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Venture into the tropical Costa Rican jungle for a unique research and conservation experience! The Osa Peninsula is home to over 500,000 different species of animals and 700 species of trees. On this project, volunteers will have the chance to research big cats, sea turtles and primates as well as butterflies, the neotropical sea otter and various species of amphibians and reptiles. 
The goal of this project is to determine the population status of a range of endangered species and/or endemic species in the jungle of the Osa Peninsula. Data collected from surveys will be used to determine the various measures that can be taken to protect these species. The research done on these species and ecosystems will be used by local communities and government entities to determine how best to protect the biodiversity of this renowned region.

Location of the Project:  Carate, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Project length:  Min 1 week - Max 10 weeks
Arrival Airport:  Puerto Jimenez Airport (PJM)
Volunteer Work:  Wildlife research, wildlife conservation
Age:  Min 18 (Volunteers aged 16 and 17 may apply with parental consent.)
Number of Volunteers:  Up to 15 international volunteers
Important Note:  Volunteers are required to keep accommodations clean and assist with meal preparation on a daily rotation.

What's Included

Accommodations:  Shared "eco-cabins"
Food:  3 meals per day are included
Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided on arrival day
Orientation:  Orientation and training included
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, return airport transfer, personal expenses
Costa Rica, which is Spanish for “Rich Coast,”  is one of the most popular Central American destinations, famous for its misty tropical rainforests, mysterious species and relaxing beaches. It is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, with over 500,000 different animal species calling it home. Costa Rica has more than 8,500 species of plants, 220 species of reptiles, 160 amphibians, 205 species of mammals and 850 species of birds. 
This project will take you to Carate, located in the Osa Peninsula, on Costa Rica’s Southern Pacific coast. The Osa Peninsula is a remote destination that is home to Corcovado National Park, where half of all of Costa Rica’s species reside. National Geographic recently named the Osa Peninsula the most biodiverse destination in the world. Carate is the ultimate nature lover’s destination, located on the sparkling Pacific Ocean and beside the  vast green, Parque Nacional Corcovado.
As a volunteer on this project you will be conducting research surveys of the various species present in the Costa Rican jungle. You will be assessing the status of the different ecosystems and niches of the Osa Peninsula and therefore contributing to preservation efforts.
Some of your tasks may include:
  • Data collection of various primate species
  • Big cat tracking and surveys, including  nocturnal jungle walks
  • Sea turtle nests and hatchlings monitoring, including beach patrols (seasonal) 
  • Neotropical otter surveys
  • Tropical bird species surveys
  • Amphibian and reptile surveys
  • Creation and maintenance of forest trails (generally once a week)
  • Butterfly surveys (seasonal)
Please note: Sea turtle monitoring and butterfly surveys are seasonal activities, and are; therefore, not available year-round. Sea turtle monitoring is usually available from July-October; from March-May sightings are less common.  Butterfly surveys correlate with the dry seasons, which are generally October-November and May-June. 
Internet:  There is no WiFi available at this project or at the accommodations.
Laundry:  There are no laundry facilities available.
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay in shared, mixed gender "Eco-cabins". There are shared bathrooms and cold showers. Volunteers will sleep in hammocks or on mattresses.
Food:  There are no refrigerators at the accommodations, so volunteers will be mostly following a vegetarian diet, although there is meat occasionally. Please note that volunteers will take turns preparing meals.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Basic level of English
  • Good physical condition
  • Min age of 18 (or 16/17 with parental consent)
While there is plenty of volunteer work to take part in, volunteers will also have down-time in which they can relax in the on-site hammocks or can venture off to explore Costa Rica. The camp is located five minutes away from the beautiful Carate Beach, which is an ever-popular surfing destination and famous for its intriguing dark sand.
For an additional fee, marine lovers can enjoy dolphin tours and whale watching experiences. For adventure-seekers, Costa Rica offers plenty of opportunities to join forest canopy tours, white water rafting, ocean kayaking and more! For animal lovers, the Osa Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular day trip destination.
Volunteers can also take a 1-hour bus, at your own cost, into Puerto Jimenez, the Osa Peninsula’s largest town with bars, restaurants, and internet cafes. Whatever your interest, the Osa Peninsula offers a wide array of options for the further enjoyment of the Rich Coast!
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