One of the best ways to enjoy the beach is working on a sea turtle protection program. These amazing animals visit Costa Rican shores all year long and there has been a great nationwide effort to help the declining populations become what they once were. There are five projects in both shores that work with the five types of sea turtles that visit Costa Rica (leatherback, hawksbill, green, loggerhead and olive ridley).
Throughout time, local ticos have gone from egg depredation and illegal turtle meat trade to sustainable management of eggs and turtle populations. These projects are not only about turtles themselves, but also about sorrounding communities. And they could use some help!
- Quelonios del Caribe Station (Atlantic coast)
- Gandoca-Manzanillo (Atlantic coast, community managed project)
- Buena Vista Beach (Pacific coast)
- Matapalo Beach (Pacific coast)
- Montezuma Beach (Pacific coast)
Required skills for these projects: hard working person, creative, ecologically sensitive, willing to learn about new cultures and the most important one: enthusiasm. No experience is necessary but you should be in good health and have the ability to adapt to new environments.
Common tasks: night beach patrols, beach cleaning, finding turtle nests, identifying and recording turtle trails, counting and relocation of eggs, building and maintaining nurseries, monitor turtle nests, aid baby turtles in their return to the ocean, aid in taking biometric measures of turtles, support and maintenance of infrastructure.
Turtles nest year-round, but this depends on location and species. This also affects the number of turtles which can be seen each day (and night). When not in season, volunteers can help in the community.
The selection of the project in question will be done after a presentation at the volunteer’s office in San José, where you will be explained the details of each project. Food and accommodation are provided in the park’s volunteer shelter, a symbolic daily cost of aprox. $30 will be charged in advance. Volunteers have one free day a week, which they can choose and use to explore the area, enjoy the beach or visit nearby towns.
Check out some project pictures below and remember, contact us if you want to be a volunteer or if you have any questions!