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Volunteer in Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Saving the environment one turtle at a time

I had the most amazing experience with IVHQ and their offered Turtle Conservation Project in Costa Rica. The community in the area I was volunteering in was more than welcoming and the people in charge at the project center were super friendly and inspiring. These people help the world become a better place not just for the turtles but for us as well. After cleaning the beaches and taking in the necessary information to complete the inventory and data needed for the biologists researching these turtle areas, I realize how much of an impact a small collective can have on the larger scheme of things. And of course, learning Spanish all along the way was pretty amazing too! I would highly encourage anyone to take on this challenge because it was the adventure of a lifetime for me. I enjoyed everything about it and I came home being a lot more conscious and informed about little things that I used to take for granted. Finally, I want to say that pushing yourself to the limit is one thing but pushing yourself to try something new is a whole new ball game and I encourage those of you who are a bit more timid to take on an adventure like the one I took on because it is worth your while.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review March 23, 2017 at 7:30 PM

    Hi there, thanks for your incredible review of the Turtle Conservation project in Costa Rica! We are thrilled to hear that you were inspired by the placement staff and that you returned home as a more conscious and informed individual. It is awesome that you had the adventure of a lifetime and we love how you have encouraged others to do the same. Thanks again for your kind words and it would be great to have you join us again in the future.
    Clover – IVHQ Costa Rica Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    5

OStional 2016

I was stationed in Ostional this past August and I could not have asked for a better placement. All of the staff at the station on-site were super friendly, and it's literally on the beach! I could wake up everyday and get a swim in before and after breakfast because most of the work didn't take place until afternoons and evenings. The beach clean-ups and nest censusing were the most labor intensive, but they were worth it once you got out on the night patrols and actually got to interact with the turtles. I was working during an arribada, or mass nesting event, and even though that meant we didn't get the weekend off, the other volunteers and I got to see thousands and thousands of turtles crawling up the beach at sunset and into the night for 5 whole days. The arribada and the turtle nestings are a huge part of the economy in the Ostional community, its a big eco-tourism town, and it was really cool to be a part of that as well as seeing it in action. Working hands on with the turtles was probably the best part though, and knowing that the more we recorded the better chance their nest would have of surviving and it was just truly amazing to know we were making an impact every day we were there.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review March 21, 2017 at 7:42 PM

    Hi Dusty, It is great to hear about the work you were involved in while on the Turtle Conservation project in Costa Rica! Thanks for contributing your time and effort to this incredibly important project, especially during arribada, and it is awesome to hear that eco-tourism is becoming an important aspect of the local economy. We would love to have you join IVHQ again in the future!
    Clover – IVHQ Costa Rica Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Ostional turtle conservation

It's difficult to put into words just how incredible my time volunteering in Costa Rica was! I was on the Nicoya Peninsula in a small rural town called Ostional and it was absolutely amazing; the locals welcomed us so warmly into their town and into their homes. Working at the station alongside such passionate individuals was absolutely infectious, they wanted to share all the information they could, and we wanted to learn everything we could. I have met such dedicated, passionate and warm hearted individuals along this journey who enhanced the experience tenfold; be it the park rangers, our lovely cooks, our supervisor or the other volunteers, everyone was motivated to make a difference here and it was that attitude and sense of community that truly made this an experience of a lifetime. I loved it so much that after my initial three weeks volunteering and a couple weeks traveling around Costa Rica, I decided to return to Ostional for another week of volunteering -I couldn't get enough. Would absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt recommend this experience to anyone who asked. If you are prepared to work hard and get a little dirty, you'd be amazed at what this place can give you in return.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review March 21, 2017 at 7:41 PM

    Hi Heather, We think you have done an excellent job at putting your volunteering experience into words! It is awesome to hear that you had an incredible experience working on the Costa Rica Turtle Conservation project alongside passionate and dedicated individuals. Thanks for being an awesome IVHQ volunteer!
    Clover – IVHQ Costa Rica Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

⚜¡Arribada!⚜ ~ Solo balazo

Hopping on a plane alone headed out of the country to spend two weeks living and volunteering at the Sea Turtle Conservation in the small remote village on the Nicoya Peninsula, called Ostional, was easily the best decision I have made thus far in my life-an absolutely unforgettable and eye opening experience, to put it simply. Not only was I lucky enough to be living/working on a beach legitimately considered a Wildlife Refugee-(a beach without the manmade-sea of towels, coolers, umbrellas, and tourists as well)-but I so luckily arrived just a few days before an Arribada began!! Arribada is spanish for "Arrival', and in Ostional once a month, generally, for 2-7 days hundreds of thousands of nesting Olive Ridley sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs, which is an entirely other incredible experience in itself. I witnessed something that not only most people in the world will never get the opportunity to see-but rather don't even know is a thing at all.
I'm in the process of adding all of my photos from my trip to my eportfolio, feel free to get a better glimpse at my trip that way! :)

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review September 30, 2015 at 5:49 PM

    Hi Emma, Thanks for reviewing your experience volunteering in Costa Rica on our Turtle Conservation project. It sounds like you had a really special time while in Ostional. Thanks for being an IVHQer and we hope to have you back on another IVHQ program at some point in the future.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

Pura Vida

Volunteering in Costa Rica was not only a great way to give back to the community while abroad by working in turtle conservation, but in return, I gained so much more than I ever imagined. The pura vida lifestyle of the locals was a great reminder for me to enjoy each moment, and being a part of the turtle conservation effort opened my eyes up to a whole world of opportunities working in animal rescue and conservation that I hadn't even known existed before. IVHQ did a great job connecting me to the opportunity of a lifetime, and if I could do it all again I wouldn't change a thing!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review November 20, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Hi Laura, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your experience volunteering on the Turtle Conservation project in Costa Rica with IVHQ; it sounds like your trip was an idyllic one. The good news is you can do it all again and we hope to have you on another of our programs in the future.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    5

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    7

Solo balazo and Turtle conservation

I spent twenty days in Costa Rica with IVHQ and Maximo Nivel (an official organization in the country). Working with turtles were great, the food was great, the accommodations were great. But what really made this trip unforgettable was the exchange with the community. Costa Rican are sweet and welcoming. The integration in the culture is really what made this trip incredible for me. An adventure I would suggest to anyone who likes experiencing new cultures!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review July 09, 2015 at 4:47 PM

    Hi Camille, Thanks for the feedback. It’s great to hear you had such a cultural immersion during your 3 weeks on our Turtle Conservation project. It’s awesome to see some photos from your adventures in Costa Rica. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ and we hope to see you back on another program soon.