Paseo Los Manos.. Monkeys!

This is a guest post by Nana G, who spent time while travelling in South America volunteering at Paseo Los Manos, an animal rescue center that doing great things and is talked about a lot lately!-Jon

In my weirdest dreams I never imagined my self running after a six-months wooly monkey with a spider monkey sitting on my shoulders.  But that’s the reality in a completely different world called Paseo Los Monos.


Volunteering at Paseo Los Mons was the most amazing experience I had in my whole trip in South America full of unforgettable weeks, feelings, sights and insights.

 Paseo Los Monos is a rescue center for trafficked animals, mainly monkeys. The center was started by a Swiss-French couple after they moved to the Ecuadorian Amazon. The couple, Véronique Grand and Yvan Bouvier, built a house on the acquired land and started receiving monkeys from all over Ecuador.

 The goal is to help rehabilitate the animals and release them to a protected natural reserve, but in most of the cases it is too late and the animals won’t survive alone in nature. These animals will continue living in the rescue center for the rest of their lives.

Most of the animals are saved from trafficking, zoos, experiments or just from being someone’s pet. 

During my stay in Paseo Los Monos I learned a lot about different species of monkeys. After few days I could recognize between 30 monkeys , when on the first day they all look the same to you. I was amazed by observing the animals’ interaction during the days. 

.I won’t lie to you, it was difficult leaving the place. I got attached to the monkeys, especially those I babysat.  Currently there are 65 monkeys from 7 different species (woolly , spider, white and black capuchin, squirrel, tamarin and saki– most of these species and facing extinction), talking parrots (5 different species), turtles, raccoons, coatis, gautusas.


My job included: cutting fruits and vegetables 3 times a day and feed and the animal; explaining tourists about the place; observing the animals play outside to make sure everything is ok and the main part was to babysit two monkeys without leaving them alone for a minute. You could read more detailed description of my daily routine in Paseo Los Monos here.

I have decided to do something useful with my feelings, I decided I will try helping them promote their project. Until recently, volunteering in Paseo Los Monos wasn’t listed even in one website. I have been writing posts and blogs, asking for different site with lists of volunteer projects to add the place, and the last but not the least, I have created a  basic website for the center.

How you could help ?

First of all you can volunteer there.

In order to volunteer in Paseo Los Monos you need to contact the place and coordinate the date. You can also visit the place as a tourist and then decide and just talk with the owner.

Cost– 100 dollars per week

Technical details:You can find all these details also on the website.

Accommodationincluded. There is electricity, running water. You will live in a wood cabin or with the owners in the main house (there you can even enjoy hot showers)Foodall the food is included but you have to prepare breakfast and dinner by yourself.

Lunch is prepared by the owner and everyone eats together. She is an amazing cook, it was the best food I had in my trip!

Since clothes get pretty dirty everyday you can also use the laundry machine.

Requirements from volunteeryou need to be an animal lover. Know English, Spanish or French (basic knowledge will be enough). No other skills are required. Oh and you have to be a good photographer so you could take tons of pictures of these adorable animals

Directions:From Banostake a bus from the terminal to Puyo. It is one and half hour ride.From Guyaquilthere are night busses from the terminal to Puyo, 9 hours ride.

In Puyo you will be dropped in the busses terminal area. You need to take a taxi (10 minutes ride, around 3-4 dollars). Just tell the driverPaseo Los Monos, most of them know the place by name.

The center is located in a middle of primary rain forest. The animals enjoy the forest and the river, they learn from the start how to live outside the cage.

Many of the monkeys are orphans so they are seeking for love and affection from humans and that’s the biggest of the reasons Paseo Los Monos needs volunteers’ help.

If you are seeking for ways to help from homeyou can help me promote the project!

You can post something on Facebook or Twitter.

Even just telling someone about this blog will help spreading information about the center.

If you have suggestionsI will be more than happy to hear, just email me at: nana.ginzbourg at

If you have a blog or a site you can post a link to Paseo Los Monos website .The website:

Last but not leastexcept the photo gallery on the website, you can also take a look at my album in Flickr:

4 Responses to “Paseo Los Manos.. Monkeys!”
  1. Hi !
    The blog about daily life in Paseo Los Monos has changed its address to:
    Thanks for reading ,

  2. Very Nice website. I just finished mine and i was looking for some design ideas and your website gave me some. Did you develop the website alone?


  3. Nana says:

    The website design is by google websites, its very easy to construct.. took me like half a day to constuct this websites and its very easy to manage it as well.

  4. Rebekah says:

    Hi Nana,

    I’ve enjoyed reading your post very much. I’m heading to Ecuador in two months with my kids ages 11 and 13 years. We have contacted staff at the refuge and plan to volunteer at Paseo Los Monos. Did you get vaccinated against Rabies before working with the monkeys? Were health issues ever raised with you by the staff at the refuge? If you have any more details from your trip that you would be willing to tell us we’d greatly appreciate it.



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