More About El Puma

El Puma Ecological Park is located in the small town of Candelaria which is approximately 12 miles from the city of Posadas. Candelaria, located on the Rio Parana, is known for its mystical Jesuit ruins, eucalyptus and pine plantations, and is the location of a lovely park that has a waterfall, canyon and campsites.

The park is home to an animal breeding and rehabilitation centre that aims to promote the welfare of wild animals that are native to Argentina and wildlife preservation. Their objectives are to help sick or injured animals that have been captured by forest rangers by nursing them back to health and to raise the numbers of native species by breeding them while in captivity. The animals are rehabilitated at the centre and then once ready released back to their natural habitat, if possible. El Puma works with the Ministry of Ecology of that province and depends on them for funding.


Due to the lack of financial resources, the expertise and funding provided by private groups and international conservation agencies is essential to supplement what the Ministry of Ecology provides. This centre needs assistance in taking care of the animals, and volunteers will make up a substantial proportion of the labour force. It is also important to help highlight the importance of protecting Argentina's wildlife, which has long been victim to trafficking.

The biggest requirement of a volunteer for this project is a strong love of all animals, as well as the readiness to be involved with the more basic duties that will be required. Volunteers should be committed and willing to help out wherever needed as the work is hard and can involve long hours. A love of the outdoors is also essential. As the staff at the project do not speak any English and so volunteers should ideally have a basic conversational level of Spanish or take lessons before arriving into the country and be willing to work on this while at the project.

Duties may include feeding the animals, cleaning and repairing all animal enclosures, building new enclosures, giving guided tours of the centre to any English speaking visitors, observation and data collection of the animals for research. You may also travel around the province with the staff who look for injured animals. It is strongly recommended that volunteers speak at least basic Spanish for this project.

More About The Region

The Paranaense Forest, whose area includes all of the province of Misiones, belongs to a group of rainforests which span across Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.

Its original area within Argentina's boundaries was 26,660km², but it now covers only 12,000km² - about 45% of the original size.

Nonetheless, it is the most diverse ecological system in the country, characterised by having more than 2000 species of vascular plants and 1000 species of vertebrates. As an indication of the biodiversity of the Paranaense Forest, consider that in the Misiones region alone they have determined the presence of 254 species of fish, 50 amphibians, 80 reptiles, 548 birds and 116 mammals.

What Animals Do They Have There?

Varies from time to time, but generally...

- puma
- jaguars
- toucans
- monkeys
- birds
- deer
- pecarís
- carpinchos
- margays
- coati
- aguará pope

How Can I Help?

- donations?
- volunteering?
- spread the word?


(anecdotes/comments from past volunteers)