can buy a local SIM when you arrive in Argentina.

Food is prepared and served by the centre staff. The meals include breakfast (a simple meal of tea, mate cocido - an Argentinian herbal infusion - bread and marmalade) and a simple lunch and dinner. 

If there is a particular food that you can't live without, you can buy provisions in La Cumbre. At the project there is a fridge where you can store your food purchases and a small stove to heat food.
Free time around the project
Days off and half days off can only be taken by one volunteer at a time (if these are during working hours). Outside of working hours you can go to town whenever you want, alone or with other volunteers. 
If you do get some time off, there are some great local activities, including:
• For some excellent views, hike up to Cristo Redentor, the 7-metre statue of Christ that stands on a hill high above La Cumbre
• Horseback riding, from a few hours to several days
• Parachuting, paragliding and flying in an ultralight can all be arranged at Aeroclub La Cumbre, as well as other local operators
• Guided mountain bike rides and treks through the beautiful local countryside or just rent a bike and do your own exploring
• Take a tour in a 4X4 to Jesuit churches, abandoned villages, high mountain passes and more
• Visit the lovely Olaen waterfall – and bring your swimsuit for a refreshing dip
Weeks £GBP US$
2 £1,000  $1,185 
3 £1,175  $1,390 
4 £1,265  $1,495 
5 £1,485  $1,750 
6 £1,705  $2,010 
7 £1,930  $2,265 
8 £1,980  $2,320 
9 £2,200  $2,575 
10 £2,430  $2,835 
11 £2,650  $3,090 
12 £2,790 $3,245

Volunteer with howler monkeys in Argentina

Volunteer rated at
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Argentina Howler Monkey Sanctuary Photo Gallery

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