Program Details

Trip Highlights Spending your days on stunning beaches - and your evenings helping ensure the survival of these wonderful creatures Sampling the local food - beans and rice may not sound much but when you're in Costa Rica it tastes great! Experiencing a
Location:
San Jose, Costa Rica
Program Type:
Volunteer Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Work Types:
Animals, Environment, Social Services
Duration:
1-2 weeks, 3-4 weeks, 1-3 months, 4-6 months, 1 year

Program Overview

Program Description:
Interested in beautiful beaches and preserving our flappy-friends? This is an ideal project if you want to play an important role in preserving an endangered species and gaining an insight into marine biology. Marine turtles are an endangered species, so you’ll receive specific training which will enable you to help with research and data collection. You could be working on a specialized marine turtle conservation project where you can get involved in clearing beaches in preparation for the nesting season, as well as regular beach patrols. This is a great opportunity to help safeguard the existence of these fascinating animals, whilst spending lots of time on the sun-kissed beaches of Costa Rica’s pristine Pacific coastline.

Trip Highlights Spending your days on stunning beaches - and your evenings helping ensure the survival of these wonderful creatures Sampling the local food - beans and rice may not sound much but when you're in Costa Rica it tastes great! Experiencing a totally different way of life - unless you're lucky enough to usually live on a tropical beach of course

Who is it for? This is for anyone who loves being outdoors, living a unique way of life, loves conservation and the thought that they will be helping to preserve an endangered species. You will need to be flexible due to the demands of the project and have a good level of fitness - the work can be demanding, and be warned about the nights on the beach until the early hours on the night patrols. Just think - spending your days and nights on tropical beaches, hmmm not too bad! What you’ll be doing You will be working on night patrols to watch for turtles coming up onto the beach to lay their eggs, data and measurement gathering, transfer of eggs from nests to hatcheries, beach cleaning, general building and maintenance work of the hatcheries and various activities as and when required by the project. You may also help collect and transfer information about the conservation work to local communities and schools and supporting fundraising for the Project (Matapalo Turtle festival in December!) So not only will your efforts impact on a day-to-day basis but you’ll be supporting the future of the turtles too! You will be working 5 to 6 days a week which will be a mix of day and night patrols, as it is 24/7 you will need to be flexible. In low season volunteers can participate in the construction of the hatchery (June and July) it's hard manual labor but is imperative to the success of the project - without a hatchery no turtle nests can be saved. As an optional extra you can extend your trip and include some Spanish lessons to help you get to grips with the lingo, setting you up perfectly for long evenings of practice with your new found friends. Unfortunately you still won’t be able to converse with the turtles, but feel free to try!
Setting Description:
We work with projects based on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica where it is mainly the Olive Ridley and occasionally the green turtle that come inland to lay their eggs. Both projects we work with are in stunning locations - Matapalo or Buena Vista. In the past there has been considerable poaching of turtle eggs which were then sold or consumed, thus leading to the turtle species becoming endangered. Much work has been done by local communities with various projects being set up to help preserve this species and to help to limit the amount of poaching. As more communities have been made aware of the plight of the turtles there has been a steady increase in the numbers of the hatchlings making their journeys back into the sea safely. The history of turtle protection on the Pacific coast started about 15 years ago. The project in Buenavista runs all year round (note that in September and October – rainy season - that entry into Buenvista is dependable on the weather), with the peak turt

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