Project: Protecting endangered sea turtles in Costa Rica
Location: Pacuare/Costa Rica
Duration: Beginning of July until beginning of August 2018 – 4 weeks
Support from NATUCATE-Team: ★ ★ ★ ★ ✫
Arrival: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Project partner: ★ ★ ★ ★ ✫
Accommodation: ★ ★ ★ ✫ ☆
1) Could you give us a short overview of your activities/tasks in the project?
In this project I worked at a beach to protect turtle eggs against poachers. After collecting the eggs we took them to the project’s hatchery where they were protected all the time. After they had hatched, we released them.
In the meantime we collected plastic at the beach or were involved in different scientific projects, for example counting seeds from plants.
2) What were your biggest challenges during the project?
After a while the night patrols can get quite exhausting since you miss some sleep. But each person feels different about that.
3) Was there anything that you liked most? Or anything that left you with a negative impression?
Living so close to nature was absolutely fantastic. Just imagine: A sloth could be hanging in the palm tree right in front of you, and also other wildlife could cross your way any day. One of the project highlights: see one of the adult turtles laying their eggs. Of course, the turtle babies supersweet as well! Moreover, I really enjoyed the team spirit and the people which you get to meet during your time as a volunteer. All of them are really nice, and by playing volleyball or rugby together you get to know each other even better.
4) Did you have certain expectations before you started the project? If yes, did the project meet your expectations, disappoint or maybe even exceed them?
It quickly became obvious that lots of volunteers arrived in the project with false expectations. I was totally aware of the fact that you won’t see a turtle every day and would not be able to change the world with one simple volunteer stay.
5) Did you do anything during your free time that you can recommend to following participants?
In this place you can let your thoughts and creativity wander. You are able to spend your free time in nature, play football with locals, play cards or read.
6) Which tips/recommendations would you give to other participants who would like to do this project? (e.g. tips that would have helped you before your journey)
My recommendation: Bring old clothes and some games.
7) Can you guess how many additional expenses you had? – We can give this information to following participants
In the project there aren’t actually a lot of opportunities to spend money. There is a weekly market where you can buy drinks, some sweets or turtle souvenirs. All in all I spent about 30 euros during my entire stay.