Tropical Dry Forest Conservation & Community in Costa Rica
Middle School Specials
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- Placement location: Barra Honda National Park in Guanacaste Province
- Types of placements: National Park and local school
- Accommodation: Shared dormitory
- Age Requirements: 12 – 15 years old
Discover the culture and traditions of Costa Rica and help the environment as a Conservation & Community volunteer. Spend your summer getting to know students your own age from around the world as you work alongside them in the Barra Honda National Park and a nearby community.
Under the direction and guidance of our experienced Projects Abroad staff, work with the other students on wildlife research and maintenance work at the national park. We have a variety of conservation activities for you to get involved with:
- Contributing to the taxa list: This is a new initiative approved by the Costa Rican government. It involves putting together an inventory of the animals you see in the national park.
- Bird surveys: Help identify birds and collect information about different species using GPS, binoculars, and books.
- Bat programme: A night-time activity where you will help staff capture, mark, and identify bats. You will not touch the bats directly, but you will help staff measure, weigh, and mark them with special paint.
- Butterfly programme: Work with staff to capture, identify, and release butterflies with the use of traps and books.
- Working in the nursery garden: Participate in reforestation work and plant saplings that have been growing in the park nursery, as well as help with maintenance work in the nursery.
You will also work with the community, and give a school a new coat of paint and talk about conservation issues with local students. This is a great opportunity for you to share important information about the work being done at the national park and talk about what you can all do to help the environment.
While in the park, you will do more than just volunteer – you will also have the chance to go trekking and caving with professional local guides. Our experienced staff will join you as you make your way to Tercipelo Cave and explore the underground caverns.
What to expect
During your stay in Costa Rica, you will stay in safe and secure accommodation within the national park. At night, you will sleep in same-sex dormitories and our staff will be right next door if you need anything during the night. This the perfect opportunity for you to build new, lasting friendships with the other volunteers from around the world and get to know more about the Costa Rican way of life from our staff. Our cook lives at the camp and is always happy to prepare traditional Costa Rican meals, as well as special meals for those who have specific dietary requirements. She is also an excellent dancer and would be happy to teach you a move or two during your stay!
When you aren’t helping our staff in the national park or getting to know the other volunteers, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the Costa Rican culture and traditions through organised socials. Before you go home, you will dance to different Latin rhythms and learn to cook a Costa Rican dish. Over the weekend, you can explore a little further when our staff accompanies you to Nacascolo, a small beach with white sands and crystal blue waters. Catch a tan, go for a swim, or spend the day relaxing in the shade provided by the lush tropical dry forest.