Volunteering Costa Rica – Nathalie
Our volunteer Natalie dedicated herself to conserve endangered sea turtles as part of our volunteer project in Costa Rica. Here you can learn more about her time in Central America.
Project: Turtle conservation in Costa Rica
Location: Montezuma/Costa Rica
Duration: July 2018 – 4 weeks
Support from the Natucate team:
Volunteering in Costa Rica – Feedback: Eight questions for Nathalie
1) Could you give us a brief overview of your tasks in the project?
In the morning after breakfast we usually went to the beach clean-ups, which I liked very much – the result after a few hours of collecting garbage is not perfect, but it's good to know that at least we were able to make a small contribution. After that we usually had free time in the afternoon or practiced building nests. At night we had a three-hour night shift, during which we walked up and down the beach to see if a turtle came out of the water to lay eggs.
2) What was the biggest challenge for you during the project?
In the beginning it was really hard for me to get up at 02:00 in the morning to take over the night shift – especially because I had these shifts very often and you can't sleep much before or after. This was my personal challenge.
3) Was there something you liked most? Or something you remember particularly negatively?
Observing the turtles was breathtaking and so incredibly exciting! The hatching of the sweet babies and the place itself is simply incredible. I had trouble with the meals because there was practically only rice and beans, three times a day, and if not that, it was spaghetti with ketchup. So we went out for dinner from time to time, which wasn't very popular, though. Moreover, I was sad that we were not allowed to do anything for long in the evening, but only until 09.00 pm.
4) Did you have certain expectations before travelling to the project?
I wished for more turtles because I saw maybe three in that month and that was a pity. I only saw babies once - and they hatched the day I was sick. So I was not that lucky. Besides, I thought the majority was the same age as me. But in this whole month many English school classes came with about 14-15-year-olds, who also needed a lot of care and that was a bit disappointing. But the place Montezuma itself surprised me completely and Mandy and Tori, the two long-term volunteers, were amazing! Roger is the leader, a very nice and good guy!
5) Have you done anything in your free time that you can recommend to future participants?
Nearby there is a really impressive waterfall – ask the staff on site, they will help you with the route. And watching the sunset in Santa Teresa is an absolute must!
6) What recommendations would you give to other participants?
Natucate (Chrissy) provided me with absolutely all important information. She was a sweetheart and I am infinitely grateful that I booked via her and Natucate! It couldn't have been better! An important note: bring a mosquito net and spray, or a mosquito bracelet. That's very helpful. And beware, Montezuma is very expensive.
7) Can you estimate how many additional costs you had on site?
I spent about 500 CHF.
8) Here is still room for other suggestions or stories from you:
Thanks Chrissy for the great support, thanks to the project partner for the mega experience and thanks to Mandy and Tori – you are amazing!
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