International Primatological Society
Next trip coming up in June,
exact dates coming soon!

Studying Monkeys to See What Makes Humans Special

This is a fascinating look at Cayo Santiago - BEFORE Hurricane Maria!
In episode nine of The Most Unknown, neuroscientist Anil Seth and cognitive psychologist Laurie R. Santos travel to Puerto Rico’s Cayo Santiago, a small island home to over a thousand monkeys, where scientists study primate cognition.

CPRC conducts workshop with pre-school kids
CPRC conducts workshop with pre-school kids

The CPRC staff conducted a mini-seminar with the students of the Centro de Desarollo Preescolar de Administracion Central of UPR. The children learned about primates and their complex social and emotional lives. Through a hands-on activity, they were also taught the basics of research and veterinary care done in our field stations at Cayo Santiago and Sabana Seca.

On Hurricane Maria Anniversary, Puerto Rico Is Still in Ruins
Message on the 80th Anniversary of Cayo Santiago

2018 marks the 80th anniversary of the Cayo Santiago Field Station and the first anniversary from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria. CPRC confronted the challenges of recovering from the disaster and ensured that Cayo Santiago continues to be a center of research excellence. The success of the recovery was made possible through the extraordinary effort and sacrifice of the CPRC staff, civic organizations and foundations, volunteers, and visiting researchers.

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Caribbean Primate Research Center

PR declares Cayo Santiago as Scientific Reserve

Gov. Ricardo Roselló signed Ley 128, “Ley para la Promoción Educativa y Scientifica de Colonia de Monos de Cayo Santiago.” The law, among others, is aimed at protecting the monkeys, researchers, and the general public from the transmission of diseases between humans and monkeys. Common human diseases, such as TB and measles, can potentially wipeout the colony of monkeys if introduced to the island. Herpes B virus, a naturally-occurring virus to macaques, is fatal to humans.

On Hurricane Maria Anniversary, Puerto Rico Is Still in Ruins
On Hurricane Maria Anniversary, Puerto Rico Is Still in Ruins

In late August, a team of New York Times journalists visited Punta Santiago, a small town in southeast Puerto Rico near where Hurricane Maria made landfall. They documented the damage that remains from the storm in more than 150 homes. People here have waited months for repairs with little relief. A year later, in house after house, it looks like the hurricane just hit.

Another Small Victory
Another Small Victory"
  • PMI
  • September 4, 2018

In late August 2018, a team of six volunteers from four different National Primate Research Center (NPRC) facilities arrived in Punta Santiago to assist the Caribbean Primate Research Center (CPRC). They expanded and enclosed two of the water collection roofs... read more and view a gallery

Rebuilding Cayo Santiago
Natural History Magazine - "Rebuilding Cayo Santiago"

As you approach by motorboat, Cayo Santiago seems like a typical tropical island. Lush, dense vegetation and palm trees fill a hilly landscape bordered by sandy beaches and clear waters. But as you step out of the boat and onto the small dock, there are already signs that this island is not typical. At first, you hear distant coos and whistles, then odd sounds—squeaks, hoots, something that sounds like throat-clearing. Once you’re on the island, you realize dozens of pairs of eyes, scattered throughout the mangroves and on the beaches, are looking at you—not in a threatening way, not with fear . . . just looking. When other disembarking passengers proceed nonchalantly into the vegetation and toward the Cayo Santiago Field Station, you realize that, as otherworldly as this feels, it is just a normal day on “Monkey Island.”

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"We are good. We are standing strong." One year after María, the Puerto Rican community– whose cry for help went viral– tells its story. #DiscoverPuertoRico 🇵🇷

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Video from the home of Don Alfonso!

We are thrilled to report an important milestone has been achieved... Numerous areas of Punta Santiago now have POWER. ⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡ After over 6 months - ONE HUNDRED NINTY-FOUR DAYS… ELECTRICITY, finally! This is a big move forward to recovery. Congrats!

Amazon Wishlist for Punta Santiago Preschool
Preschool Recovers after Hurricane María

"Punta Santiago was one of the hardest hit communities by Hurricane Maria. The combination of storm surge, sewage and torrential rain destroyed materials and equipment of the Preschool. The 37 student preschool is in urgent need of the materials listed in this wishlist. Please help us achieve our goal and share our wishlist with your family and friends... "

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CNN - 6 Months After Hurricane Maria

Natalio Rodriguez Lebron, center, is shown with his family.

'We are the forgotten people': It's been almost six months since Hurricane Maria, and Puerto Ricans are still dying

Maunabo, Puerto Rico (CNN) Lourdes Rodriguez heard the scream early on the morning of January 6, before the sun rose and before the frogs began their chorus.

"Lourdes! Lourdes!"

She instantly recognized the voice of her father, Natalio Rodriguez Lebron, 77, a former nurse who cared for the mentally ill, people he believed society had forgotten. She darted up the stairs.

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How One Small Town In Puerto Rico Holds On To Hope Six Months After Hurricane Maria

The children of Punta Santiago will tell you how the ocean came into their homes.

They'll tell you how their parents tied them to their waists with rope and plowed through saltwater in search of safety.

They'll tell you how their town is racing to make sure they're prepared if it happens again.

It's been six months since Hurricane Maria slammed into this small town in Humacao on the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico. Little more than two months now stand between its 5,000 or so residents and the next hurricane season.

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The Scientist
Scientists Unite to Save "Monkey Island" After Hurricane Maria

When Hurricane Maria ripped through the Caribbean last September, the small town of Punta Santiago, Puerto Rico, was devastated. Many homes were destroyed, and people lost reliable access to electricity, clean water, and food. In addition to making sure their own families and neighbors had what they needed to get by, some of Punta Santiago's residents had another pressing concern: the fate of 1,700 rhesus macaques living on an island a kilometer away.

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Volunteers repair houses in Punta Santiago destroyed by María

Don Alfonso Lugo Colón stared enraptured at his renovated wooden house in the Punta Santiago plots. At 79, a sweet smile was drawn on his face and he never tired of thanking "those good people". He was referring to a brigade of 40 volunteers - all Americans and a Puerto Rican resident of Texas - who left the island yesterday, after arriving on December 26...

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A rare peek at Rhesus monkeys on Cayo Santiago

Dr. Edmund Kraiselburd, Director, Caribbean Primate Research Centre: "The longevity of this programme is mainly behavioural research. In the island there is no vaccine developing studies or anything like that. You will find mainly people who are studying sociobiology, the study of how monkeys interact with themselves - What is fear? How do you choose your mate? How you exert power on others? And so, essentially monkeys, in a way, they are a reflection on us, what we are, why we behave this way. So people are using monkeys as a model to understand humans, in a way. So understanding monkeys, we understand ourselves."

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