Sea Turtle Conservation Project (Caribbean)

volunteer in turtle conservation in caribbean coast, Costa Rica
  • Save the sea turtles from extinction through conservation efforts
  • Gain hands-on experience as a field worker alongside local conservation professionals
  • Immerse in the Costa Rican way of life through safe, carefully-screened homestays
  • Explore nature’s best in Costa Rica, famous for its bountiful biodiversity

The sea turtles of Costa Rica are at-risk from extinction and need your help! Volunteer in Costa Rica in the Turtle Conservation Project and help the gentle animals. Scientists predict we can lose the sea turtles forever in a short 20 years if we fail to conserve these ancient creatures and its diminishing habitat. New Hope works with the conservation to make sure the turtles survive for years to come. As a volunteer you will be helping the conservation to reach its goals and aims much quicker. By volunteering in this project, you’ll be helping to protect the Lora turtle’s nesting population by safeguarding the nests from poachers of all forms, including humans, and from threats created by beach erosion. You’ll also work alongside the local community and introduce and implement management strategies. There is also, of course, the exciting opportunity to work directly with the turtles and hatchlings! The sight of baby turtles emerging out of the sand and making their way to the ocean is truly incredible. Join this project now and be part of turtle miracles everyday while enjoying beautiful Costa Rica.

Volunteer’s Responsibilities

As a volunteer in the Turtle Conservation project in Costa Rica, you will be supporting local conservation efforts focusing mainly on protecting nesting sites, incubation and the releasing of hatchlings. Depending on the individual’s skills and expertise, and the needs of the local staff, your daily duties include but are not limited to:

  • Day and night beach patrols of nesting sites to protect turtles and eggs from poachers. Night patrols are challenging with commitments between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. regardless of weather. Patrols run in 4-hour shifts, but longer if turtles or eggs are located.
  • Hatchery shifts that run about six hours
  • Recording data about turtles
  • Relocating turtle nests
  • Keeping predators away
  • Taking carapace and nest-dimension measurements
  • Tagging rear flippers of turtles
  • Trail and beach maintenance and clean-up
  • Providing information to tourists
  • Educating the locals on turtle conservation
  • Measuring and releasing hatchlings
  • Assisting local organizations with fundraising
  • Helping with website development and advertising
  • Assisting local organizations with conservation campaigns
  • Providing organizations with organizational and administrative tasks
How You Can Make a Difference

If you’re looking to embark on a career in turtle conservation, this is the perfect opportunity for you. As a volunteer, you’ll be able to learn about ecology and the conservation of sea turtles. You’ll also be able to experience the life of a conservation field worker, and take on an active roll in patrolling the beaches at night, assisting in data collection, and relocating and keeping track of the eggs. Conservation efforts focus on strengthening the sea turtle populations by supporting their breeding efforts, along with protecting and feeding them. This project also aims to protect the nests from human poachers, and from threats created by recent beach erosion. Volunteers will also be working with the local community to implement turtle management strategies that are imposed by the Costa Rican government.

The project is available year round but the best season is from May until December.

Skills and Qualifications

There are no specific qualifications needed to volunteer in the Turtle Conservation project. Much of the turtle conservation work is physical in nature, so volunteers need to be in good physical health, and able to walk long distances due to the frequent patrols. Volunteers also need to be aware of the harsh natural conditions, heat and humidity they’ll be encountering in the course of the program. Volunteers should be aware of any insect allergies as mosquitoes and sand flies are persistent. Volunteers need to be able to speak English fluently, and expected to be resourceful and open-minded. First-aid training is preferred, and prior experience in turtle conservation is appreciated, although the local staff will be providing training.

Project Location

The sea turtle conservation project is located in the beautiful coast of Pacuare in Costa Rica. The project is located outdoors and in a rural part of the coast. Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast runs Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast runs 125 miles from the northern Nicaraguan border to the southern border with Panama. Exotic nature reserves, such as the famous Tortuguero National Park, beckon adventurous travelers, while alluring southern beaches allow visitors to relax in an easy Caribbean vibe. With a mesh of Tico and Afro-Caribbean culture, Limon Province displays a unique side of Costa Rica.

Typical Costa Rican life moves very slowly with natives generally being very happy people always laughing at something or someone, but not in an offensive way. Costa Ricans are helpful, hospitable, and often very curious about where you come from and your way of living. Aside from working with the turtles, in your free time you can go white water rafting down the Pacuare River and visit all that the beautiful city has to offer!


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