Volunteers in Turtle Conservation Program work in beaches along the Pacific Coast as well as the Caribbean coast. As a volunteer, you will work on projects intended to protect turtle nests from human poachers, help manage sustainable egg-harvesting programs, and work in hatcheries to ensure Costa Rica’s turtle population does not become endangered. Volunteer work varies from time to time but generally includes work includes; working with local staff to harvest eggs, beach cleaning night patrolling, counting turtles, collecting eggs and to keep them away from predators. Volunteer projects are located around five-six hours from the city of San Jose. All volunteers joining this program should be prepared to do hard manual work and should be in good physical condition.
The most important requirements for this volunteer program are Hard working skills, 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 of assigning jobs, but you are welcome to help anytime you consider it needed. We appreciate creativity.
- General infrastructure maintenance
- Tourist attention
- Control Walks.
- Monitoring of the nesting activity (species identification, biometric information and marking among several others).
- Protection and monitoring of eggs.
- Liberation of the newborn.
- Obtaining information on the remains of the nest.
- Clean the beach when you see garbage.
- Separate the garbage to see if you can recycle some things like Plastic, glass, cardboard etc.
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. Please Note: -An application fee of €169 is charged over and above the program fee as an application 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.