Paige Bird is a junior in college at Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne. She is a communication major seeking a career in journalism and enjoys playing for the golf team at IPFW and spending her free time with her dog, Lucy.
I chose this program because I have always wanted to study abroad, but with being a student-athlete it is unrealistic to go away for an entire semester. I have always loved animals and travel so I decided volunteering abroad was the next best thing!
I chose Iko Poran’s Costa Rica Sea Turtle Conservation program because it is very affordable and sounded like a fun way to help animals.
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
My program advisor helped me prepare to travel to Costa Rica. Being a female and traveling abroad on my own, he helped me feel safe and comfortable to make the journey. He gave me clear and direct instructions of travel and assisting me along the way, what I would be doing in my program, and had a representative meet me at one location and bring me to my final destination.
If I could give a piece of advice to someone going to the program, I would tell them to take advantage of every opportunity they get to experience the culture.
We were allowed quite a bit of free time and my favorite memory of the trip was going away for a weekend with a group of friends and doing excursions. The volunteering was fantastic, but the friends and memories I made will always be something I hold close to my heart.
My experience at the turtles project was amazing. I had a lot of fun and met fantastic people from all over the world. The village is totally safe and local people are really kind.
The patrols at night were fine, you have to walk for four hours on the beach with guides, and if you’re on a lucky night you’ll get to see turtles coming slowly from the ocean, crossing the beach and laying eggs just in front of you. It’s something you want to live in your life, and something you want to protect.
I would HIGHLY recommend this volunteer experience. I did lots of research going into this trying to find the most affordable program, and Iko Poran was definitely the most affordable. I was doing the same volunteer work as volunteers from all over the world, but I was paying much less money to do so.
I had a fantastic time in Costa Rica with the turtles and I met many people and created memories I will never forget. I definitely recommend Iko Poran and the Sea Turtle experience in Costa Rica and I cannot wait until I volunteer with them again. Pura Vida!
Find Paige’s Video from Costa Rica here:
Volunteer in Costa Rica to save sea turtles in this paradisiac community on the Caribbean cost of Costa Rica is a wonderful opportunity to help protect these endangered species. You will see giant female sea turtles nesting on the beach and baby turtles crawling out of their nests in the sand towards the ocean. It is an exciting opportunity to help a town that relies on its sea turtle population and to contribute to the growth and success of this grassroots conservation project.
The primary work for the participants in the animal conservation volunteer program is to accompany local guides on 4-hour night patrols searching for nesting sea turtles. These patrols are part of an on-going scientific investigation so turtles are measured, checked for diseases and tagged while the eggs are collected and relocated to the project’s guarded hatchery. The presence of more people on the beach means less opportunity for the poachers, who will steal the turtle eggs and kill the turtles to sell the meat illegally. For the night patrols volunteers should be in good physical condition to walk 6 km of beach and back. They should also have good night vision as most of the work is done in the dark with only red-lensed flashlights. Some nights you will be soaked by heavy rains, other nights high tides will spray you, and always driftwood is there to trip you in the dark. But there will also be beautiful nights with a full moon, the sky full of stars and best of all nesting turtles. Day work involves hatchery duty, beach cleaning and assisting in nest exhumations and release of hatchlings. There are also a lot of other environmental projects to help with around the village.
Go for it! Wonderful Costa Rica is waiting for you!!
Find the complete information about volunteering in Costa Rica.
We will take you step by step through the enrollment, and you will learn about everything provided with the program, costs and requirements.