Love Volunteers

Indigenous Wildlife Rescue Supporter

San José, Costa Rica show on map
Research the animals of Costa Rica to learn more about their lives and ultimately, how to protect them. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

The program

This fabulous project was developed to simply save animal lives. Costa Rica has an abundance of indigenous animal life, home to thousands of species of unique and amazing creatures. Unfortunately animals are vulnerable to the encroaching human world, illegal activity and their natural environments devastated. Animal victims of repossession, loss of habitat and accidents are constantly brought in by local officials and members of the general public from all corners of the country. Many are able to be nursed back to health, and once fully rehabilitated, are released back into their natural habitat. The groups of animals rescued and cared for are mainly primates, birds, and reptiles, and can include Tapirs, Sloths, Toucans, Spider Monkeys, Green and Scarlet Macaws, Turtles, Snakes, Crocodiles and even a few different species of indigenous felines.

Sadly, none of the Rescue Centres in the program receive any ongoing government funding, relying heavily on donations from the public and the generous contribution of volunteers, both national and international, to keep them operational. This program plays a significant role is helping these important rescue centres continue their wonderful work by supplying a willing volunteer labor force to assist them.

Goals of this Project:

  • Work to save the lives of vulnerable animals
  • Improve the future prospects of the indigenous animals of Costa Rica
  • Research the animals of Costa Rica to learn more about their lives and ultimately, how to protect them
  • Create an environment that enables different cultures to work together with the goal of saving animal lives.

How you can help

Volunteers on this project play an essential role in the care of the rescued animals and their contribution is invaluable. Like many conservation programs, funds are greatly lacking, and a willing volunteer labor force is essential to the success of the projects. A volunteers work day is normally between four - six hours per day, five days per week, and while the work can be physically demanding, it is also tremendously rewarding. Volunteers on this program must have a flexible and positive attitude, as work schedules can and do change according to the needs of each rescue centre.

No two days are ever the same on this project. Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:

  • Work closely with animals - mostly endangered species
  • Clean animal enclosures/compounds
  • Feed animals – including bottle feeding infant animals
  • Exercise the younger animals
  • Assist in emergency medical treatment when required
  • Collect leaves and other resources from the rainforest
  • Assist in rescue calls when required
  • Maintain paths, signs and other infrastructure
  • Build, repair and maintain the animal enclosures.

Typical day

A volunteer’s work day on this project will generally last between 4 and 6 hours and while we ask all volunteers to be flexible in this regard, a typical daily schedule is likely to go something like this:

7:00am Breakfast in the communal area

8:15am Pre-start meeting with project supervisor

8:30am VOLUNTEERING DUTIES START

A tea break and lunch break will be fitted in during the day, but often the timing of breaks will change based on the needs of the local staff and number of volunteers on hand.

4:00pm VOLUNTEERING DUTIES END

Evenings Free time to simply relax, hang out with your fellow volunteers, have dinner together, then relax some more!

Details on Arrival

This project is available year-round and programs start every SATURDAY. Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.

Free-time activities

This project is available in various locations across Costa Rica. Given the nature of these projects, in most cases they are located in more remote areas and therefore volunteers will spend the majority of their time (including free time) onsite as opportunities to travel offsite may be limited. Where possible though, volunteers can sometimes use free time to travel to a nearby town to explore shops and restaurants, or to explore further afield. Offsite travel options will be discussed with volunteers during their project orientation. This project is a wonderful option for those volunteers who wish to be fully immersed in the astounding nature and beauty that Costa Rica has to offer!

Swimming
Concert/Music
Hiking

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)
Required Documents
Emergency contact
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
This project is best suited to those who are either pursuing a career in animal conservation/zoological studies, or who simply wish to explore an interest in this field. However, the project is open to all. Importantly though, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:30 - 16:00

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Love Volunteers cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Love Volunteers.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Love Volunteers (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Love Volunteers
  • Dedicated pre-departure support
  • Exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner! 
  • Airport pick-up on arrival 
  • Orientation & full safety briefing on arrival
  • Accommodation
  • Food & Meals
  • 24/7 local support network 
  • Project placement & onsite supervision
  • Lifetime LV Alumni Membership
  • The opportunity to make a REAL difference!
  • Certificate of Completion (on request)
  • LV registration fee
Airport Pickup at Juan Santamaria International Airport

Upon your arrival in San Jose you will be collected at the airport and taken to a temporary home-stay accommodation near the local team’s office in Santa Barbara de Heredia (just outside San Jose). The following day (Sunday), you will be collected and taken to the local office where you will receive a welcome orientation to help you settle in and find out about your volunteering placement. The local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts and ask any last questions you may have.

You will then be taken to the bus station and placed on the bus to your project site. A representative from the local project team will meet you on arrival and will take you to the accommodations to settle in. On Monday morning, you will be introduced to the project leader so that you can start volunteering. Easy!

  • Program Arrival Day: SATURDAY
  • Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
  • Arrival/Departure Airport: Juan Santamaria International Airport, San Jose, Costa Rica (Code: SJO)
Accommodation

Volunteers on this project will be accommodated in shared dorm-style rooms within the project grounds or billeted with a local host family close by, depending on your designated project assignment. In either case, volunteers will be provided with all the basic amenities, including a bathroom, electricity and hot water for a nice shower at the end of a good day’s work!

At the project site, a large communal area is provided for volunteers and staff, which includes full kitchen facilities, a large dining area, comfortable couches and hammocks to relax on. This is a wonderful environment to volunteer in and past volunteers have raved about how cool it is to be able to live within the rescue center itself!

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Three meals per day are provided at the project and are included in the program fee. Volunteers are often expected to help with cooking and cleaning up (using a roster-based system), so everyone contributes at meal times – bringing a wonderful ‘family’ feel to this project! Nice!

Internet Access
Sorry, no 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 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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
1 week (min. stay)
$699.00
2 weeks
$1,010.00
3 weeks
$1,297.00
4 weeks
$1,585.00
6 weeks
$2,125.00
8 weeks
$2,654.00
11 weeks
$3,459.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$3,724.00
Average fees
$505.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in San José/Costa Rica between 1 week and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Love Volunteers will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Costa Rica.
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 Love Volunteers during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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