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Jaguar Conservation Program in Costa Rica

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Overall it has been an amazing experience

We had a great group of volunteers, we are surrounded by beautiful wildlife and this project is very dynamic with a large variety of surveys running. Overall it has been an amazing experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Would love to do it again!

I had so many great experience such as living with all this different people and doing something so exciting.

Since this was only the start, I surely want to get experiences in Africa. I've had enough of the "Tourist-feeling".

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Great staff

I learned a great deal from the GVI staff who were all extremely willing to share their knowledge and experience.

But it would be helpful if there were additional advance information about the projects and animals.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Unique experience

Leading daily life in such a special location within Tortuguero National Park was great itself already. Learning more on the very valuable and tireless work done by GVI, its results so far, and having the chance contributing to it, is a unique experience. I also enjoyed to do different things like monkey and bird surveys, gaining more insight on the very rich biodiversity at the park in general and its special history.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Everyday was different

I really enjoyed the range of surveys/activities that were run, meaning everyday was different and exciting! I also really enjoyed meeting so many different people from the world that I would not normally have the opportunity to mix with!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Knowledgable and skilled staff

While I had a great deal of positive experiences on this project, there are of course a few stand outs, including the education that I received regarding the animals that were part of our studies. One major stand out was witnessing a mother jaguar and her cubs nursing and bonding on video from a camera trap, the intimacy demonstrated by this moment was very moving. Another major stand out for me was learning of the fragrance of a butterfly and being given the opportunity to experience this fragrance for myself, this experience left me particularly giddy as I love butterflies and had no idea that any of them gave off a fragrance and would likely never have learned this had I not been here. So thanks so much!!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

GVI is very professional and very well organized

GVI managed to surpass nearly all my expectations for my journey. The amount of amenities, quality of food, and safety in this region (far away from major civilization) were surprising. the staff were all well trained, competent, and above all, kind and open minded.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Enjoyable Experience

I enjoyed meeting staff of the conservation program as well as the people, who were very passionate about what they were doing. I also enjoyed the programme location very much and the biodiversity there.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Love meeting new people!

I love being so involved with such great projects as well as having access to such unique locations. I also love meeting many new interesting friends.

GVI were very thorough and professional and exceeded my expectations.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Great experience!

My most striking part of this program were the people, the simplicity, the setting, the freedom, the information, and the feeling.

All these makes me want to experience another part of the world through the lens of GVI.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Unforgettable Experience

Although the program was wildlife-based (and i am truly passionate about the natural world and its conservation), I believe one of my favorite things about the trip was interacting with, and getting to know, my fellow volunteers (and staff). I credit this largely to the idea that GVI is such a wonderful company and thus attracts such amazing people. I will never forget the friends I made on this trip.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Great feeling working with animals!

My most positive experience with this program was seeing the wildlife in its natural habitat. It was also great knowing i am helping by collecting data and meeting people that have the same interests.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing experience

Working with the turtles, which was a unique experience.

Although it would be better if they shorten training to minimum at-base training (EAP's, EFR, bird I.D.) since the most learning experience is gained in the field. Get volunteers more involved in planning projects and analysing data, because there seems to be a huge gap between an 'inner circle' of staff and a few chosen volunteers and the rest of the people at base.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Memorable

I loved living on base, the people were very nice and the whole atmosphere was very pleasant. The surveys and the wildlife were very interesting, diversified and memorable.

Good experience with the organisation in total. I would also consider working in wildlife conservation for GVI.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    5

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Into the Jungle

Wow is the first word that comes to mind when i think of the overall volunteering experience. There is just something so calming about being in the middle of a national park with almost no connection to the outside world. The closest town was a 15 mile walk on the beach or a 45 minute boat ride. This isolation made it possible to get up close and personal with the wildlife in its natural environment. Sometimes too close, like when you wake up at 5 in the morning with a bat hanging from your bug net. The work was interesting, always a new experience every time you go out. One day you are watching a sloth swing from branch to branch in a wind storm. Then the next day you are being trained with a machete to clear one of the trails that have been blocked off by fallen trees. Personally my favourite part was the weekly jag walk and going through jag picture and identifying which jaguars have been spotted along the beach and coastal jungle. It isn't always easy when you have to identify a jaguar from very little or if the picture is blurry as it runs by. In some pictures all you see of the jaguar is its teeth as it chews and pushes around the camera out of curiosity. The people also make the experience. The staff is so passionate about the work they do and are so excited to share their knowledge. This makes working alongside them quite enjoyable and you quickly pick things up and become a key player in the work you do. Over all this is an experience that everyone should have an opportunity to do.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation