VOLUNTEERING COSTA RICA

NATIONAL PARK

Would you like to work in a National Park at the Caribbean coast Costa Rica? Would you like to get to know the exciting animal and plant species and help to preserve their natural habitat? Then get involved with our partner organization to help preserve the ecosystem and work in the most famous National parks Costa Rica: Tortuguero! The Tortuguero National Park is located directly on the beach and offers a unique habitat for many animal and plant species thanks to its many freshwater rivers. There are all sorts of things to do and discover in the park: from animal watching and welcoming visitors to Maintenance, reforestation and small-scale research work. Your adventure in the Caribbean awaits!

Quick Facts

Type of program
Nature conservation project
Program location
Tortuguero
, Costa Rica
Working hours
approx. 6 hours, 6 days
Program start
Every 1st Saturday of the month
Minimum age
17 years
Language
No knowledge
Prerequisites
Close to nature
Location
Village, Jungle, Close to the beach
Accommodation
Multi-bed room
Catering
Included
Support
German-speaking contact person in Costa Rica
Internet
Mobile Internet with SIM card from WanderWorld Travel
Price
Multi-bed room
Base price 1st program: 1590,00 €
Extension month: 1010,00 €

Project description

As a volunteer in Tortuguero, a very special variety of tasks and impressions await you: experience the unique Tortuguero National Park with all its breathtaking plants, rivers and exotic animals. Tortuguero is located in the southern Caribbean of Costa Rica, in the middle of the jungle, where the climate is tropical, humid and rainy. This climate is perfect for many native animal species, some of which are only found there.

Our partner organization has existed in Costa Rica since 1989 and is committed to various protected areas at several locations throughout the country. The Tortuguero National Park is home to a particularly species-rich and fragile protected area. All wild animals on land and in the rivers that find their habitat in the national park, such as otters, howler and capuchin monkeys, crocodiles, parrots, snakes, jaguars, turtles, Amazonian kingfishers, sloths and hundreds of species of fish and birds are protected.

The aim of the organizations is to gigantic biodiversity The aim is to protect the region, monitor and clean the park and beaches, and work closely with visitors to the park and the community of Tortugueros.

 

The beaches on the beautiful Caribbean coast are also famous for the many Turtles known to come to the coasts to lay their eggs (mainly June - October). Rare species that are unfortunately threatened with extinction, such as the green sea turtle (Tortuga Verde) and the giant leatherback turtle (Tortuga Baula) can still be seen there. The population of these unique turtles continues to shrink due to environmental pollution and illegal predation of the turtles and their eggs. Turtle soup and turtle eggs are still considered a delicacy.

Along with this, the organization takes care of information and education in the area of Environmental protection of the surrounding communities and involves them in the development of sustainable projects. This includes visits and educational lectures at local schools and offers for internships and voluntary community work for the locals. For example, people are taught how they can use natural resources without destroying them and how they themselves can contribute to environmental protection. Everyone pulls together here! The multicultural and intergenerational aspect of the organization makes it something very special.

Only with the help of volunteers is it possible for the Preserving the ecosystem and environmental protection. All employees and volunteers are personally committed to working for conservation and changing the future together.

Tasks

As a volunteer, you can provide support in the following areas and contribute your curiosity, creativity, willingness to learn and skills. The working hours are approx. 6 hours per day, 6 days a week. Sundays are free for all volunteers. The daily working hours may vary depending on the tasks. The tasks are also heavily dependent on the weather, so plans often have to be changed spontaneously when it rains.

Working in the National Park. In the park, you will support the staff on patrols, help with the observation and documentation of animals and plants and explore the entire reserve. Here you will often be out and about in a canoe. You can learn all about the exciting vegetation and animal species in Tortuguero and get up close to one or two exotic species. You will also lend a hand with the cleaning and maintenance of the national park. This involves tasks such as collecting garbage, clearing paths of branches, building benches and painting signs.

Reception of visitors. The famous national park is visited by locals and tourists every day. You will assist with ticket control at the entrance and inform visitors about the correct behavior in the park. You can also pass on your newly acquired knowledge about the park and the animal species to them.

Reforestation. There are also various plant and tree species that are planted by the volunteers in the park so that the coastal region can be reforested. Parts of the rainforest are also being reforested, for which the seedlings must first be grown in a small tree nursery in the project and then planted. The aim of the tree nursery is to reforest the beach with a tree species that forms a natural beach barrier, the Icaco (Chrysobalanus), and the mountain almond (Dipterix Panamensis), which is also the main food of the green parrots.

Housekeeping tasks. This includes cleaning the house and garden as well as helping to prepare meals. In the volunteer house, everyone lives together and works together on tasks such as cleaning, cooking, washing and working in the garden. There may also be tasks such as clearing leaves, painting, composting and planting flowers. There is also a chicken garden where you can feed the chickens and muck out the coop.

Environmental education for the community. In addition, environmental protection campaigns and educational events are planned and implemented in the surrounding communities. Your creativity and organizational skills are needed here. You can visit local schools and report on your work in the organization. But there are always other cool activities too. For example, trees are planted in the surrounding area, joint beach clean-ups are organized and we work together to preserve and expand the national park.

Support for research work. The research work does not take place throughout the year, but is seasonal. You will help with various research activities, such as monitoring wildlife on the water and land trails of the Tortuguero National Park. The research work is very important to ensure the "health" of the park and to develop new methods to preserve the ecosystem. Help with collecting samples and documenting the data is always welcome. The team works hand in hand with the park staff. For example, individual animal species are observed, counted and documented, sand samples are taken and the distance between the vegetation and the sea is measured. The water quality is checked, camera traps are set up and changes in the flora and fauna in the park are recorded.

Observation of the turtles. During the turtle season (mainly June - October), you will help count turtles and identify species, then mark the nesting sites. The turtles mainly come to the beaches at dusk. If you are lucky, you may even see them laying their eggs. (However, there is no turtle breeding or release of babies).

Program location

Tortuguero National Park

Pura Vida in the Tortuguero National Park! The name Tortuguero translates as "place where the turtles come" and comes from the Spanish word for "turtle", "tortuga". Untouched rainforest, full of animals and plants and almost deserted dream beaches await you here. The national park is a lagoon landscape surrounded by dense rainforest and is simply unique. There is a wide variety of animal species to observe here: Sloths, iguanas, caimans, toucans, parrots, several species of monkeys, crocodiles, manatees and over 300 bird species can be spotted here.

The main means of transportation in Tortuguero is by boat. There are public ferries, but also the so-called "boat cabs" that sail across the waters every day. The boat is also the best starting point for exploring the park and going on an animal watching tour.

The village of the same name, Tortuguero, lies between the Caribbean Sea and a wide river, just 40 km from the border with Nicaragua. The village can only be reached by boat or plane. Around 500 villagers live here mainly from fishing and the ever-growing tourism industry. The center of the village can be reached on foot in just a few minutes. There you will find restaurants, bars and stores as well as small supermarkets for your daily needs.

Tortuguero is located in the southern Caribbean of Costa Rica, in the middle of the jungle, where the climate is tropical, humid and rainy. In the Costa Rican Caribbean region, rainfall can be expected all year round, there is no classic dry and rainy season like in the rest of the country, but everything is beautifully green. But don't forget your rain jacket and wellies! Temperatures are between 30 and 35 degrees during the day and around 25 degrees at night.

However, it is not just the flair and the weather, but also the cuisine in the Caribbean region that differs from the rest of the country; it is spicier and cooks a lot with coconut milk. Rice and beans with fish is a typical Caribbean dish that you should definitely try.

You can spend your free time relaxing under the sun on the beach or mingling with the locals playing soccer or volleyball. As the village is very small, you will quickly come into contact with the locals and get to know the way of life of the warm-hearted Ticos.

Prerequisites

You do not need any special prerequisites for the program. You should have a desire to work in nature and be motivated to protect plants and animals sustainably. Openness to new cultures is also particularly important to us, as you will get to know people from all over the world, work with them, make new friends and learn a lot. You should enjoy being out in nature and like it quiet. The organization's house is located in the middle of nature - perfect for all outdoor fans.

Language

The national language in Costa Rica is Spanish. As you will be in contact with locals a lot, basic knowledge of Spanish is an advantage for this project, but not a prerequisite. Should you wish to do so, we can organize a language course for you before the start of the project. However, your knowledge will also improve on site in a fun way.

Accommodation and meals

In Tortuguero, you have the Caribbean Sea right on your doorstep. All volunteers live together in a lovingly furnished house on the grounds. Here you share a shared room and bathroom with the other volunteers. The house has a large kitchen and a cozy communal area. The accommodation is typical of the country and very simply furnished. The standard is not comparable with Germany. You should therefore be prepared for a simple lifestyle, but you will settle in quickly. Three delicious Costa Rican meals are freshly prepared for you every day. The typical breakfast "Gallo Pinto" is usually served and for lunch the "Casado", which is rice, beans, plantain and vegetables or meat.

The volunteer house is only a 5-minute walk from the center of the village of Tortuguero. The beach and a soccer and volleyball pitch are also close to the house. Despite its proximity to the village, the house is in a remote location in the countryside and it is not uncommon for an insect or two to find their way into your room. There are also lots of mosquitoes. But don't worry, you'll get used to it over time. In return, you can experience nature more intensely than ever before and will certainly never forget this special place again.

Contact person

Lisa is German and emigrated to Costa Rica with her Costa Rican husband. She has visited the country several times before and is therefore already very familiar with the local culture, traditions and conditions. After falling in love with the country and its people, she decided to live where others go on vacation. In addition to German and English, she also speaks fluent Spanish. Lisa will be happy to welcome you to San José with her warm and cheerful manner and is keen to introduce you to her beautiful adopted country. As the local German contact person, she will answer all your questions and you can always approach her if you need help.

Lisa Stettner on the beach WanderWorld employee smiles

Services and prices

Multi-bed room
Base price 1st program: 1590,00 €
Extension month: 1010,00 €

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Lisa
Coordinator & participant support in Latin America

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