Volunteer Opportunity

Research Assistant Volunteers and Short term Volunteers

Posted by
Estación Las Tortugas
Matina, Limón, Costa Rica
Published 3 months ago
Research Assistant Volunteers and Short term Volunteers

Estacion Las Tortugas (ELT) is an organisation located on, mainly, a Leatherback sea turtle nesting beach, although Green and Hawksbill turtles do emerge to nest towards the end of the season. ELT started in 2000 and is run by a local family, trying to provide jobs for the local community as an alternative to poaching. The Station's goal is to conserve the turtles and their nesting habitat, together with promoting awareness and education.

Research assistant volunteers work partly during the day and partly during the night. Night duties involve a 5-hour patrol of the beach to collect data on the nesting sea turtles. They will be leading national and international student groups on the beach to observe the turtles. Relocations of nests to a hatchery and other parts of the beach and overseeing the hatchery for potential hatchlings also take place at night, together with data collection such as biometric data, flipper tagging and nest information. Daytime duties involve marking the beach with sector posts, data analysis, collection of abiotic data, participation in environmental education with other volunteers and visiting students, release of hatchlings, excavations of nests, building and cleaning of the hatchery, making nest covers, beach profiling and participating in any potential maintenance of the station or the beach.


-18+ years old

- Able to participate in strenuous physical activity for extended periods of time, eg. lift heavy nests, walk upto 10 km (6mi) a night on soft sand and uneven surfaces in the dark, work in rainy, humid, buggy conditions

- Adaptable to an inconsistent sleep schedule to be able to conduct both day and night work with only the occasional night off.

- Comfortable living and working in a team in a remote setting with basic accommodation, basic diet and limited internet for an extended period of time

- Have a positive mindset and be communicative and considerate of others especially when faced with little sleep and a fast paced work environment

- Professional demeanor

- Ability to follow instructions with patience and respect

- Basic level of Spanish in order to communicate with the local community

- Provide a negative COVID-19 test before arrival or quarantine in Costa Rica prior to the start of the project

- Enthusiastic and excited to contribute to the conservation of the biggest sea turtle on the planet

Ideal qualifications:

- Background in biology, animal science, ecology, environmental science,etc.

- High level of Spanish proficiency

- Previous experience conducting remote field work, especially with nesting sea turtles

- Previous experience working in a diverse team in a fast paced, unpredictable work environment

Research Assistant Volunteers must be available from the 1st March - 20th July. Short term Volunteers can come for any amount of time between the 1st March and the 31st July 2021. National and international volunteers are welcome, individuals, families or groups.

Estacion Las Tortugas (ELT) is an organisation located on, mainly, a Leatherback sea turtle nesting beach, although Green and Hawksbill turtles do emerge to nest towards the end of the season. ELT started in 2000 and is run by a local family…

Details at a Glance

  • Start Date
    March 1, 2021
    12:00 AM CST
  • End Date
    July 20, 2021
    12:00 AM CST
  • Time Commitment
    Full time (30+ hrs/wk)
  • Recurrence
  • Training Provided
  • Housing Available
  • Groups Welcome
  • Families Welcome
  • International Volunteers Welcome



Playa Mondonguillo

Limón, Matina, Costa Rica

Take a bus to Matina or Bataan from the Caribbean bus terminal in San Jose. There you will be picked up by car and taken to the Alcantarilla dock where a boat will take you straight to the project. For airport pick ups please contact us for further information at

Apply to This Volunteer Opportunity


Please attach:

-CV or resume

- Names and e-mail contacts of three professional references

- Cover letter summarizing your qualifications and interest in the RA position

Priority will be given to Research Assistant Volunteers able to stay the entire duration of the program (1st March - 20th July).

For those interested in volunteering short-term, visit for information on volunteer options or please contact for further information on costs, what is included and application details.

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