La Tortuga Feliz

Turtle Conservation Supporter

Parismina, Costa Rica show on map

Non-profit | La Tortuga Feliz

As a volunteer you can help with the protection of the sea turtles as well as the improvement of the local inhabitants' living conditions. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Poachers, fishing nets, pollution and other threats are the cause of an alarming decline in turtles hatching on this beach. Escpecially the 9 km coast covered by our volunteer turtle conservation program La Tortuga Feliz is in danger, for it has no protection whatsoever. Volunteer conservation efforts play a very important role in changing this situation for the turtles of Costa Rica.

The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is the most critically endangered of the marine turtles and is also the largest. Leatherbacks can exceed 540 kg (1180 lbs). 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. However, leatherback turtles are generally not killed by poachers for their meat but for their eggs which are among the most desirable turtle eggs. 

Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) are not actually green but take their name from the colour of their body fat. 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. They are hunted for both their eggs and their meat, which is widely held to be the most delicious of all the sea turtle species.

As La Tortuga Feliz is a non-profit organization, we can only stay successful if volunteers participate in the project. With your contribution you help with the protection of the sea turtles and the improvement of the living conditions of the local inhabitants. Maybe even more importantly you will have the best time of your life!

The project area is on a unique place at the caribbean beach with lots of wildlife! This way you will not only be able to experience and protect the sea turtles, but maybe encounter some other species that you have never seen in their natural habitat before. 

Typical day

As a volunteer you can help with the realization of the projects’ objectives by patrolling the beaches for turtles at night (in all weathers) together with the local inhabitants. This is important to protect the turtles as well as their eggs from thieves and poachers. 

Furthermore, it stops the locals from turning to turtle poaching. Having no job and thus no money many times drives them to earn a living stealing turtles and their eggs. While they work for us, there is no need for them to continue poaching but to save the turtles and rean enough money to maintain their families at the same time.

Another task of yours will be manning the hatchery and caring for recuperating adult turles in the turtle rescue and rehabilitation centre. 

In addition, you will be involved with the day to day operational duties of running the project. In the off-season (late November to late February) you help with maintenance of the buildings and preparations for the next season by creating an ideal environment for turtles to lay their eggs

Details on Arrival

Start days are on Monday and Thursday's ONLY because of the boat transfer. 


As our volunteer meeting point is a few hours away from San Jose it means an over night stay when you arrive in the capital before setting off by bus the next day at 9am to our volunteer meeting point in the Caribbean.


When you reserve you will receive VERY detailed information by email on how to get to us. The info includes transport options from the airport to our recommended San Jose Hotel, details of where to take the bus on the first day of your reservation to the volunteer meeting point plus much more. 

Free-time activities

After volunteering you can go fishing, sunbathe on the beach or read a book in a hammock.

Also you can do freetime activities in a goup such as playing several games like soccer or volleyball, or go for a hike.

Being in Costa Rica there is of course also the possibilty to learn Spanish.

Sightseeing
Hiking
Sports
Yoga/Meditation

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 (intermediate level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
The work can sometimes be physically demanding as you have to walk for several hours on the beach in all weathers looking for nesting adult turtles so you should be fit!
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

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 La Tortuga Feliz 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 La Tortuga Feliz.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
La Tortuga Feliz (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 La Tortuga Feliz
The price includes comprehensive adult turtle training, turlte hatchery training (practical and theory), 3 meals per day, lodging, coffee and of course you will have the best time of your life. Your contribution is spent on food costs, the salaries for the local participants and investments in the project. There is a one time fee included of $40 usd which includes roundtrip transportation from the village Bataan to the project area. This includes a 4x4 taxi drive and boat trip.

ADDITIONAL COSTS

Transport:

Our volunteer pick up meeting point is in Bataan. Bataan is a small banana plantation town approx 2.5hrs away from San Jose. Details of transport from San Jose to Bataan by public buses that depart at 9am on the 1st day of your reservation is included in the confirmation email that you will receive when you reserve and costs around $6usd each way.

San Jose Accommodation:

For your first and last night in Costa Rica La Tortuga Feliz has negotiated a discounted rate for volunteers at a very comfortable hotel in a safe area of San Jose near to the centre which includes breakfast. There are security boxes in all rooms and English is spoken. You will receive the hotel website and booking details in your confirmation email after reserving with La Tortuga Feliz.

Accommodation

You will lodge in a dormitory style beach cabin that houses up to 6 people.

Prices include volunteering, nesting turtle training, turtle hatchery training, lodging in dormitory style beach huts with bedding and 3 meals daily with either tea or coffee. Arrival days are on Mondays and Thursdays only.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Besides the local & international meals three times a day, there is tea and coffee. Furthermore we have our own fresh water source. We cater for vegetarians too.

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. 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)
1 week (min. stay)
$350.00
2 weeks
$650.00
3 weeks
$950.00
4 weeks
$1,250.00
8 weeks
$2,450.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$3,650.00
Average fees
$327.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Parismina/Costa Rica between 1 week and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. La Tortuga Feliz 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 La Tortuga Feliz during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Americas Central America Costa Rica  Parismina, Pacuare river mouth, close to parismina
Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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