Volunteers on this program will play an essential role in helping to conserve and protect this amazing environment. Participants could be placed at any number of wonderful locations around this spectacular country, dependent on need at the time. They will work on various projects aimed at preserving the fragile ecosystem in protected areas, parks or beaches. They may even work on organic farms, on butterfly farms or on research projects within rainforests. The list of projects is varied; however all serve to ensure the amazing natural heritage of Costa Rica is preserved for the future. From tropical rainforest, to rivers and canals, to white sandy beaches – the areas volunteers will be working in are rich with flora and fauna and are inhabited by some of the most awe inspiring creatures in the world. Volunteers play an important role by supplying free labor in often labor intensive projects, allowing the projects to continue in their great work. Like most conservation programs, funding is often limited and resources lacking.
Goals of this Project:
- Protect Costa Rica’s beautiful natural heritage
- Provide essential labor to help maintain park and reserve facilities
- Educate others on ecological practices
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both students and international volunteers alike
Volunteers will find this program to be a truly awe-inspiring experience. Costa Rica’s natural environment is simply spectacular, and being able to work to directly help protect it will be an experience people will appreciate for the rest of their lives. Volunteers will learn a huge amount about conservation practices and about Costa Rica’s unique flora and fauna. They will get the chance to work on a variety of projects and learn from trained local staff. From maintaining trails in parks to public education campaigns and working in medicinal gardens, this program delivers a unique opportunity to volunteers to work on cool projects that really matter. Like many conservation programs, funds are greatly lacking, and a willing volunteer labor force is essential to the success of the program.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Work in organic gardens
- Help to catalog species of plants and insects
- Field research of specific plant/insects’ species
- Help maintain trails
- Educate the community about ecological practices
- Take care of butterfly farms
- Take care of medicinal gardens
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Upon your arrival in San Jose you will be collected at the airport and transported to your designated project location. Once settled in you will receive a full welcome orientation where you will find out about your volunteering placement, the local surroundings and meet your fellow volunteers. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have. You will then be taken to your assigned project location, where you will be introduced to your project supervisor and the rest of the local project team. Easy!
- Program Arrival Day: SUNDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Juan Santamaria International Airport, San Jose, Costa Rica (Code: SJO)
Volunteers on this project will be accommodated in shared dorm-style room with a local host family close by your designated project assignment. Volunteers will be provided with all the basic amenities, including a bathroom, electricity and hot water for a nice shower at the end of a good day’s work!
Three meals per day are provided at the project and are included in the program fee. Volunteers are often expected to help with cooking and cleaning up (using a roster-based system), so everyone contributes at meal times – bringing a wonderful ‘family’ feel to this project! Nice!
Registration Fee: The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the Trip Planner.
Requirements: We welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to give their time and energy to help protect the natural environment of Costa Rica. This ‘hands-on’ project is best suited to those who are either pursuing a career in conservation/environmental studies, or who simply wish to explore an interest in this field. However, the project is open to all and does not require participants to have specific education, qualifications or experience, as you will be shown everything you need to know by your local project leader. Importantly though, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive ‘can-do’ attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
Project Location: This project is available in various locations across Costa Rica. Given the nature of these projects, in most cases projects are fairly remote and therefore volunteers will spend the majority of their time (including free time) onsite as opportunities to travel offsite may be limited. Where possible though, volunteers can sometimes use free time to travel to a nearby town to explore shops and restaurants, or to explore further afield. Offsite travel options will be discussed with volunteers during their project orientation. This project is a wonderful option for those volunteers who wish to be fully immersed in the astounding nature and beauty that Costa Rica has to offer!
Start Dates & Duration: This project is available year-round and programs typically start every 1st and 3rd SUNDAY of each month. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks.
A volunteer’s work day on this project will generally last between 4 and 6 hours and while we ask all volunteers to be flexible in this regard, a typical daily schedule is likely to go something like this:
7:00am Breakfast in the communal area
8:15am Pre-start meeting with project supervisor
8:30am VOLUNTEERING DUTIES START
A tea break and lunch break will be fitted in during the day, but often the timing of breaks will change based on the needs of the local staff and number of volunteers on hand.
4:00pm VOLUNTEERING DUTIES END
Evenings Free time to simply relax, hang out with your fellow volunteers, have dinner together, then relax some more!