Sea Turtle and Environmental Conservation

RASCAREY Conservation Project
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Coordinator | Esteban
Coordinator | Esteban
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Learning about Sea Turtles and Wildlife
Experiencing the Biodiversity of the Region
Healing Yourself through Pristine Nature
Real friendships and connections to people from all over the world
Exposure to Costa Rican culture
Sea Turtle & Environmental conservation project. The campsite is on an oceanfront jungle farm that allows an immersive experience close to pristine nature. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

We are passionate about helping our Planet and the more vulnerable life forms on it. It is no surprise by now that manmade destruction is wiping out the biodiversity on Earth - in the Oceans and the Forests especially, Nature is in need of assistance. We are dedicated to the conservation of the Sea Turtles that come to nest here in Playa Rincon (Olive Ridley, and on the rare occasion - Hawksbill and Green).

Our project is important because we are at the front lines of Sea Turtle Conservation, safely incubating baby turtles in a hatchery to be born (where they would otherwise not survive due to poaching, predators (dogs, coatis), unstable environmental changes, vehicular activity, and more.

We conduct nightly patrols in search of turtle activity (nests, nesting turtles), whereby we collect important biometric data to monitor their populations, and to also safely transfer the turtle eggs to the hatchery. When the hatchlings are born we conduct turtle liberations, safely monitoring their arrival into the ocean to begin their long lives.

Sea turtles are imperative to the ecosystems of the Ocean (and have for over 100 million years). One of the main roles they play is maintaining healthy seagrass beds and coral reef systems - helping to balance marine food chains and facilitate nutrient cycling from water to land. 

We also live a "back to the basics" philosophy, utilizing resources on the land as much as possible, and try to eat sustainably from the Earth. We are not self-sufficient (yet), but we are far away from a society of mindless consumption and immersed in the elements of the Costa Rican rainforest next to the Pacific Ocean. We are committed to making a minimal impact on the Nature, whilst also doing our best to regenerate it. We wish to (re)connect our volunteers with Nature, and inspire others to make lifestyle changes that can lead to a life more in harmony with the natural world.

"We are a young Tico-Canadian couple, passionate about animals and the environment. In 2020 we decided to start RASCAREY, a project for the Conservation of Sea Turtles and the Environment. We consider our team to be all of those who come here to make their mark. We have been blessed to have had support from many Local and International Volunteers and various organizations. We are just in the beginning phases of our project, and we have a long way to go - but we have big dreams for now and for the future. All we hope is that our dedication will make a real impact on the declining rates of our precious sea turtle friends, as well as the regeneration of our Earth. Our mission is to inspire people to make a lifestyle change in becoming more sustainable and conscious, and to be able to share the experience of fully connecting with yourselves and nature while here at the immersion programs."

Thus, RASCAREY is made up of all the people who have given their time and energy to the development of the project - but essentially was founded by Esteban and Brisa. Esteban was raised in the area of Drake Bay, always close to the jungle and the beach. For 15 years he has helped with the protection of the different species of turtles in Playa Rincon - mostly under the guidance of an esteemed friend and notary Ethnobotanist, Jonathon Miller Weisberger (who originally started the sea turtle conservation initiatives in the area). Brisa is a passionate Environmental Educator and Artist, and has been involved in many different Nature Programs and Holistic Schools in Canada and Costa Rica - focusing on leading / teaching mindfulness, Eco Literacy, Art, and Natural Sciences to young children.

Volunteers and the hosts share the house.There will be between 6-8 volunteers at a time (a diverse group from around the world). Your hosts are the founders of the project, Brisa and Esteban. There will be 3 different local leaders of Costa Rican nationality.

Our camp is located on a secluded beachfront jungle property, just 95 steps away from the beach and the Pacific Ocean.  There are two bathrooms and two showers. There are shared spaces for relaxing and reading/working quietly, and a fully functioning communal kitchen. We are approximately 30 minutes (by car) from the town of Drake Bay.  We are nestled in a protected nature reserve in the west corner of "Playa Rincon de San Josecito", on the outskirts of Corcovado National Park. There are a few other lodges neighbouring us along the beach but not any commercial businesses, only serene Nature. 

Typical day

The season runs from June 1st - December 30th

You will participate in Sea Turtle Conservation efforts by getting hands on experience with the marine turtles that nest on Playa Rincon (tortuga Lora, tortuga Carey, and sometimes tortuga Verde).

We have an off-site Biologist that visits the project weekly to give workshops.

The first few weeks of June consist of preparing and constructing of the turtle nursery.

June 15th onwards consist of Nightly Patrols in search of nests / nesting turtles to collect data and and safely transport eggs to the nursery. The shift rotation is 4 hours each group, approximately 8:00pm-12:00pm AND 12:00pm-4:00am.

  • Monitor the turtle nursery and nests and conduct safe hatchling liberations.
  • Represent the project by giving information and collecting donations from tourists during community turtle liberations
  • Exhumation of the turtle nests, to collect data.
  • Ensure the proper functioning of the campsite by helping with household chores, such as cleaning, gardening etc.
  • Social Media, Marketing, Photography and Website / Blog writing help is much appreciated
  • Beach cleanups, sorting through materials, coming up with solutions for trash. Participation in Recycling and Upcycling projects.
  • Taking part in Environmental Educational Workshop days with Local Children
Daily Schedule 
8:00 - 9:30 >> Breakfast is served on the table.
~ Free time in the morning! ~
11:00 - 12:00 >> Lunch Preparation (Rotation of responsibilities in the kitchen, with the help of a cook)
12:00/12:30 >> Communal Lunch
14:00 - 16:00 >> Activities (beach cleanups, eco construction projects, cleaning around the vivero, making coconut oil, gardening, harvesting from the land, painting, etc.)
17:00 - 18:00 >> Dinner Preparation (Rotation of responsibilities in the kitchen, with the help of a cook)
18:00 >> Communal Dinner
19:00 - 5:00 >> Night Patrols

What to Bring

For Night Patrols:

  • long sleeved shirt and pants (dark in color, lightweight)
  • light rain coat with hood (or poncho)
  • rubber boots or rain resistant closed toed shoes
  • long socks
  • headlamp with red light
  • reusable water bottle
  • small backpack
  • Clothing in general: swimming gear, towel (quick drying recommended), clothing for both cool and hot weather.
  • Products: repellent, sun block (reef-friendly only), toiletries (bring your shampoos, soap, laundry detergent).

NOT mandatory but recommended for your enjoyment:

  • food: snacks (nuts, dried fruits, etc.), home comforts
  • mosquito net if you are sensitive to bugs
  • retractable umbrella if you wish to walk with one in the daytime
  • reading light for night time
  • entertainment: books (e-reader best in the humid climate),
  • snorkeling gear, yoga mat, games
  • CASH - there are no banks or money machines in the entire Drake area (please familiarize yourself with the local currency and the exchange rate)
  • Healthy snacks / vegetarian food is expensive/hard to come by here. Things like nuts, seeds and dried fruit are recommended
  • Any items you might want to donate to the project (books, kitchen items, board games, etc. are hugely appreciated)

Free-time activities

You will have lots of free time!

Often we will go out on hikes as a group. We are "experts" in the area so we can take you on a guided hike through the jungle, or to nearby secret spots. The area offers a multitude of free activities - discovering the nearby waterfalls, daytime hikes, swimming in the turquoise rivers, fishing, snorkeling, surfing, observing wildlife, etc.

You can arrange tours with local companies and they will pick you up by boat right outside the campsite.

There are lots of tours in the area: Caño Island (diving, snorkeling), night hikes, bird watching, whale and dolphin tours, and of course Corcovado National Park!

Corcovado National Park

We are on the border of Corcovado National Park, and by being at the camp and in the going out into surrounding hiking trails, you will encounter many of the same wildlife as you would on a tour.

The Corcovado National Park covers more than 41,000 hectares, protecting more than 140 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, 116 species of reptiles and amphibians, 40 species of fish and at least 500 species of trees.

It is the largest park in Costa Rica and is considered to be the crown jewel in the extensive system of national parks and biological reserves in the country.

National Geographic has called it "the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity".

The abundance in wildlife can in part be explained by the variety of vegetation types, such as montane forest, prairie forest, swamp forest, and mangrove. It is home to many animal species, including: humpback whale, spinner dolphin, bull shark, tayra, coati, tapir, Spider monkey, Capuchin monkey, Howler monkey, Jaguar, ocelot, puma, scarlet macaw, toucan, and more.

Isla del Caño

Isla del Caño is a small island that has been established as a protected national park as a part of the Osa Conservation Area. It is a popular tourist destination for ecotourism such as whale watching, attracting visitors for its beaches, coral beds, and sea life. Researchers currently use the coral beds to study the factors surrounding coral death and recolonization.

It is home to: sea turtles, dolphins, stingrays, manta rays, moray eels, barracudas, tuna, snapper and grouper swimming alongside a variety sharks and humpback or pilot whales, and more.

Evidence of pre-Columbian human activity on the island’s history is the incredible stone spheres that have been found here. All of which are hand carved and perfectly rounded, some of the most interesting artifacts evidently carved by early civilizations.

Water Sports
Swimming
Sightseeing
Diving/
Snorkling
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Hiking
Sports
Riding
Yoga/
Meditation

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level) or Spanish (basic level)
Required Documents
Interview Process over Voice or Video
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Assets: Biology, Gardening, Social Media, Photography, Videography, Art/Creative Skills, Mindfulness, Knowledge about Plants and Wildlife.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 08:00 - 12:00

What's Included

Services by RASCAREY Conservation Project

ACCOMMODATION, FOOD, AMENITIES

  • 3 delicious vegetarian meals each day 
  • Comfortable Rooms with sheets/pillow
  • Each room has a fan
  • Electricity and Hydro
  • Wifi (good connection)
  • Filtered drinking water
  • Food from the land: yucca, plantain, coconut, papaya, spinach, mangos, coriander / herbs, and more.
  • Toiletries: hand soap, toilet paper, cleaning supplies
  • Shared spaces with hammocks, chill zones, and areas to silently work
  • A fully equipped kitchen + refrigerator and propane stove and oven
  • Outdoor Rancho ("fogon"): a sheltered outdoor space to cook over a fire

CONSERVATION & SUSTAINABILITY

  • Training and participation in night patrols with Sea Turtle experts and get to experience turtles up close
  • Our off-site Biologist will visit often to give talks to volunteers
  • Expertise on the plants and wildlife in the area - consider us your guides!
  • Workshops and activities that involve utilizing resources on the land (coconut oil, coconut milk, traditional Costa Rican food, making dreamcatchers and macrame, building with bamboo, etc)
  • Guidance on how to live a more holistic and sustainable life.
Your contribution goes towards the above, as well as helping fun the salaries of the Locals involved in the project - as well as the costs needed to maintain the project activities and conservation efforts (materials, supplies, etc.)
Accommodation

The project site is a two story open concept house located on a lush 2 acre jungle farm. Volunteers and the hosts (Brisa and Esteban) share the house. There are two bathrooms and two shower. There are shared spaces for relaxing and reading/working quietly, and a fully functioning communal kitchen. The beach is 30 seconds away at your disposal.

Options for accommodation:

  • 1 Private Rooms for couples
  • Shared Dormitory (separated female / male) with space for 8 volunteers.

Each volunteer will be given fresh sheets and pillow for their stay. Every room has a fan.

Dorm Room Guesthouse Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages
We value good food, and therefore our volunteers are given 3 delicious vegetarian meals a day. 
  • We often make handmade, bread, healthy snacks, granola, pizza, etc.
  • Fire roasted vegetables, rice, pasta, and a large variety of fresh food with varying cuisine types.
  • You can expect to eat fresh: lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, carrot, celery, potatoes, pejibaye, watermelon, passionfruit, pineapple, 
Food from the land: yucca, plantain, coconuts/pipas, papaya, spinach, mangos, guanabana, coriander, juanilama, and more.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Drake Bay (DRK) in Drake Bay. We assist you to find cheap flights to Costa Rica.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Costa Rica provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Costa Rica you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Costa Rica.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

We accept new volunteers on Monday's only.
Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
2 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$560
3 weeks
$1,176
4 weeks
$1,792
5 weeks
$2,408
6 weeks
$3,024
7 weeks
$3,640
12 weeks (max. stay)
$6,720
Average fees
$420 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. RASCAREY Conservation Project will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with RASCAREY Conservation Project during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if RASCAREY Conservation Project cancels your trip
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We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by RASCAREY Conservation Project.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Sea Turtle and Environmental Conservation

Sea Turtle & Environmental conservation project. The campsite is on an oceanfront jungle farm that allows an immersive experience close to pristine nature.

$420/week

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