Being in the jungle in the Madre de Dios region of Peru was a life changing experience. I learned so much about myself, the natural environment, and realistic ways to preserve the forest. However, this place is not the perfect fit for everyone. If you have trouble staying off your phone and/or being pretty isolated from normal society, this may not be the best fit for you. When I arrived at the Sanctuary, I was the only volunteer. It gave me the opportunity to learn to enjoy my own company, but that comes harder to some than others. I spent most of my free time reading, listening to music and writing. To be fair though, I visited the Sanctuary during peak Covid-19 cases around the world, so there weren’t many tourists out and about. Another thing to keep in mind is the intensity of the fauna, specifically insects. There are many cockroaches, spiders, wasps, ants, sandflies and worst of all, mosquitoes that will affect you at some point or another during your time in the rainforest, but for me it allowed me to overcome many fears and rationalize with myself. Now, I’m going home with a newfound tolerance to distasteful critters, and you’ll likely too! I mention these things to prepare you, because I didn’t account for quite so many bugs(expect the worst), but if you can look past them and their pestiness, the memories that you will make at Panthera Sanctuary will stay with you forever. If you’re looking for an eye-opening experience, or just a rewarding opportunity to give back to the rainforest, I highly recommend you come to Panthera!
I’d visited with two friends and we had an absolute blast! The mix of different people with all sorts of backgrounds, the incredible view of the Madre de Dios river and all the incredible experiences made this one of my most favourite and cherished places out there. I wholeheartedly reccomend volunteering to anyone looking for adventure!
I came to volunteer at Panthera Sanctuary
in January of 2020. I was originally planning on staying 6 weeks, but that quickly turned into 6 months! From planting trees to protecting part of the rainforest from being destroyed, the work that is done in the sanctuary is truly impactful. Above all, the people that are attracted to the sanctuary are truly incredible. I have never been surrounded by so many people that truly care about this planet and the life on it. Whether you are 18 on a gap year or 80 and retired, Panthera Sanctuary has a place for all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
Panthera sanctuary was the perfect place to learn about the peruvian part of the amazon. Pierre and Alex (the owners) are such beautiful people, they have so much to teach and they are super curious, always learning new things and telling us about it. It was also great to see how it is to live in tropical conditions and a good place to really see the impact humans have on the environnement. It was honestly the best part of my trip in South America.
Séjour de deux semaines intense et passionnant, avec une équipe formidable, chaque membre ayant ses propres compétences.
Les activités proposées sont multiples et variées. Ça va du monitoring des caïmans à la permaculture en passant par l’herpetologie, l’arachnologie, la pêche, l’observation des oiseaux, la chasse aux grenouilles, le nettoyage des sentiers ou leur marquage, l’expedition dans un endroit digne de Jurassique parc… A la recherche de plants de vanille… Etc…
A recommander sans réserve !
Merci également aux volontaires que j’y ai croisé d’avoir contribué à rendre ce séjour d’autant plus agréable. Une semaine supplémentaire (coronavirus oblige 😁) hors du temps !
We had an amazing 4 weeks at Panthera! Everyone was lovely and the activities were a lot of fun. I learned a lot about the jungle and sustainability. The staff was all amazing and we had the best time together! Thank you for everything!
This was my first trip outside my home country. I was so nervous at first but everyone at Panthera was so welcoming and kind that any anxiety I had went away. All of the staff members I met were wonderful people. I miss all of them.
I spent 5 weeks at Panthera and in that time I learned so much. I now understand what it means to be a community. Every activity was meaningful and taught me a lot about sustainability and agriculture. I was able to witness the reality of what’s happening in the jungle. I got to see all sorts of creators, my favorite being the jungle turtle. The memories I got at Panthera are priceless.It’s an experience that I’ll always remember.
Our son Maxime has just come back from a 3 months trip to Peru, spending the last 4 weeks with Pierre and Alex and their amazing team.
He’s learnt so much in such a short period of time that, at just 18, he will never forget this incredible experience. The team was very well looked after and each day and activities were very well organised. The discovery of the wildlife in the jungle was out of this world. No Wifi meant that the free time was spent reading or playing games with others (a different way to communicate !). A special thank you to Pierre and Alex who made Maxime feel very welcome. We missed him when he was away, but he’s now missing you ! All the best with your beautiful project !
I absolutely loved my time at the Panthera Sanctuary. It was such a gorgeous reserve. I really felt like the work I was doing was important.
The staff were all amazing. They’re all extremely knowledgeable and dedicated to what they are doing. Their passion for what they do was contagious. I learned so much in my short time here.
I loved every second! I would absolutely recommend Panthera to anybody considering spending time with them. It has been a truly unforgettable experience, and if the opportunity arises again, I would not hesitate to work with them a second time!
Where can I start!
From the moment I met Pierre and Alex in Puerto Maldonado to embarking on an hour- long boat ride to the sanctuary, I knew that I was in good hands. That’s before mentioning Jess and Aldo, two great people who took us on our activities daily, and Gabriel and Jaime who both made delicious dishes (we needed the calories). I can honestly say that my 4 weeks stay here were my favourites of my trip in Peru. The environment is simply mesmerising and the atmosphere was friendly and great. I never thought that being away from civilisation for such a long time would do me so much good. As for the activities, they varied from day to day and were made to suit the sanctuary’s needs. One day we would repair the main dock, on another we would venture 5 km into the jungle to a lake to take data. Once a week, we were able to go caiman monitoring with Pierre and Alex at night on the Madre de Dios river. On Friday nights, we would take part in herpetology, which involved walking around the sanctuary land at night to catch frogs and snakes (of which we caught two coral snakes) to take data and identify the species. No need then to say that the activities could be tough and sweaty but were always fun- filled and you knew a good lunch was waiting for you when you came back!
For all those reasons, I would like to thank Pierre and Alex for creating something special, Jess and Aldo for taking care of us on a daily basis and Gabriel and Jaime for feeding everyone with delicious food. Most importantly though, is the atmosphere that everyone created in the middle of the jungle. That is why I would also like to thank every volunteer who I came to meet in this great adventure!
I absolutely recommend this to everyone who is looking to volunteer and wants to make an impact.
I joined Panthera Sanctuary as a short-term volunteer and in addition to participating in activities and getting educated in the intrincities of Jungle (conservation) work, I also got to experience the flora and wildlife. Impactful and important work in the context of (self-)sustainability, education and conservation.
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