When I was in first grade, I learned about the Amazon rainforest. Like most 6 year olds, I could not fully understand the complexity of such a place but for some reason I was able to grasp just how powerful this special area of the world was. The vision of dense canopies, wildlife I never [...]
Gilberto Guerra Reátegui is the newest addition to my list of favorite people on earth. He is a shining light in the jungle who has dedicated the past 15 years of his life to preserving and protecting the monkeys of the Amazon.
Every move Gilberto makes is for his monkeys.
On the plane to Iquitos we read about Masato, or “jungle beer,” in our Amazon survival book. Apparently, when you visit a tribe, they will offer you this beverage which you must drink or it’s considered highly offensive.
It is illegal to possess or sell wildlife in Peru. However, spend 10 minutes in the market of Belen and you’ll see monkey babies, sitting next to their mother’s carcasses, both for sale.
While we were on our overnight trip to Iquitos, we met several people who asked us what we were doing in the Amazon. We explained that we are volunteering at La Isla De Los Monos, a statement which was met with questionable glances.
I introduced you to Neeko almost 3 weeks ago after we rescued him from the market in Mazan (here). He had ammunition in his tail and side, a broken toe, was malnourished and terrified.
I am happy to announce that Neeko is recovering beautifully and gaining more strength every day.
One of our most important volunteer tasks on La Isla De Los Monos is educating the tourists on the importance of Gilberto’s project. He speaks great English but since he is self taught, naturally there are language barriers.
Marta and Melita are two women who live on La Isla De Los Monos and they have been our Peruvian mamas while we are living here.
The river is rising in the Amazon. Gilberto and many other families that live on it’s banks have been forced to cope with this reality.
Martin is the oldest monkey on the island at a whopping 5 years old. He is the alpha male and kind of a pimp. He has children with 3 of the other monkeys here.
None of the other monkeys mess with Martin. If he wants your fruit, you hand it over.