As a participant, you will receive guidance from local researchers who will teach you how to assist in conserving endangered sea turtles. You will learn how to handle the sea turtles and their eggs properly with care, and ensure the crucial survival of these species. The volunteer work with sea turtles will require you to dedicate your time to nightly beach patrols, as you experience first hand their nesting cycle, and impact these species have within the environment. It will be physically challenging, but the contact you make with these rare creatures and the opportunity to learn about and actively protect their habitat is an incredible experience like no other.
In addition, your help to rehabilitate local forests is essential. Along the coast, there are mangrove trees to be planted and some gardening in the nursery on the beaches. In the mountains, the reforestation efforts in the cacao forests will also help preserve Costa Rica’s rich eco-system, including plant life and over 500,000 different species of wildlife. You’ll be in the company of toucans, sloths, the blue morpho butterflies, as well as monkeys, iguanas, and hundreds of other species who will benefit from your efforts as you gain a deeper understanding of the importance of environmental conservation.
What makes the teaching experience in Costa Rica unique is the broader spectrum of education you will be able to help provide. Current educational projects include assisting in providing environmental conservation education through after-school projects. These efforts will educate local school children about why the various sea turtle species or environment conservation is important and needed, and how Costa Rican natural environments can be preserved. The environment is precious, and the sea turtles, the brilliantly coloured macaws, and screeching monkeys are just a few of the species that rely on your care of the rich bio-diversity that is Costa Rica’s natural beauty.
You’ll have trained facilitators alongside you to guide you to create the most positive impact with your skillset. Your current knowledge of your own progressive style of education is very valuable to young learners here and enhances their understanding. If you have your TEFL certification, or would like to earn this qualification, you can enroll in our online course and be able to bring professional training to your Costa Rica experience. With your volunteer efforts, local communities can embrace the opportunity for their children to have an education they might not otherwise have, and further understand the importance of a sustainable environment.
Through your engagement in the leadership workshops you will truly appreciate being able to develop a deep teaching and learning connection with the local Costa Rican community through your volunteer efforts, which is essentially what it’s all about. Assisting in the patrols, sea turtle nesting, reforestation of the coastline or other helpful activities here does not only provide you and the locals with a more solid base for environmental education, it also deepens the understanding of what life is like in Costa Rica.
Your own leadership skills will be shaped and strengthened while creating positive change in these communities and ecosystems. Our qualified facilitators will assist you on your path of personal development to ensure you feel the positive impact of the deep connection you develop within the community, as well as enable you to apply your leadership skills directly to local endeavours. An invaluable life experience will be gained along with a sense of achievement in an environment where your volunteer efforts and leadership abilities truly matter and make a measurable difference.
This is about more than learning to speak Spanish or building sea turtle egg hatcheries. It’s about more than eating local Costa Rican cuisine. It’s about challenging yourself and exploring a new country, a new culture, and a different way of life. You will explore rainforests, tropical beaches, and zip line through jungle tree tops over flowing rivers below the shadow of a volcano.
This is what the EDventure International programs are about. Costa Rica is a country about “Pura Vida” – a country so vibrant with life and sun, and diverse populations of wildlife and habitation, and local people who are so warm and friendly. From the jungles to the mountains to the beaches, you will culturally connect and communicate, and fully immerse as you try new foods, experience new settings and new ways of life.
Enrich your Costa Rican cultural experience by appreciating its beautiful topography, from pristine beaches to cloud forests, and all teaming with fascinating wildlife. The climate is tropical, hot and sometimes very wet, but the locals don’t mind this, and take an easy-going outlook to appreciating life.
Fresh ceviche is part of the local cuisine, and pico de gallo will be a common “Tico” dish to enjoy, or drink a cold, fresh-squeezed fruit juice while relaxing in a hammock on the beach. Immerse yourself. Explore the coasts or jungles, taste locally grown produce sold in nearby markets, practice your Spanish getting to know the locals, or salsa dance the night away.
Please be advised that some modifications may occur to this itinerary to ensure safety and quality of the program. The following will provide you with an overview of your upcoming EDventure to Costa Rica.
During your stay, you will develop some perspective on the journey you are embarking on by engaging in a workshop designed to introduce you to ‘Global Leadership’. In this workshop we will address your personal leadership skills, get to know our fellow EDventurers a bit better, and prepare for the leadership opportunities you will find in the upcoming volunteer activities.
You could find yourself working on projects in an extensive garden, getting your hands into maintenance projects as well as processing fruits, vegetables, medicinal plants, and our favorite, the chocolate from the cacao forests.
Your responsibilities will keep you fairly busy during the day, but you will still have opportunities to enjoy your new surroundings, explore the beautiful jungle area during hikes to a waterfall, and get to know your fellow volunteers, and could even engage in Spanish language lessons. These language lessons are geared towards helping you to communicate with the local people that you will be interacting with every day, and will enable you to have a more fulfilling cultural experience during your EDventure program.
After a few days of breathing fresh mountain air and learning about Costa Rican culture, we will make our way south towards the coast to Playa Junquillal, where we can begin to truly experience the ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle of Costa Rica. Mid-morning we will explore the beaches and local town of your project location for the next two weeks. This day will involve transport by shuttle van. You will also meet the locals who you will be working with over the next two weeks as you begin to assist in efforts to ensure the survival of Leatherback and Olive Ridley sea turtles, reforestation projects, and educational activities focusing on environmental sustainability for local school children.
Over the couple weeks, you will feel the affects of your volunteer project in full swing. Each day you will engage in various volunteer tasks that assist in the protection of sea turtles by patrolling the beaches and overseeing the sea turtle hatchery. These efforts will be completed alongside our local guides as we jointly work to support the efforts of the turtle rescue and rehabilitation center.
While turtle patrol will be scheduled during the night hours, you will spend some of your afternoons visiting local schools to help assist in educating them on the importance of protecting sea turtles and other wildlife through hands- on activities emphasizing the importance of environmental sustainability.
In addition, some afternoons will also be spent putting your efforts into a local reforestation project which includes caring for seedlings, some weeding, as well as preparing for next seasons’ planting efforts.
Your responsibilities will keep you fairly busy in the afternoons and at night, but you will have opportunities in the mornings to enjoy your new surroundings, visit the beach, have a chat with other volunteers, or simply relax.
During these days of volunteering with sea turtle protection efforts and engaging with the local community, you will participate in a second ‘Global Leadership’ workshop. This session will build on your new found perspective developed from your first week engaging in your volunteer project and will focus on your leadership skills at the social level.
It’s going to be an exciting couple of weeks!