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Sea Turtle Rescue by the Pacific Coast Featured

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Location:  Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
Type of Assignment:  Animal rescue
Project Duration:  Minimum 2 weeks
Activities:  General maintenance of the station, nesting turtles and hatchery monitoring, baby turtle release and data collection.


The Organization

How is the project involved with the community?

The organization is dedicated to promoting volunteer work in protected areas by supporting their conservation and development efforts. Currently it has developed conservation activities in 30 different areas of the country.

It also supports ventures that incorporate the responsible use of Costa Rica's natural resources towards ecotourism, i.e. the responsible observation and handling of flora and fauna. Over the years, this has proved its effectiveness as the work extends to three strategic areas: investigation, education and conservation.

Every year, the project welcomes 800 international volunteers to its conservation projects, plus another 1000 Costa Ricans.

Background to the project and its aims?

The project opened in 2009 and is located on a 2km long beach by the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Currently, 4 species of sea turtles frequently come to nest here: Olive Ridley - Lepidochelys olivácea, Black Turtle- Chelonia mydas agassiss, Hawksbill - Eretmochelys imbricatta, and Leatherback - Dermochelys coriacea.

All of these species are in danger of extinction due to various human activities such as the development of coastal areas, unnecessary lighting, the transit of vehicles and people on nesting beaches, the poaching and predation of nests, and the incidental fishing of adult male and female turtles by fishing fleets, shrimp trawlers, and oceanic long lines.

The project's main objectives are:

  • The main objective is to monitor the different species of adult female turtles that nest on the beach, in order to develop and propose a conservation strategy for the protection of these animals.
  • To create areas for research in biodiversity for the use of students from state and private universities, and also international students to develop their dissertations.
  • To develop community outreach and environmental education activities.

What are the daily volunteer activities in the project?

  • Releasing baby turtles into the ocean (in hatching season).
  • Nocturnal Patrols to look for nesting adult female turtles (in nesting season).
  • Collection of data relevant to nesting activity (in nesting season- collecting data from nesting females and transferring eggs to the hatchery).
  • Monitoring and security of hatchery ( in nesting season).
  • Collection of nest data-tagging and measurements (in nesting season).
  • Maintenance and cleaning of the Station and its surroundings.
  • Beach cleaning.
  • Community outreach.

It is also important to keep in mind that although turtles nest frequently in peak nesting season (July – November),– there will be times where turtle activity is very low. We still need help in these periods for the construction and maintenance of the hatchery, which is critical for the upcoming season.

Adults           X XX XX XXX XXX XX XX
Hatchlings XX X X X     X XX XXX XXX XXX XX
Hatchery construction X XX XX XX XX X           X

Program Details

Quick facts about the trip:

Project duration:  Minimum 2 weeks
Project Location:  Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
Airport of arrival:  San Jose (SJO)
Activities:  General maintenance of the station, nesting turtles and hatchery monitoring, baby turtle release and data collection.
Working hours: Between 4 and 10 hours per day depending on nesting intensity.. The majority of the work will take place at night, and daytime activities will depend on the necessities of the project and the weather.
Requirements:  We need volunteers with a desire to collaborate, good physical condition, and that can adapt to living in basic conditions.

What's included:

Accommodation: The accommodation at the station consists of two apartments sharing ample common areas, balconies, a kitchen and eating area. There are three dorm rooms with bunk beds for volunteers. The shared bathrooms have showers and toilet facilities, and running water. There is no internet service available for volunteers, but there are plenty of internet cafes in town.
Meals: Volunteers will receive three meals a day at the project (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Food provided is based on a typical Costa Rican diet, which consists mainly of rice, beans, salads, pastas, vegetables and fruit.
Airport pickup: Yes, plus transfer to accommodation in San Jose.
Pre-departure Orientation and Onsite Training:: Volunteers receive a comprehensive orientation on safety and security, culture shock, and about being a volunteer in the project.
Support::  24/7 during your volunteering time.

What's not included:

Flights, visas, insurance.


Program Duration Cost (USD)
2 week 830.00
3 weeks 1,081.00
4 weeks 1,299.00
6 weeks 1,735.00
8 weeks 2,172.00
10 weeks 2,608.00
12 weeks 3,044.00
16 weeks 3,917.00
20 weeks 4,790.00

All Registration Fees are included in the prices above.