Conservation volunteers work within a non-profit biological research and education centre, and all food, lodging, training and research will be provided within the reserve.
The necessity for future generations to understand the importance of environmental conservation and natural resources management is essential. It is part of the Reserve’s core mission to educate and actively involve the youth and community at large in these areas, through conducting workshops and activities for children and their families from schools in the region.
All the running projects at the Reserve have been projected into environmental education programmes, through lectures, guided tours, field trips and volunteering with local schools.
The aim is to create environmental awareness and active stewardship among its visitors, and it is considered that the school community of the Grande de Térraba Circuit is of major importance with regard to this goal, as the children of Osa, are the future heirs of the natural resources that we are working to preserve today.
You will have the opportunity to be part of the workshops, prepare materials, make crafts, conduct and work with children of the schools during the workshops, and participate in the maintenance of our Butterfly garden, data collection, care of pupae, feed and release butterflies, as well as the opportunity to help us care for the plants. If you have at least basic Spanish for this programme, that would be very helpful.
Playa Tortuga is located just 3.5 hours from San Jose, in Ojochal de Osa on the Southern Pacific Coast Of Costa Rica. The Reserve offers an ideal environment for researchers and volunteers. It is located in the tropical rainforest and just outside of Marino Ballena National Park. This park is named after the humpback whales that migrate there from August – October and December – April. Three species of dolphins are also common visitors to the waters. Visitors can explore miles of deserted beaches, mangrove forests and coral reefs. On days off you can take a bus to visit Dominical and Uvita, local towns where you can go surfing, or arrange a full day snorkelling trip to Cano Island, go whale watching or do a mangrove tour by kayak. In addition, you can find local souvenirs and ice cream parlours, which are a favourite with the volunteers!
Conservation volunteers live at the research centre – the property itself is on 42 hectares of reserve which borders the Pacific ocean and the Terraba. The facilities currently hold 15 people in the main centre, in addition to a private residence used for conferences and training. Facilities are of high quality. Volunteers live in large, spacious and clean rooms, all have fans and new orthopaedic mattresses. You also get free internet usage, 1 free laundry wash per week, a purified water system, education and a small research library area is also available for volunteers. From Monday to Friday, all lunch meals are provided for you, but you will need to prepare your own breakfasts and dinners and weekend meals alongside other volunteers/staff members. All food will be provided.
Projects at Playa Tortuga run all year round. Volunteers can join for 1 week up to 12 weeks, while there is also the possibility to intern for up to 6 months.