Sea Turtle Conservation Assistance

Overview Requirements What's included Dates & Fees Reviews
founded in 2008
Coordinator | David
Coordinator | David
Volunteer to help us conserve one of the most endangered sea turtle populations on the planet. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

About the Program

ICAPO is a hawksbill turtle conservation nonprofit collaborating with a network of like-minded organizations in the Pacific coastal region of the Americas. Here, hawksbills are considered to be one of the most endangered sea turtle populations in the world.

Located on the northwest pacific coast of Nicaragua, the Estero Padre Ramos Nature Reserve is one of the most ecologically important natural areas in Nicaragua. A large mangrove estuary surrounded by several small beach communities, it is a critically important hawksbill nesting area. Hawksbill monitoring and conservation have been taking place since April 2010.

This volunteer program is initiated with the aim to extend the unique opportunity of volunteers participating in the protection of hawksbill turtles. The projects objective is to examine the population dynamics of the hawksbill turtle on the most important hawksbill nesting beaches of the eastern Pacific coast. This unique volunteer program is one of the best opportunities to participate in a small-scale based conservation project. We strongly believe that communities are fundamental to the long-term conservation of sea turtles. By working closely with local community members who depend economically on the conservation of turtles, we harness their knowledge and maximize conservation efforts. The sea turtle monitoring program has been running since 2008. ICAPOs staff members have coordinated more than eight international volunteering programs in various Latin American countries, counting for a total of more than 15 years’ worth of experience.

Volunteer Tasks

During the first days of your stay, you will receive a full training in biology of sea turtles and field methodology. We are looking for people who are self-motivated, conservation-minded, and who are able to get along well with others. A positive and hard-working attitude and a love for the outdoors are a must. Any health problem must be communicated before making the application.

Typical day

Usual working days are from Monday - Saturday for 8 hours daily including the following tasks.

  • Protecting more than 500 nests, representing more than 95 percent of hawksbill nests at the site.
  • Releasing more than 50,000 hawksbill hatchlings.
  • Documenting more than 170 nesting female hawksbills.
  • Equipping five hawksbills with satellite tags for tracking.
  • Monitoring 12 kilometers of nesting beach.
  • Collaborating with more than 15 local, national and international organizations.
  • Uncovering new information about hawksbill biology, life-history and conservation through scientific research. 
  • A prime conservation area hosting 40 percent of the known hawksbill nesting sites in the entire eastern Pacific.

Free-time activities

Our project station is located in a very small fishermen community. It is apeninsula n the core zone of Estero Padre Ramos Nature Reserve. Mangroves, pristine channels with lots of species of birds, reptiles, molluscs and crustaceans. Have a walk and admire the lovely landscape formed by the estuary and the surrounding nature is a must. Birding, hiking the tropical dry forest, horseback riding or practice artisanal fishery with local people are some spare time activities. Otherwise a good option is just relax and dream the day away in a hammock.


Program 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)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
- Physically in good condition
- Travel & Medical insurance
- Being able to work in remote areas under basic conditions
- Available to volunteer for at least 1 week
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Included Services

Services by ICAPO
  • Pre-departure orientation (information package) 
  • Welcome meeting and arrival orientation at the project office
  • Three full meals a day 
  • Housing (a safe and comfortable volunteer house) 
  • In-country orientation/Training (turtle biology and conservation) by experienced staff members 
  • In-country team & 24 hour emergency support 
  • Registration fee
Airport Pickup at Augusto C Sandino International Airport

We also have travel packages available. This may be good option for you to arrive safe and quick at the project site. It includes: 

  • Airport pickup - delivery from hotel/airport to the project site
  • Pickup from project site on last day and transport to the hotel/airport
  • Transport to the airport the following day
  • For more information you can contact us


  • Private and shared rooms
  • Independent cabins in our project field station
  • It includes mosquito net, bed sheets and fan

Dorm Room Bedroom (Double) Camping
Food & Beverages

  • Three full meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) included
  • Pure water/coffee/tea included 
  • Vegetarian menu available

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.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Augusto C Sandino International Airport (MGA) in Managua. We assist you to find cheap flights to Nicaragua.
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 Nicaragua provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Nicaragua you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Nicaragua.

Dates & Fees

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 - 8 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
$ 280
2 weeks
$ 490
3 weeks
$ 700
4 weeks
$ 910
5 weeks
$ 1,120
6 weeks
$ 1,330
8 weeks (max. stay)
$ 1,750
Average fees
$ 249 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. ICAPO 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 ICAPO 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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Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if ICAPO cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by ICAPO.

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