Sea Turtle Conservation Ambassador

Agency
·
founded in 2012
Luis
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Coordinator | Luis
Coordinator | Luis
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Volunteer by helping baby sea turtles reach the ocean safely! Be part of the most beautiful and magical moments during the turtle season!
Patrol beaches in the evening and night walks to locate female turtles and their at-risk nests. Relocate their eggs to a save place to protect them from poachers and predators.
Monitor sloths and their endangered population in their natural habitat and save turtles at the same time. Two emblematic animals - one mission: protect our treasure, our wildlife!
Clean, untended beaches for a better environment and a greener planet. Explore one of the countries with the most biodiversity on the planet!
Experience the Costa Rican lifestyle "Pura Vida" and its exotic fauna and flora while protecting the wildlife. A unique experience surrounded by wildlife!
Volunteer and save turtles, make a difference and meet one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! Join us in Pacific CR! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 17+
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+
What we do:
Sea turtles are at risk around the globe. They are endangered throughout the world’s oceans, and several species native to the eastern Pacific (where Matapalo Sea Turtle Conservation is located) are nearing extinction. Factors that are contributing to this endangerment include pollution, poaching, and low hatchling survival rates. At the Matapalo Conservation, volunteers are key to the preservation of the sea turtle species native to Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.

What You’ll Do:
Sea turtle conservation – As a volunteer, you’ll have the opportunity to be involved in the entire turtle hatching process. This includes taking shifts patrolling the beach in the evenings to locate female turtles who have come ashore to lay their nests. Nests are then transported to a hatchery, where they can be monitored 24/7 to protect them from poachers and predatory animals. You will take one shift every few days to keep watch of the hatchery. Finally, upon hatching, you will assist the baby sea turtles in reaching the ocean safely to ensure maximum survival rates. You may also help in the general maintenance of the hatchery. 
Other tasks – Volunteers will also participate in sloth walks to monitor and record the migration patterns of local sloth populations. Additionally, you’ll assist us in gathering beach litter once per week. You can expect to help with cleaning the kitchen and bedrooms once per week. You’ll also have the opportunity to take part in community service work with local schools and community facilities. 

Location:
The conservation project can be found in the small village of Matapalo. Located about 200 kilometers south of San Jose, Matapalo lies on the Pacific coast with the closest city being Quepos. The conservation is situated 100 meters from the ocean. The site is within 30 kilometers of the breathtaking Manuel Antonio National Park. Within walking distance is a waterfall in the mountains as well as surf shops, beach horseback riding, and hiking trails. 

Typical day

Meals:
Breakfast – 8:00 am 
Lunch – 12:00 pm
Dinner – 6:00 pm 

Volunteer Obligations:
Communal Work Shifts
9:30 – 11:00 am
3:00 – 5:00 pm

Hatchery Shifts and Beach Patrols
The hatchery shifts and beach patrols vary depending on the season. 

Information About the Turtles We Work With:
More than 400 olive ridley turtles arrive annually at our beaches. Our mission is to patrol in search of turtle mothers who look for a place on the beach to leave their eggs and then return to the sea. On night walks when we find turtles laying eggs,  we take them and take biometrics of the turtle. Then the eggs are brought to a place called hatchery, where we take care of them until babies are born and we release them to the sea.

One important thing when we work in animal protection is: wildlife isn't predictable, so we cannot say exactly how your experience will be. We are only sure of one thing: mother nature is awesome and always surprises us. This is why we love to work with turtles.
Our Association is accredited by the Ministry of the Environment of Costa Rica, as such we must follow the guidelines for the proper functioning of the program, as all programs that aim to do professional work and offer the best experience to our volunteers must be aware of the rules to follow, since coexistence must be in a healthy environment and enjoy the experience.
1. Respect schedule work 
2. Do not drink alcoholic beverages or drugs in the camp and the nursery or during work hours, you will have days off so you can go anywhere you want 
3. Respect the rest times in the camp
4. Respect the staff and the other volunteers 
5. Sexual harassment is totally prohibited
6. The person who comes to the camp under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be prevented from entering 

Turtle season:
Mums lying eggs - June, July, August, September, October, November 
Baby turtles hatching - August, September, October, November, December, January 

Free-time activities

Volunteers can expect between 3 and 6 hours of work per day 6 days per week. This leaves plenty of time to explore the beautiful country of Costa Rica and experience all of the activities it has to offer. 

There is a surfing school down the road from the conservation that offers surf lessons and rentals. Beach horseback riding is available just minutes from the site location. By bus, you can reach the beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park or the gorgeous Dominical beach in less than 45 minutes. However, you don’t have to travel far to enjoy a lazy day on the beach as we are within 100 meters from the ocean in Matapalo. Additionally, there is a soccer field and volleyball net right across the street from the site. 

Here you'll have many different activities to do:

  • A surfing school is near to the project (100 meters), our beach offers the best chance to go surfing, the waves are awesome.
  • An amazing waterfall lies within 1 hour walking distance by the mountains.
  • Manuel Antonio National Park is 45 minutes north by bus.
  • Dominical beach is 30 minutes south by bus. Here you can also do sports, snorkeling, fishing or recreational fishing.
  • The beach is just in front of our house, so sunbathe, enjoy the beach and live in a tropical and nice place.
Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/
Snorkling
Climbing
Hiking
Sports
Riding
Yoga/
Meditation

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

What's Included

Services by Tortugas de Pacuare

Program fees include accommodation and 3 meals a day, transportation is not includes in case you require private transportation from the airport we arrage for you for an extra cost 

When paying the final fee, a 5% tax is added to cover the costs of the payment platforms.

Accommodation

You will live in hostel-style accommodations with fellow volunteers. There are both male and female dormitories with bunk beds and an attached bathroom. 

There are shared rooms with eight people, three people or four people. 

You can also ask for our single rooms with air-condition for a higher price.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

We provide 3 meals a day: Rice and beans, spaghetti, patacones, empanada, picadillo, and many more typical local foods.
Drinks will be always tropical flavors.

There are also restaurants and convenience stores located near to the camp the site if you would like to purchase additional food, beverages, or toiletries.  

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 Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose. 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

You can arrive any day of the week except for Sunday. 

From the TRACOPA bus stop near the San Jose airport, take the bus going to Uvita 6:30 or 10:30 in the morning ( have in mind these are the only 2 buses that you can take to get to the camp, if you cannot take any of these 2 buses you must wait in San José and take the bus the next day) . Let the bus driver know that you will be getting off at the stop in Matapalo ( In Spanish, Yo bajo en la entrada de Matapalo por favor) 

After you apply for our program we will get in touch with more information regarding your arrival. We provide options for transportation from the airport to the site at an additional cost. 
Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
2 - 30 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$500
3 weeks
$750
4 weeks
$1,000
5 weeks
$1,250
9 weeks
$2,150
17 weeks
$4,250
30 weeks (max. stay)
$7,500
Average fees
$250 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Tortugas de Pacuare 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 Tortugas de Pacuare 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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What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Sea Turtle Conservation Ambassador

Volunteer and save turtles, make a difference and meet one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! Join us in Pacific CR!

$250/week

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