Overall Rating:/ 10I had a great time volunteering. It was a very humbling experience & taught me a lot about the importance of conserving the Sea Turtles I was forced to be vegetarian for a week ( no complaints), made friends and got to visit some gorgeous places and most importantly..I got to release Sea Turtles into the ocean!
The only things i would change:
1. I would have liked to know the address of the homestay prior to getting to Costa Rica. I had no idea where I was going and was only told "Casa de Vicky". I feel like a lot of the information wasn't readily available and I had to ask for more details for everything.
[LV: Apologies, we will ensure the address information is included and correct in future.]
2. A lot of the volunteers were told that there would be a taxi or someone waiting at the bus stop in Matapalo but none of us experienced that. Many walked from the bus stop to the Turtle Camp with all their luggage.
[There should definitely be a pick-up - although it may be on 'Tico time' ie not punctual.]
3. The address provided is not the address where the actual camp is, many volunteers shows up to the wrong place.
[As above we will ensure this is corrected. Thanks!]
4. There wasn't too much of an orientation, it was basically a walk through and overview . I feel like there was a lot of information about the project that wasn't conveyed such as the things we need to do during the shifts ( especially the hatchery) , it would have been helpful to learn it directly from the staff and not jus the other volunteers. It would also be nice if at least once a week they could go in depth about the program itself & about the turtles for the new volunteers that arrive.
[Agreed! A weekly recap for newcomers is definitely something that we will follow up on.]
Costa Rica is an absolutely beautiful country. The locals are friendly and quick to show you that "Pura Vida" lifestyle. The county is full of hidden gems.
Project & Staff
The project was very eye opening and working with turtles was an absolute dream. I enjoyed working with Enrique. He's a very kind individual and I learned a lot about Sea Turtles from him.
Come to the program with an open mind and open heart. Oh and try to practice some spanish before you get there. If you're taking the bus from San Jose to Matapalo, MAKE SURE YOU TELL THE DRIVER because they will not stop and you'll have to walk! Bring bug spray or you'll get eaten alive by mosquitos.