What is the Turtle and Marine Conservation Project in Costa Rica all about?
The Turtle and Marine Conservation Project in Costa Rica is an amazing opportunity to protect sea turtles and eggs whilst learning more about these magnificent creatures alongside a dedicated marine biologist. During your placement, you will assist the resident biologist and the rest of the team with the conservation and protection of up to four of the seven different species of sea turtle including the following: loggerhead turtle, hawksbill turtle and green turtle, but especially leatherback turtle.
From March to May, there are adult leatherbacks (sea turtle species). Loggerheads and hawksbills (sea turtle species) through to October. When the Sanctuary has participants, they will do at least one trip to find turtles if there aren’t any on their beach. They hatch throughout the summer also. Recently (October) Green Turtles have turned up at the Turtle project; extending the season for Green turtles also until October.
The biologist in residence needs help in caring for injured animals, moving eggs to safe hatcheries, and collecting and processing biometric data. Participants’ tasks will vary depending on their level of experience and the time of year.
Human activities have been affecting the survival of turtles combined with climate change. Sea turtles suffer from poaching, slaughtered eggs, skin and overall over-exploitation. They also face habitat destruction and accidental capture. Climate change is impacting their nesting sites as it alters sand temperatures.
This Turtle and Marine Conservation Project in Costa Rica is very much what you make it. Anyone interested in sea turtle protection will really enjoy this placement. There are also monkeys, sloths, caimans and other animals in the immediate area – you will see more wildlife here than in the national parks!
Why choose this Turtle and Marine Conservation Project in Costa Rica?
- Assist in stopping the decline of sea turtles and work for the recovery of these marine creatures.
- Give an extra pair of hands to secure environments important to their survival.
- Learn from a biologist in residence while making new friends from all over the world with similar interests.
Role of the Turtle Sanctuary Volunteer
Your time at the project will be spent patrolling for sea turtles laying their eggs, rebuilding defenses to protect from the ocean, or perhaps establishing a hatchery. This is hands-on work and often includes maintenance and improvements to the accommodation, clearing paths and beach cleaning. Patrols are led by an experienced patrol leader walking a sector of the beach searching for nesting females. Once a turtle is encountered the leader, with the aid of the volunteers, will collect information; the length and width of the turtle, nest location and its dimensions and the number of eggs laid. The eggs will be carefully removed by the group leader and relocated to the hatchery.
Tasks may include the following, depending on the needs of your project at the time of your placement:
• Night beach patrols
• Collecting biometric data from nesting turtles
• Day/night hatchery duties
• Beach cleaning
• Relocating of nests
• Nest Monitoring
• Hatchling liberation
• General maintenance
• Reforestation work – collecting/sorting of seeds, planting saplings
• Basic construction work, building hatcheries for example
What skills do I need to be a Turtle Sanctuary Volunteer in Costa Rica?
A basic level of Spanish is helpful for this project, as you will be working in a bilingual environment, but it is not essential. You must be interested in the work and ready to get your hands dirty! This placement is aimed at those who have a good level of scientific knowledge. Adaptability, enthusiasm and willingness to join in are a must! You must be flexible to the needs of the centre. Participants will be asked to attend a telephone interview and submit a resume.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To contribute to conservation efforts
To learn about turtles and how to protect them
To live and volunteer with friends your own age
Where will I work in Costa Rica?
About the location
The Turtle and Marine Conservation project is located near Bataan in the Limon Province of Costa Rica. It is a beautiful and isolated beach only accessible by boat, which will be arranged by the project itself. The rescue centre’s atmosphere is international, with professionals and students from various organizations assisting in projects involving monkeys, crocodiles and turtles. You will stay on the island all week, but the boat goes into town on the weekends.
Accommodation is simple but comfortable. You will share your room with other same-gender participants. There are showers and flushing toilets. Sea breezes keep the rooms comfortable at night.
What to do in your spare time
There are many activities available in the Limon province for the weekends. The team from the sanctuary offers some trips for a reasonable additional cost, or you can make your own arrangements from Bataan if you wish.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 3-8 weeks
- Cost: £1792/ $2798 for 3 weeks
£466/ $727 for additional weeks
- Requirements: Age 18+
- Location: Bataan, Costa Rica
- Working hours: Mondays-Fridays: 4-8 hours a day
- Project availability: All year round
- Arrival day: Saturday or Sunday
What is included
- Accommodation: Shared room with other participants
- Meals: 3 meals a day Mondays through Fridays, and 2 meals on Saturdays and Sundays (Brunch and Dinner)
- Airport: pick up from San Jose International Airport
- Training: Pre-departure preparation pack, fundraising guide, on-site orientation and project induction provided
- Support: On-site coordinator providing 24 hours support
- Excursion Planning: staff helps organize weekend activities (activity prices may be extra)
What is not included
- Airport Drop Off to San Jose International
- Police/Government Background Check; US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check
- Any costs for COVID-19 PCR tests required pre-departure and in-country
Easy 4-step application process
Click here to apply online and pay your application fee to apply for your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
Once we’ve received your application, we’ll review your details and be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
Following your interview, we will provide you a placement offer. Once you are ready to confirm your placement and dates, you can pay your confirmation fee to book and secure your space.
When you have confirmed your project dates we'll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
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