Conservation, ecotourism and education work in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest in Costa Rica

  • Volunteer Opportunity posted by CADIP




Short-Term (few weeks/months)


Puntarenas Province
Costa Rica


The Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, located in Monteverde, is a project that combines conservation, ecotourism and education. This project is an example of a protected area that is well administered by a small community which directly benefits from it.

With an area of 310 hectares, a great biodiversity and the source of many streams and rivers, the Reserve supplies the local communities and their surroundings with a nature preserve among a mosaic of protected neighboring areas: The Children’s Eternal Rain Forest, The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and Arenal National Park. Together, these constitute a joined protected area of forest of approximately 28 000 hectares, where populations of endangered animals, such as the tapir, jaguar and quetzal, have been revived. For all of these reasons, the Reserve receives annually about 20 000 tourists.

Thanks to the help of national and international volunteers, people from the community, and students, the Reserve has developed a good infrastructure of trails, a visitors' center, a store and a small restaurant. Many volunteers with technical and professional experience also help with environmental education and sustainable development projects.

At Santa Elena Reserve, helping hands are always welcome. You will not only have the unforgettable experience of knowing one of the most world renowned centers of conservation and biodiversity, but you will also enjoy the opportunity of meeting a new culture. Costa Ricans, in general, and people from the Monteverde area, in particular, are known for their friendship, respect and kindness.

Volunteers will mostly work along the crew of the Reserve. Their tasks include: • maintaining and creating trails, • repairing infrastructure, • helping with the reforestation project of the local high school, • assisting at the main office in town with reservations and translations.

Learn more about the program:

Volunteering Worldwide:


  • Housing Available
  • Language/Cultural Support Available


  • International Volunteers

How To Apply

For more information and to complete an application go to: and click on Join Now! For questions, email us or call 646-657-2900 or 416-943-4900