Saving the sea turtles of the world
About this experience
What we do Sea turtles are at risk around the globe. They are endangered throughout the world’s oceans, and several species native to the eastern Pacific (where Matapalo Sea Turtle Conservation is located) are nearing extinction. Factors that are contributing to this endangerment include pollution, poaching, and low hatchling survival rates. At the Matapalo Conservation, volunteers are key to the preservation of the sea turtle species native to Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. What You’ll Do Sea turtle conservation – As a volunteer with us, you’ll have the opportunity to be involved in the entire turtle hatching process. This includes taking shifts patrolling the beach in the evenings to locate female turtles who have come ashore to lay their nests. Nests are then transported to a hatchery, where they can be monitored 24/7 to protect them from poachers and predatory animals. You will take one shift every few days to keep watch of the hatchery. Finally, upon hatching, you will assist the baby sea turtles in reaching the ocean safely to ensure maximum survival rates. You may also help in the general maintenance of the hatchery. Other tasks – Volunteers will also participate in sloth walks to monitor and record the migration patterns of local sloth populations. Additionally, you’ll assist us in gathering beach litter once per week. You can expect to help with cleaning the kitchen and bedrooms once per week. You’ll also have the opportunity to take part in community service work with local schools and community facilities. Accommodations You will live in hostel-style accommodations with fellow volunteers. There are both male and female dormitories with bunk beds and an attached bathroom. The site has a personal chef that will prepare three meals per day. There is also a restaurant and convenience store located directly beside the site if you would like to purchase additional food, beverages, or toiletries. Free Time Activities Volunteers can expect between 6 and 8 hours of work per day 6 days per week. This leaves plenty of time to explore the beautiful country of Costa Rica and experience all of the activities it has to offer. There is a surfing school down the road from the conservation that offers surf lessons and rentals. Beach horseback riding is available just minutes from the site location. By bus you can reach the beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park or the gorgeous Dominical beach in less than 45 minutes. However, you don’t have to travel far to enjoy a lazy day on the beach as we are within 100 meters from the ocean in Matapalo. Additionally, there is a soccer field and volleyball net right across the street from the site. Location The conservation is actually found in the small village of Matapalo. Located about 200 kilometers south of San Jose, Matapalo lies on the Pacific coast with the closest city being Quepos. The conservation is situated 100 meters from the ocean. The site is within 30 kilometers of the breathtaking Manuel Antonio National Park. Within walking distance is a waterfall in the mountains as well as surf shops, beach horseback riding, and hiking trails. Typical day Meals Breakfast – 8:00 am Lunch – 12:00 pm Dinner – 6:00 pm Volunteer Obligations Communal Work Shifts 9:30 – 11:00 am 3:00 – 5:00 pm Hatchery Shifts and Beach Patrols The hatchery shifts and beach patrols vary depending on the season. Information About the Turtles We Work With The two species of sea turtles that we mostly work with are the Leatherback Turtle and the Green Sea Turtle. Leatherbacks are the largest turtles on Earth, growing up to 6.5 feet (2 meters) long and weighing up to 1500 pounds (680 kilograms). These reptilian relics are the only remaining representatives of a family of turtles that traces its evolutionary roots back more than 100 million years. Once prevalent in every ocean except the Arctic and Antarctic, the leatherback population is rapidly declining in many parts of the world. The green turtle is also a large sea turtle with a wide, smooth shell. It is named not for the color of its shell, which is normally brown or olive depending on its habitat, but for the greenish color of its skin. They grow up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) long and up to 800 pounds (350 kilograms).
This experience includes
We include accommodation, three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), training for new volunteers, a research assistant who guides the group during beach walks.
This activity is carried out from June 1 of each year until February 28 of the following year. The participants must start Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday depending on them flight, but you can never enter the remaining days.
1 - 36 people
Social impact focus
- Economic Empowerment
If you buy this experience
Do you know why volunteer work is important? Creating conscious about the importance of safeguarding natural resources for future generations is important, but represents only the beginning of the problem solution. So having found a group of conscious people what is next ? So the question is how to achieve the main goal : Protection of the natural resources? In Costa Rica even though we have a lot of protected areas, there is a lack of personnel to take care of this treasures. So by supplying manual and intellectual labor on a low cost we can show that there is a conservation global awareness and in this way it is possible to reattribute nature for its wonders. Why is important to keep volunteer work? There are 3 good reasons why the people of the world should help us. 1) It is a necessary activity The participation of civil society on the protected areas is a need due to the lack of working personnel. 2) Increases social consciousness By participating actively people realize of the importance of our natural recourses, as well it give the chance to team work with foreigners and Costa Ricans for a unique goal. This team work is an example of real international cooperation. 3) It is a productive activity Despite the economical limitations ASVPA has made a valid effort to sustain this program. One example of the positive results we have is that per year more than a 400 people invest their time in research, protection, environmental education and many other activities.
Saving the sea turtles of the world
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