Costa Rica is home to a rich variety of plants and animals. Even though the country has only about 0.25% of the world's landmass it contains 5% of the world's biodiversity. Both tropical plant and animal species abound in Costa Rica. The country is home to more than 200 species of mammals and more than 800 species of birds. Volunteers working in this program mainly work with animal victims of repossession, loss of habitat and accidents from all corners of the country who are brought in by local officials. Many are able to be back to health and released back into their natural habitat.
The most important requirements for the Wildlife Rescue Volunteer Program are hard working skills, being ecologically sensitive, willing to learn about new cultures and the most important one: enthusiasm. In most of the projects, there will be a volunteer coordinator in charge to assign the jobs but you are welcome to help anytime you consider is needed. We appreciate creativity.
- Cleaning animal cages, green area of the stands. They are usually cleaned daily and not difficult or unpleasant.
- Food preparation for the animals and feeding them under custody.
- Roads maintenance.
- Maintenance of paths, infrastructure (New Cages)
- Cleaning of signs.
- Work with most endangered species.
- Learn how to work with animals.
- Developing special projects
Volunteers tasks can vary on a daily basis and volunteers need to be flexible and open-minded. Volunteers should also be proactive and bring in new initiatives and ideas to the project.
Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project. You need to have an open mind and a flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference. Participants must be fit and healthy at the time of joining the program and should be prepared to work outdoors and get their hands dirty. Participants in the program should have a keen interest and love for animal conservation work. Participants should have no criminal convictions and should provide a clean criminal background check report.
Being an International Organization, we try to make sure that our volunteers are given the kind of comfort and flexibility they seek. In terms of airport pick up, stay, local travel or work and even city tour, we help our volunteers and facilitate everything for them.
Volunteers are picked up from the San Jose International Airport by the local coordinator or representative. Those volunteers who are arriving overland or are already in Costa Rica will be picked up at a meeting point decided beforehand.
As a volunteer for the Turtle Conservation Project, you'll be received from San Jose Airport and transferred to the volunteer hostel accommodation in Heredia. Later, you'll be traveling to your project placement site, where you'll get accommodation at shared dorms or with a host family at a close-by location. All the accommodations have the basic amenities like attached bathrooms, electricity, etc. You'll be provided with 3 meals a day (included in program fee). Volunteers often take part in the kitchen and cook meals together, which will be great fun!
All volunteers are given an Orientation beginning on their project start date. Orientation is conducted by the local staff and covers topics such as Costa Rican Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety and Introduction to your project and placement.
Volunteers are provided with three cooked meals a day at the host family house or project accommodation. Local Costa Rican cuisine is a fusion of cuisines from different parts of the world. Common foods are Rice, Vegetables, Beans, Pork, Meat, Chicken etc. When staying at the volunteer hostel in Heredia on arrival two meals a day are provided.
During your Free Time
Volunteers are free to visit and see places or do shopping during their free time. You can explore the local markets or travel to the beaches which can be visited on the weekends. The country offers unparalleled natural beauty, active volcanoes, rainforests, and a wide range of national parks and eco-tourism. In addition, Costa Rica has over 1,000 miles of gorgeous white-and-black sand beaches. Visit these things you can do in your leisure time.
Please Note: -An application fee of £149 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of €169 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% banking fee is charged at the time of payment)
What are you Paying for?
- 24 hrs Assistance and support from VS Staff
- Comprehensive Pre- Departure Information
- Pickup from San Jose International Airport and transfer to accommodation
- Orientation on arrival
- Internet access at local office
- 100% Financial Protection
- UK Based Support
- Certificate Of Completion (Upon Request)
What's NOT included?
- Visa and Visa extension fee
- Airport taxes
- Local Transportation
- Any personal expenses
Return Airport Drop
FAQ's Application and Program Details
Volunteers must be 17 years or older for Teaching, Childcare, and Spanish Immersion at the beginning of the program. For all other programs, you need to be 18 years or older.
Volunteers joining the medical volunteer project must be either Pre-Medical, Medical or Nursing student or possess other qualifications related to medical and nursing field. Medical professionals such as doctors and nurses are also welcome to join the program.
Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.
The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
The participant must be in good health.
Knowledge of Spanish (basic to intermediate) is necessary for all the programs.
To add to the project experience, you can also join the Spanish Immersion Week which gives you a crash course in Spanish and even tests your current Spanish skills which would help you in volunteering, and you would also get a chance to experience Costa Rican culture, learn cooking and Latino dancing before beginning the program.
Note: Host accommodation is located in suburbs of San Jose in the Heredia and Santa Barbara areas, along with your projects placements.
The Turtle Conservation project is located in the Pacific and the Caribbean coasts.
The Wildlife and Rescue Center project is located across different locations mainly in Alajuela Province and the Central Pacific Region.
Flights and Visa
For those flying in from Europe, direct flights are available, and the recommended airlines are:
Health and Safety
If you already have a valid Travel and Medical insurance, you can email us a copy of the same. It is also advised to bring along the Insurance documents during your trip.
Connect with Past Volunteers
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit ?the Meet a Volunteer section on our website.
Accommodation and Living
For all other projects, volunteers will be staying with host families. More details about the host families would be provided after you apply for the program. Volunteers would be provided meals 3 times a day.
Volunteers are provided with three cooked meals a day at the host family house. Local Costa Rican cuisine is a fusion of cuisines from different parts of the world. Common foods are Rice, Vegetables, Beans, Pork, Meat, Chicken etc.
The local coordinators will be happy to help you with more information.