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Costa Rica: The Sea Turtle Initiative™

Costa Rica: The Sea Turtle Initiative™

Become a conservationist for Costa Rica’s sea turtles as you explore the unspoiled coast.


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  • Protect an endangered sea turtle nesting beach
  • Assist with night patrols and visit a turtle nursery
  • Soar through the rainforest canopy on a zipline adventure
  • Learn to surf the warm, mild waves of Costa Rica
  • Explore a small beach town and the local artisans market

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On this program you will learn about the threats sea turtles face - boat traffic, climate change, accidental catch by industrial fisheries and pollution in their habitats. The population has declined by 90% since 1980. You’ll live and work on the rural caribbean coast, assisting a turtle conservation organization with critical efforts to preserve the natural areas where this endangered species lives. Ensuring that the turtle population will thrive for generations depends largely on our ability to educate the local community and protect the places where turtles nest. With the right timing and luck, you might be rewarded with the sight of turtles hatching.

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Community Service

Each year, leatherback and green turtles come to Costa Rica’s beaches to lay their eggs. Poachers steal the turtles and their eggs to sell on the black market for profit. Although this practice is illegal in Costa Rica it is hard to enforce without the help of the local community’s participation. You’ll be assisting on night patrols with a local nonprofit and anti-poaching organization started by a Peace Corps volunteer. Prepare yourself for long walks on the beach guided by the moonlight searching for turtle tracks and nesting turtles. You’ll also participate in beach cleanups, survey nesting sites and raise community awareness.

Hands-On Learning

You’ll be fully immersed in topics centered around the animal world. Learn how critical each species is to the health of all life in the ecosystem, including human. Hear local speakers’ and community members’ perspectives on sustainable conservation efforts, and begin to understand how competing interests of the civilized and natural worlds can intersect. Visit an organic farm and learn about growing and maintaining local fruit trees such as the cacao, vanilla, and banana.

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In Costa Rica you’ll be constantly surrounded by incredible natural wonders. Fly through the treetops of the nation’s lush inland as you go on a thrilling zipline adventure. On the coast, ride a boat through a local mangrove, where you can spot sloths, monkeys and exotic birds. You’ll also connect with the strong cultural roots of Costa Rica’s coast by visiting a local artisan market and taking workshops on traditional dance and cooking. Finally, learn Costa Rica’s soul sport—surfing—with a lesson on a calm beach.


Home Base is a rustic ecolodge nestled in the jungle, and is just a short walk to the Caribbean Sea. Students stay in gender-segregated rooms with roommates, enjoy delicious, home-cooked Costa Rican meals and have bathrooms with cold-water showers. If you look closely, you might even spot local wildlife in the trees surrounding the Home Base!

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Dates & Tuition

Costa Rica: The Sea Turtle Initiative™ 10-Day Program
2020 Dates
Jun 16 - Jun 25, 2020
Jun 28 - Jul 7, 2020
Jul 11 - Jul 20, 2020
Jul 23 - Aug 1, 2020
Duration: 10 days
Tuition: $2,699
Student/Staff Ratio: 6 to 1
Community Service Hours: 20
Language Hours: N/A
See What's Included
Tuition includes all in-country expenses including:
  • All educational materials
  • Lodging
  • 3 meals per day
  • All in-country transportation
  • Airport pick-up/drop-off
  • Professional full-time staff and experts from the USA/Europe
  • 24/7 Parent Support Hotline during the program
  • Secondary medical and travel insurance
  • All cultural activities, lectures and weekend excursions
  • Pre-departure materials and support
More Information

Interested in Family-Friendly trips? Check out Discover Corps, our volunteer vacations for families and friends.

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