Costa Rica is a small country; its surface area is no bigger than one fifth of Great Britain. Astonishing 6% of the entire world’s species richness can be found here. Here you can be working in a forest near the volcano, “Arenal” on a rehabilitation program for monkeys, raccoons, parrots, toucans and many other animals.
Project fee from EUR 980
Your Role as a Volunteer
The different work tasks that you could be doing at the Wildlife Rescue Centre are listed below. Your working schedules will vary, depending on your tasks.
Work tasks on this animal project:
- Feeding the animals
- Cleaning the animals’ enclosures
- Assisting animal keepers in their care for the animals
- Working on reforestation
The work tasks on this project are not strictly set. All forms of help are appreciated and if you can develop new methods, tasks or anything else, your proposals are usually met with welcomed open arms. Remember, it is limited to your own imagination and creativity that will determine how much you will learn and share during your volunteering.
Prerequisites and Courses
To be able to volunteer on this project requires only a basic knowledge of English. Knowledge of Spanish is a distinct advantage as the most Costa Ricans do not speak English. One week language course is included if you are planning to volunteer for at least three weeks. If you would like to take more Spanish lessons you can choose to study Spanish part- or full-time during all the weeks that you will be there.
The Project’s Mission
The project is there to preserve the amazing biodiversity of Costa Rica, to work towards sustainable exploitation of its natural resources and to promote the conservation of endangered species.
Costa Rica’s nature is important both to the country itself but also to the world as no less than 6% of the entire world’s species richness can be found within its borders. Our project is driven by the Projecto Asis Wildlife Rescue Centre. The project is located in a scenic area close to the volcano Arenal, a few hours’ drive north from San José. The project was founded in the 1990’s by a veterinary Jaime Del Castillo Riggioni with a goal to improve living conditions of both animals and people living in this area. Today the project takes care of injured animals. It also manages the clearing and replanting of the surrounding area and one of its on-going aims is to raise awareness about the country’s biodiversity and about the importance of ecological connections. Thanks to this cooperation, Volunteer Travels can offer you a safe and meaningful experience.
How do I book a trip?
You can book your trip with Volunteer Travels by calling us on (+46) 08-23 93 00 or by booking through our website www.volunteertravels.com by clicking on “Book a trip”. You can also email us on [email protected]. When you have registered yourself we will send you an invoice with a registration fee of £200.00. The registration fee is later incorporated into the trip price and the amount is then deducted from your final invoice. When you have paid the registration fee you are formally registered. You will then receive preparatory information from us in good time to plan your trip.
Your Everyday Life
Accommodation and Food
You will, during your volunteering, stay with a local host family. It may happen that volunteers have to share one room; however you would never share a room with one of the family members. You will eat all your meals with the family. Host families usually have had a long experience with volunteers and they are familiar with the project volunteers participate in participation.
In your spare time you will have the chance to explore the surroundings on your own. You will be free during weekends; this is a great opportunity to travel around. The country has many attractions to offer and there is a well-developed network of buses that makes getting to either of the coasts easy. Our partner can help you to organize excursions such as white-water rafting, hiking and mountain biking. There trips will be an extra cost that you will have to cover yourself.
In the Arenal area you can do things like Canyoneering, whitewater rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, hykes, canopy/zip line, hot springs, mountain biking and visit hotels in around La Fortuna.
About Costa Rica
‘Central America’s jewel’ is how Costa Rica is usually referred to. With coast lines on both sides of the country it offers endless possibilities for everyone. If you are interested in ecotourism, bird watching adventures or long white tropical beaches, you will find all of that in this small country. Amazingly 6% of the world’s species can be found here and much has been invested to protect all this incredible wildlife and the enormous natural treasure that can be found here.
Costa Rica is usually also referred to as Latin America’s oldest democracy. It is actually stated in its constitution, unusually but firmly, that the country shall never possess any armed forces. Former president Oscar Arias Sánchez was rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution in bringing peace to Central America in the 1980s. Costa Rica is a relatively rich and developed country. Social welfare reaches the Western European standard in many respects. Despite this, it is estimated that every fifth person in Costa Rica still lives in poverty.
You should book your flight ticket so that you arrive at San José on Sunday before the project’s start. The volunteer work is counted from the start date (Monday) and you leave the project on a monday after chosen weeks at the project.
You will need to pay an Airport tax, which is currently $26 USD, before your return journey.
Arrival and transport from San José- La Fortuna.
You will be picked up at the airport and spend the first night in the vicinity of the airport in a simple hotel (Vida Tropical B&B). The next day you will be transferred to the Interbus Shuttle Station, where you will catch a minibus up to the project, just outside of La Fortuna. Our partner will arrange both, the accommodation and the bus ticket for you.
Visitors do not need a visa to travel to Costa Rica. You will get an automatic 90-day tourist visas at the arrival. If you are planning to stay longer, you can secure new visas by making a weekend trip to Nicaragua. Our partner will help you to arrange such bus journey, but you will have to pay for it yourself.
If you are a minor (under 18 years) you have to have certified signatures of both of your parents that you can travel alone, which you have to show to the flight personal already before leaving Europe.
It is your responsibility to make sure that your insurance covers illness, injury and theft whilst you are volunteering. Most travel agency’s sell a travel insurance that is valid for volunteer work, so be sure to enquire about it when booking your flight tickets. Volunteer Travels does however, supply liability insurance and is included in the price. Liability insurance applies to instances when compensation for damages is demanded of you, as a private person, for unintentionally hurting someone or for unintentionally damaging someone else’s property
You should contact your nearest vaccination centre for any questions regarding vaccinations. They will advise you on which vaccinations are necessary to have when travelling to Costa Rica. Circumstances can change quickly, but it is always you, who makes the final decision about which vaccinations to get. Vaccinating against Hepatitis A and B is recommended always when travelling abroad.