Where exactly is it? Central pacific coast, Costa Rica
What exactly will I be doing? Participating in volunteer activities to protect the delicate ecosystem of the rivers and beaches along the pacific coast.
Did you know that there are more than 5.3 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans and that number increases by the million every day? Even Costa Rica, a country that advertises itself as an environmental oasis, can’t keep up with the amount of plastics discarded on a daily basis. The problem has gotten so bad that a few years ago we decided action must be taken. We’ve partnered with organizations and local businesses to reduce the amount of plastic that makes it to the ocean. Our goal is to protect the coast and advocate for lasting change when it comes to the life cycle of plastics. A lot of work must be done before we’ll see a reversal of the destruction plastics have caused, but with the support of organizations and the labor of love provided by volunteers, we’re confident we can save the oceans, beaches, and river ecosystems. As a volunteer, you’ll help us with our mission.
- Beach cleanup “expeditions” up and down the pacific coast.
- Collaboration on projects of interest such as artificial reefs, up-cycling, and other conservancy projects.
- Living just meters from the ocean.
- Deeply discounted tourist activities during down time.
- Meals and amenities provided by resort hotel.
- Opportunities to make many local and international friends.
The primary activity we do with coastal conservation volunteers are beach cleanup expeditions. The location of these expeditions are along the pacific coast and depend a lot on the time of year, weather, tides etc. On days when there isn’t an expedition volunteers will spend their time productively doing chores at the volunteer camp as well as other projects we provide assistance to such as artificial reef projects, butterfly gardens, trail maintenance and reforestation activities.
On a typical day volunteers will eat a cafeteria style breakfast and then depart on the day’s expedition. The expedition typically concludes around 1pm, however could be longer depending on location and amount of plastic recollected.
In the afternoon, volunteers are free to participate in heavily discounted tourist activities such as ATV and zipline tours as well as visits to animal rescue centers and nearby islands.
Start dates are on Mondays throughout the year. Volunteers should plan on arriving to the Juan Santamaria International airport (SJO) near San José, on Mondays or Saturdays during the day or arrive Sunday and stay the night near the airport. We’ll pick you up at the airport (or hotel) and transfer you to the project site and volunteer camp. If time permits, there will be an orientation the same day or the following morning.
Volunteers will stay in a shared dorm at the project site where they will receive three meals a day. The dorm sleeps up to 12 volunteers and is also shared with the local coordinators. There is WIFI.
Thanks to an alliance with a local resort hotel volunteers will receive their meals from the staff cafeteria of the hotel and have access to the beaches, pools, restaurants and other amenities the resort offers. Volunteers may even book their own lodging at the resort and still participate in the volunteer project.
Ages 18 and up. Volunteers must come with the right
attitude and enthusiasm for their work. They need to be open and outgoing in order to get the most out of their experience. The work can be repetitive and it might feel insurmountable at times, however every little bit counts.
Spanish is not required however the more you know before the better.
When Can I apply?
Placements are available throughout the year, however there may be a limited number available depending on the time of year. It is advised to inquire at least a couple months in advance to ensure availability.
Tasks as a volunteer:
- Participation in expeditions to recollect plastics from beaches and surrounding coastal areas.
- On non-expedition days, assist with maintenance and cleaning tasks as well as other communal projects.
- Prepare and execute education projects. Subject to availability due to pandemic.
- Volunteer placement: Follow-up, assistance throughout the placement
- Pre-departure manual
- In country orientation
- Airport pick up
- Assistance 24/7 from local staff
Flights, visas, passports, and travel medical insurance are not included but are required. However we are able to help in arranging flight and insurance.