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On this project, you will work closely with local partners in the rescue and rehabilitation of injured sea turtles. This is achieved through both direct care of injured and disabled turtles, as well as enhancing awareness among fishermen and local communities, and releasing baby hatchlings into the sea.

Program Highlights:
  • Work closely with green, hawksbill, loggerhead and olive ridley sea turtles
  • Ethical wildlife volunteering and interaction
  • Volunteer with an established, professional organization
  • This center is the only one in Sri Lanka with the license to care for disabled turtles
  • Enjoy the tropical beaches during free weekends

Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum Two-Week Commitment):

Day 1, Sunday: Arrive at Colombo International Airport (CMB). You will be picked up from the airport and taken to the beach town of Ambalangoda to settle in to your accommodations and meet fellow volunteers.

Day 2, Monday: Volunteers will receive an introduction to the area and to project site before beginning work at their placement.

Days 3-6, Tuesday- Friday: Rewarding volunteer work at the beach or in the rescue center with sea turtles in rehabilitation.

Days 7-8, Saturday and Sunday: The weekend is free for volunteers to spend how they wish.

Weeks 2-9: Remaining weeks will follow the pattern of volunteering Monday-Friday and having weekends free. Departures are on a Saturday.

Check out what our past volunteers had to say!

Location of the Project:  Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka
Project length:  Min 2 weeks - Max 9 weeks
Arrival Airport:  Colombo International Airport (CMB)
Volunteer Work:  Turtle conservation, beach maintenance
Age:  17 - 49
Number of Volunteers:  Up to 10 international volunteers

What's Included

Accommodations:  Shared rooms in a volunteer house
Food:  Three meals per day provided on weekdays, 2 meals per day on the weekend
Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided upon arrival
Orientation:  All necessary training and introductions are provided upon arrival
Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, lunches on weekends, local transportation, transportation back to airport upon departure, personal expenses
Sri Lanka is a small, island country southeast of India in the Indian Ocean. The geography of Sri Lanka is remarkable, as you can be in alpine jungle one day, on top of a mountain overlooking tea plantations the next, visiting ancient historical sites with giant Buddha statues carved out of rock, and then be on the beach swimming in the warm waters of the Indian ocean. The people of Sri Lanka are warm and inviting, ready to share their country and open their hearts to those who come to visit. A trip to Sri Lanka is like none other and your heart will open to the land and the people who live there.
This project is located close to the local fisheries port in the quaint, oceanside town of Ambalangoda. Fishing is one of the major industries in Ambalangoda and there is increasing concern for the sea turtle populations that are affected. The two main issues that sea turtles face are human consumption, as turtle eggs are a delicacy in Sri Lanka, and harm caused during net captures, which leads to their inability to survive in the wild.

The center's goal is to rescue and protect these sea turtles. They work closely with the Sri Lankan Wildlife department, which sets the rules and regulations for all conservation programs. The department has awarded the center a license to care for the disabled turtles and they are currently the only organization in Sri Lanka to have this right. Often the disabled turtles come through the Wildlife department and their main veterinarian gives the center's local veterinarian instructions on how to take care of each turtle.

You will spend much of your days on the beach caring for the sea turtles that have been rescued and are now living in the project site. These include four of the local species of turtles: green, hawksbill, loggerhead and olive ridleys.

Some of your tasks may include:
  • Feeding the turtles
  • Cleaning their water tanks
  • Taking the turtles out of their tanks to spend time with them on the beach
  • Collecting turtle eggs and bringing them to a safe location for them to hatch
  • Re-releasing hatched baby turtles into the sea
  • Giving talks to educational and tourist groups who come to visit the project
  • Beach maintenance
You will work Monday through Friday with weekends off and sufficient free time to enjoy the beach and to explore many of Sri Lanka’s exciting tourist destinations.

Please Note: Volunteers may not use sunscreen or any other chemicals on parts of their skin which touch the water or turtles. Participants with open injuries in their hands also should not work with the turtles directly, as infections may occur.

Holidays: Volunteer work does not take place during national holidays, but you are always welcome to join in the local celebration.
Please note these consecutive holidays, which may impact short-term placements, before registering:
  • April 11- 17, 2020

Cultural Note: Due to cultural norms of Sri Lanka, participants are required to remove any body piercings and cover all visible tattoos while at the project site.
Internet:  Internet is available at cafes that are a five-minute walk from the accommodation.
Laundry:  Laundry services can be arranged for an additional fee.
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay at the volunteer house, which is located on the beach and is a 5-minute walk from the project site and town. You will share a room with 4 -10 volunteers, which includes a shared bathroom and shower as well as a lounge area and beautiful garden to relax in. Please note that there is no air conditioning in the standard accommodations, but fans are provided.
Food:  Local vegetarian food is served on site for the volunteers, with three meals a day on the weekdays and 2 meals a day on the weekends.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Minimum age of 17
  • Police clearance
  • Good physical fitness
  • Immunizations (please consult your doctor)
  • Ability to work in a team 
  • Willing to work hard and get your hands dirty
Sri Lanka is a paradise for travelers; the island has tremendous sites to visit and the friendliest people, who are always helpful and smiling. Sri Lanka really has it all, ancient cultural sites, jungle and rain forest, mountains, wildlife and the beach. In Sri Lanka there is something for everyone, and GoEco will be glad to asisst in planning your extra activities. A few recommendations are listed below: 

Orientation Week (Highly Recommended):
This is the first step towards a great stay in an exciting new country! It's an action-packed and fun-filled week in Kandy that is dedicated to introducing you to Sri Lanka and all its cultural aspects with a firsthand, live-in experience. You will also have time to meet local people, taste the local cuisine and get familiar with Sri Lankan customs. 

Program Add-Ons (Not Included)
After your volunteer placement you can join one of the following program add-ons (book following registration):

Tropical beach week: Spend an entire week on some of Southern Sri Lanka’s most beautiful beaches. The mornings are packed with exciting activities, such as a river safari on the Madu Gaga where you may be able to sight a few crocodiles or a trip to Cinnamon Island to see some island temples and mangroves. You will also visit the Galle Fort which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and see South Asia’s largest sleeping Buddha statue. Your outings for the week also include a trip to the mask factory and the museum. You will have the afternoons and evenings off to spend at the beach. 

Yoga and meditation week: Indulge in a week designed to relax the body and soothe the mind. This week combines Yoga and Meditation with Ayurvedic treatments. This week will teach you the basics of Yoga and Meditation and also educate you about the human body. The techniques taught here form the basics of Yoga and Meditation, but as with any form of exercise it is not a magic formula. The benefits can be reaped only by continuously practicing it and by making a conscious change in lifestyle.
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