Tore H. (51), Norway

-September 2023-

Volunteer Work Sea Turtles Protection (Costa Rica)

My stay with the Sea Turtle project, I will rate this a very interesting one, not at least since a good portion of my stay was during the arribada of the Oliver ridley turtles. For me, a spectacular nature experience. Made even greater by the knowledge of how much more we get to see of it as volunteers compared to as a visiting tourist. We walk on our own between fields of turtles so packed it is sometimes difficult to walk without stepping on turtles. We get to handle turtles a bit, we got to release turtles from the hatchery. I loved all of this. I jokingly tell our volunteer coordinator how terrible I suffer when opening dead turtle eggs in the hatchery to look for signs of development, but that and many other small things, are parts of the grand total of running the project, and I was always first to join such tasks.

The living quarters are basic, but practical and in my view as a full time backpacker "who have seen it all" ,quite comfortable. Showers are cold water only, but they are strong. Food is good, but sometimes servings are too small to fill me up. There is good Wi-Fi in the public area, should I complain, it would be that it is dead in the room.

The staff here is great. The Rangers are a very friendly bunch. The kitchen lady adorable. Jairo, our volunteer coordinator, deserves a commandment. He is good at making people feel comfortable, he runs the volunteer part with a good combination of discrete discipline and friendly communication. He has the knowledge and experience with the turtles that gives him a natural authority on the matter. He comes across as a very nice guy.

All in all: a memorable experience that I would highly recommend to others.... If they are able handle a rather erratic sleep schedule caused by the arribada night patrols.

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