December 2022 Newsletter

December is a busy month for everyone, and it’s no different at Esperanza Verde (although the “holiday rush” looks quite different in the jungle). While Peru as a country is experiencing a political crisis, we are very lucky and haven’t been affected more than delayed veggie and fruit deliveries. New animals arrived, Sinterklaas was celebrated and Oliebollen were baked – here’s the last month of 2022 for you!

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in the survey, it was a big help and hopefully you can see some of the changes already!


The very young, yet strong-minded female woolly monkey Moana is coming into her own. As the volunteers take her on leaf walks to introduce her to the rest of the EV residents, she’s not only stuffing her face with tasty greens and fruits. She’s working hard on her climbing skills and doing well – becoming more independent and stronger – atta girl! 

Another young one making progress is Tammo (young male peccary). His time at the family house came to an end – he was moved to an enclosure right next to the rest of the peccaries. This way he can have a safe introduction to the whole gang. Hopefully, after a sniff or two, they’ll all get along. 

Just as the dust was settling from last month’s new arrivals, two baby birds, Lino and Mancha, showed up on our muddy jungle doorstep. A local woman found them when they were still eggs and let one of her nesting chickens incubate them until they hatched! Two days later they arrived here, so we couldn’t tell their species. Our guess, along with the woman who brought them in, is that they’re Spix’s Guans… we’ll just have to wait and see!

Olivia went to Pucallpa for Christmas shopping and came home with a few things that weren’t on the list: Ushari, a baby male night monkey, Milo, a juvenile squirrel monkey, Tonga, a baby trumpeter bird and 5 yellow-footed tortoises. All were rescued by the ministry of Fauna and Flora and even though we were (and still are) low on volunteers and doing overtime with all the baby animals, the holiday spirit was too strong and Olivia’s heart too big. Say welcome to the newest arrivals!

SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

Kulua, the common potoo, has been eating her crickets faster than you can imagine. The volunteers go out to the plantation every day to catch enough crickets to still her hunger. To encourage her to start flying, we moved her to a bigger enclosure where she can spread her wings and practice some flying. 

Ludo the young male kinkajou was feeling sick, and his future was a little unsure. Luckily, he got better due to our vet Ligia’s care and Douwe’s vigilant eye. He’s been doing so well that we moved him to an outside enclosure to explore and get him one step closer to release.

Daenarys, one of the mealy parrots got a foot injury. Her recovery was quick, but as she seemed to enjoy our company, and we couldn’t get enough of her either, we let her for a few more days in the clinic, before bringing her back to her outside enclosure.

Sayani, one of the few survivors of the group of orange-winged parrots arriving several years ago with a serious fungus infection, causing the loss of one of her eyes – suffered an accident. One of the outside capuchins was able to grab one of her legs through the mesh. Along with her poor sight, she now has to deal with a broken leg as well. Sayani has proven to be a tough cookie though and with her flying ability intact, we believe she’ll overcome this injury too.

Hano and Gado (cobalt-winged parakeets) were moved to an outside enclosure, joining the other cobalt-winged parakeets (Nilo, Silo and Omar) and the three blue-headed parrots Athena, Ares and Zeus. It’s quite the blue crew! Here they can learn to spread their wings and become more independent. 


A huge thank you to the generous donation of Kai Bakker and Jonas Ruyter, founders of Datasnipper for funding the new Loki enclosure. The first poles have been put into the ground and soon the big monkeys from the La Sapa enclosure will be able to move in. This is a big project we are taking on to improve the life of the animals that live here. 

Volunteer life

With the Holidays on their way, we sadly had to say goodbye to our videographer Anna Gruyters. We can’t thank you enough for all your hard work and dedication. We look forward to seeing all your future films and appreciate all the amazing ones you’ve made for us, her latest:

Sometimes you run into the most amazing animals at the most unexpected moment. As volunteers were on their way to the family house, they saw a wild two-toed sloth. Spotting this animal is on the bucket list of many volunteers, and this lot got lucky! Then another one was spotted at the waterfall! Another reason to never say no to a night walk. 

Cool things happen around the clock, that’s why Machico at times offers to take volunteers on a forest walk. He knows the area like the back of his hands and on a walk with him, you’ll learn about trees, look for animals and learn all about them and their sounds.

Despite the turbulent protests going on in Peru, life at EV has thankfully been calm and safe. Well, we‘ve had several celebrations, so perhaps calm isn’t the right word…

We celebrated the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas and exchanged presents. Marlon got a hand-made wooden air-hockey table (wonder who made that…), Kayla got her very own board game ‘Kayla’s Kitchen’ and Ligia had to operate on a monkey! We munched on the typically Dutch snacks pepernoten but missed a few as we found the local cockroaches nibbling away at them. 

Christmas was celebrated at the family house with a delicious dinner, presents under the tree and a crackin’ party.

Kayla and Jette made sure the animals didn’t feel left out of the Christmas festivities. They made special animal-friendly Peruvian tamales for all to taste.

All good things must come to an end, so the last day of 2022 was celebrated in style. In local Peruvian tradition, we made a puppet representing all that is old and in the past and burned it at midnight. Creating space for a fresh and clean start to 2023. We can’t wait to save more animals and continue our work, no matter the challenges.

Hasta Luego amigos!