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Costa Rica is one of the world’s most popular destinations for eco-tourists because of its rich biodiversity. Small in land mass, the country is home to over 5% of the world’s plant & animal species. Costa Rica is Spanish for the rich coast. One can expect to find this place to be the ideal tropical paradise with diverse landscapes, flora and fauna. From rainforests, to dry tropical and temperate forests, to volcanoes, to Caribbean and Pacific beaches, to high mountains and marshy lowlands, this country has much to offer.
Costa Rica is a well-known destination for sustainable and nature tourism. Yet, its diverse wildlife is still under many threats. These include habitat loss because of development, electrocutions, dog and cat attacks, and illegal pet trading.
The Puntarenas Pacific Sanctuary is home to macaws, sloths, birds, jaguars, ocelots, spider monkeys, and tortoises. It is on the North Pacific side of Costa Rica, approximately six hours from San José. Volunteers work six hours per day, six days a week. This location has a minimum duration of two weeks of volunteer work.
As a volunteer, you can help the local staff treat sick, injured and orphaned animals. Their primary goal is to release animals back to the wild when possible.
Your tasks at all centers may include:
Note: schedule and tasks may vary depending on the amount of volunteers and tasks required. Dynamic health regulations at the centers may require volunteers to stay on site or nearby during their free time. You can also accumulate your days off and travel after the program.
Internship option: For an additional fee, qualified volunteers can join this program as an intern. To ensure a valuable experience, interns must join this internship for a minimum of four weeks volunteer work plus 1 week of the Culture/Immersion week and it requires an intermediate level of Spanish proficiency. Please contact us to discuss this option.
Internet: Internet is available during orientation week at the school and at most the animal rescue centers. Some animal centers don’t have the best internet connection, so a local SIM card upon arrival is recommended.
Laundry: During the project, volunteers have to wash their own clothes and hang out to dry. At the home stay in San Jose, they wash your clothes on a weekly basis; however, you must wash your own undergarments. Remember to bring biodegradable detergents.
Accommodations: In San Jose, you will stay with a host family, which is a short bus ride away from the language school if you are doing the Spanish week. They will provide you with a comfortable, basic private room in their home. Your accommodations throughout your volunteer placement will be in a volunteer house with bunk beds and shared bathrooms. Facilities are very rustic, they are built for adventure, not comfort. Depending on the animal center, the dorms can house anywhere from 4 to 10 people. The photos below provide examples of the accommodation provided.
Food: While attending the orientation sessions and language classes, breakfast & dinner are included at the homestay; at the volunteer project, you will receive three meals per day.
Please review this project’s minimum requirements:
We recommend traveling around Costa Rica before, during the weekends or after your volunteer placement. You can either explore the country on your own or simply join a tour. Here are a few popular options that you can book with us in advance: