Costa Rica is a nature-lover’s paradise; a quarter of the country is protected forest or reserve, providing a home to over 900 species of birds and 250 species of mammals. The project is located on the beautiful tropical Southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, volunteers aged 17+ (and 9+ in family groups) can join the reserve’s research and education centre. Volunteers work with local communities and government to research and conserve local wildlife, including endangered sea turtles.
You can join for 1 week, 10 days, 2 weeks or more throughout the year. You will be volunteering at a non-profit biological centre formed by community members and Costa Rican scientists. They have a number of active projects:
- Sea turtle conservation (from July to January)
- Wildlife monitoring – birds, monkeys, bats, other mammals, crocodilians, reptiles and amphibians (all year)
- Outreach and education, including a butterfly garden (all year)
The turtle season volunteer activities include:
- Monitoring the nesting beaches, including night patrols
- Relocating eggs to the hatchery or safer locations on the beach, if under threat
- Looking after and observing the hatchery
- Assisting with data collection, monitoring (tagging) and release of hatchlings
- Beach cleans and maintenance
Throughout the year volunteers help to monitor and protect: birds, monkeys, bats, other mammals (including ocelots, coatis, raccoons and tayras), crocodilians, reptiles and amphibians.
Volunteers are also involved in outreach, education and the educational butterfly garden.
There are normally 10-18 volunteers at this project.
Working days and location
Volunteers normally work 6 days per week (Monday – Saturday) with 1 day off.
The region is famous for its biodiversity which you can enjoy in your free time, with stunning beaches, rivers, waterfalls to explore and two national parks nearby with many activities such as zip lining and horse riding.
Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) award
This placement has been approved by the DofE as meeting the requirements for the Residential section of the Gold Award.