Sea turtle volunteers in Costa Rica will be living and working on the Pacific coast of this beautiful country. 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.
As a volunteer on the sea turtle conservation project in Costa Rica you will join a local team of community and volunteers that works hard to ensure more baby turtles make it back to sea. On this project, you will be working with one or various species of sea turtles including olive ridley turtles, loggerhead sea turtles, green turtles, hawksbill and leatherback turtles. Each turtle is endangered to a different degree and is handled differently according to their numbers and habits.
As a volunteer in Costa Rica, you will not only get to experience tropical life as it is lived in Costa Rica but also get a chance to work closely with other ocean enthusiasts, both international and local.Some elements of the project include teaching the local populace about the importance of turtle conservation, conducting awareness campaigns in the community and hosting sessions with tourists from nearby resorts to raise further awareness about turtle conservation.
Our marine programme and projects are extensive, and relies on volunteer support to achieve all our conservation aims. Cleaning and feeding of our turtles requires time and energy, and without the help of volunteers we would struggle to do this every day! Night Patrols during nesting season and monitoring work is time consuming and extensive so we require all the help we can get from volunteers. July to December, is the turtle nesting season and the best time to volunteer on this program. Baby turtles start hatching from early to mid August onwards.
Volunteer in Costa Rica Gallery
What is involved
Volunteers on our sea turtle conservation project in Costa Rica can expect to do varied activities. This includes:
- Hands on turtle husbandry experience including cleaning and feeding the rescued turtles and hatching turtles
- Assisting with administrating any medical care for any injured turtles
- Organising and assisting with community beach cleans, land clean ups and marine awareness sessions for children
- 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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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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