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Peru rescue centre Colitas con Canas - Emily working in centre

You can help us with caring for the animals that we rescued.

Peru rescue centre Colitas con Canas - volunteers in centre-1

You work with volunteers from all over the world and with local people also.

Peru rescue centre Colitas con Canas - volunteers walking dogs

You can walk one of our rescued dogs.

We are a new rescue centre in the Sacred Valley. This is an exciting time to get involved with us. There is so much work to be done. Join us!


Very Important: setting realistic expectations


It is essential that all volunteers are realistic about their expectations of our rescue shelter.


We need volunteers who are great team players. People who work well on their own and take initiative.


Each individual must be respectful of our rules and other volunteers. We seek volunteers who are cooperative and possess good communication/conflict-resolution skills.


Helping neglected, injured, sick, abused animals can be very stressful, and takes fortitude, focus and resilience. We need people who are realistic and despite the conditions and circumstances will remain positive and pleasant to work with. It is essential to be a community/ team-minded person. It is a selfless endeavor to volunteer for our cause.


We are indeed very grateful for all the wonderful volunteers that we receive.  One difficult personality can infect the whole team environment.  If we find that a volunteer is being more problematic than useful, we will be forced to ask them to leave the premises. We strive to create and maintain a healthy-minded, collaborative volunteer team so that together we can continue to help as many dogs in need as possible in Sacred Valley of Peru! ❤

In-house volunteers


In-house volunteers are volunteers who help us for a continuous period (minimum two weeks), as opposed to daily visitors (who may kindly and casually help us for a few hours that day) and local volunteers from the Sacred Valley. A typical day as a volunteer may include:


- Socializing with the dogs and giving them affection. Our dogs need lots and lots of love; that is an essential part of the work here. 

- Walking the dogs. So that our dogs can be adopted, it is essential to teach them to trust people; and to train dogs to walk on a leash.

- Feeding the dogs and giving them water.

- Assisting with medical care. You may learn to do physical therapy with some dogs, administering medications, training, or other specialized activities that the dogs may need on a case-by-case basis


​- Cleaning (dog grooming, cleaning the shelter facilities and property grounds, cleaning the dog kennels, and cleaning your volunteer accommodation and communal areas)


​- Hosting tours of the shelter and talking with visitors


- General maintenance of the shelter site (for example: cleaning up weeds to help keep the area open)


Time and work schedule

For our in-house volunteers: we ask for a minimum commitment of two weeks. Training for in-house volunteers takes time and resources, and we can’t offer a turn over that is too frequent.


You will work for 6 hours a day, with breaks, with 2 days off per week.


The start of your shift will vary based on the number of other volunteers present, and the current daily needs of the shelter. Everything will be talked about and mutually agreed upon.


Volunteering fee (non-refundable)

The fee towards volunteering at Colitas con Canas is $4 per day for the first 2 weeks, so $56 per person in total.
If your stay is longer than 2 weeks, you will not be charged any further daily fees.

This will help us with the costs of the following:


- Purchasing volunteer amenities (beds, matresses, cleaning supplies, infrastructure...)

- General maintenance of volunteers’ amenities and facilities

- Utilities

- Wifi

- Some basic food ingredients.


Please pay by using our secure Paypal Donation account.

Your stay will be confirmed once you pay your $56 fee.

We do not receive any funding. We pay for this project from our own pockets. So, without this fee, our project would not be sustainable. 

Extending your stay


If you wish to stay longer at the end of your original volunteer stay, there are no minimum days required for an extended stay, but:


- You can do so upon Emily's approval.


- You can do so if we have availability for our volunteer beds.




- We have one room for volunteers with 4 beds (2 bunk beds), a shared space, a kitchen and a bathroom with a hot shower (*note, there are kids in the house as well).

- All volunteers will share domestic duties in all shared living areas.


- Bed linens, covers and pillows are provided. Toiletries, including towels, are not provided. Please bring your own.

- The house runs on solar energy and has internet. (*note the internet is not guaranteed to be fast as we are in a remote area and can be unreliable).



We provide ingredients for you to cook your meals in our equipped kitchen. Please know that because we are a small local non-for-profit rescue centre, we have limited financial resources and we can only offer basic ingredients (coffee, bread, jam, rice, dry beans and lentils).

We offer the same basic ingredients every day for everybody, we cannot customize based on dietary preferences or restrictions. If you wish to supplement this with something of your liking, you can find anything for a reasonable price ay the central market of Urubamba. 

Peru rescue centre Colitas con Canas-Volunteer shared space

Shared living space.

Peru rescue centre Colitas con Canas-Volunteer kitchen

Volunteer kitchen.

Peru rescue centre Colitas con Canas-Volunteer Room

Volunteer room.

​Some rules


No dogs can be adopted without Emily's final approval. Emily knows all the dogs very well, and we ask volunteers to never make any final decision on their own regarding adoption. This is to ensure that all dogs go to a proper new home.


You can smoke on the Colitas con Canas property but outside of any facilities/buildings/rooms/kitchen.


No parties on the Colitas con Canas property. No exceptions.


Outside visitors

You are encouraged to bring visitors to Colitas con Canas but only during regular public hours from 10am to 4pm, and with the purpose to visit the shelter and see our work. No person who is not an approved volunteer can stay overnight in the Colitas con Canas rescue centre. No exceptions. 


All international volunteers must be at least 18 years old.

How to get from Cusco to Urubamba


We do not provide transportation to our rescue centre, but it is very easy and very affordable to go to Urubamba from Cusco. 

The distance is about 50km. The road is a paved two-way road with great views of the Andes Mountains.

1) By bus:

From the bus terminal in Grau in Cusco, you can get a local bus to Urubamba. The journey by bus takes 1h40, and the buses leave every 15 mins until about 6.30pm.

2) Shared Taxi (“Colectivo”):

This option is a little more expensive but it is quicker and more comfortable. Go to the taxi terminal on Pavitos street. Shared taxis run until approximately 6.30pm and leave as soon as they have 4 passengers on-board. Journey time is 1h10-1h20.

3) Once in Urubamba:

From the bus terminal in Urubamba, take a mototaxi to our rescue centre. It is a short ride.

And there you are, welcome to your new volunteer home!


Please let Emily know about your arrival time, so we can arrange for someone to be there to welcome you.

What happens when you arrive

Upon arrival, volunteers will be greeted by Emily or a Colitas Con Canas volunteer, and shown to their room with a briefing regarding the basics of the facilities.

You will get a brief description of duties, including instructions on health and safety.

The day of arrival has time scheduled for relaxation, orientation, training regarding duties etc. and for acclimatizing yourself.

How to spend your free time


You can explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas, which was an important site for the Inca Empire, and is the home of some incredible Inca archaeological sites. The most famous being Machu Picchu.

This beautiful and peaceful valley is home to a number of Quechua villages and colonial towns. Star attractions in the Sacred Valley include Machu Picchu, the Pisac Market and the lofty Inca citadels of Pisac and Ollantaytambo; however, the valley is filled with other Inca sites that are well worth visiting.

So this is a great opportunity to learn about the Inca civilization. Urubamba is in roughly the middle of the Sacred Valley.

Many people in the Sacred Valley still speak the Quechua language (Quechua was the main language family of the Inca Empire). In 1975, Peru became the first country to recognize Quechua as one of its official languages, and it is still the most widely spoken language of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Urubamba is also a lovely town with good restaurants.

You can socialize with the friendly people of Urubamba. You can learn Spanish. Whatever suits you.

Outdoor activities: hiking, biking.

Take a day trip to world-renowned Cusco (the capital of the Inca Empire): easy, frequent, and affordable transportation between Urubamba and Cusco, about 1hr one-way.

Transportation within the Sacred Valley is straightforward and freque
nt with Collectivos (mini-vans). 

Will I be working with Peruvian people?

Yes. You will be working with local volunteers, and with the local population, so you will learn the lifestyle, working ways and cultural practices of the local community. Some are more fluent than others in English so please be patient.

Urubamba is a very authentic town, not as touristy as Cusco, giving volunteers a great opportunity to get immersed in the Peruvian life.

The benefits of a placement at Colitas Con Canas?

We are a new rescue centre, so please know that your contribution will make a massive difference to the welfare of stray dogs in the valley. You will receive the satisfaction of making a positive difference to the lives of these animals while acquiring new skills and knowledge.


Application form

Okay, so you want to volunteer for us? Great!

Please fill out our Volunteer Application Form. We will get back to you right away.

If you have any additional questions or specific concerns, please contact us.

​We can't wait to meet you!
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