Volunteer Abroad in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

Being a volunteer is one of the best things you can do with your time.

Tortuguero National Park is one of Costa Rica’s most popular ecotourism destinations, because of its scenic beauty and rich biodiversity. The canals, rivers and beaches of this area are living laboratories for tropical rainforest study and marine biology. The wildlife in this zone is very diverse; usually there are populations of monkeys, amphibians, birds and fish. Resident animals include jaguars, sloths, frogs, lapas, toucans and bats, among others.
Though it can only be reached by airplane or boat, this area is flooded with tourists that came every year to get in touch with nature. Its 11 ecological habitats in one place are certainly a great reason to visit.  You can find everything, from high rainforest to herbaceous marsh communities. Fronting the sea is the seemingly endless expanse of beach. Behind that is a narrow lagoon, connected to the sea at one end and fed by a river at the other, which parallels the beach for its full 35-km length. Back of the lagoon is a coastal rainforest threaded by an infinite maze of serpentine Channels and streams fed by rivers flowing from the central mountain ranges and by the torrential rains that fall in the area. On the periphery of the forest lies a complex of swamps.
The park was created in 1975 to protect this vast area: the nesting beach sea turtle, such as Hawksbill, Loggerheads, Green and Leatherbacks, the offshore waters to a distance of 30 km, and the wetland forests extending inland for about 15 kilometers. The park shelters a fabulous array of wildlife, including more than 300 bird species, 57 species of amphibians and 111 of reptiles, including three species of marine turtles; 60 mammal species and 13 of Costa Rica’s 16 endangered species.

Join this project and make the difference! It’s a great way to help and also very satisfying.

 

Some of the troubles this area is going through are: logging, hunting, infrastructure development and tourist activity. The goal here is to prevent all of this from exterminating all or some species that could put the ecosystem in danger.
If you’re a nature freak this is the project for you. You’ll have to put all your energy and creativity to do infrastructure duties, tourist attention service and to support the people working there on control activities. You’ll be taking care of the maintenance and reconstruction of the trails and installations, repairing the roads and cleaning wherever needed. You can also take part in customer service duties, informing new arrivals and doing surveys of tourists. Another task will be to take control walks and accompany park rangers in patrolling the forest.
On this project you’ll get in touch with your green-self and contribute to keep a worthy area from disappearing. You’ll also learn a lot and share that knowledge with the visitors and the back home when you return. Sign up now and make a difference!

Requirements

Usual Volunteer Tasks

  •  Over 18 years old
  •  Hard working skills
  •  Ecologically sensitive
  •  Willing to learn about new cultures
  •  Enthusiastic and creative
  • Maintenance and construction of the trails
  •  General infrastructure maintenance
  •  Protection and cleaning of the beaches
  •  Work against wildlife trade, poaching and deforestation
  •  Preserve the productivity of the biological communities that inhabit the coastal zone
  •  Collaborate on environmental education programs for tourists and for inhabitants of the surrounding communities
  •  Touristic attention and customer service
  •  Control Walkings
  •  Forest protection

The tasks described above may vary according the season and the numbers of volunteers. You are welcome to help anytime you consider is needed.
Six days per week. Flexibility depends on work schedule and arrangements made by volunteers.

Project Hightlights

  • Protect an area as diverse as nature itself.
  • Explore the 11 ecological habitats of the area and help to protect it from the natural and human threats.
  • Be part of a team that has as goal keeping this wonderful ecosystem and its flora and fauna diversity intact.
  • Feel like a local informing tourists and educating them in how to visit the park without endanger it.

Daily Routine

Generally, volunteers are on duty from 8 am to 4 pm. Keep in mind that the schedule may change depending on the work load and the needs of the project.
 
 
 
 
 
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Kathy L.
German, 29 years old
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Alice R.
Brazilian, 22 years old
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Brazilian, 18 years old
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