Field report

What was particularly nice about Latin America was the diverse nature, you have the Atlantic Ocean and at the same time the Caribbean beaches, jungle and many different animals that you see on the trip.
April 2023
Lena with another participant in the project accommodation
Our participant Lena worked for a month in the Turtle Protection Project in Costa Rica, helping the turtles, environmental protection and the local community. Together with the other volunteers, she had an unforgettable time in the project and will always remember the exciting nature and animals of Costa Rica.


My preparation time

After my social year, I really wanted to go to Latin America, Costa Rica, to take part in the "Turtle Protection" project, but also to get to know new cultures, the diverse nature, the people and, above all, a different way of life. I wanted to take part in the project for a month and then travel through Costa Rica for a month. My project started in February and my travel booking and planning started in October. The best thing about the preparation time was that with every document, every vaccination and every item I packed, I got closer to my time in Costa Rica. However, like many others, I was also very nervous and sometimes afraid of traveling alone to a foreign country. WanderWorld helped me a lot with my preparation by providing me with checklists of necessary vaccinations and documents, a packing list, suggested itineraries and a fact sheet about the country, traditions and culture. WanderWorld also took care of my flight bookings.

The first days

The first two days after arriving in Costa Rica, we spent in San Jóse, the capital, to get to know the other volunteers and our contact person Lisa. On the introductory day, we were then shown around San Jóse, we all had Costa Rican lunch together, booked our bus to Montezuma to the project and were able to clarify some important questions. Once we arrived in Montezuma, we were shown everything, the daily schedule was explained and we had the rest of the day to get settled. It was very difficult at first, everything was new, the surroundings and the people were unfamiliar and we had to get to grips with the "new" life. But after the first few days with very nice volunteers, project managers and having fun at work, I felt really comfortable and quickly felt at home.

A day at the Turtle Protection Project

As February is not turtle season in Montezuma and only one nest had to hatch, our tasks during the day were "community work" for the local community. We collected plastic and garbage on the beach, started to build a park and cleared the leaves from the elementary school playground. At night, each of us worked a three-hour night shift together with two other volunteers, during which we regularly watered and checked the turtle nest. Even though some of the tasks were really exhausting, we had a lot of fun together :). In the morning, at lunchtime and in the evening, we all met for lunch, which was freshly cooked for us every day.

My free time in Montezuma

In our free time, we were mostly at the beach or in the sea, which was right next to our accommodation, or at one of the many waterfalls in Montezuma, where you can also swim. But we also had highlights such as a tour to the island of Isla Tortuga, a weekend in Santa Teresa, a surfer's paradise, or a private pool party with a barbecue, which our project manager organized for us. You could also go quading or horse riding along the beach.

My experience with culture

The people, especially in Montezuma, are all very open, helpful and like a small family. They tend to live simply, without attaching much importance to material things, without stress and time pressure in the day and also show you that you don't need much in life to be happy.

My most beautiful moments

Particularly nice moments during my entire trip with another volunteer were when whales and dolphins appeared next to us on the boat trips, sloths hung out in Manuel Antonio National Park or starfish lay in the sea right next to us. The biggest highlight, however, was when the turtles hatched shortly before we left our project in Montezuma and we accompanied them to the sea together.

My accommodation

Our project accommodation was right by the sea and had four shared rooms, but they were never fully occupied in my time, so we all had enough space to ourselves. There was a large terrace next to the kitchen with a view of the sea and, if we were lucky, a view of whales. We volunteers ate together there every day, talked or played games. Unlike at home, the accommodation was kept very simple, but you get used to it really quickly and realize that you don't actually need much to be happy. There was also a cook who cooked fresh meals for us every day.

Why I love Latin America

What was particularly nice about Latin America was the diversity of nature, you have the Atlantic and at the same time the Caribbean beaches, jungle and many different animals that you see on the trip. The people there are also much more open, helpful, happy and not as superficial as in Europe. If I had to describe Latin America in three words, they would be colorful, beautiful and warm. My goal would be to travel to Guatemala one day, as many people I met on my trip raved about it.

My tips for future participants

My tip for traveling to Latin America is to travel without expectations, then it is much easier to get involved in the country and life there and enjoy it. You will always meet other lovely volunteers everywhere and don't have to worry about being alone. The language, especially in Costa Rica, was not a problem either, as most people there speak English and many tourists will even answer you in German ;). As mentioned above, WanderWorld helped me a lot with the preparations and our contact person Lisa was always there to answer our questions during our trip, which was a great help, especially during my first stay abroad. For the "Turtle Protection" project, you should be open to new things, enjoy working for the environment and the community and definitely have a heart for animals, as dogs in particular always cross your path everywhere in Costa Rica.

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Sophia, founder of Wanderworld Travel

Lisa, Coordinator & Participant Support 

Amanda, Support and advice before departure


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