Turtle Biologist Turtle Biologist Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica COPROT
Volunteer to help protect Olive Ridley and green sea turtle nests by patrolling beaches. You will have the opportunity to work with nesting females and baby hatchlings!

18 Project reviews of COPROT

Project Details

COPROT is a community-driven conservation sea turtle project that aims to address the conservation/community issues that occur in the Osa Peninsula.

Who we are? 

We are a community driven sea turtle conservation project founded by Laura Exley. 

What we do?

We patrol our beaches for nesting mother turtles. We have both olive ridley and green sea turtles nesting on our beaches, least we we recorded almost 7,000 nests! We work to collect data on the populations and protect the nests. This is not our only focus, we also work with our local community to develop and improve the local area through sustainability projects (plastic and food) as well as giving English lessons and important training like first aid to community members.  

Where we work?

We are based on the incredibly biodiverse Osa Peninsular on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Our camp is right next to the beach in the jungle. It is a safe area with very few people around, we are often the only ones on the beach. There are no special health requirements to visit the area. 

Our mission

We strive to protect the sea turtle populations in our area whilst enhancing the scientific knowledge of these populations and the prosperity of the local community.

Our goals

  • Increase scientific reports of the sea turtle populations in this area
  • Improve livelihoods and sustainability of local communities
  • Protect the populations of sea turtles nesting on our beaches
  • Upcycle plastic from our beaches to create an income for local community members. 

Who are we looking for?

People who want to experience this amazing environment and help protect it whilst working within the local community. 

Why choose us?

With our large turtle nesting populations you are guaranteed to see turtles in your stay with us whilst also being able to get fully involved in all of our conservation and community work.

The main focus of the project is on
NPO Status
Yes, registered non-profit organization
Foundation Year
Contact Person
Laura Exley
Spoken Languages

Social Impact

At the same time as protecting the sea turtle populations, it is necessary to recognize our role in this community and the lessons we can take away from people.

The concept of community development is rooted in empowering local community members to support a common cause. Our projects are centered around meeting the needs of locals, while also preserving the natural environment around us. The community is the driving force behind this project and as such it is important to prioritize initiatives which support it.

Examples of community driven initiatives:

  • Provide economic opportunities (artisanal crafts, construction, tours, etc) - we are able to employ local people when we need construction work, we have local members of full time staff and we also employ a local family to cook meals for groups and provide ground maintenance. 
  • English lessons - we give lessons to a women and children's group weekly
  • Educational opportunities (conservation, agriculture, etc) - with our local community days and school visits. 
  • Providing training (first aid, construction, tourism management, etc) - training groups of local community members

We saw a growing need for more conservation and education in this area, and came to the realization that community-based initatives were the strongest and most sustainable solution. By intentionally including local people in our project, we cultivate a connection that can continue to thrive.

In order to promote sustainable development, we are also in the process of creating a small-scale permaculture project on the new property, where we are able to grow and produce a considerable amount of our own food for our staff and volunteers. This will reduce our reliance on purchasing food from unsustainable sources, as well as allow us to support local people in food production. One of our long-term goals is to become a completely zero waste facility!

Additionally, we are partnered with InMocean in order to better address the problem of plastic pollution on the Osa Peninsula. After collecting plastic at beach clean-ups we isolate No.2 plastic which is then cut into more manageable sizes and cleaned. The cut and cleaned plastic is organized by color, then inserted into the shredder. This InMocean machine grinds the plastic into much smaller pieces; the smaller the pieces, the easier it is to turn the extruder. The plastic pieces are inserted into the extruder, which is cranked to produce a “plastic worm” which is wrapped around forms to create the products. While metal forms work best for bowls and pots, we found that bamboo works well for bracelets and rings. A variety of different products can be created using various metal plates to change the shape of the “worm” and different techniques by the artist.

Pursued Sustainable Development Goals

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