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Volunteer and Intern Abroad since 1997
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Program Details
Program Type Under 18
2 Weeks From $ 3,300.00
Code: CRJL0530F

Under 18's Costa Rica Wildlife Awareness

The leatherback sea turtle has survived more than a hundred million years and is facing extinction, therefore, GVI is contributing to its survival.

Our Impact


Location

Jalova

GVI’s research station in Jalova is found in the stunning Tortuguero National Park, surrounded on three sides by protected rainforest and on the other by the Caribbean Sea and a beach that is home to one of the largest nesting colonies of Green Turtles in the world. Spend your time surrounded by the breathtaking scenery and wildlife of the rich canals, tropical rainforest and Caribbean beaches. There is no road access to this location, so all transportation is via canoe and motor boat, through the stunning canal and river system surrounded by tropical rainforest and wildlife.


Program Information

Travel to Costa Rica and contribute to our long-term conservation and community projects. Immerse yourself in a Costa Rican community living and working in an authentic Caribbean town, experiencing its rich culture and food, while contributing to the conservation of sea turtles. Focusing on the preservation of one of largest and prehistoric marine turtles in the World, and one of the most endangered species on Earth. GVI is contributing with a local organization interested in its preservation, while raising awareness with local people and tourists, and preserving other sea turtle species and Wildlife.
Overview Project Life Project Details Adventure The Team Dates & Costs

Overview

Immerse yourself in a Costa Rican community while supporting our long-term projects and local partners. You will be contributing to both conservation and community projects, working in the community of Cahuita, in the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. This project has been specially designed for those looking to volunteer, but are aged between 15 and 17 years old. Throughout this project, our younger volunteers will have greater supervision, training, and world-class leaders in the field who have been chosen for their mix of relevant experience and ability to mentor and inspire young people.

Project Aims and Objectives

GVI has been operating in Costa Rica for almost 10 years. As well as our wildlife conservation work, GVI also focuses on community development work. We work in line with the UN Sustainable Development goals and each project contribute to two or more goals.

Each projects’ objectives are based around specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Participants will largely contribute to pre-established environmental monitoring and research initiatives by collecting and reporting critical data. Emphasis will also be placed on increasing awareness surrounding pertinent conservation issues and knowledge of the local environment

Our projects are well established and respected amongst the communities. GVI’s long-term involvement, capacity building and commitment to our projects, ensure that the service elements of our participants’ trips are contributing to long-term sustainable projects helping to achieve our partners’ objectives. These local partnerships along with stakeholder discussions drive the service elements of our trips to ensure they are fully focused on the most prevalent issues and produce the results required locally.

 

Testimonial

"Surrounded by amazing, rich and diverse rainforest is surreal. Whether its trudging knee deep in mud or working a leatherback, it is truly a rewarding and unforgettable experience!! Plus, there aren´t many opportunities to meet people from such different walks of life."
- Josh Haley (United Kingdom)

GVI Live

These updates cover all programs in this location

GVI Jalova

Our bird project leader got excited on forest survey today. The reason? This beautiful female White-whiskered Puffb… https://t.co/2iUnNspu09

4 weeks ago

GVI Jalova

Last night we had a special visit from a Kinkajou, 1 of the perks of living in the jungle, nature is right outside… https://t.co/GFNVrTXny8

4 weeks ago

Jalova Video

GVI Blogs

Project Life

During your time on the project, your work will be varied, from doing night and early morning surveys, to learning about Wildlife conservation and Turtles, to raising awareness in the local town. Volunteers will also learn about community living and rotate around the different roles, of camp duty, cooking, etc. Volunteers should expect the days to be long, as well as hot, with plenty of walking while taking part in the various surveys. Your accommodation will be quite rustic, in an amazing place.

What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal kit
  • Police or background check (where necessary)
  • Visa costs

Project Details

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrival at San Jose Airport and Transfer to Base (Sat)

On arrival, the group will be met at San Jose’s International Airport by a GVI representative or staff member. Students and accompanying teachers/chaperones will be transferred to their hostel accommodation and given time to settle in and rest before meeting in the afternoon to cover Health and Safety Risks as well as an overview of GVI and what our overall aims are globally as well as locally.

Day 2: Arrival to project site (Sun)

Accompanied by a GVI staff member or representative, the group will journey by bus 4 hours and where the trip will be based. The group will meet for an afternoon orientation and welcome session. The week’s logistics, duties and responsibilities will be explained and the GVI staff and local partners introduced. Materials and tools will also be prepped so as to maximise productivity for the next 4 days.

Days 3-7: Conservation based service and reflective learning (Mon-Friday)

The project will be based on the requirements of our local partners at the time. The group can expect to be involved in a variety of environmental awareness activities, discussions and lectures. This may include night and early morning walks.

Each evening the students will come together for group and individual reflection work. This is time set aside for a discussion on the day’s achievements and how make the following day as constructive as possible.

Days 8 & 9: Adventure or local tours

During these days you will be taken to visit some of the astonishing natural or cultural sites Costa Rica has to offer and maybe even endeavor into an adventure activity

Days 10-13: Conservation based service and reflective learning (Mon-Friday)

The project will be based on the requirements of our local partners at the time. The group can expect to be involved in a variety of environmental awareness activities, discussions and lectures. This may include night and early morning walks.

Last Day: A Fond Farewell

GVI field staff transfer the team back to the airport and bid them a fond farewell! GVI will endeavor to keep the group informed of any updates there might be in the field and with particular reference to the projects volunteers contributed to during their time in Costa Rica, through “GVI Live” on social media.

The days are long and volunteers should expect to be working in a hot and humid climate. Don’t worry this is often interspersed with refreshing downpours! It is important to be flexible and adaptable to the changing nature of life in Costa Rica.

What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal kit
  • Police or background check (where necessary)
  • Visa costs

Adventure

Although this trip follows a structured itinerary, don’t think you won’t be seeing and doing some amazing things! During these days you will be taken to visit some of the astonishing natural or cultural sites Costa Rica has to offer and maybe even endeavor into an adventure activity.

The Team

Cormac Healy

Senior Country Expert
Meet Cormac, our lovely Country Expert for Thailand and Costa Rica. This Scotsman is a rather eccentric guy and his fantastic sense of humour is one of his most appreciated characteristics. He achieved a Master's degree in History and Politics, and quite evidently can keep his own in any conversation on any topic.

His love for travelling started in his younger years already and since then he has explored New Zealand, Canada, the states, and South Africa! What is his one travel must-have? "A towel of course (for further information please read a Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy)."

Mac particularly enjoys getting the chance to have a bit of banter on the phone with people who are really passionate about volunteering. He thinks of himself as Carl Frederickson from the movie Up. "Just a bloke who enjoys sitting in a comfy chair; I think we can all relate to that." Mac, we absolutely agree!

Grant Baker

Jaguar Project Leader
Meet Grant, our Jaguar project leader in Jalova. Having had previous experience with big cats at the South African GVI wildlife program, he enjoys getting his hands dirty with the awesome jaguar project here in Jalova.

This is his third location working with GVI, having also worked with GVI in Greece for the conservation of loggerhead sea turtles. His goals while he’s here in Jalova are catching site of the ever-elusive jaguar, seeing a manatee, and contributing to wildlife conservation.

Edwin Vaca

Bird Project Leader
Meet Edwin, our Bird project leader in Jalova. The Amazon rainforest sparked his love for the tropics and its incredible wildlife. From glass frogs to the prehistoric Hoatzin, he had the amazing opportunity to learn and work with some unbelievable animals and even add a few new ones to the species list during his time with GVI Yachana (Ecuador).

He enjoys cruising down the canals in the Tortuguero National Park, spotting the illusive Agami Heron, and seeing the huge waves of herons migrating down from the north. My other passions of music and football have also followed him to Jalova and he’s always up for listening to something new from around the world or a good kick about.

Megan Brett

Incidentals Project Leader
Meet Megan, our Incidentals Project Leader in Jalova. She loves anoles, frogs, and all the other animals she can find in the jungle, which seems to be a good fit with what she is doing here with us at GVI. Megan has previous experience working on a dairy farm and with local conservation groups in New Zealand.

While working with GVI she gets plenty of chance to see and identify interesting animals. Costa Rica is quite a change from what she is used to but she loves the chance to use her training in zoology and ecology with a very different ecosystem than any she would find in New Zealand, her home country.

Alejandra Carvallo

Base Manager
Meet Alejandra our Base Manager! Originally hailing from Mexico, with a Bachelors in Biology from the University of Guadalajara. Alejandra has travelled and lived in many different countries such as the USA and Holland throughout her conservation career.

Besides working with turtles in conservation and rehab, she also has experience in marine mammal rehabilitation, research and training from different facilities. Her favourite experience so far has been a turtle night patrol were she encountered three leatherbacks and one hawksbill turtle nesting! Ale loves outdoor activities and to learn about different cultures.

Daniel Ponce-Taylor

Director of Programs
Meet Danny, our Director of Programs. Although he’s based in Playa del Carmen, Danny oversees the development and running of all of our field operations. He started out with GVI as our Country Director in Mexico and quickly became an invaluable part of the team.


Although being Director of Programs is a pretty demanding job, Danny manages to find time to do the other things he loves in-between. He’s an avid photographer and is always training for a triathlon or ironman.


What’s Danny’s favourite aspect of his job? “Starting new projects – we get lots of request for assistance and it’s difficult to decide when funds are limited. The evaluation process and those initial talks with local partners are very interesting. Seeing projects grow from an idea to full programs is very exciting. I also love the relationships you create with local organisations, they become friends and we jointly work to achieve the project aims.”

Laura Dix

Director of Program Enrolment
Meet Laura. In addition to once being a promising figure skater, Laura is also a trained animal handler, and used to volunteer at a zoo in NYC. She likens herself to Blossom from the Powerpuff Girls, “She’s the brains of the operation”. We can’t argue there, HQ would fall apart without her!

She joined the Costa Rica Wildlife Expedition as a volunteer and immediately knew there was no going back to working for The Man. She became an ambassador and started planning her next trip when we sent her the Regional Coordinator vacancy. 5 weeks later she was in Cape Town!

Laura’s one travel must-have she recommends to volunteers? Coconut Desert Essence shampoo… “It smells amazing and it’s environmentally friendly. No-one should have to sacrifice their hair while travelling, even in remote environments.”

Cynthia Arochi Zendejas

Costa Rica Country Director
Meet Cynthia, our Country Director in Costa Rica. She started out with GVI as one of our National Scholarship Program participants in 2006 and later became our Programme Coordinator in Mexico. Her skills and enthusiasm just made it too hard to let her get away!

Cynthia is a certified Veterinarian, an EFR Instructor and holds a Master’s degree in International environmental Science. She is also a member of the Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation, chapter Costa Rica.

The most interesting things she’s experienced during life in the field? “Watching the turtles hatching! Also finding jaguar tracks and being able to participate in community tours.” Apart from those, Cynthia also loves arranging and participating in the fun Charity Challenges with volunteers.

What does Cynthia think volunteers bring to the projects? Since our goal is to provide support to local organisations which don’t have the human or economic resources to achieve their conservation or sustainable development objectives, our volunteers play a key role by being the hands needed, or helping to fund raise for those projects.”

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$3,300.00

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2017
2018

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What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting
  • What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal kit
  • Police or background check (where necessary)
  • Visa costs