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first hand Costa Rica

Save Turtles In Osa

Osa, Costa Rica

Help to collect and record data for research and conservation of marine turtles in an extraordinary nature surrounding.

About the Program

On breathtaking beaches you and other volunteers protect the marine turtles that are in danger of extinction. 

Volunteers play a crucial role in conservation efforts!

Illegal egg poaching and hunting for sea turtles, pollution and beach erosion are threatening the survival of the already critically endangered animals. This has caused an alarming decline in turtles being born on this beach.

This program aims to sensitize local communities about the importance of protecting and preserving sea turtles by trying to create direct incomes from contracted work at the conservation program and the development of community-based ecotourism initiatives. In this way, it aims to achieve a reduction of the consumptive use of the sea turtles in the region through the preservation of this natural resource.

During this time the volunteers will live a period of time with host families from the village. If the volunteers would like to they can also move to the camps where they will live under very basic conditions, sometimes without water and electricity. Your food - breakfast, lunch, dinner - will be prepared in the camp and consists of the typical costarican cuisine: rice, beans, vegetables, meat and fruit.

The Location

It is a very long journey from the airport to this program in the south pacific, but you will be enjoying one of the most spectacular spots in Costa Rica – the Pensinsula de Osa. It is a very humid area but absolutely stunning in terms of wildlife and vegetation. The main camp is in Rio Oro where you will start. During your stay you can decide wether you also want to stay for a time in the other camp at Drake's Bay.

Our Volunteers

Our Volunteers should have a love for nature and fun with outdoor-living. They should be prepared for sometimes physically demanding work and work at unusual hours as most of the turtle nesting occurs at night. The volunteers should bring a sleeping bag, repellent, mosquito net, flashlight, batteries, rain protection (May - November), sun protection and a hat or cap. 

Typical day

Your Tasks

You will take part in various conservation activities as a member of a team of investigators in the program, between 4 and 6 hours a day. 

Activities include:

  • Night patrols
  • Relocation of nests to the hatchery
  • Recording scientific data
  • Tagging of turtles 
  • Looking after the hatchery
  • Construction activities
  • Nest exhumations
  • Freeing of hatchlings
  • Taking part in environmental education
  • Ecotourism activities

Details on Arrival

This program is available from July until December. It starts every Monday. Please arrive at least one day before the programs starts.

Free-time activities

Peninsula de Osa is one of the most amazing National Parks in Costa Rica and it is very, very remote.

So, after your project you can plan to visit other places: see us in Sámara and enjoy the beaches in Guanacaste or travel to the caribbean coast and chill in Cahuita or Puerto Viejo. There are fascinating volcanos like the Arenal, Irazú or Poás ... and lots of adventure tours like canopy, rafting and much more!

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Required Documents
Copy of health insurance and valid in Costa Rica
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
If you are 17 years old, then you have to bring the written allowance of your parents - we provide a form for this!
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Suitable for

Singles
Couples

Any questions? Just ask. We at first hand Costa Rica are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
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Included Services

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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if first hand Costa Rica cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by first hand Costa Rica.
Services by first hand Costa Rica

We provide accommodation and food. We organize the journey to the project and we also do hostel reservations in San José if needed (mostly it is needed!) - and, if you will combine projects, we will also organize the transportation between the projects. You will have to pay the cost for the pickup and the transport.

Accommodation

All volunteers will stay with a guest family for at least 7 nights and are encouraged to remain in homestay throughout the duration of their stay. There is also a shared dormitory in the main camp with limited space and you can apply to stay there for a time. This will be decided when you are there. Whether homestay or main camp – the cost is included in the fee. Both options include three meals per day plus snacks for night patrols.

Guest Family
Food & Beverages

Your food - breakfast, lunch, dinner - will be prepared by your guest family or in the camp and consists of the typical costarican cuisine: rice, beans, vegetables, meat and fruit.

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. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
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)
2 weeks (min. stay)
$960.00
3 weeks
$1,224.00
4 weeks
$1,488.00
5 weeks
$1,752.00
6 weeks
$2,016.00
7 weeks
$2,280.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$3,600.00
Average fees
$390.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Osa/Costa Rica between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. first hand Costa Rica 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 first hand Costa Rica during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
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