Turtle Trax and its allies work continuously to address threats in sea turtle populations, promote environmental education to children, teenagers and adults, and encourage all kinds of research in conservation and advocacy.
Our volunteers and participants are our biggest donators; but you can also support us and our work in different ways.
VOLUNTEER OR DO AN INTERNSHIP WITH US!
What’s the difference?
Over the last years, volunteers have worked hard on our project beaches to protect thousands of sea turtle nests and release hundreds of thousands of hatchlings into the Pacific Ocean. Also, during their stay, they help us and our research teams collaborating in the community and educational projects that we carry out in each locality.
Volunteers will be immersed in an experience of full contact with nature and the countless ways in which coastal communities protect and conserve natural resources in a sustainable manner. From activities as simple as collecting trash at beaches and categorize them, working and collaborating in collecting seeds alongside of community members, being part of the sea turtle conservation programs, volunteers will get an idea of the importance of these small contributions in the overall biology conservation. The places, people and activities will, for sure, touch a significant cord in their lives that will forever change their ways to perceive nature.
We only hope that volunteers will return home with new insights regarding their impact on nature, making small changes in their lives and sharing with others their experiences in our program.
Volunteers spend weeks at a time at our project sites, assisting the research teams in the different projects carried out. All funds received from volunteers are used to run our projects, and help provide an income for local community members through opportunities such as guiding patrols and cooking meals. Also, the work that volunteers do at our long-term projects helps build a sense of awareness among locals regarding the importance and benefits that come from protecting animals and nature.
“Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need”
TASKS AND ACTIVITIES
Volunteers, when working on the sea turtle nesting programs, accompany a member of the Turtle Trax team on night beach patrols (they last 3 to 4 hours). One purpose of these beach walks is to encounter nesting sea turtles and record scientific data (such as sea turtle measurements, collect the eggs, and move them to a hatchery where they are protected from poaching or depredation). This information is used to gain an understanding of sea turtle reproductive behavior, and improve our conservation strategies in the future.
Volunteers help build and maintain the hatcheries to ensure that incubation conditions are optimal for egg development, also they monitor the hatchery daily for emerging hatchlings and intruding predators. They collaborate in releasing the hatchlings onto the beach, and protect them from predators as they crawl to the ocean. As the last activity regarding the hatcheries, volunteers help on nests excavations and collecting data on unhatched eggs, these tasks are performed under the watch of a research team member.
There are additional opportunities available for volunteers such as helping out at local school in Javilla with educational activities, assisting in climate change or beach garbage monitoring studies. They can also help in collecting seeds for our seedbed and nursery garden, reforestation activities, and visiting other organizations (eg. Ara project in Punta Islita, Butterfly farm in Bejuco district, among other). Visiting other organizations is an activity that is not included in our package but we can offer information about these organizations if interested. Please make sure to specify interests on the application form.
VOLUNTEER OR DO AN INTERNSHIP WITH US!
Looking to gain hands-on experience in sea turtle research and conservation? Then, this is the program for you!
Interns are recent graduates or advanced students seeking to obtain field experience before moving on with their careers. Our intern program supports and collaborates with long term research in four different nesting beaches in Southern Peninsula Nicoya in Costa Rica. CREMA (our scientific partner) exposes interns to a variety of experiences, habitats and creatures, while working with nesting sea turtles and leading groups of tourists, volunteers and other students (from national or international backgrounds).
Our internships last from 80 to 85 days, they are comprised of 6 different terms that participants can choose according to their needs (from June to January, depending on the project site).
The projects are open annually during the Olive Ridley nesting season. Olive Ridley sea turtles are the principal species that nest on these beaches, but there is also sporadic nesting of Green, Leatherback, and Hawksbill sea turtles. Egg poaching is the principal threat to the nesting sea turtles on these beaches. Secondary threats include nest predation, plastic pollution, beach development and tourist traffic.
All coordinator positions are only open to people who have had previous experience working with sea turtles and have extensive knowledge of patrolling, scientific data collection and hatchery work, can speak fluent Spanish and English, and have excellent leadership skills. All project sites are very remote, thus a Coordinator must have a high degree of independence, responsibility, and commitment. Coordinators are expected to maintain a friendly relationship with all other project volunteers and research assistants, in addition to members from local communities, as positive social relationships are crucial to each projects’ success. All project activities are conducted using the help of volunteer program participants and/or research assistants, depending on the project. Coordinators are expected to orientate and direct project workers upon their arrival and motivate them for the duration of their stay with the project. Project coordinators are responsible for the overall success of the project.
This position is no longer available for the 2020-2021 season
Click here to learn more