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Frontier participants Frontier participants

Costa Rica Big Cats, Primates & Turtle Conservation

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I had an amazing time

I had an amazing time and really enjoyed this project it was a culture shock when we first arrived however we were very well informed of what to do and where to go. On the first day everyone had a meeting by the second day we were out doing surveys. For me the most enjoyable part of the project was being away from society being in the jungle and doing the turtle nest survey. I recommend future volunteers make sure that they buy a good quality hammock to bring out with them as you are sleeping in it everyday. Make sure it's comfortable this is an essential item don't to save money on this item.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The first few days of the project were very interesting

The first few days of the project were very interesting getting adjusted to the weather and the culture shock of the Was very full and it was hot and sweaty. For me the best part of the project was doing the turtle survey we walked along the beach with the thunderstorms in the distance beautiful sky with shooting stars.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The most enjoyable part of the project was the people they all got on really well

The first few days were really good there's a lot to get used to like sleeping in a hammock for the first time. We helped to build the new camp as well as doing a conservation work on surveys. The most enjoyable part of the project was the people they all got on really well. It was a big group and we did play games together as well as doing our surveys. I recommend that future volunteers bring comfortable clothes and enjoy the project, embrace the people and the culture and don't worry about little things.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The project takes you out of your comfort zone but experience its self is out of this world.

The first few days on the project were shocking as I was in a new environment and adjusting to the humidity and the new environment it took a little time to adjust but was well worth it. When I was there the staff were building the new camp they are so incredible doing what they do with what they have got and doing it in such a calm and efficient manner, I applaud them. For me the most enjoyable part of the project was seeing the turtles at 3 AM in the moonlight with the stars are clean it was so surreal I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my body. I do not have any suggestions on how the project can be improved. I recommend that future volunteers take everything in their stride. The project takes you out of your comfort zone but experience its self is out of this world.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I absolutely loved seeing these animals in their natural habitat

Once again this project was really really good and interesting absolutely enjoy doing all the conservation work. I absolutely loved seeing these animals in their natural habitat which was the best part of the project. Future of volunteers should get involved in all aspects of the project and also plan other things to do there is so many other things to do and see in Costa Rica so make the most of it.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing!!

Camp life has been relatively easy to get used to and everyone has been very friendly and helped me to settle in. The food is delicious and the facilities are great. Cooking for the group has also been fun and looking forward to trying out something new at the weekend. All-in-all, the experience so far has been amazing!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I found it really interesting

Elle was incredibly friendly and welcoming, met me straight off the plane and settled me into the hostel before we went for a cold drink and explain the local town and prepare me for life on camp. Both Nathan and Elle on camp were extremely welcoming and explained each aspect of camp life which made every process very simple. I liked the hands on surveying with anurans, I found it really interesting. I enjoyed the beach walks and surveying because I liked to feel part of the much needed help for the sea turtles. All forest walks were good as well.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Everything went awesome!

Once we got to meet Elle, everything went awesome! We were informed about everything we need to know about the project, and even about where we could get things we might need (from her personal experience) from town. Camp was more developed than I expected but gave a great jungle feel.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I think it was perfect

I was pleased when Harriette emailed me before to tell me Frontier would collect me from the airport at what time. Reassured me and made me feel better. Everything was much better than I thought it would be. Everyone was really friendly. I enjoyed all the people there, I think it was perfect.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

OSA peninsular

Just got back from visiting Costa Rica, Had the most fantastic time living in the jungle camp on the OSA peninsular. Yes the conditions were basic but, I met some awesome people and got along with everyone. The most fun part was doing primate surveys and have a BTEC to boast about.

I loved every minute of my project in Costa Rica and would definitely choose Frontier again. I would also say that you should visit Costa Rica at least once in your life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

An awesome adventure!!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Costa Rica as a Research Assistant for the Big Cats, Primates and Turtle Conservation project. I spent four weeks there in total where I learned about survey and research methods in the tropical environment. The surveys were great fun and it was a real opportunity to discover many different species. I took part in turtle beach patrols, river walks surveying for otters, forest walks to count and identify groups of primates and took plaster cast molds of big cat paw prints. I also learnt how to set-up camera traps, catch frogs and attach butterfly nets to trees.

Whilst in Costa Rica, I carried out my BTEC Certificate in Tropical Habitat Conservation. I enjoyed designing my project and carrying out the surveys looking into frog diversity and abundance in Piro. The research team in the camp were really helpful and supportive and made it very easy to give my final presentation.

Camp life was relatively easy to get used to and everyone was very friendly and helped me to settle in. The food was delicious and the facilities great. Cooking for the group and creating recipes with what was available was also a fun experience – meals were simple consisting of rice, peas, fresh fruit and vegetables – we definitely did not go hungry!

There was a lot to experience in Costa Rica and I felt that I learned a lot from the trip. The skills that I developed whilst working on the project have enabled me to progress in my chosen career and I am in the process of organising my second adventure with Frontier.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Costa Rica!

I spent two weeks volunteering in the jungle of Costa Rica and can honestly say that I loved every minute of it. From bird searches, to otter surveys to primate walks, there was always something to do. My favourite part was the turtle night patrols and seeing a sea turtle lay its eggs was just magical. On your day off (Sunday) you could travel into the local town of Puerto Jiminez where I went on a dolphin tour and saw a pod 300 strong! You need to go for longer than two weeks as there is so much to do but if you like a primitive outdoor lifestyle then this is the project for you. I really recommend it, it was the best time of my life!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

I learnt so much

The staff were very enthusiastic about the environment and wildlife - eager to teach. I learnt so much. I've taken away a whole new understanding and respect for the rainforest ecosystem and climate change effects.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

I loved my volunteer experience

I loved my volunteer experience, it was amazing and I will be sad to leave. I have learnt so much about animals I knew very little about before. I found the staff in the field were very friendly and helpful. I would volunteer with Frontier again.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

I most enjoy the conservation work

The first few days of camp were about meeting the people who ran the camp everyone was very welcoming we played lots of games before starting on our conservation project. I most enjoy the conservation work it was really good it was such incredible experience everybody was very friendly and welcoming. I believe the project could be improved by providing more funding towards the research of conservation, the equipment that is used and towards the local government in the country. I recommend that future volunteers google camping and learn more about camping before they come out on the project also make sure you bring lots of sun cream and a quick drying towel.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Amazing

Having an amazing time in a beautiful surrounding. The project is extremely interesting and I have already learnt loads about Wildlife Conservation in Costa Rica. Can’t wait for the next six weeks on camp!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I have loved every minute of this experience

The experience as a whole has been amazing. The location is perfect to experience all sorts of surveys rather than focusing just on one type. I have seen so much wildlife here and had a chance to learn about research, how to use my camera and gained more experience of planning and carrying out my own research. I feel that I have also gained more confidence and have definitely had an enthusiasm boost which I am going to apply when I get home to my PhD proposal. I have loved every minute of this experience, especially being able to write my blog and carry out my BTEC. Having heard about the Frontier Ambassador scheme, it is something I would love to be involved with, as I have enjoyed promoting my experience through my blog, Facebook and Twitter whilst being in the field.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The turtle survey!!

Turtle survey was the best. I have put partly on some of these because the method as being redesigned during my time.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Unforgettable

I was really really pleased with the amount of science involved in all of the surveys. Just awesome. Camp life was much better than I was expecting! Showers! Flushing toilet?! Crazy! Food was delicious every day! Resources were plentiful! The project was overall amazing, incredible, a once in a lifetime experience! 2 WEEKS IS NOT LONG ENOUGH! The surveys, no particular favourite but I was just so impressed with the staff knowledge and that we were actually doing something worthwhile! Overall though, everything was amazing, I Have no idea how I am going to describe my two weeks in Costa Rica to people at home. Incredible. Thank you so much for this opportunity. The staff are incredible and know so much more than they think they do! Fantastic people. Costa Rica is beautiful and I am so glad that I chose such a great country to come to. Unforgettable.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

The system in play works very well

I travelled separately from other volunteers and was given concise, easy-to-understand instructions for catching buses and whatnot from Elle, the project coordinator. Despite the lack of electricity/internet at the camp site, she always responded promptly to my numerous emails. When I arrived at the site, multiple staff members and volunteers were waiting for me to help me get comfortable and I felt at home immediately. Nathan was our resident scientist and was extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the projects we worked on. He was eager to explain the purpose and methods of all surveys and got all volunteers involved in the work. We were given presentations by the staff regarding results from the surveys throughout my stay. Everything from the sleeping areas to the food, to the availability of books and resources at the site exceeded my expectations. I felt very well-fed and was surprised by how well we ate every day, explaining the 10+. I can’t stress enough how easy it was to adjust to living without electricity. The set-up at the site was immediately comfortable thanks to the staff and other volunteers who helped me to quickly fall into the daily routine while making friends. We were allowed the freedom to choose which surveys we wanted to do, and it was easy to cram a day full of activities. The surveys themselves were fun, as was general life on camp. The rainforest environment was a wonderful setting. The staff, especially Elle and Nathan, had contagious enthusiasm. Elle was approachable and available to talk to for any problem that people had and generated a very positive attitude that permeated the site. Nathan seemed excited about everything he did and had a huge base of knowledge about the rainforest and the animals we saw. I wouldn’t recommend changing anything because the system in play works very well.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Life on camp was much better that I expected

Best aspects of the project: The staff were very helpful, got to see tons of wildlife and learned a lot. Life on camp was much better that I expected.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Camp life is awesome

Overall, camp life is awesome, and our situation in the heart of the Osa Peninsula is perfect. I loved being so close to wildlife. One can really appreciate living in the jungle, in a wonderfully preserved area. It is priceless. The food was much better than I expected, as was the camp itself and the utilities (toilet, shower, etc.).

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Lovely

I have been in Costa Rica a week so far and it’s already been one of the most amazing life experiences I have had. Travelling here alone was very nerve-wracking but once you arrive, the people and the setting are lovely. Only one week and I’ve seen all four species of monkey, plus lots more wildlife. I’m looking forward to spending the next 5 months in the jungle, seeing more of the wonder that is the Osa Peninsula, and experiencing the lifestyle of a Costa Rican conservationist.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Overall it was an experience I will never forget

I was briefed on everything relevant to my 5 week project here in Costa Rica. Bird surveys and primate surveys were my personal favourites. The staff made me feel welcome and were always there to give me any support I needed. Overall it was an experience I will never forget, and I learnt a great deal while I was out here, about the creatures that inhabit this area, and about myself.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It is a good experience

The living conditions at Camp Piro are quite basic: no hot water and you sleep in a hammock or a tent. It takes a bit of getting used to but I found that basic accommodation is all you need here. It’s so warm and humid that you would not be able to stand a warm shower! The fact that the camp is quite basic is actually a good thing because this makes it more eco-friendly which is pretty important considering the camp is in the middle of the Costa Rican rainforest. After a week, I found that I have learnt a lot from the staff members. I have accompanied them during several surveys (butterflies, birds, turtles,…) and I’m now able to identify a bit of Costa Rican wildlife. So far it is a good experience and I expect this feeling to last during the rest of my stay.