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Made for Meaningful Travel
Your Extra Layer of Security
Casa de Coco

Sea Turtle Conservation Assistant

The Casa de Coco is sea turtle conservation and sustainability project. All opportunities are related to conservation and community sustainability.

There are many ways to save the turtles-- working directly with the turtles is just one way! In addition we work to educate everyone everywhere on the threats to sea turtles.  Poaching is a major threat on the island, and getting the locals out of poaching is an important project. We strive to create new sources of sustainable income to lessen the stress on the turtles.

Casa de Coco works to establish and maintain an alternate economy for the residents of Barra de Pacuare through volun-tourism and homestays. We give local families the opportunity to host volun-tourists who come to the island, providing them with an income at 20 U.S. dollars a day per volun-tourist. Aside from hosting, as more volunteers come to the island, the demand for conservation camp guides increases, providing options for employment for the locals. 

With this program we aim to achieve the following specific objectives:

  • Seek viable economic alternatives for the peoples of Barra de Pacuare in order to lessen the pressure on marine populations
  • Generate new livelihood support activities for the peoples of Barra de Pacuare.
  • Integrate the areas species of flora and fauna for both commercial and scientific value,  which can aid in the community's economic development.
  • Create alternative food resources for local consumption.
  • Replace the stereotype of Costa Rica's Caribbean coast from that of turtle exploitation to that of guardianship of turtles.

Within the spectrum of "related projects" are future plans for fish and shrimp farming, butterfly gardens, composting projects including worm cultivation, animal husbandry via raising both chickens and hogs, organic and natural gardening.. Additionally we have plans for a natural hummingbird garden and the Cayman conservation project.

Bringing some items will greatly enhance your stay such as

  • head lamps
  • rubber boots
  • towel and pillow
  • rain poncho
  • bug spray (organic is preferred)
  • hats and sun resistant clothing are preferred instead of sunscreen (these chemicals kill the plankton and harm the wildlife)

We recommend leaving your electronics at home - but if you can't - we recommend bringing an external battery pack. We do not have any electricity but use solar instead. Minimal wireless internet is available on the beach. Quick dry clothes and flip flops for the beach are great, and good walking shoes that can get wet for patrols are recommended. If you are able to bring any of the above items and leave them as a donation for the project, we would be very grateful.

The neighborhood

There are about 30 locals who live on the island, and there are no other hotels, restaurants, stores or cars on the island. Your stay with us helps to provide economic sustainability for the locals and 10-15% will be paid to the locals for working in the project. This helps to save the turtles by providing alternative incomes to the locals so they do not need to poach the turtles for their livelihoods.

The community is very poor and if you are able, bringing a few donations will greatly enhance the lives of the people living here such as

  • first aid supplies (single use cold packs, alcohol swabs, antibiotic creams, bandages etc.)
  • gumbo boots
  • flea collars
  • school supplies for the local school including books and chocolates 

will be greatly appreciated :)

Our guests are the most important factor in our sea turtle conservation efforts and we are very grateful for your support for both our project and our neighborhood!


Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups

Typical day

Volunteer Opportunities

Depending on the time of the year that you are joining us, you daily tasks can vary. Mostly, however, they will consist of the following:

  • Attend a training presentation that qualifies you to work directly with marine turtles.
  • Participate in nightly beach patrols for the protection of marine turtles.
  • Assist in the maintenance around the nesting zones. 
  • Identify and account for turtle tracks on the beaches
  • Search for turtle nests.
  • Count numbers of eggs found in each nest and relocate the eggs to a secure egg hatchery.
  • Monitor the relocated turtle nests: monitor nest temperatures.
  • Work in the organic gardens and in trail building activities.
  • Participate in local cultural activities.
  • Assist in a variety of project and community maintenance activities such as our little store called Pulperia.

 

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). Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level) and Spanish (basic level)
Education Requirements
various at High school level
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Ability to participate in rewarding work!
All skills are welcome such as: gardening, farming, environmental, sustainability, repair/construction, business, marketing, and communication etc.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 04:00

Any questions? Just ask. We at Casa de Coco are happy to help you.

Free-time activities

All "rustico" tours are included like:

Rain forest tour: Spend the day hiking through untouched rain forest!

Flora: The area is home to 400 species of trees and 2000 species of plants, among which are the beach grape, “caco”, coconut palms, water lily, water ferns, “pilon”, “canfin”, and “jicaro de Montana”.
Fauna: You may encounter monkeys, sloths, tapirs, river otters, ocelots, manatees, jaguars, and of course turtles! Among those found nesting here on the island are the Leatherback, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, and Green turtles, (nesting season March-October).

Banana Plantation Tour: Actually see where your bananas come from! Walk through the banana plantation alongside of the workers cutting and transporting the bananas, and watch the cleaning and packing processes too. The tour is complete with a lunch at a local “soda” where all the local plantation workers eat.

Fishing Tours: Lean how the locals fish - from catching shrimp for bait, to baiting traps for water crabs! Extra bonus--what you catch, we will bring it back to the camp, and we will cook up the catch of the day over an open fire—island style!

Water Sports
Climbing
Hiking
Sports
Riding
Yoga/Meditation

Included Services

What's included?
Airport pickup, accommodation and food & drink is included in the fees
Airport Pickup at Limon International Airport

We will meet you at the airport - just look for us holding a sign with your name!

We will spend the first night in San Jose at a hostel in the center of San Jose. In the morning we will all walk or take a taxi to the bus station (20 minutes). We will take the 8 am bus to Bataan. This bus is very scenic and will go through the mountains and the cloud forest! Once in Bataan we will take a local bus thought the banana farming lands to arrive at the boat dock. The boat will take us to the island!

Accommodation

We are a home-stay project so you will be staying in the homes of the locals that live on the island. This is important because all the money goes to the locals who need it the most. This income will provide the locals with alternative income so they will not need to poach the turtle for food or money.

Dorm Room Guest Family Bedroom (Double) Camping
Food & Beverages

All meals are included!

Expect very local cuisine such as rice, beans, and vegetables. Other options are soups, empanadas, and pastas. Drinks include coffee and fruit juices.

You will also learn how to cook the local cuisines including seafood soup with coconut and cahetas (coconut sweets).

We can accommodate special dietary needs such as gluten free and vegetarian.

We grow many of our own herbs and vegetables so you can help be part of the islands sustainability initiatives!

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.

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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
1 week (min. stay)
$300.00
2 weeks
$443.00
3 weeks
$587.00
4 weeks
$730.00
8 weeks
$1,304.00
16 weeks
$2,452.00
24 weeks (max. stay)
$3,600.00
Average fees
$225.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Puerto Limon/Costa Rica between 1 week and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Casa de Coco will let you know about the final price during your application process.
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 must be made up to 30 days before to the volunteer program starts. This payment is also securely handled by PayPal or credit card.

Get ready to volunteer in Costa Rica

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Costa Rica. Please check the visa regulations for Costa Rica.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in Costa Rica and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in Costa Rica.
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 Limon International Airport (LIO) in Limon. 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?
Barra de Pacuare, Puerto Limon, Costa Rica
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