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IOI-Empowering Costa Rica

Sea Turtle and Ray Conservation Assistant

El Jobo, Costa Rica show on map

You will assist in sea turtle and ray monitoring projects in the waters and beaches of El Jobo on the North Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.

The Marine Conservation Volunteer will assist in ongoing sea turtle and ray monitoring projects in the waters and beaches of El Jobo on the North Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. You will work side-by-side with local community members to conduct night patrols of the beach, looking for nesting sea turtles, collecting data, and tagging the turtles.  The sea turtles seen in El Jobo (Green, Olive Ridley, and sometimes Hawksbill) are all endangered species.  Your work will help collect needed data about these populations of turtles as well as help protect them from poachers.

In addition to the sea turtle monitoring, you will also monitor the local ray populations by snorkeling and collecting data on the species and sometimes tagging them to better understand their migratory patterns. Other potential activities are sea grass and coral reef monitoring.

Our volunteer program is important because you are helping to protect endangered sea turtle and ray populations and helping generate an income for the local people. Normally, community members of towns like El Jobo depend on extracting natural resources to make a living. For example, robbing sea turtle nests and selling sea turtle eggs on the black market can happen in coastal Costa Rican villages. In El Jobo, however, community members are working with local scientists and volunteers like you to protect their natural resources. The volunteer program has given them a reason to switch from fishing or sea turtle poaching to patrolling the beach or monitoring rays with volunteers. Your participation in our volunteer program directly support the conservation work. We firmly believe the only way to engage in effective conservation is by working with local communities.

As a volunteer you will help collect data necessary for conservation of the species. The fact that you show up everyday (or every night in the case of the sea turtles!) shows to community members that there is value in conservation.

Typical day

Your time will be divided among the activities and each day will vary. For example, ray, sea grass, and reef monitoring take place in the morning, about 8am-12pm. Sea turtle monitoring will take place at night, about 9:30pm-1am. Your exact schedule will depend on the weather conditions and needs at that time.


All of your meals will be cooked for you by your homestay family, so you'll wake up every morning to a homecooked Costa Rican breakfast! You will typically have the afternoons free, after volunteering to explore the town, spend time with the locals, or go swimming at the beach.

The town of El Jobo is a single road rural community. The road is lined with small wooden houses surrounded by rolling hills. The nearest big town is about a half an hour away by bus. Your homestay family will be near the center of El Jobo and is a short drive away from the sea turtles nesting beaches where you will be patrolling. The community members who patrols the beach with you will drive you from beach to beach. When at the beach you will walk the beach, patrolling for nesting sea turtles for sometimes up to 3 hours straight. Be prepared with shoes that are good for walking on the sand, long sleeve and pant lightweight clothing that cover up the bugs, and a headlight with a red light setting that does not harm the turtles.

For the ray monitoring you will spend a lot of time in the water snorkeling, so make sure you bring a rash guard to protect against the sun, plenty of sunscreen, and your own snorkel, mask, and fins if you have them.

Details on Arrival

Volunteer can join our program throughout the year and fortunately, sea turtles nest near El Jobo year around! We encourage all volunteers to stay as long as possible to maximize local and personal benefit.  Minimum stay is 1 week, maximum is 12 weeks.

Free-time activities

There are a number of beaches within walking or biking distance of El Jobo where you can spend your free time. There are also restaurants and cafes with internet. If you are staying for an extended time period, you can explore the surrounding area of Guanacaste (known for it's beaches!) by bus on the weekends. There is not a shortage of things to do, especially if you like to spend time outdoors!

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
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 Spanish (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
• Basic level of Spanish
• A genuine passion for animal conservation
• Ability to work independently as well as in a team
• Flexibility in work schedules and tasks to accommodate day to day needs of a local institution
• Physical ability to work outdoors with potentially high sun, element, and temperature exposure
• Ability to independently collect and register data
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 08:00 - 12:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Included Services

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High ethical standards & transparent social impact
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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if IOI-Empowering Costa Rica cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by IOI-Empowering Costa Rica.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
IOI-Empowering Costa Rica (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 IOI-Empowering Costa Rica

The following are expected program expenses: airport pickup and drop off, food and drink, accommodation.

Airport Pickup at Liberia Airport

We provide airport pickup from Liberia (LIR) Airport in your program fee. If you choose to fly into San Jose (SJO) Airport, we can provide airport pickup for an additional cost or you can travel by plane or bus to Liberia where we can pick you up.

Accommodation

You will live with a Costa Rican family near the center of town. Staying with a family is a great way to learn about Costa Rican culture, eat typical food, and practice your Spanish!

Guest Family Guesthouse Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

Your homestay family will cook all of your meals for you and can adapt based on your dietary preferences. You will get a true taste of typical Costa Rican cuisine!

Internet Access
Limited 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 Liberia Airport (LIR) in Liberia. 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)
$750.00
2 weeks
$1,350.00
3 weeks
$1,850.00
4 weeks
$2,250.00
6 weeks
$3,050.00
8 weeks
$3,850.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$5,450.00
Average fees
$602.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in El Jobo/Costa Rica between 1 week and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. IOI-Empowering 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 IOI-Empowering 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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