Costa Rica is one of Latin America's poorest countries, were urgent help in the form of volunteers is needed to support the country s conservation efforts. Costa Rica is located in Central America and is a contrasting country with a wealth of different landscapes and cultures. Its fine array of attractions includes volcanoes, tropical rainforests, magnificent waterfalls and beautiful white sandy beaches. Costa Rica is famous for its many national parks and impressive wildlife such as crocodiles, monkeys , whales , dolphins and many others. Costa Ricans - known as "Ticos", are known for their great hospitality. In more than 50 years, Costa Rica has not had an army and unlike many of its neighbours, peace and stability has persisted. The country strives in preserving their rich wildlife and improving the living conditions.
In Costa Rica we have projects where volunteers can help with the conservation of turtles. Turtles are in great danger from poachers who sell their eggs on the black market. This is strictly illegal in Costa Rica as it contributes to the eradication of the endangered sea turtles. Since it is a huge task, large nummbers of volunteers are needed to protect this endangered species.
IWASHERE is invites individuals, couples, families, students, researchers and groups to volunteer in Costa Rica. A good English skills are required, the ability to speak spanish is an advantage but not a necesisty . Volunteers from all countries, backgrounds and experiences are welcome to participate in various projects in Costa Rica, because we strongly believe that everyone has something to contribute!
A typical week
The program or tasks of the week may vary from project to project. As a volunteer you will work 4-8 hours a day and will be entitled to some weekly days off . Working days are planned with our project co-ordinator and we are very flexible if you require some time off just remember to notify the project coordinator in good time.
As a volunteer, you will accompany a local guide on the 4-hour night patrol searching for nesting turtles and camouflaging nests or collecting and moving the eggs. You will also participate in the morning count. Day time activities may be general maintenance work.
You can also teach English, making crafts with village children or working in the garden. There are ongoing projects in the local community which you are welcome to join.
In your free time, there are a variety of things you can do in and around Parismina or San Jose. You can take boat trips on the surrounding rivers through rainforests, go hiking, fishing, sunbathe on the beach, read a book in a hammock or rent a horse or a bike. There is also the opportunity to play volleyball and soccer in the village. There are a variety of tours around Tortuguero, which can be arranged, tous include surfing and many other fun activities.
Unfortunately there is no airport pick in Costa Rica, it will be up to you to find your way from the airport to the project. If you participate in Parismina project we offer a guide who will pick you up from the airport and guide you to a hotel in San Jose, or escort you to the bus terminal. The project Tortuga, a project guide will pick you up at the bus terminal in Bataan, we will of course provide you with information on how to best reach your destinations. Project stations are 3-4 hours from the airport so it will be just a bus ride from the airport in San Jose. You can also choose to stay in the beautiful city of San Jose. We do not recommend that you leave or arrive on the same day as your flight is scheduled. Costa Rica suffers from extreme rainfall, which sometimes results in long delays in traffic. Volunteers are expected to begin work the night they arrive.
Guest House - Host Family
On the Parismina project You will stay with a host family, giving you ample opportunity to learn a new language and culture .Host families are fully screened by our partners in the country. In Tortuga, project volunteers are accommodated in a guest house where you will have the opportunity to meet other volunteers from around the world. You can choose which type of accomodation you prefer.
PARISMINA - CONSERVATION OF TURTLES (VOLUNTEER & INTERNSHIP)
This project is a great opportunity to help protect endangered turtles. You will see giant sea turtles that nest on the beach, newly hatched fighting their way out of their nests in the sand and on towards the sea. This is an exciting opportunity to help a city that is involved in a comprehensive support to the project. The best opportunity to experience this is in March, September or October. As a volunteer on this project, you will get the most out of this experience if you participate for 2 weeks or more.
They are most in need of volunteers from mid - February to October. Previous experience is not necessary because you will receive an introduction where your duties will be explained. Understanding of the Spanish language is not required, but is an advantage helps. Our national and international volunteers accompanied by a local guide on the 4-hour night patrols, where they will look for nesting turtles and camouflaging nests or collecting and removing eggs. You will also participate in a morning count of turtles.
In this project, you only have the opportunity to live with a local host family. It also gives you the best opportunity to get close to the culture while learning Spanish.
TORTUGA - CONSERVATION OF TURTLES (VOLUNTEER & INTERNSHIP)
Our partner is a non -profit organization based in Costa Rica, whose goal is to protect sea turtles with the help of volunteers.
The project is almost 3 hours from San Jose on a beautiful isolated beach. Just behind the project is the Amazon: a rainforest, rivers, canals and lagoons. They form a unique area to live in, and you can only get there by motorboat. Among the animals that you might be interested in seeing are: monkeys, fish, crocodiles, 145 species of birds, iguanas, turtles and you can also see dolphins
Leather turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is one of the most endangered sea turtles and is also the largest. Leather turtles can weigh over 540 kg. Leather Turtles are generally not killed by poachers, but unfortunately their eggs are among the most sought after turtle eggs.
You can help in achieving the project objectives by patrolling the beaches at night, along with the local residents. You can get a chance to help carry an injured turtle to the center. You will also help in maintenance and preparations for the next season, thus creating an ideal environment for turtles to lay their eggs. It is important that you are physically fit, since you will be walking a lot carrying eggs or turtles back to the center.
This project runs from the 1st. March to the 31st. August.
On this project, you only have the opportunity to stay at a guest house for volunteers. This gives you the perfect opportunity to get to know the other volunteers who come from all over the world.