Meet the Corona crew ! Episode 1 : Douwe

Meet the Corona crew !
Episode 1 : Douwe

We find ourselves in a unique situation at EV with a very stable crew: the whole team has been here for at least 3 months now! We would like to introduce you to this ‘Corona Crew’, next up: Douwe!

Douwe came to the Peruvian jungle 10 years ago to start Esperanza Verde together with Olivia. Today he still is a proud director of EV and is involved in every project. What is he most proud of? “The animals we have been able to return to the wild.”

Douwe is a real handyman and, at least it looks like this for the volunteers, is able to fix everything. However, on the question ‘What is the most recent thing you have learned?’, Douwe answered: “Doing an interview is not as easy as it sounds.” Still, Douwe managed to answer all his questions :

What do you love about EV?

That it is in the middle of the jungle, with a lot of animals.

What would have happened if you would have left for Africa instead of South America 10 years ago?

I would not have left for Africa, as I was already there.

What didn’t you expect before starting EV?

I hoped it would be like it is now.

What are you most proud of?

The animals that we have been able to return to the wild.

What is your favorite job/activity?

Handling the animals, but of course only when there is sufficient cause for it.

Would you like to have a month where you would just do the work volunteers do?

No, been there, done that.

What is the most difficult thing about living here?

People, in my opinion, communication is so much more difficult than with animals.

If you could go back in time, would EV look very different?

No, but if I could go back and would have had 1 million dollars it might look different. I think I would have chosen a different spot, more suitable for state of the art construction and infrastructure.

What will EV look like in 10 years?

More or less the same, but probably a bit bigger.

What would you do with 5000 soles (not to be spent EV related)?

Buy some nice tools (no this is not EV related!).

What do you like to do on the weekend?

Relax, be more in the forest.

Which memory at EV makes you laugh/happy?

Mica (adult female capuchin monkey), finding Marlons water paint colors at the construction site while I was babysitting him. Colors everywhere….

What animal is Olivia most like?

A bee, always `buzzing` around everywhere

What is the most recent thing you have learned?

Doing an interview is not as easy as it sounds. But I continuously learn things….

How did Corona influence this place in your eyes?

The Management changed a lot. Daily life generally stays the same. The organizing of food and material- the administration got a lot more complicated.


One of the biggest challenges for a wildlife conservation project like Esperanza Verde definetely is the arrival of a large groups of animal. Every single animal requires and definitely deserves our full attention, providing this for over twenty animals at the same time might feel overwhelming at first. Luckily, we always have a very dedicated team of volunteers, who, together with the management team and the local workers, make the seemingly impossible happen.
This spring the ministry donated not only birds and monkeys of different species, but also reptiles like caimans, snakes and tortoises. On top of that we received a tamandua, an agouti, a paka and a porcupine. As soon as word arrives in Esperanza Verde about an animal delivery of that size, preparations are made: cages geared up, fruit and vegetables cut, everyone keeps busy. On arrival each individual gets an initial health check, some of them lucky enough to be released right after their quarantine period. Others spend some more time under our care, to later join the outside group of our resident animals. The juvenile animals among them need a bigger share of attention. In this case it was the baby tamandua Kassai. For the moment it is the regular supply with milk, that keeps everyone awake. Soon it will be a growing hunger for termites and ants that will require the whole teams effort.

Progress update on the New Quarantine Facility

Over the last few months our new Quarantine Facility has really started to take shape. This project was only possible thanks to a generous donation from Jaap van de Graaf, a Dutch foundation. 

At 60m2 the new quarantine building is a major undertaking. Building anything in a remote region of the Amazon jungle comes with is challenges and such a big construction has really put our team to the test. However this month the walls have been gaining height as row upon row of new bricks have been laid. The drainage system is complete and we can see the end in sight.

When animals first arrive at our rescue centre they must spend at least four weeks in quarantine separated from the other animals. This both protects our resident animals from any disease the new animals might be carrying, but also gives us the opportunity to observe the new animals and assess their health and treatment requirements. Once this quarantine facility is completed we will have a much-needed new facility to house these animals and carry out this vital work

Completion of Lush Funded Enclosures

The completion of the Elmo enclosure in February marked the completion of the final enclosure funded by the Lush Charitable Giving Program. The Lush Program provides funding to small, grassroots organisations that, like us, are working tirelessly to protect animals and their environment.

The Elmo enclosure is the biggest of the projects sponsored by Lush and has taken nearly 12 months to construct. We are constantly receiving new animals confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade and so it is vital that we build new enclosures on a regular basis. 

The completion of Elmo enclosure could not of come soon enough, as within days the Peruvian government confiscated nearly nine hundred parakeets, macaws and other parrots. These birds were malnourished and dehydrated and were quickly bought to Esperanza Verde. The Elmo enclosure, like our other enclosures, give these animals time to rehabilitate and hopefully once they are fit and healthy a chance to be released back into the wild.

Support from Wild Futures

Wild Futures is a primate welfare and conservation charity based in the UK. As well as running a sanctuary in Cornwall for primates rescued from the pet trade, they also provide support to many organisations that are protecting primates worldwide. We are thrilled to announce that this year Esperanza Verde was granted funding as part of Wild Futures overseas support program.

This grant will allow the team in Peru to build another much needed rehabilitation enclosure. These enclosures are a vital part of our work and provide a safe environment for rescued animals to transition back in to the wild. Like these monkeys pictured, the majority of animals at Esperanza Verde are rescued from the illegal wildlife trade and, after a period of rehabilitation, they are given a second chance at freedom. Thanks to the support of Wild Futures, the team in Peru will be able to begin construction of this much needed enclosure soon. Further updates soon.

Mica became a mum !

Mica, a female capuchin, was taken from the wild as a very small baby. She was confiscated from the wildlife trade and hand raised by our team, before being released back into the wild. She was the very first monkey we rescued and spotting her with a baby justifies all our hard work!