Volunteering Costa Rica Forest Conservation - Lennart
Volunteering in forest conservation: Lennart travelled to Costa Rica to dedicate himself to reforestation. In the interview, he reports on his experiences.
Project: Forest Conservation in Costa Rica
Location: Rainforest in Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica
Duration: April - May
Support from the Natucate team:
Partner on site:
Volunteering in Costa Rica Forest Conservation – Review: Seven questions for Lennart
1) Could you give us a brief overview of your tasks in the project?
The main task was to accompany the researchers on their walks and to look for birds, reptiles or amphibians. Furthermore, you work once a week for one shift in the Welcome Centre. From time to time, I also took on other activities such as maintaining the vegetable garden, working in the tree nursery, building railings for hiking trails and clearing young trees of undergrowth. There are also group activities like bird watching, night walks, cooking together and cleaning.
2) What were the biggest challenges for you during the project?
The biggest challenges were the steep hiking trails, which were very strenuous, especially at the beginning of the stay, and thinking about what to prepare for food in the first few weeks.
3) Was there anything that you particularly liked? Or something that you remember particularly negatively?
I especially enjoyed the nature walks with the views and the many different animals. The cloud forest there is really fascinating and there is a lot to explore. Living together there is a lot of fun and everyone is super nice. Of course, with the number of people, there is often something that annoys you, but that can always be sorted out.
4) Did you have certain expectations before you travelled to the project?
I thought I would work more often in the tree nursery, but since the planting of the reserve is finished for the time being, this was unfortunately not possible. Instead, you went on all the more hikes, which were very exciting and varied. You learn much more about all the animals and plants there than I would have thought.
5) Did you do anything in your free time that you can recommend to future participants?
The Pacific coast is very easy to reach by bus. Especially the town of Uvita offers a beautiful beach and cool waterfalls to explore. Dominical is a little quieter and also has a cool beach with lots of surfers in the water. Furthermore, a 2-day hike up Chirripo can be recommended, at 3820m the highest mountain in Costa Rica. When there are few clouds, the view from there is spectacular.
6) What tips/recommendations would you give to other participants who want to do the project?
Rainproof clothes for hiking are very useful, especially in the rainy season from May to October. A headlamp for night walks and good binoculars are also highly recommended. Good walking shoes are a must, as the hiking trails are sometimes steep and slippery. Mosquitoes and heat are less of a problem there. It makes more sense to pack a jumper for the evening hours. In the village of San Gerado de Rivas, there is a grocery shop that is well-equipped in my opinion and is within a 30-minute walk.
7) Can you estimate how many additional costs you had on site?
The costs for food and eating in general are on average comparable to Germany. Fruit and vegetables as well as rice and beans are cheap, but other things like pasta or potatoes are more expensive. I needed about 40-50€ per week.
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