Buena Vista Sea Turtles

by ASVO

The main objective is to protect adult female turtles from human predators, wildlife and natural events.

About the Program

Buena Vista Beach is a primary nesting site for marine turtles. More than 300 nests have been observed in a season. These are nests of three of the four species of marine turtles that live in the Pacific Ocean. Nevertheless, this site does not have any official protection. 

Our Marine Turtle Conservation Program works to preserve the nests on the beach and to generate scientific information to describe the dynamics of nesting, by collecting data that lets us rely on scientific information to develop strategic plans to mitigate the problems that affect the maintenance of this essential resource in maintaining the health of the oceans. We are talking of problems like intense development of infrastructure on the beaches, excessive lighting that confuses the turtles, the passage of people and vehicles, and the taking of eggs and the depredation of nests, among others.We work with Costa Rican and international volunteers to protect the hatchlings and their development.

We construct nurseries to protect the nests from depredation and harvesting. We clean the beaches. We make nightly patrols to collect the eggs and to do scientific data collection, including measuring turtles and marking them. We liberate newly-hatched turtles.

The Beach

Buenavista is a sandy beach approximately 2.8km long, with an estuary at the northern end, and the mouth of the river Buenavista at the southern end. At this southern end of the beach, access is limited due to a mangrove ecosystem, which is dependent on the coastal tides and the river water. The gradient of the beach is low – ranging between 3º and 4º with the waves. For this reason, the tide here is very strong, and which makes it a ideal beach for surfing.

Another main objective is to detail the dynamics of nesting activity using the collection of data which enables us to ask the following questions: What species of turtle nests at Buenavista? Where and when do they nest? How many times does one female nest here in a season? What happens to the eggs and how many hatchlings are produced from one clutch of eggs? Finally, we aim to distribute all of this information, along with basic information about the biology and conservation of sea turtles, to the local population, and to educational centres in the area.

Objectives 

  1. The principle objective of the project is to protect the adult female turtles that frequent Buenavista, and their nests, from human predators and wildlife, natural events such as beach erosion and flooding due to the high amounts of rainfall in nesting season. This is achieved by the construction of a “hatchery” 
  2. Another main objective is to detail the dynamics of nesting activity using the collection of data which enables us to ask the following questions What species of turtle nests at Buenavista? Where and when do they nest? How many times does one female nest here in a season? What happens to the eggs and how many hatchlings are produced from one clutch of eggs? 
  3. Finally, we aim to distribute all of this information, along with basic information about the biology and conservation of sea turtles, to the local population, and to educational centres in the area.
Another main objective is to detail the dynamics of nesting activity using the collection of data which enables us to ask the following questions: What species of turtle nests at Buenavista? Where and when do they nest? How many times does one female nest here in a season? What happens to the eggs and how many hatchlings are produced from one clutch of eggs? Finally, we aim to distribute all of this information, along with basic information about the biology and conservation of sea turtles, to the local population, and to educational centres in the area.

Buena Vista Sea Turtles Buena Vista Sea Turtles Buena Vista Sea Turtles Buena Vista Sea Turtles Buena Vista Sea Turtles Buena Vista Sea Turtles

Suitable for

Singles
Families
Groups

Typical day

You will work between 6 and 10 hours from Monday - Saturday depending on nesting intensity and commitments in the community. The majority of the work will take place at night, and daytime activities will depend on the necessities of the project and weather.

Volunteer Duties

  • Maintenance of infrastructure and surroundings
  • Beach cleaning
  • Night patrols to look for nesting female turtles (in season)
  • Transport of food and water supply
  • Collection of data relevant to nesting activity(in nesting season. Collection and transferal of eggs to the hatchery, tagging and measurements of turtles)
  • Monitoring and security of hatchery ( in season)
  • Releasing baby turtles into the ocean (in hatchling season)
  • Collection of nest data (in nesting season)

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
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).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Required Documents
Health Insurance
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
We require volunteers with a desire to collaborate, good physical condition, and that can adapt to living in basic conditions. We prefer to receive volunteers that have previous
knowledge in Biology or in turtle conservation (not mandatory). It is considered an
advantage if volunteers have any knowledge or experience in carpentry or construction.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Any questions? Just ask. We at ASVO are happy to help you.

Free-time activities

  • Visiting communities near of the project site
  • Surfing and other water sports
  • Playing board games with fellow volunteers
  • Meditation

Water Sports
Swimming
Yoga/Meditation

Services

What's included?
  • Inscription
  • Accommodation
  • Three meals per day
  • Airport pick up
  • Hostel accommodation in San José (overnight)
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

In the airport´s exit you will find a lot of taxi drivers pushing themselves on you for business. Please look for your name, our staff members will be there for you.

Accommodation

The accommodation at Buenavista is a rustic wooden structure that consists of a large common area, kitchen and eating area downstairs. There is one large dorm area upstairs with bunk beds for volunteers. There are showers and toilet facilities, running water, and drinking water available. There is no electricity although we do have a small solar panel.

Youth Hostel
Food & Beverages

Volunteers will receive three meals a day at the project (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Food provided is according to a typical Costa Rican diet, and consists mainly of rice, beans, salads, pasta, vegetables and fruit.

Internet Access
Sorry, no access at the project site
Costs
1 week (min. stay)
$442.00
2 weeks
$884.00
3 weeks
$1,326.00
4 weeks
$1,768.00
8 weeks
$3,536.00
16 weeks
$7,072.00
50 weeks (max. stay)
$22,100.00

You can volunteer at the project site in Guanacaste/Costa Rica between 1 week and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. ASVO will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
$442/week
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 ASVO during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Costa Rica

Check out first

Visa Regulations
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Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in Costa Rica and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
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Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Costa Rica.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Juan Santamaría International (SJO) in San José. 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.
Vaccine Checker
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.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in Costa Rica while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Street 1, Ave 11-12, San José, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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