Part time (10-30 hrs/wk)
Short-Term (few weeks/months)
Volunteer in Costa Rica and become a sea turtle volunteer, helping to conserve and protect the populations of vulnerable Olive Ridleys. The project takes place in the spectacular Pacific coast of the Nicoya Province on the beach where Olive Ridley turtles come up in thousands at a time for this phenomenon of nature called "arribadas".
You can join for 1 week up to 12 weeks all year round.
Individuals, groups, students doing research and families all welcome.
The project directly works with the Olive Ridley turtles nesting in Ostional, and our volunteers will often be lucky enough to witness first hand the rarely-seen biological spectacle of the arribadas – one of nature’s true wonders. Thousands of Olive Ridley sea turtles leave the sea simultaneously, bumping into and crawling over each other as they ascend the beach in their endeavour to lay their eggs. At first a few hundred turtles arrive, followed by a steady stream of females for the next three to seven days (usually during the last quarter of the moon before New Moon). The Olive Ridley sea turtles (and its Atlantic cousin, Kemp’s Ridley turtle) are the only species to stage arribadas which are known to occur at only nine beaches worldwide: in Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, Surinam, Orissa in India and Costa Rica. Of these locations, Ostional beach is considered the second most important.
As an Olive Ridley sea turtle volunteer, you will assist with:
- Measuring the carapace (shell) length and width of nesting adult turtles
- Helping with data collection for master books (record time, zone, activity, etc. of the turtles)
- Supporting researchers with tagging and general checking
- Nest exhumations
- Beach cleanups (to remove debris that would impede the movement of nesting females or hatchlings)
- Sports and cultural activities
For more details regarding pricing, scheduling and arrangements, please visit the main project page - http://www.workingabroad.com/projects/costa-rica-leatherback-turtle-volunteer
- Housing Available
- Language/Cultural Support Available
- International Volunteers
How To Apply
If you are interested in joining this project to volunteer in Costa Rica, you will need to fill out the online application form (you can also print it out and send it to us by post) – to secure a placement on the project, please complete and submit the form including two references and your deposit of £195. If for some reason, your application is declined, we would reimburse this deposit fully. However for those who are accepted, 25% of the full amount needs to be paid 14 days after you have been confirmed on the project, with the remainder (75%) to be paid two months before the start date. Once your place is confirmed, you will receive a pre-departure package with all detailed information on your project, the region, suggested items to bring etc.