Work in Turtle Conservation

Green Life Volunteers
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Coördinator | Janina
Coördinator | Janina
Boek met de Flex-Optie! Kies nieuwe vertrekdata of wijzig je vrijwilligersproject zonder meerkost.
Do you love wildlife conservation? Would you like to live and work on a beautiful Costa Rican beach? Then become a volunteer on our amazing Turtle Conservation projects! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Leeftijd 18+

The project

We collaborate with Costa Rican turtle conservation organizations with years of experience with volunteers and sea turtle conservation. They are in urgent need for more help! They receive thousands of sea turtles each year – but they have few volunteers to help cope with the amount of eggs and turtles. 

Turtle eggs are being poached in Costa Rica and sold illegally on the black market. Many people will "hunt" for eggs on the beaches, and collect them. There are also many other natural dangers such as stray dogs digging up turtle eggs to eat, and so do vultures and other wild animals. To prevent this, turtle projects collect eggs and place them into a safe enclosed place close to their headquarters, called a "hatchery". The eggs will mature there and then when baby turtles are hatching, they are carried and released into the ocean. With your help, more sea turtles will make it into the ocean and have the chance to fight for survival and mature into a fully grown turtle. 

Mainly four sea turtle species arrive at the beaches of Costa Rica:  Leather Back Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), Green-turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Olive-Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea).

The location

The project locations depend on seasonal availability - we offer projects on the Pacific Side in Costa Rica and Caribbean side. You'll be placed where help is most needed at the time you'd like to volunteer. The sea turtle projects are always closely located to the beaches where turtles arrive, and where you'll patrol the beach. 

You will be living with other volunteers and project staff and sharing dormitory style accommodations with them. There is usually a large common area where you'll eat together, a kitchen, and bathrooms (cold showers, but it's so warm in Costa Rica that you'll WANT a cold shower!). 

Our volunteers

As a volunteer you'll work with other volunteers and the project staff. There is often also researchers/ biologists on site that you'll be helping with ongoing research. 

An ideal volunteer on this project has a passion for animal conservation and biology, enjoys physical labor and loves being outdoors! You should be 18 years of age or older to participate. You don’t have to speak Spanish for this project, as project staff and other volunteers speak English. 

You need to be willing to walk the beaches for hours during patrols, and also sit still for hours watching the hatchery. You need a special flashlight with the option of a "red" light. Turtles do not like white light and you would not be able to switch your torch on with white light during patrols. You should also bring your own bedding and a towel, as the organization does not provide those. 

Dagelijkse activiteiten

The typical day can change and vary for every volunteer. You will be given certain "shifts" to work, which will be mainly night-patrols since sea turtles arrive and lay eggs typically at night. A shift will usually be around 4 hours long, and can start from 8pm-12 midnight, and from midnight to 4pm. You'll have to be flexible and able to sleep during the day. There is also work during the day, such as watching the hatchery if a turtle nest is close to it's hatching date. If turtles hatch, they have to immediately be relocated to the beach. Usually you won't be on a shift alone ever, there is project staff or other volunteers with you on shifts.

  • Patrol beaches at night
  • Move nests to hatchery and prepare the nests
  • Mark turtles that are nesting and that are trying to build a nest or are returning to the ocean
  • Search for marked turtles and gather data regarding the percentage of turtles that return to the beach during “arribada”
  • Count all turtles that arrive at the beach
  • Help the most amount of baby turtles to get safely into the ocean
  • Help build a watering system to help the hatchlings develop during the dry months
  • Help patrol the beach to protect nests from illegal extraction and predators
  • Taking the sand’s temperature in specific sections of the beach in the morning, at noon and at sunset
  • Gather information regarding egg development (or lack of) in all the nests and the and check for the presence of organisms inside them
  • Help extract and pack the eggs that are sold legally (only 1% of all the eggs laid are allowed to be sold).
  • Translate documents for the office

  • Examples of other activities you may participate in:

    • Clean the beach of tree trunks and other debris that has been washed on the beach
    • Clean the beach of all unwanted vegetation that takes over the nesting areas reducing the space available for turtles to nest
    • Plant trees in different areas of the beach and the town
    • Help with infrastructure activities like building schools, bridges, roads and other similar community activities


The project locations are usually on a remote beach in a quiet town. However, there is always some fun outdoor activities to do - depending on your project location. You may be able to go snorkeling, kayaking, horse riding, surfing, or do other water sports. There is always a place nearby to hike the jungle - please ask the project staff what there is to do, and how you could arrange to do it. Sometimes you will have to hire a guide to do an activity with you (such as horseback riding or snorkeling), and other activities you can do for free on your own (such as hiking or surfing).



Om deel te nemen aan het programma dien je tenminste 18 jaar oud te zijn op de startdatum van het programma. Er kunnen uitzonderingen gemaakt worden indien je een bewijs van toestemming kan aantonen van uw wettelijke voogd(en) of samen met je ouders deelneemt.
Je dient over volgende taalkennis te beschikken Engels (basis niveau)
Geen beperkingen. Helpende handen van over de hele wereld zijn welkom.
Uw helpende hand wordt verwacht op maandag, dinsdag, woensdag, donderdag, vrijdag, zaterdag en zondag van 18:00 - 06:00

Diensten ingesloten

Diensten door Green Life Volunteers

An organizational fee is included in the first week’s fee and covers the “behind the scenes costs”, such as staff salaries, office space rental, transaction and bank fees, and more. Our weekly fee for additional weeks covers the costs of your host family or project accommodation and food, the local staff on your project, and a donation to help with the daily running costs of the program you will help on.

Not included in our fee are your first and last night in San Jose in a hostel, travel to and from the international airport (airport shuttles are around 30$ each way to San Jose - We can set this up for you, just ask us during sign-up), travel to the project site (usually by public buses, which are from around 10-16$ one way), national/ International flights, travel insurance, visa costs, Any additional food or snacks besides the host family meals, extra-curricular activities.


The turtle projects offer shared mixed-gender dormitory rooms with bunk beds. You’ll share the accommodation with your fellow volunteers.The room is usually large enough for around 6-10 people per room. Bathrooms are shared with other volunteers, but you can use them privately on your own (and lock the door). There are usually large showers but note they may be cold water - although in Costa Rica you really do not need hot water as it is so hot outside you'll want to shower with cold water!
There are usually a large common room and kitchen for volunteers and staff to share. There is also relax-areas often with hammocks or chairs, for you to hang out at in your free time.

Eten & Drank

You'll receive 3 cooked and prepared meals a day, and often small snacks in between for "Coffee Time". Food is Costa Rican typical food cooked for you and prepared by a local chef who is part of the program staff. You’ll all eat together in a common space at certain hours. Breakfast is usually around 8am, lunch is around 12pm, and dinner is around 6 -7pm. Meals are always taken together with the project staff and other volunteers. The organization can accommodate vegetarians and vegans, and special allergies or dietary requirements. Just let us know your dietary needs during your sign up. 

Internet toegang
Beperkte toegang op de project site
Wat is er NIET inbegrepen?
Visum, vluchten, reisverzekering en vaccinaties zijn NIET inbegrepen in de programmakosten. Afhaling van de luchthaven is ook niet inbegrepen in de programmakosten.
Vlucht tickets
De dichtste luchthaven is Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose. We assisteren u met het vinden van goedkope vluchten naar Costa Rica.
Naar het buitenland reizen is een avontuur en het is best om goed voorbereid te zijn. Plots ziek worden of gewond raken, annulaties of diefstal - een reisverzekering voor Costa Rica biedt zekerheid en is een meerwaarde.
Als je de intentie hebt om als vrijwilliger aan de slag te gaan in Costa Rica dien je eerst medisch advies in te winnen alvorens je eropuit trekt. Kijk de benodigde vaccinaties na voor Costa Rica.

Data & Kosten


Gegevens over jouw aankomst

You can start this project anytime, whenever is convenient for you. We don't have specific start dates. But note that you'll be placed in a project depending on the season - the best season for the Pacific Coast Project (Nombre del Jesus) is from July - March, and the rest of the year we have our turtle projects on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica (from February - July).

jan. feb. mrt. apr. mei jun. jul. aug. sep. okt. nov. dec.
1 - 19 weken


Kosten: Prijs in USD
1 week (min. verblijf)
2 weken
3 weken
4 weken
6 weken
8 weken
19 weken (max. verblijf)
Gemiddelde kosten
$424 /week

Houd er rekening mee dat de hierboven getoonde kosten worden geschat. Green Life Volunteers zal je op de hoogte houden over de finale kostprijs gedurende uw aanmeldprocedure.
Waarborg (15%)
De waarborg dient om je plek als vrijwilliger te verzekeren. Betalingen worden door PayPal behandeld, onze betrouwbare betalingsprovider. Indien je niet over een PayPal account beschikt, kan je ook met een credit kaart betalen.
Finale betaling (85%)
Uw finale betaling zal worden goedgekeurd door Green Life Volunteers gedurende de aanmeld procedure. Veel voorkomende oplossingen zijn een banktransfer of contante betaling op de projectsite.

Waarom Volunteer World

Bijkomende zekerheid geboden door Volunteer World
Volunteer World is 's werelds leidende vergelijkingsplatform voor internationale vrijwilligerswerk projecten. Wij begeleiden jou door een betrouwbare aanmeldingsprocedure - inclusief de nodige betalingen. Plan jouw zinvolle reis met Volunteer World en krijg gratis toegang tot:
Hoge ethische standaarden & transparantie in de sociale impact
Wijzig jouw reservatie zonder extra meerkost
Garantie op terugbetaling
We betalen je kosten terug als Green Life Volunteers jouw reis annuleert
Ondersteuning & tussenkomst
Wij steunen je, wat er ook gebeurt, je kan altijd contact opnemen met ons
Onze diensten zijn gratis!
Alle programmakosten worden rechtstreeks gefactureerd door Green Life Volunteers

Wat vertellen de mensen over Volunteer World?

Work in Turtle Conservation

Do you love wildlife conservation? Would you like to live and work on a beautiful Costa Rican beach? Then become a volunteer on our amazing Turtle Conservation projects!


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