The Conservation Program
This inspiring conservation program is located at Playa Jacó (Jacó Beach) in the Puntarenas area of spectacular Costa Rica! Set just 1.5 hours from San Jose on the stunning Pacific Coast, volunteers on this initiative will work to protect and preserve the natural wildlife and environment of the area. The program is open to all international volunteers who enjoy working with nature in coastal communities, and who like to spend time preserving and helping the environment and all of its components. From working to help Big Scarlet Macaws to coastal clean ups, volunteers will be kept busy working on a variety of essential projects for around 4 – 6 hours per day, with weekends off to explore this gorgeous region. Participants will also have the chance to become immersed with the local people and culture, staying with experienced local host families. Volunteers who are hard-working, ecologically sensitive, willing to learn about new cultures, enthusiastic and ready to get stuck in and help should apply today. Join us in beautiful Playa Jacó and put your eco-warrior skills to the test!
Goals of this Project:
- Protect Costa Rica’s natural heritage
- Protect species of wildlife from extinction
- Provide essential labor on projects to safeguard the environment and its natural inhabitants
- Enable inter-cultural exchange between all parties and teach international visitors more about environmental practices and Costa Rica
How You Can Help
This amazing conservation program allows volunteers to take part in vital conservation work to preserve the natural environment and wildlife in beautiful locations. Volunteers will work on various projects aimed at preserving the fragile ecosystem in any number of settings, including in forests, on beaches and in parks and reserves. Volunteers play an important role by supplying free labor in often labor-intensive projects, allowing the initiatives to continue in their great work. From recycling campaigns to reforestation projects, or collecting food for the Big Scarlet Macaw population, volunteers will gain important experience in environmental practices and learn about Costa Rica’s unique flora and fauna. Volunteers will also work on community projects, such as trash clean-ups, painting murals, working in the playground or the soccer field or working on local community buildings. No prior experience is necessary; however volunteers must have the ability to adapt to a tropical environment, be flexible and patient, be in excellent health and like working with children.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Work on coastal clean ups and reforestation projects
- Participate in recycling campaigns
- Work on varied community projects
- Teach locals about their own lives and where they live
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to give their time and energy to help protect the natural environment of Costa Rica. This 'hands-on' project is best suited to those who are either pursuing a career in conservation/environmental studies, or who simply wish to explore an interest in this field. However, the project is open to all and does not require participants to have specific education, qualifications or experience, as you will be shown everything you need to know by your local project leader. Importantly though, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
This hugely beneficial program is dedicated to helping the children of Jaco Beach (Playa Jaco), a small town beside a beautiful beach on Costa Rica’s south Pacific coast, set near lush green rain forest and mountains with an active tourism market and buzzing night life scene. Jaco Beach is one of Costa Rica’s top surfing hot spots and the town, with its bustling main street of shops and cafes, has a vibrant, friendly and relaxed atmosphere. This is a truly wonderful place to volunteer and give back to the local community!
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every SATURDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon your arrival in San Jose you will be collected at the airport and taken to the volunteer house accommodation in Santa Barbara de Heredia (just outside San Jose) - which also serves as the local team’s office. The following day (Sunday), you will be collected and taken to the local office where you will receive a welcome orientation to help you settle in and find out about your volunteering placement. The local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts and ask any last questions you may have.
You will then be taken to the bus station and placed on the bus to Jaco Beach. A representative from the local project team will meet you on arrival in Jaco and will take you to the accommodations to settle in. On Monday morning, you will be taken to your project site and introduced to the project leader so that you can start volunteering. Easy!
- Program Arrival Day: SATURDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Juan Santamaria International Airport, San Jose, Costa Rica (Code: SJO)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers on this amazing program will primarily be accommodated within one of our local volunteer apartments, located just a few kilometres from the sandy beach of Playa Jaco (a regular bus services runs to/from the town/beach from a bus stop 300m down the road).
Rooms are shared between 2 - 6 volunteers, depending on the time of year and the number of volunteers onsite. All standard amenities are available in the volunteer apartment, including hot showers and modern ‘western’ bathrooms, and there is even free Wi-Fi! This is a perfect home away from home and a wonderful base for your stay in Costa Rica!
Volunteers are provided 2 meals per day (breakfast and lunch) at the volunteer house throughout the week. Dinner is generally not included and volunteers tend to eat out at one of the local cafes or restaurants where you can try cheap and tasty local food. You are also free to buy bread and other snacks. The meals provided are mostly vegetarian, local cuisine. Conveniently, there is also a fridge and basic cooking facilities if volunteers would occasionally like to prepare their own meals. Easy!
For those who prefer, home-stay options are also available with one of our friendly local host families, where breakfast and dinner are also provided.
Discounted program fees apply for those arranging their own accommodation.
For more details see Additional Info section below.
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
Prefer to stay with a Host Family?
For those volunteers who prefer to be more immersed in the local culture, staying with one of our wonderful local host families in Jaco is an excellent way to 'live like the locals do' and get first hand experience of local culture and customs.
If you would like to upgrade to Host Family accommodation, simply let us know!
Arranging your own accommodation?
The program fee is discounted for those arranging their own accommodation to the following:
Week 1 $165
Week 2 $220
Week 3 $275
Week 4 $330
Want to learn Spanish?
Why not use this opportunity to improve your knowledge of Spanish and really get immersed in the local culture during your volunteering placement? We can offer part time Spanish classes at very competitive rates for you, so simply let us know if you are interested!
Part-time Spanish Lessons (taken in conjunction with volunteer work):
- USD$130/week (10 Hours - 2 hours per day Monday to Friday)
Fees for Spanish Classes must be paid directly to your volunteer coordinator on arrival in Costa Rica.