VOLUNTEERING COSTA RICA

RAINFOREST RESERVE

You love the lively Nature, untouched landscapes and are interested in a fascinating world full of more exotic animal species? Is environmental protection important to you and would you like to give something back to nature? Have you always dreamed of living in the middle of the rainforest? far away from civilization? Then the project in our nature reserve is just right for you! Here you have the unique opportunity to live in the middle of the Costa Rican cloud forest and get to know the environment while working. Get your hands dirty in the reforestation of the rainforest, guide groups of guests through the reserve, live out your creative side and support renowned researchers in their studies on Flora and fauna. You will learn lots of exciting things about our wonderful planet. In your free time, you will go swimming in natural pools, cook with your new colleagues or simply enjoy the tranquillity of nature. A spectacular adventure awaits you!

Quick Facts

Type of program
Nature conservation project
Program location
Chirripó National Park
, Costa Rica
Working hours
approx. 6 hours (7:30-13:30), 5 days
Program start
Every 1st Saturday of the month
Minimum age
18 years
Language
No knowledge
Prerequisites
Close to nature
Location
Mountains, Jungle, Rural
Accommodation
Single room, Multi-bed room
Catering
Not included
Support
German-speaking contact person via WhatsApp
Internet
Mobile Internet with SIM card from WanderWorld Travel
Price
Single room
Base price 1st program: 2260,00 €
Extension month: 1720,00 €
Multi-bed room
Base price 1st program: 1240,00 €
Extension month: 760,00 €

Project description

The Rainforest Reserve Project was founded in 2002 by two adventurers from New York with a mission: The Deforestation to stop. The two actually came to Costa Rica as tourists to climb the country's highest mountain, the Chirripó. When they looked down on the surrounding deforested areas from up there, they were shocked and decided to come back to Costa Rica and do something about it. In the years that followed, they not only bought up and reforested areas, but also set up an entire rainforest conservation project.

This is how the private nature reserve in the Talamanca Mountains into a unique and innovative reserve. The area is characterized by its breathtaking nature and is world-famous for it. Untouched cloud forest as far as the eye can see, wild rivers and waterfalls are a paradise for numerous exotic animal and plant species. The reserve contains an enormous variety of tropical trees, plants, birds and insects and a broad spectrum of different flora and fauna that cannot be found anywhere else. A backdrop that can only be found in movies.

The Preservation of the reserve depends on the commitment of volunteers. Since 2002, the environmentalists who manage the reserve have already purchased almost 300 hectares of the nature reserve. This includes 70 hectares of untouched primary forest that has never been cut down. The overarching goal is to preserve and reforest the cloud forest and surrounding farmland, but education and research are also part of the reserve's mission. The extent of the impact that the cloud forest has on air, water and soil quality, flood protection, the climate and numerous known or as yet unknown plant and animal species cannot be imagined. Forests and areas like these influence not only the life that surrounds them, but the entire planet. Become part of the team that does everything it can to preserve our nature. Take advantage of this unique opportunity and get to know life in the rainforest - an unforgettable nature experience!

 

The nature reserve welcomes visitors 365 days a year Visitors from all over the world. Hiking and trekking tours are offered for all ages to make the park accessible to everyone. You can also stay overnight in the reserve. Three beautiful houses in the middle of the Costa Rican cloud forest are rented out to interested guests.

The project is working wholeheartedly to protect the cloud forest and all the associated natural resources for the present and future generation to preserve. To do this, they use only green energy, produce minimal waste, promote a plant-based diet and protect the land and the local people. The project was set up with the purpose of Reforestation and revitalization of land was established. It is a great success that the entire reserve has now been reforested and the natural habitat of the animal and plant species has been restored.

Since then, the main aim of the project has been to Education and research. Student programs, lectures, exhibitions and guided tours address and creatively communicate environmental issues. Important research projects and studies are also carried out in the reserve by scientists from all over the world. The project welcomes undergraduate and postgraduate students to carry out their own research and provide interesting insights into their work and study of the natural sciences.

Are you interested in getting a taste of research and living in a unique natural environment? As a volunteer, you will get special impressions because you will have access to parts of the reserve that are closed to visitors. There is an outdoor gym where you can exercise and you will go on daily hikes. The community between researchers and volunteers is characterized by fun and a family atmosphere.

The employees of the reserve attach particular importance to the Community and good cooperation. In the project you have the great opportunity to get to know many special people from all over the world and have an unforgettable time. People often meet in the common rooms and the volunteers enjoy cooking together. There are also regular joint yoga or meditation sessions, which anyone who wants to can take part in. Once a week, there is a "meal sharing" where everyone brings something to eat and shares it with the group so that volunteers and staff can sit together comfortably at a richly laid table.

The project is fully committed to preserving the cloud forest and all associated natural resources for present and future generations. To achieve this, only green energy is used, minimal waste is produced, plant-based nutrition is promoted and the land and local people are protected. In addition, the project is committed to the reforestation and revitalization of land that was cleared for agricultural purposes, purchased from Reserve and now reforested to restore the natural habitat of many animal and plant species.

Tasks

The nature reserve is incredible diverse - just like the tasks you can take on during your time at the reserve. It's not primarily about working, but about learning a lot about nature, wildlife and the conservation of resources. You can get involved in a wide variety of areas and pursue your own personal interests. It will certainly never be boring, as there is so much to experience and discover. The following tasks are examples and are subject to change.

The best thing about the tasks in the reserve is that you can explore the area yourself during your work. explore and hike. Again and again you will be surprised by exotic animals (don't worry - you won't put yourself in danger). As a volunteer, you hike approx. 5 - 7 km a day, so you are very physically active and spend most of your time in the fresh air. Please note that some of the paths are very steep uphill or downhill - so hiking boots are a must!

Support the Researchers from all over the world who carry out studies in the reserve during their scientific work. A real highlight for all nature lovers and biology enthusiasts. You will assist with field and laboratory work, data entry and other interesting tasks. This experience can be useful to you later on in your studies, for example. You will accompany the researchers when they go into the forest in search of bird, frog, monkey or tree species. You will support them in collecting and analyzing the data. For example, help with bird counts, setting up and checking wildlife cameras, observing the behavior of various wild animals, taking samples and measurements of plant species and much more.

There is a breathtaking variety of birds in the reserve, which is why many researchers are drawn to the project to study birds. The species are identified and counted. With a bit of luck, you might spot the unique and very rare quetzal bird in the treetops. This is known as the magnificent quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno), which is listed as "near threatened" on the IUCN list of endangered species due to the destruction of its habitat. This makes the conservation of the habitat in the reserve all the more important.

Some researchers also dedicate themselves to studying butterflies. As a volunteer, you can, for example, help catch butterflies using a catcher, photograph the specimens and identify the species. However, the content of the studies changes constantly with the researchers who are currently working in the reserve.

Do you like physical work and getting your hands dirty? With the general Maintenance and servicing of the reserve are happy to have your support. One of your main tasks is to help the staff build bridges, steps and paths. Here it is important to keep the hiking trails clear and passable, as well as the road to the project. From time to time, new signs have to be put up or benches, tables or huts built. So there are many different tasks involved. Gardening and landscaping are also part of the project. Design your own flower garden or even grow your own food.

Another important task of the volunteers is to work in the Nursery for native trees. Although all the land in the reserve has been reforested, many of the surrounding areas in the local communities are still in need of trees. We grow native upland tree species from the seeds we collect and nurture them in our nursery until they are ready to be planted in the local community. This may be private landowners or shared land. Volunteers will be involved every step of the way, from seed collection to propagation, seedling care and composting.

If you stay in the reserve for longer than a month, you can stay in the Welcome Center of the reserve and welcome guests. Here you will meet a wide variety of people from all over the world and get them excited about the exciting reserve. You explain the hiking trails to them on the map and answer their questions. This is a very important task as you will be the first face people see when they enter the reserve. It's a great opportunity to practice your customer service skills and practice some Spanish. You often get to meet very interesting people and have great conversations.

Are you more of a creative mind than a craftsman? Then you can also apply in the Contributing design and online marketing. Write exciting articles for the website and blog and take care of the social media channels.

Of course, you don't have to choose just one task. As a volunteer, you have the opportunity to combine different areas. It is common to help with maintenance on a daily basis and later support a researcher in their studies. Volunteers are seen as "research assistants" in the project, so they can get a really clear and varied picture of everything that happens in the reserve.

As science and research are particularly important to the project, there are also regular Presentations held by the researchers or the volunteers themselves. Here you have the opportunity to gain a lot of new knowledge about biology and ecology and have exciting conversations with the researchers.

Program location

In the breathtaking Talamanca Mountains in Costa Rica, the nature reserve is located on the western edge of the famous Chirripó National Park in a fantastic geographical location. As part of the largest nature reserve in Central America and due to its ecological diversity, it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The reserve is home to a wide variety of exotic animals such as the quetzal, tapir, puma, jaguar and many others and is particularly famous for its large bird population.

The national park is also home to Cerro Chirripó, the highest mountain in Costa Rica at around 3820 m, from whose summit you can see both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea on a clear day. The incomparable nature that you can admire during the ascent and the spectacular view that you are rewarded with after the hike make the climb an unforgettable experience.

The small towns of Rivas and San Gerardo are very close to the national park. There are small restaurants and supermarkets there. The authentic little village of San Gerardo has only a few inhabitants, but is beautifully situated on the edge of the mountains and shows how the friendly Ticos live there in the countryside.

You reach the reserve from the capital San José. Take the bus via the town of San Isidro de General to the nature reserve. It takes about 30 minutes to walk from the project to the next village.

The beautiful beaches of Quepos, Manuel Antonio and Uvita, which you can reach by bus from San Isidro, are ideal for a weekend trip.

Prerequisites

You do not need any special qualifications or experience to work on this project. It is only important that you have a desire to learn and that you are open to a new culture, people from all over the world and a new way of life. You should be interested in topics from biology and ecology, as a large part of the project revolves around research. You should also enjoy exercise and hiking, as your work will involve a lot of walking in the steep terrain of the reserve. You should be motivated, work well in a team and be willing to share your habitat with other people for a period of time. In return, you can expect a unique community, a life in breathtaking nature and, above all, a lot of fun at work.

Language

The national language in Costa Rica is Spanish. You do not need any knowledge of Spanish to take part in the program. The only requirement is that you can speak English in order to communicate with the other volunteers from all over the world and the project leaders. However, knowledge of Spanish is still very helpful. If you do not yet have any knowledge of Spanish, we recommend that you attend a language course at the beginning of the trip, which we will be happy to organize for you. However, your language skills will also improve on site.

Accommodation and meals

You will live in a shared room with other volunteers from all over the world. The room is located on the project site in the middle of the beautiful nature of the cloud forest. We can organize a single room for you on request for an extra charge. The accommodation is spartan, but you will have everything you need to live there.

There is a well-equipped kitchen at your disposal where you can cook together with the other volunteers. Once a week, employees of the reserve go shopping at the local market, the volunteers can write a shopping list and the food is brought along (at their own expense). You are also welcome to accompany the employee to have a look at the local market. You will find a small supermarket in the next village.

In addition to the rooms and the kitchen, there is also a cozy communal area. Volunteers and researchers come together in the library, where they can work at the desks or read a book on one of the sofas. There are many other outdoor seating areas in the reserve where you can relax in nature.

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 will look after you during the introductory event in San José. If you have any questions during your stay in Latin America, a German-speaking contact person will be available to you via WhatsApp in the same time zone.

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Services and prices

Single room
Base price 1st program: 2260,00 €
Extension month: 1720,00 €
Multi-bed room
Base price 1st program: 1240,00 €
Extension month: 760,00 €

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