VOLUNTEER WORK COSTA RICA
Are you interested in turtles and want to help them and their offspring? Do you want to protect these fascinating sea creatures and fight against their extinction? The turtles in Costa Rica need you! The species richness is constantly shrinking and unfortunately fewer and fewer turtles are coming to the beaches. Become part of a great project to change just that! Our partner organization is working in the most beautiful places of the country for the conservation of the turtles, but also for the environment and the communities. Here you can get involved in a variety of ways. Take care of the “turtle kindergarten”, participate in environmental protection projects and independently organize creative activities for the education of the locals. Meet volunteers from all over the world and help the cute turtle babies on their way to freedom! This is a unique opportunity to discover the breathtaking country and give back to the community and nature at the same time.
Type of program
Sámara or Montezuma, Costa Rica
About 6 hours, 6 days (at night)
Every 1st Saturday of the month
Spanish or English
Animal lover and nature lover
On the beach
Shared room on the project site
English speaking contact person via WhatsApp
Mobile internet with SIM card from WanderWorld Travel
From 1.580,00 €
Type of program: Turtle sanctuary
Program location: Sámara or Montezuma, Costa Rica
Working hours: about 6 hours, 6 days (at night)
Program start: Every 1st Saturday of the month
Duration: 1-6 months
Minimum age: 18 years
Language: Spanish or English
Requirements: Animal lover and nature lover
Location: On the beach
Accommodation: Shared apartment with other volunteers
Support: English speaking contact person via WhatsApp
Internet: Mobile internet with SIM card from WanderWorld Travel
Price: from 1.580,00 €
Would you like to help save these endangered animals from extinction and protect their habitat? Then our rescue centers on the coasts of Costa Rica are just the place for you. The turtle sanctuary is wholeheartedly committed to the turtles and sanctuaries that have unfortunately been threatened for many years. Turtles are among the oldest creatures on earth, but they suffer from pollution and the robbery of their eggs by collectors. The project was founded back in 1989 with the mission to build a bridge between the local people and the important protection of the national parks and marine life. The aim is to encourage more and more people to volunteer for the protection of nature and the conservation of endangered species, thus reducing the threat of pollution and the consumption of their eggs. The eggs laid are hatched in the sanctuaries on the beaches so that they cannot be stolen by collectors or eaten by other animals. After that, the babies are guaranteed a safe way to the sea. Animals coming ashore are documented and checked for health. When injured animals are found, they receive medical care at the sanctuary.
The organization has already been able to set up 20 stand locations on various beaches in Costa Rica and is working there with the help of volunteers from all over the world to combat the extinction of the turtles. This has already allowed the population of turtles to increase significantly over the last 20 years: a great success for the staff and turtles!
In addition to the sea turtles, the research, rescue and protection centers of our partner organization also take care of the conservation of the country’s ecosystems and nature reserves and the sustainable and responsible use of scarce natural resources. This includes monitoring and cleaning nature reserves, forests, rivers and coastal regions, as well as working with the community and conserving plant life.
Are you interested in biology? To protect sea turtles, the organization conducts important research, focusing especially on monitoring and documenting birth rates. Working with volunteers, students, and researchers from around the world, this involves environmental conditions in hatcheries and on the beach, hatchling success rates, crawl counts, DNA studies, and population monitoring in the open ocean. Ein sehr spannender Teil der Arbeit, bei dem du viel Neues lernen wirst.
Along with this, the organization handles conservation outreach and education to the surrounding communities and involves them in the development of sustainable projects. Dazu gehören Besuche und Bildungsvorträge an den örtlichen Schulen und Angebote für Praktika und freiwillige Gemeindearbeit für die Einheimischen. Hier ziehen alle an einem Strang! Der multikulturelle und generationsübergreifende Aspekt der Organisation macht diese zu etwas ganz Besonderem. Mitarbeiter und Freiwillige aller Nationalitäten, Altersgruppen, Geschlechter, Kulturen, und Bildungsstufen kommen hier zusammen und arbeiten an einem gemeinsamen Ziel. Dazu sind Werte wie gegenseitiger Respekt und Vertrauen unverzichtbar.
First and foremost, of course, is the protection of the turtles. Sea turtles almost always nest and hatch at night. That’s why volunteers do tours of the beaches mainly at night. Patrols at night are divided among the volunteers in shifts. Here, a lot of observation and documentation is done at first. With a flashlight, the beach section is walked, with a lot of walking. Found turtle eggs are then moved to the hatchery, affectionately called the “nursery” by the organization. Here, too, there is a lot to do. The eggs are carefully dug up and reburied in the hatchery until they hatch on their own. From now on, the eggs are cared for and monitored day and night. Changes and progress are documented in detail to support research. The work in the “nursery” is exciting and you will learn many new things. Of course, this also includes the maintenance, cleaning and upkeep of the hatchery, which is mostly done during the day.
The highlight of your work is the release of the hatchlings into the sea – a unique moment you will never forget.
At sunset, the turtles hatched during the day are released into the sea. They take their first steps on the sand and swim into the waves. A sight that attracts many visitors every day. Your job here is to give the turtles a safe way into their natural habitat. You take care that the birds circling above you do not become a danger for the babies.
Beyond the rescue work of the turtles, you will also plan and implement environmental protection campaigns and educational events in the surrounding communities. This is where your creativity and organizational skills are needed. You can visit local schools and surrounding universities and report about your work in the organization. But there are always cool actions as well. For example, trees are planted in the area, joint beach clean-ups are organized, and work is done together to maintain and expand the rescue centers.
A dreamlike, lonely beach will be your new home! You will live on a remote and natural beach near Sámara on the Nicoya Peninsula. This unique place can only be reached by crossing a river by boat and is a paradise for true nature lovers. The Pacific coast of Costa Rica is characterized by natural dream beaches with clear sea water. You can explore the breathtaking biodiversity of the sea and the surrounding forests. The area around Sámara is very rural, yet many tourists are drawn here. In the center of the small town you can find many delicious restaurants and bars and meet people from all over the world. In your free time you can learn surfing, explore the rainforest or stroll along the market stalls and stores. Samara is perfect for quiet surfing and beach time as well as long nights in the bars. But you can not only relax on the beach, but also explore the nearby national parks and reserves.
A paradise on earth! Montezuma is a small and beautiful place at the southernmost tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in the province of Puntarenas. A bit off the beaten track, this unique natural paradise is still an insider tip and not overcrowded. Almost exclusively young backpackers get lost in Montezuma and enjoy the landscape.
With only very few inhabitants, the place is known for its relaxed atmosphere, its waterfalls and breathtaking sandy beaches. Here you can explore everything on foot in a very relaxed way. You can also enjoy the extensive restaurant and bar scene. With a mix of locals and immigrants, you can sample cuisines from all over the world. In addition, in Montezuma you are in the middle of the wild nature and can observe different species of animals such as monkeys, birds and butterflies on your doorstep.
You do not need any special prerequisites for the program. You should have a desire to work with animals and be motivated to make a lasting difference in the lives of animals. Also, openness to new cultures is very important to us, because you will meet people from all over the world and work together with them. You will make new friends and learn a lot.
The national language in Costa Rica is Spanish. Since you will be in contact with locals a lot, basic knowledge of the language is an advantage for this project, but not a requirement. If you wish, we can organize a language course for you before the start of the project. Your knowledge will also improve playfully on site.
Together with the warm staff of the project and the international volunteers you will live in a house directly on the beach. You will share a dormitory with bunk beds with the volunteers and can fall asleep listening to the sound of the sea. There is no Wi-Fi on the premises and only limited cell phone reception. So you should be prepared for a real nature adventure!
Meals with three typical Costa Rican meals per day are included and will be freshly prepared by the staff together with the volunteers every day.
You live together with other volunteers in a shared room and share a bathroom. There is electricity and Wi-Fi around the clock. The accommodations are super cozy, there is always something going on here and you will quickly make friends. In a few steps you are in the center of Montezuma, where you will find many restaurants, supermarkets and many other stores.
Food is included in the form of three meals a day. You can expect typical Costa Rican cuisine that will delight you.
YOUR CONTACT PERSON IN COSTA RICA
Lisa is German and emigrated to Costa Rica with her Costa Rican husband. Before that, she has visited the country a few times and therefore already knows very well about the culture, traditions and local conditions. After falling in love with the country and its people, she decided to live where others go for vacation. She speaks fluent Spanish as well as German and English. Lisa will be happy to welcome you in San José with her warm and funny nature and is eager to introduce you to her beautiful chosen home. As your contact person in the country, she will answer all your questions and you can always approach her if you need help.
“It was great to share about different cultures and interests and meet a lot of new people.”
“What’s particularly beautiful about Latin America is the diverse nature, you have the Atlantic Ocean and at the same time you have the Caribbean beaches, all the different animals and jungles that you see on the trip.”
“Seize every opportunity you get in your life, because sometimes it only happens once.”
Hanna didn’t just want to see one country and one project, but visited three projects in Costa Rica and Colombia. In Live Q&A we asked her about her time in the Rainforest Reserve, Turtle Protection Project in Costa Rica and the Hostel Experience in Colombia.