Playa Corozalito is an undeveloped beach on the Pacific side of Costa Rica’s southern Nicoya Peninsula. The project station house is situated about 20 minute walk from the beach. We began monitoring this site in August 2008 in response to the local community’s reports of frequent sea turtle nesting events. Since then, the organization has recorded high levels of nesting activity of olive ridleys (Lepidochelys olivacea), and sporadic nesting of Pacific green (Chelonia mydas) turtles, leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) and Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata). In addition, several times a year Corozalito has a massive nesting event over a couple of nights that has the characteristics of extremely rare “arribadas,” a synchronized nesting phenomenon.
You can participate in this project as a field coordinator or assistant (June-January).
Playa Corozalito is am 800 m long, sandy beach protected by rocky outcrops on each end. Mangroves and an estuary occupy the beach’s southern point, providing an ideal habitat for migratory birds, (such as the critically endangered Jabiru) and small vertebrates typical of the Guanacaste region (coyotes, coatis, raccoons, skunks, anteaters, etc).
The small town of Corozalito is situated 2.5 kms from the beach and has a school, small supermarket, pizza restaurant, church, and a soccer field. Five km north of Corozalito is the town of Islita, famous for its luxury hotel “Punta Islita” and beautiful beach. Wifi is available in the hotel restaurant at a small fee.
We do not usually have a volunteer program at Corozalito because we receive funding from the Riester Foundation to run the project. As this project is furthest from our Coyote office, and some other logistical reasons, we’ve found it very challenging to manage volunteers at Corozalito. There are occasional volunteer groups that might come and patrol with the research team, only in cases where the volunteer groups weren’t able to see a turtle during their stay or the group asks to go to this project specifically. If a group of volunteers happens to be during an “arribada”, they’ll most likely visit this project and help during one or two nights during this massive nesting event.
The station house is a rented Costa Rican home at about 20 minute walk from the town of Corozalito. It has three bedrooms with a bunk bend in each. There is a small dining room, a kitchen and one bathroom. Bed sheets are provided, but participants are expected to bring their own towels. There is no running hot water, but tap water is drinkable. Participants must be prepared for more rugged living than they are accustomed to.
Coordinators and assistants are provided with food and are responsible for cooking group meals. Since we are running the project on a limited budget, the food provided may be more basic than participants are accustomed to. Meals normally include rice, beans, pasta, tortillas, eggs, and an assortment of fruit and vegetables. Extra snacks are not provided, but can be bought by participants at the local grocery store.