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La Tortuga Feliz

Turtle Conservation Supporter

Parismina, Costa Rica

As a volunteer you can help with the protection of the sea turtles as well as the improvement of the local inhabitants' living condition.

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

Arrival days are on Monday and Tuesday's because of the boat transfer. 

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.

Swimming
Hiking
Sports
Riding
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). Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic 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
Regular working hours are hardly predicable. It mainly depends on the work force. Get in touch with La Tortuga Feliz straight ahead to get more infos about current to dos and objectives.

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups

Any questions? Just ask. We at La Tortuga Feliz are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
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Feb
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Included Services

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Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if La Tortuga Feliz cancels your trip
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We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by La Tortuga Feliz.
Services by La Tortuga Feliz
Depending on the month that you are deciding to stay with us the costs may vary. 

The price includes comprehensive adult turtle training, turlte hatchery training (practical and theory), 3 meals per day, lodging, coffee and tea 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 boatrip. 

Accommodation

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

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)
$354.00
2 weeks
$627.00
3 weeks
$900.00
4 weeks
$1,173.00
8 weeks
$2,264.00
16 weeks
$4,447.00
25 weeks (max. stay)
$6,903.00
Average fees
$315.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Parismina/Costa Rica between 1 week and 25 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
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