Volunteering in Costa Rica through GoEco for the Rainforest Expedition project doing environmental conservation will be something I will never forget. The idea of living a lot more basic than normal was a little scary but the minute I arrived at our base on Curieuse Island, everything felt right. It was actually quite refreshing to not have all of the daily luxuries like wi-fi, electricity and air conditioning.
A “normal day” on Curieuse consisted of waking up around 6 or 6:30 and doing chores until breakfast and then going on our designated surveys. Those surveys were turtle surveys, shark surveys, bird surveys, mangrove surveys or coco de mer surveys! If you were out past lunch, you would pack your own lunch to have out on the survey. After lunch, you might have another survey to do, but you would also have time to relax and play volleyball, or go snorkeling right off our base! You would then have dinner and then have more time to relax, but you would usually just be too exhausted from the day and go straight to bed!
My favorite survey was definitely the turtle surveys. I am currently going to school for Marine Biology so it was right up my ally! We would go to the different beaches on the island and look for fresh turtle tracks and crawls, as well as excavate turtle nests that had already hatched! We even came across a few nests that were emerging, as we were there which was incredible! They were literally bubbling up from the sand and the hatchlings of course crawled straight into the water!
It was so hard to leave the life we had been living for 2 months, but it was amazing to learn everything we did along side the staff that were so knowledgeable about so many aspects of the surveys. The staff members were fantastic and they were so easy to get along with, as were the rest of the volunteers! After only a week it was like we were a big family! I would highly highly recommend this project for anyone who is willing to get down and dirty and learn a lot about the environment and it’s inhabitants while living in a tropical paradise!