Conservation Ambassador

Get in direct contact with turtles and help us to conserve this wonderful species with our organisation.

Our main mission at Tortugas de Pacuare is to protect endangered sea turtles such as the Leatherback sea turtle and the green sea turtle. With the support of the people of the local community and of you, the international volunteers, we aim at conserving the environment. By working with sea turtles and communal and environmental education programs, we will be able to educate people on the importance of caring about and protecting such a valuable part of the maritime ecosystem.

Working with Turtles
Working with the turtles means that you will be doing walks by night at the beach. Together with local guides and a group of people you will patrol the beach to collect turtle eggs and relocate them to a turtle hatchery where they will be safe from poachers. Furthermore, you will be working at the hatchery, taking care of the turtle eggs and the freshly hatched turtles and making sure that they are well prepared for their dangerous journey back into the sea.

The Leatherback Turtle - Leatherbacks are the largest turtles on Earth, growing up to seven feet (two meters) long and exceeding 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms). These reptilian relics are the only remaining representatives of a family of turtles that traces its evolutionary roots back more than 100 million years. Once prevalent in every ocean except the Arctic and Antarctic, the leatherback population is rapidly declining in many parts of the world. Thisis partly becaus of their shell. While all other sea turtles have hard, bony shells, the inky-blue carapace of the leatherback is somewhat flexible and almost rubbery to the touch. This makes it more vulnerable to predators and poachers. Furthermore, their eggs are often taken by humans from nests to be consumed for subsistence or as aphrodisiacs. 

The Green Sea Turtle - The green turtle is a large, weighty sea turtle with a wide, smooth carapace, or shell. It is named not for the color of its shell, which is normally brown or olive depending on its habitat, but for the greenish color of its skin. Weighing up to 700 pounds (317.5 kilograms) green turtles are among the largest sea turtles in the world. While most sea turtles warm themselves by swimming close to the surface of shallow waters, the Eastern Pacific green turtle will take to land to bask in the sun. This habit makes them extremley vulnerable to predators and poachers that want them for their meat and eggs.

Communal Work
But there is communal work as well. You, the volunteers, will work in the maintenance of the camp or in our recycling program. We spend our time doing community service work and helping to maintain community facilities, local schools, sports fields, and execute beach cleanups in conjunction with the Blue Flag committee. In addition we help the local population with construction of gardens.

Our program is a communal initiative and we work closely with the people from Barra de Pacuare. You will learn lots about our culture. It is especially important for us to promote contact with locals. In return they will be offering you the opportunity to do fishing tours, kayaking, or tours by boat to Tortuguero National Park. 

Location
The project is located 40 km south of Tortuguero in a small town called Barra de Pacuare in the middle of the Caribbean. This makes us one of the most important points for the arrival of leatherback turtles, green turtles, and hawksbill turtles. These are the most threatened species and extinction is a serious danger.

Our main goal is to save turtles. This is the reason why we keep the participation fee of the program very low. It helps us to maintain the station and to save one of the most amazing animals in the ocean.

Suitable for

Couples
Singles
Families
Groups

Typical day

Your schedule as a volunteer can vary each day, but mostly it will look like this one:

Meals
  • 8:30 am: breakfast 
  • 12:30 am: lunch 

Communal work
  • 9:30 am: communal work
  • 2:30 pm: communal work 
The total communal work during the day is approx. 2 hours 

Turtle hatchery
These are the different shifts that have to be covered at the turtle hatchery. Of course, you won't have to do all of these at one day.
  • 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
  • 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm
  • 10:00 pm to 4:00 am
  • 4:00 am to 8:00 am

Beach patrolling 
The most important time to patrol the beaches is at night. This is when the turtles usually come ashore to lay their eggs and thus, the most dangerous time for them. 
  • 8:00 pm to 12:00 am
  • 12:00 am to 4:00 am

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Costa Rica? Volunteer World directly connects you with Tortugas de Pacuare

Conservation Ambassador Enjoying very tropical lunch All around its awesome Our shared rooms, exelent view to the Caribbean Relocation of the eggs to save place By the canals of Tortuguero Babies hatching volunteers enjoing free time patrool colecting eggs of leatherback turtle One of the many different types of frogs Canadian group Pizza time Our house, wood used come from the beach Babie turtle Open your eyes and you'll find many animals Volunteers realising babies Our food is made with love and inspiration Volunteers enjoying by the canals Our volunteers our family our motivation Turtle rescue turtle saved from poachers

Free-time activities

Our volunteers will have the chance to spend their time enjoying the wild life and meeting many different animals.

Furthermore, the can do sports on the beach or simply tan themselves and relax while enjoying a good book. 

Also they can spend time together with the locals and enjoy getting to know a new culture. This is always a great opportunity to make new friends as well.

Water Sports
Swimming
Hiking
Sports

Services

What's included?
Fees include accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner. 
They also include a turtle training and tour of the forest.
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.
Accommodation

Our camp is a house with four rooms. Two of the rooms can host up to six people, one room is for four people and one room for two. 

You will wake up every morning with the ocean in front of your door.

Dorm Room Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

We offer vegetarian and vegan food.
Breakfast : pancakes, omelet, Gallo pinto, empanadas, tortillas con huevo, and many different tropical fruits.
Lunch and dinner: different kind of picadillos with rice and beans, tortilla de papa, spaghetti with coconut milk sauce, focacia, pizza, bread, patacones with beans paste, and many variable and Caribbean food

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
Costs
1 week (min. stay)
$180
2 weeks
$360
3 weeks
$540
4 weeks
$720
9 weeks
$1620
17 weeks
$3060
35 weeks (max. stay)
$6300

You can volunteer at the project site in Limon/Costa Rica between 1 weeks and 35 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Tortugas de Pacuare will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
$180/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 Tortugas de Pacuare during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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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.
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Barra de Pacuare , 300 meters est from cost gard station, 30505 Limon, Costa Rica