When it comes to family volunteering holidays, our sea turtle conservation trips are some of the best projects out there. The general recommendation is for children to be aged eight or above – although we are happy to take on children as young as five. This program is operating in the Nicoya Peninsula. Costa Rica is home to stretches of lush turtle nesting beaches all along its unspoilt coastline. In such a tropical paradise, it is hard to imagine the extinction of the turtles, however the sea turtle population is rapidly plummeting. Due to natural predation from animals and severe human interference such as turtle egg poaching, industrial fishing and selling turtle shell products, all turtle species from the Pacific Coast are, to some degree, in danger of becoming extinct.
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What is involved
Family Volunteers in Costa Rica on our sea turtle conservation project can expect to do varied activities. This includes:
- Hands on turtle husbandry experience including cleaning and feeding the rescued turtles and hatching turtles
- Organising and assisting with community beach cleans, land clean ups and marine awareness sessions
- Beach Patrolling and egg collection during nesting season. Research and measurements on the turtles are recorded, and the eggs transported to the hatchery, where they can hatch in safety.
- Releasing hatchlings into the ocean
- Ad hoc research or data collection tasks
You will get to work with a team of dedicated enthusiasts who work hard to save the turtle population. You will volunteering at a turtle centre where there are many turtles under our care. These turtles are from a number of different sources. Some are rescued from people trying to sell them as pets to tourists and locals alike. Some are donated to the centre by locals who have purchased them as pets; usually as hatchlings. Some are rescued from the ocean after being discovered injured by locals or by nearby resorts.
Injuries are usually sustained from entanglement in ghost fishing net, or are suffering from buoyancy syndrome from internal problems such as ingestion of plastic, which can then result in being hit by boats. Once a turtle is brought to the Centre you, as our turtle conservation volunteer, will be helping with the general care of our turtles. This includes everything from daily feeding, cleaning of turtles and tanks, swims in the ocean for rehabilitation, and our favourite part;
July – December, is the turtle nesting season and the best time to volunteer on this program. Baby turtles start hatching from early – mid August onwards.
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What your first week looks like
Tabacon Hot Springs
Choose an Inspiring Volunteering Destination
Cambodia will allow you to explore the heart of Southeast Asia, a nation replete with lush natural landscapes from dense forests to rice paddy fields, bustling cities, and the majestic architectural remnants of the great Khmer empire dotting every bit of the country.
The charming city of Phnom Penh is the capital and also serves as our base of volunteer operations. Volunteering Journeys Cambodia volunteer abroad projects include Teaching English, Working with NGO’s, helping Special Needs individuals, and Medical & Nursing Internships. Whether you are a gap year student, career breaker or a family or a mature volunteer, you can apply to any of our volunteer in Cambodia projects.
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