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Costa Rica is a popular destination for eco-tourism because of its rich biodiversity. Although relatively small, the country is home to over 5% of the world’s plant & animal species. Costa Rica is Spanish for the rich coast and it is truly an ideal tropical paradise with diverse landscapes, flora and fauna. From rainforests, to temperate forests, to volcanoes, to Caribbean and Pacific beaches, to high mountains and marshy lowlands, this country has much to offer.
The Spanish Immersion Week takes place in San Jose, and the sanctuary is on the North Pacific side of Costa Rica, approximately six hours from San José.
Although Costa Rica is a well-known destination for sustainable tourism, its diverse wildlife is under many threats. These include habitat loss because of development, electrocutions, dog and cat attacks, and illegal pet trading.
The Puntarenas Pacific Sanctuary is on the North Pacific side of Costa Rica, approximately six hours from San José. It is home to macaws, sloths, birds, jaguars, ocelots, spider monkeys, tortoises, and other animals with the following aims:
The sanctuary has over 500 animals that need daily care. As a volunteer, you will help the Wildlife Rescue Team carry out the following tasks:
Typical Daily Schedule:
The daily schedule can be intense, but the work here is rewarding for animal lovers!
The local team will allocate the volunteers tasks in work groups, following proper orientation and training. Volunteers work six-eight hours per day, six days a week. This sanctuary has a minimum duration of two weeks of volunteer work.
Note: schedule and tasks may vary depending on the amount of volunteers and tasks required.
Alternative Placements: This volunteer program fills up quickly! In case your requested date is full, we can place you with another excellent wildlife sanctuary near San Jose.
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: Wi-Fi connection is available during orientation week at the school and at the animal rescue center.
Laundry: A laundry machine is available on the program. At the home stay in San Jose, they wash your clothes on a weekly basis; however, you must wash your own undergarments.
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 and 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. The meals are typical dishes of Costa Rica. Almost every meal includes rice, beans, or salad. They also offer juice or coffee for every meal. It is very important that you inform us if you have any special diets or food allergies.
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: