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This destination is now open to international volunteers! 

Travel to beautiful Sri Lanka to volunteer for sea turtle conservation!

There is a requirement of a 1-2 day quarantine and 1 PCR test for vaccinated visitors to Sri Lanka. We have partnered with an excellent beach resort to accommodate volunteers in style. Following this 1-2 day period, we will transfer you to the volunteer villa and program. See "Requirements" below for more info.

Sustainability Initiative: Apply for a start date in 2021 to receive your 3rd week of volunteering for free. Stay longer, make a stronger impact, reduce your carbon footprint. Schedule a call with us to find out how!


Program Highlights:
  • Contribute directly to the conservation of endangered sea turtles along the coast of Sri Lanka
  • Ethical wildlife volunteering and interactions
  • Engage with the local community to raise awareness for marine conservation
  • Live in close proximity to world-class beaches
  • Enjoy weekly yoga sessions, weekly movie nights, monthly bike tours, monthly barbecues and Buddhist temple visits.
 
Your schedule at a glance (minimum one-week commitment): 

Note:
this schedule refers to the period after the 1-2 day quarantine at the beach resort. 

Arrival Day, Saturday: A team member will pick you up from Long Beach Resort and transfer you to the volunteer villa. Meet and greet with fellow volunteers.
 
Day 1, Sunday: Volunteers will receive a tour of the area, and orientation. Enjoy the rest of the day by exploring local beaches with fellow volunteers or joining an adventure! (See “Travel Highlights” below for recommendations.)
 
Days 2-6, Monday-Friday: Rewarding volunteer work. Three days each week, volunteers work in the hatchery, which is about an hour away from the volunteer villa. Tasks include feeding and cleaning the turtles, moving turtle eggs into the hatching area, caring for disabled turtles, cleaning tanks and more. One day per week is Environment Day, when volunteers will take part in beach cleaning activities in Galle. The remaining weekday is Community Day when volunteers educate either local school children or rural women about sea turtle conservation or work on a special, related project. During nesting season (November-May) there are two night patrol camps each month where participants camp out on the beach and protect the nests. Please note that this schedule may change at any time.
 
Days 7, Saturday: Departure day for volunteers staying just one week. Free time for volunteers who are extending their stay. 
 
Remaining Weeks: The following weeks will follow the schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having weekends free. Departures are on Saturdays.


Check out what our past volunteers had to say!

 
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Location of the Project:  Galle, Sri Lanka
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Project length:  Minimum 1 week - Maximum 12 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB)
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Volunteer Work:  Turtle conservation
Age:  16-65 is the recommended age range. Those over 65 may still apply. This program welcomes families with children aged six and older!
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 15 international volunteers

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Shared rooms in a volunteer villa
Food:  Three meals per day are provided.
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Airport Transfers:  Airport transfers are provided on both arrival and departure days.
Orientation:  Upon arrival, volunteers will receive a walking tour and introductory training presentations.
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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, personal expenses
Galle is a beautiful area in southern Sri Lanka that is surrounded by lush greenery and is in close proximity to world-class beaches! Many of the nearby beaches are prime surfing spots and others are more relaxing. There is even a turtle lagoon nearby. Galle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, complete with Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient religious buildings, museums and more. Galle is also quite trendy, and is home to cafes, exclusive shops and boutique hotels. The volunteer villa is less than 100 metres from Unawatuna Beach, which is one of the most prominent beaches in all of Sri Lanka. Surfing, diving, snorkelling, beaching, etc, are all available in proximity.  
Sea turtles in Sri Lanka are an endangered species. The species is threatened by human poachers as well as predators. The Sri Lankan government has approved the creation of hatcheries in order to protect this species.

Volunteers on this program spend 60% of their time working in the hatchery and the other 40% on activities such as beach cleanups and creating awareness within the local community. During nesting season (November-May) there are two night patrol camps each month where participants camp out on the beach and protect the nests. Please note that this schedule may change at any time.

Typical hatchery tasks include:
  • Cleaning the turtles, the tanks and the general hatchery area
  • Feeding the turtles
  • Preserving turtle eggs by burying them in a protected area
  • Filling the tanks with fresh sea water to mimic their natural environment
  • Rehabilitating injured and sick turtles
  • Releasing healthy baby turtles in the ocean
  • Special projects from time to time such as awareness campaigns, mangrove panting, etc.

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:  Each volunteer may use up to 5 GB of WiFi in the volunteer house during their stay.
Laundry
Laundry:  Laundry services are available for an additional fee.
Accommodations
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay in shared, single-gender rooms in a volunteer villa overlooking the beach and Indian Ocean. The villa has 11 bedrooms with fans, 11 bathrooms and showers with hot water. Rooms are shared with a maximum of 4 volunteers per room. There is also a private pool on site. The house has eco-friendly features including solar heating panels. There may be up to 52 volunteers in the house at a time. Private rooms (single or double) and AC rooms are available for an extra fee.
Food:  Three meals per day will be prepared by house chefs, using local, fresh ingredients. Tropical fruit is available during every meal and there is a salad bar set up during most lunches and dinners. Vegan, nut-free, gluten-free and lactose-free diets can be accommodated with advance notice. Tea, coffee and filtered water are available throughout the day.
  Summary of the latest Entry Rules for Sri Lanka (provided by local authority and subject to change): 
  • Vaccinated participants need to do 1 PCR test upon arrival and wait 1-2 days for the results in a designated quarantine hotel. Once the test comes back negative, you are free to join us at the volunteer house (we will arrange the transfers).
  • All participants need to have mandatory covid insurance for the first 30 days of their stay in Sri Lanka. The cost is US$12 per person (US$6 for each extra month) and covers related medical expenses. 
  • GoEco's partner in Sri Lanka will handle the entry visa process. Following your application and confirmation, you will receive a short questionnaire so we can apply for the ETA visa on your behalf. The process will take around 2-4 business days, so you need to book at least a week in advance. We included the USD 35 visa fees as part of the quarantine package (see below).
Quarantine hotel rates and inclusions: 

We have partnered with a beachfront hotel called Long Beach Resort, where participants will do the initial 1-2 day quarantine period. 

Rates for 1-2 days (only vaccinated participants):
  • Single occupancy: USD 275
  • Double occupancy: USD 210 per person
Inclusions:
  • A/C room 
  • 3 meals a day
  • Private airport transfer on arrival to the hotel and then to the volunteer house. 
  • 1 PCR tests (as per current requirement)
  • ETA visa costs.
  • Mandatory covid insurance for 1 month (as per current requirement) 
  • Access to 2 swimming pools in the hotel
  • Beach front rooms with balconies overlooking the ocean
  • Access to a large beach for lounging and swimming during the day
  • Surfing possible (surf boards have to be rented at an additional cost)
  • Wi-Fi and cable TV in all rooms

Minimum requirements for the volunteer project:
  • Minimum age of 16, with parental consent
  • 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
As a volunteer, you will enjoy weekly evening yoga sessions, weekly movie nights, monthly bike tours, monthly special Sri Lankan BBQ and Buddhist temple visit! The volunteer villa is less than 100 metres from Unawatuna Beach, which is one of the most prominent beaches in all of Sri Lanka. Surfing, diving, snorkelling, beaching, etc, are all available in proximity. Additional travel adventures are available for an additional fee, see below:

Adventure Tour (Highly Recommended):
Extend your stay in Sri Lanka by participating in a seven-day Adventure Tour! This adventure tour includes a game drive, visits to waterfalls, a long train ride across beautiful tea gardens and local villages, an overnight stay at a riverside eco-lodge, visits to Sri Lanka’s most famous Buddhist temple in the historic city of Kandy, a village walk, a visit to Sigiriya Lion Rock, spend time in a local market and a trip to Negombo Beach!

Additional Recommendations:
  • Wildlife safari at Yala National Park or Udawalawe National Park (instead of elephant safari)
  • Rainforest hike to Sinharaja Forest Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage site)
  • Surfing lessons at nearby beaches
  • Scuba diving (PADI certification available)
  • Whale watching (during the season)
  • Cooking classes
  • Galle Fort visit (a UNESCO World Heritage site)
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