Volunteer Work, Animal Welfare
Veraguas Province, Playa Mata Oscura
Between May and February. Arrival to Panama should be on a Saturday or Sunday.
With the volunteer work in Panama you support an animal welfare project in the preservation of the natural habitat of sea turtles in the beautiful Veraguas province of Panama. The project site is located in a protected area that was established by the government in 2008. The nature conservation program includes several beaches and strips of land with lush vegetation. It aims to restore and protect both natural flora and fauna.
The region is home to one of the most important breeding grounds for sea turtles on the Panamanian Pacific coast. On the beaches of the reserve you can find 4 different species of turtles laying their eggs. The most common species of sea turtle is the ridley turtle. In addition, the hawksbill sea turtle, the green sea turtle and the leatherback turtle come to lay their eggs on the beaches of the reserve.
The aim of the project is to protect the endangered sea turtle species. In addition to protecting the egg-laying sites, a very important part of the work is also educating the local population in the coastal communities. Greater awareness must be achieved with regard to the preservation and protection of these unique animals and their habitat. In addition, new specialists are to be trained to support scientific work.
Upon arrival, each volunteer will be informed about the goal of the conservation project and the most important basic knowledge about the sea turtles before the work begins.
The volunteer project always starts in May with the construction of breeding grounds and the cleaning of the beach and the surrounding areas. From around June, the patrols on the beaches start in order to protect, observe and register turtles as they lay their eggs. If necessary, nests are relocated to the project's safe breeding grounds.
From around June to February, volunteers and the local team monitor the various turtle species as they lay their eggs and note their habits and behavior. The sea turtles come to the beaches to lay their eggs mainly in the months of June to the end of December, with the main season being from August to September. So that the eggs of the sea turtles can be protected from predators and illegal theft (turtle eggs are traded as delicacies) and to ensure the growth of the population of the animals in the Pacific, some of the turtle eggs are collected by the volunteers and kept in incubators. The baby turtles hatch after a breeding period of 45-60 days and are then released into their natural habitat, the Pacific Ocean.
During the day, the volunteers help with environmental education projects for the residents of the region. An important part of the work is also monitoring the nests and collecting washed up rubbish on the beaches in order to keep the nesting grounds of the sea turtles clean.
We would like to point out that mother nature is unpredictable and we cannot give any guarantee about the number of sea turtles for a certain period of participation.
Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as the number of volunteers, time of year, weather, current needs of the project and self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.
You will live in the Volunteer House in the reserve on the Pacific coast. There are shared rooms with bunk beds. You share the room with other volunteers as well as the bathrooms, kitchen and other common areas. The common rooms are simply but comfortably furnished. The Volunteer House can accommodate up to 10 volunteers.
The accommodations have electricity, which should, however, be used very sparingly. Three meals a day are included.
Note: In Latin America, especially in remote areas where many of our volunteer projects take place, the cellular or internet connection is not always reliable and fast.
The turtle protection project is located in the southern part of the province of Veraguas directly on the Pacific coast. The capital Panama City is about 6 hours away by car. It is said that Veraguas combines the most beautiful of land and sea.
The area is also called the Pearl of the Pacific. From here, visitors can explore both the Pacific coast and the Caribbean coast, admire majestic mountains, get to know the impressive biodiversity, swim under imposing waterfalls, visit historical sites and, last but not least, relax on dream beaches with fine white sand. The warmth of the people is the perfect addition to this great program.
Panama's capital, Panama City, with its skyscrapers and modern buildings is around 6 hours away by car.
From a tourist point of view, Panama is still rather unknown, actually absolutely wrong we think. The country has an incredible amount to offer in terms of landscape, history and culture - breathtaking nature, diverse flora and fauna, fantastic national parks, an active culture of the indigenous population, sports facilities on water and on land as well as the world-famous Panama Canal in the heart of the pulsating metropolis Panama City - just to mention a few of the attractions that Panama has to offer.
In our animal and nature conservation projects in Panama, our volunteers get by with English language skills.
However, for optimal cultural integration in the destination country, we advise our volunteers to take part in a Spanish course (optional). This gives you the opportunity to slowly get used to the local language, culture and mentality.
Pre-departure and in-country support
Before arrival, our experienced team will be at your disposal to assist you throughout the booking process and travel planning. With the booking confirmation you will receive our 24-hour emergency number, so that you can reach us 24/7 in case of emergency.
In addition to the assistance given by our office staff you will be supported by our volunteer coordinators located in Panama.
Costs & Services
Our volunteer project Sea Turtle Conversation in Panama includes:
- Shared room in Volunteer House
- Full board
- Airport pick-up Panama City*
- Professional English-speaking advice
- Translation of your application documents
- Volunteer Work Placement in Panama
- English-speaking in-country support
- Handbook Panama
- Intercultural guideline
- 24/7 emergency number
- Information about suitable travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
The cost for the bus trip from Panama City to the town of Santiago in the province Veraguas is included. From Santiago volunteers need to take private transportation to the project site (cost 30 USD, to be paid on site).
Application fee: US$ 150
Program fee: US$ 760 (minimum stay 2 weeks)
Each additional week: US$ 200
*Note: Airport pick-up includes one or two nights in Panama City. Arrival should be on a Saturday or Sunday between 8 am and 8 pm. Otherwise a surcharge of 50 USD may be required (to be paid on site).
Additionally, you can book:
Our tips (experience more + see more = save $$)
Is it difficult for you to decide between the many great projects? You want to see and experience as much as possible during your stay in Latin America? Then build your own itinerary - experience more & see more! Our program combination makes it possible!
All our stay abroad programs can be combined with each other: So, you can combine different volunteer projects in the same country or in different countries, or you mix Working Holiday with volunteer work or Farm Stay with Working Holiday ...and so on …
Your creativity knows no limits. The longer your stay abroad in Latin America, the greater the discount you get from South America Inside. Below you can see how much you can save:
Note: Language courses are excluded from this promotion. These discounts can not be combined with other promotions.
If you need assistance in putting together your personal experience abroad, then please contact us. Our experienced staff will help you to set up your tailor-made stay abroad.