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Join a family-friendly version of one of GoEco's top-rated wildlife conservation programs! Enjoy a volunteer adventure in Costa Rica to help indigenous species at one of two wildlife rescue sanctuaries!

Program Highlights: 
  • A family-friendly version of one of GoEco's most-loved programs
  • Gain hands-on experience in wildlife care and conservation
  • Enjoy a fun-filled two-day visit to the vibrant city of San Jose, including an adventure tour through rural Costa Rica (your choice of tour)
  • Engage in positive cultural exchange with your local host family
  • Choice of volunteer placement

Family Price Details: 
  • The Total Project Cost is for one family member
  • Each child 11 and under must be accompanied by at least one adult, and one adult can supervise a maximum of three children under the age of 18.

Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum 11-day commitment):

Arrival Day, Thursday:
Arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). A driver will be waiting to pick up your family and take you to your homestay.

Day 1, Friday: Families will meet with the Volunteer Coordinator for an orientation session.
Day 2, Saturday: Families will go on their choice of tour today (included in program fee). See "Travel Highlights" for tour options.
Day 3, Sunday: One of the local drivers will escort volunteers to their animal center of choice. The Pacific Area 1 sanctuary is three hours away from San Jose, and the Pacific Area 1 sanctuary is six hours away.

Days 4-8, Monday-Friday: Volunteering days at your animal rescue center.
Day 9, Saturday
: Free day for families to explore the region! 
Day 10, Sunday:
Families who are staying for just one week will return to San Jose and stay overnight with a local family. Families who are extending for another week will continue their volunteer work.
Day 11, Monday: Departure day. 
Location of the Project:  San Jose & Pacific Coast, Costa Rica
Project length:  11 or 18 days
Arrival Airport:  Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO)
Volunteer Work:  Wildlife care and conservation
Age:  Children must be at least six years old
Important Note:  Families wanting to volunteer must sign up at least four weeks in advance. This program is not available May – July. You will be interviewed at least a week in advance via Skype or another system (by the local Costa Rican team) in order to answer your additional questions, remind you of important things and provide any information required before your arrival.

What's Included

Accommodations:  Various accommodations
Food:  Two meals per day in San Jose; three meals per day are provided while at the volunteer project
Airport Transfers:  Airport transfers on both arrival & departure days are provided
Orientation:  A full orientation is provided on the first Friday.
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 while at the home stay in San Jose, personal expenses.
Costa Rica is one of the top destinations in the world! It is one of the world's most popular destinations for eco-tourists because of its proportionally huge amount of biodiversity. Costa Rica may contain as much as 5% of the world's plant & animal species - this in a country that is only as large as the states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined. Costa Rica is Spanish for rich coast. As such, one can expect to find this place to be the ideal tropical paradise with bewilderingly diverse landscapes, flora, and fauna. From rainforests to dry, tropical and temperate forests, volcanoes and Caribbean beaches, this country has it all.

San Jose is the vibrant capital of this country, where you will spend 3 nights on arrival and one night before departure ; it is sure to be one of the highlights of your volunteer vacation experience. The Pacific Area 1 sanctuary is three hours away from San Jose, and the other is six hours away.
Families will have the choice of volunteering at one of two center on the Pacific Coast.

Pacific Area 1: Home to sloths, birds, jaguars, ocelots, spider monkeys and tortoises. It is located on the North Pacific side of Costa Rica. Volunteers work six hours per day, six days a week. This program is offered throughout the year except for May - July, and requires at least four weeks advanced notice to apply. 

Pacific Area 2: Home to several species of birds, monkeys, macaws, parrots, opossums, porcupines and deer, in a center surrounded by abundant vegetation. Volunteers work from 6: 00 AM to 4:30 PM six days a week. This program is offered throughout the year apart from May – July, and requires at least four weeks advanced notice to apply.

Some of your tasks at both rescue centers may include:
  • Preparing food for the animals
  • Washing the animals’ eating and drinking areas
  • Feeding the animals
  • Washing utensils & cleaning kitchen where food is prepared
  • Separating ripe and green fruit and store in proper areas
  • Distributing food on the trails and around the rescue center
  • Placing fresh water in the bird cages
  • Providing a caring environment for the animals, checking for injuries
  • Monitoring activities: weekly walks on trails to monitor wild animals and supply fresh fruit; look out for any new wild animals on the premises and report; visit the observation area to check the animals and monitor their behavior.
  • Maintenance chores: repairing, cleaning, planting, installing, building, painting, reforesting, etc. facilities.
  • Assisting the on-site vet when possible.
  • Foraging for leaves & branches
  • Gardening
Internet:  Internet is available at both animal rescue centers.
Laundry:  There is a washing machine available at both placements.
Accommodations:  Depending on project chosen, families will be staying in different accommodations (included in program fee). At the Pacific Area 1 sanctuary, three hours away from San Jose, has very basic accommodations: families may stay in a family room at a dorm-style house with three rooms, or a very nice remodeled container which is a (“tiny house", see photos), with a bathroom outside. The Pacific Area 2 center is six hours away from San Jose, offers a volunteer dorm room with bunk beds, with a shared bathroom. You will have access to an on-site pool. During your first 3 nights and last night you will be staying with a local host family in San Jose (in one or two private rooms with a bathroom for the family).
Food:  Three meals per day are provided while on the project. Typical meals include vegetables, rice & beans, red meat or poultry, seasonal fruits, pasta, etc. Vegetarians or vegans are accepted as long as project staff is informed beforehand. Breakfasts and dinners are provided at the home stays in San Jose.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Basic level of English
  • Children must be at least six years old; adults maximum 80 years old, if physically fit. In case of any physical disability, mental or medical problem, children and/or adults must include a medical certificate indicating able to work under hot, humid conditions and live in basic facilities.
During your day off at the Pacific Area 2 Center you and your family can visit tourist destinations such as the nearby fishing village, Montezuma Beach or the Cabo Blanco Reserve. If you and your family are at the Pacific Area 1 placement, you can explore Puntarenas city as well as enjoy Montezuma Beach.
While in San Jose, on Saturday, families can enjoy one of these tours (included in program fee): 
  • Irazu Volcano, Orosi Valley & Lankester Gardens Tour
  • Doka Coffee Plantation Tour
  • The Authentic Rainforest Adventure: Braulio Carrillo Rainforest, aerial tram (or canopy), walk on trails & boat ride on Sarapiqui River
  • Arenal Volcano and Tabacon Hot Springs & Spa Day
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