Review Volun­teering Costa Rica - Julia

Volunteering in marine conservation: Julia dedicated herself to the protection of endangered turtles in Costa Rica. Learn more about her trip in the interview.



Name: Julia

Age: 25

Project: Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica

Location: Pacuare in Costa Rica

Duration: July - August


Support from the Natucate team:


Partner on site:


Volunteering in Costa Rica - Review: Seven questions for Julia

1) Could you give us a short overview about your activities/tasks during the project?

We had night shifts almost every night. We used to patrol the beach for four hours with a guide. When a turtle came ashore and laid eggs, we collected them and brought them back to the hatchery. We also measured the turtle for statistics while it was laying eggs. If a turtle didn't lay eggs, we made sure it found its way back to the sea and stayed with it until it was gone. There are a lot of poachers on the beach, but we were never at risk. The service at the hatchery lasted between four and six hours at night. We were always paired with another volunteer. Every 15 minutes we checked the nests to see if any of them had hatched. If they hatched, we measured their size and weight and released them. During the day, we sometimes had a two-hour shift in the hatchery.

2) What were your biggest challenges during the project?

The biggest challenge for me was, that during daytime there isn’t a lot going on. We were mostly reading books or played card games. The night patrol was challenging the first night because it’s very dark and you have to get used to it but as soon as you see the first turtle it was one of my favourite tasks.

3) Was there anything you liked most? Or anything that left you with a negative impression?

My favourite part was the night patrol. You walk for four hours at the dark beach and make sure to find a turtle. It was very peaceful and breath taking as soon I saw a turtle laying eggs. At the beginning I got bored a lot during daytime because it’s very abroad and not a lot to do. But as soon as you acknowledge it I`ve enjoyed the relaxing time.


4) Did you have certain expectations before you started the project? If yes, did the project meet your expectations, exceed them, or perhaps not live up to them?

I was expecting beach cleaning and working or painting at the house, but there wasn’t really something to do. I also was expecting way less turtles but we`ve seen a lot of them that was amazing.

5) Did you do anything during your free time that you can recommend to future participants?

We went to a small walk in the woods. It was very nice!

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)

I would recommend bringing something to do during daytime. Maybe bring paint or something to sew.

7) Can you guess how many additional expenses you had? – We can give this information to future participants

You don’t need money at the place but there is a small shop, where you can buy drinks or small snacks. All in all 30 Dollars are enough.

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