Letter of completion
Daily local staff supervision
Three-day in-country orientation and debriefing
Two meals per day (breakfast and dinner)
Volunteer house or homestay
Pre-arrival information and support
Volunteer for Sea Turtle Conservation on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica
76 People are researching this program
From $1140 USD for 3 Weeks
3 - 12 Weeks
Select Start Dates
18 And Older
A number of sea turtle species in Costa Rica are facing extinction because of human intervention. Turtles’ eggs are a local delicacy, attracting poachers. Adult turtles are hunted for their meat and shells. Predators such as seabirds eat many of the hatchlings as they make their journey to the sea. Volunteers are needed to patrol the beaches before and during hatchings to ensure these tiny creatures reach the water, and to dissuade poachers from hunting the turtles.
Arrival and Orientation
The nearest major airport is Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in San Jose, Costa Rica. Make your way to San Ramón, or airport pick-up is available for $75. Volunteers are assigned a dedicated coordinator based in-country, who leads pre-arrival and orientation, and is personally available to you daily for the duration of your program to assist you, answer any questions, and provide information and support.
Volunteers live and work at the turtle conservation site on the Pacific Coast, at the beach where the project is located. The accommodation is a basic camp setting, and sleeping arrangements may be mixed-gender. Water is carried in daily by volunteers, and there is no electricity onsite.
Program volunteers work both in the daytime and at night, six days per week. Turtle research and conservation and site maintenance are performed during the day. Beach patrols take place at night. Tasks include maintaining the beach project site, recording turtle populations, moving eggs to the turtle hatchery, releasing hatchlings, patrolling the beach for predators and poachers, and shopping for supplies. One week of local language class is included.
Your work will help to protect current turtle populations, and your research and important data about sea turtles will contribute to an international monitoring project. This ensures that endangered turtle species are protected for years to come.
LocationSamara Beach, Costa Rica
Where you will be volunteeringSamara Beach, Costa Rica
Volunteers work with a local team to monitor and research sea turtles, and assist with conservation activities.
Where you'll be stayingSamara Beach, Costa Rica
Volunteers stay in a basic camp at the project site.
Nearest AirportSan Jose, Costa Rica
<p>This program costs $35 per day or $245 per week. In addition to the application fee, this program has a $450 fee for placement and logistics. Airport pickup is also available for $75.</p>
What’s Not Included
Airport pickup (available for $75)
Project Start Dates
This project accepts volunteers year round. Start dates are every other Friday. Additional projects can be combined during your trip, subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
- December 2018
- 27 Thursday
uVolunteer is a small, yet fast-growing, international volunteer organization that specializes in volunteer placements in Ghana, Thailand, and Costa Rica, where they are experts in culture and customs. Founded in 2007, uVolunteer has sent more than 10,000 volunteers abroad on meaningful projects to explore new destinations and gain real world experiences. Its service-learning projects include teaching, care and community, construction, environment, and animal conservation. Additional benefits are cultural insight, adventure, and a safe environment for independent, female, and student travelers. Its purpose is to provide maximum benefit to volunteers and the communities they support, with minimal costs to participants.
I arrived in Accra on January 13, 2012. My volunteer coordinators were waiting for me at the airport; they have been helpful and kind since then. My experience was wonderful because of their guidance and support.
Saturday's orientation provided useful cultural information and helped me to navigate through the ... I arrived in Accra on January 13, 2012. My volunteer coordinators were waiting for me at the airport; they have been helpful and kind since then. My experience was wonderful because of their guidance and support.
Saturday's orientation provided useful cultural information and helped me to navigate through the busy town of Koforidua. Every sight and smell was a new experience for me; the community was welcoming and made me feel right at home.
On Monday I met the amazing children of the Orphanage. Their smiles and kindness exceeded my expectations. Brenda, one of the volunteers, introduced me to the volunteer room filled with medical supplies. I quickly learned to nurse a wound and care for the children. The rest of the week went by quickly; I kept busy teaching the third grade class lessons. Each day we reviewed math, English, and science. Teaching this class has been the most rewarding experience.
I spent the following weekend in Accra. My roommate Katie and I took a tro-tro ride into the capital on Friday. We dined at a beautiful outdoor restaurant and toured the city. We had a chance to see the Nyame Memorial, Independence Square, and the local beaches. On Saturday we walked through the Art Center and local markets. My African mask will be proudly hung on my wall when I get back to the United States. The fun continued on Sunday. Fred, Annette, Katie, and I hiked to Akaa falls and had lunch on top of Umbrella Rock. The scenery was breath taking. It was great to get away from town and experience the outdoors.
On Saturday, January 27th, we ventured to Shia Hills Resource Reserve. Our tour guide had a gift. After meeting the ostriches, we went deeper into the reserve in hopes of seeing the baboons. Within a few minutes several baboons emerged from the forest. We feed them bread and learned interested facts about the group dynamic. The lands of the reserve are beautiful; I highly recommend taking this trip. +more
Billy F Beltz
Disclaimer: As a Co-Founder of Volunteer Forever, I want to make it clear that we do not receive any revenue from uVolunteer and I'm not incentivized to leave a more positive review than what would be an accurate assessment of my experience.
This review is for the Teach PE ... Disclaimer: As a Co-Founder of Volunteer Forever, I want to make it clear that we do not receive any revenue from uVolunteer and I'm not incentivized to leave a more positive review than what would be an accurate assessment of my experience.
This review is for the Teach PE project in Trat, Thailand. I've volunteered abroad in the past and have a good understanding of what volunteer options are available for short-term projects, and after volunteering with uVolunteer I can say they are a very good choice.
First and foremost, uVolunteer is clearly committed to ensuring each project makes a positive impact on the host community in Trat. They had spent significant time engaging with the community and basically becoming an invaluable part of the community itself. I felt like a local from the time I got there; Meaw, the local volunteer coordinator, seemed to know everyone in town and was a trusted figurehead. Everything we did seemed to be supported by the community.
It was a unique way to experience Thailand, since Trat is definitely not a tourist attraction. But I think uVolunteer chose it for that very reason- they found a community that could use the help rather than focusing only on a place the volunteers would want to stay. And because of this, you really get an idea of how everyday Thai culture works and how locals live.
The project went very well throughout the 2 weeks I was there. Everyone at the school I worked at was fantastic and very supportive. My only concerns were that I think it could have been more effective with a full-time translator, and I wish I had a better understanding of some of the obstacles the school posed (no field, ages ranged from 9-17, most activities had to be indoors) so I could plan better.
Overall I think their biggest strength is value; they provide the same support & quality experience as many much higher priced options, and I would endorse them to anyone with the skills/knowledge that align the projects they offer. +more
My name is Beth Carter, I am a 21 year old film student from Brisbane, Australia. I have always loved traveling and only recently discovered volunteer tourism.
I decided to take part in the turtle conservation project through uVolunteer as I not only wanted to visit Costa Rica but also ... My name is Beth Carter, I am a 21 year old film student from Brisbane, Australia. I have always loved traveling and only recently discovered volunteer tourism.
I decided to take part in the turtle conservation project through uVolunteer as I not only wanted to visit Costa Rica but also wanted to take part in a worthy cause. I have had friends and family volunteer with different animal conservation projects and it inspired me to work with the turtles.
I chose this organization as not only was it affordable but it also suited my limited time range over Christmas and New Year. From the initial stages of applying through to the very end of my project I have always had so much help and guidance from the staff of the organization. I felt comfortable sending through e-mails and asking numerous questions, this was because I was always responded to with prompt and polite feedback. Particularly when I was having difficulties within my first week of volunteering. I was helped immediately and made to feel very comfortable. After that I was able to enjoy my remaining few weeks of volunteering, all the while knowing the organization had my best interest at heart.
From the moment I arrived in Costa Rica I was greeted by a lovely staff member
When I arrived at my location I was greeted by another friendly member who drove me to the project, it was another example of the friendly and helpful uVolunteer team. After the long bus trek back from Samara I was taken back to the dorm and made to feel comfortable once more.
I will definitely recommend this project to friends and family back home.
Rocio Dos Santos
I couldn't help but to feel nervous and excited whilst waiting for my passport to be stamped at San Jose airport. I soon saw Gabi once I walked out with a huge smile and an also huge sign that said avic, my portal to an amazing experience I had ...
I couldn't help but to feel nervous and excited whilst waiting for my passport to be stamped at San Jose airport. I soon saw Gabi once I walked out with a huge smile and an also huge sign that said avic, my portal to an amazing experience I had yet to experience.
The small town of San Ramon has an amazing beauty to it, small houses, beautiful church, warm people and big hearts. I soon managed my way around it after a brief introduction with Gabi and could not wait for my first day at the project.
I was escorted by Eric to my project through a bus ride and a small half hour hike up hill to a village up in the mountains of San Miguel area. I soon met Felipe, the dad and Maria Auxiliadora, the mom when I was hypnotized by the energy and beauty of Abril their soon to be 6 year old daughter.
I would have never hoped to find a better family. We rapidly connected and got comfortable with each other as the days went by. I was eager to help and for some reason enjoy digging trenches hahaha so I was in my own little world. After two weeks with them I learned about their situation, the reason behind they applied for this government funded house, the story behind their young lives, organized a birthday party for Abril, stayed for dinner couple days, helped taking their goats out to the field and fed their chickens...
I have again grounded my feet and broken a little piece of my heart to be forever kept here in Costa Rica with them. I have felt like a family member, laughed and cried with them. Have suffered through sun, wind and rain in the construction site and learned how simple it is to be happy.
Aside from the project I really enjoyed the weekends In the country, I visited many sites and met the most beautiful and charming people, I had loads of fun along the way and made a very good friend for life whom I met in the dorm when I arrived, Carmen. +more