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Costa Rica Volunteer Project September 22, 2010

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country with variety of flora and fauna. Forests and jungles cover almost half of its total area and approximately quarter of the territory is being protected.

However, the country faces high levels of deforestation. Dozens of species disappear from the Earth every day in part as a result of wildlife trafficking, which is ranked as the third largest illegal business in the world. Ecological disasters such as forest fires continue to consume thousands of acres of natural land (just alone in 2008 the flames swept away 23,000 acres) and threaten the health of communities in the area. You will have an opportunity to participate in conservation, research and education projects. You can help conserve national parks and nature reserves, protect sea turtles, or teach English in schools to surrounding communities.

Parks and Reserves

You will have the opportunity to support the work of park rangers and officials responsible for promoting the conservation and sustainability of the biodiversity in the country. Rangers and officials work with the support of national authorities to prevent hunting, fishing, and illegal logging, as well as the extraction and trade of flora and fauna. In addition, volunteers assist with special activities such as protection of the scarlet macaw, control of tourism in National Parks, seizures of illegal timber and others.

Teaching English

Volunteers will teach English in schools that are near National Parks and Reserves. English skills will help them communicate with tourists and get employment in conservation projects. You will have to teach environmental education and how to incorporate social change and advocacy into every day life for the locals.
Sea Turtle Project

The main objective is to assess and protect the sea turtle population that nests in Costa Rica’s Pacific beaches.

Every night from June to December, the project has been protecting the sea turtle nests that are deposited on the beach. So far it has been determined that significant threats are the looting by the locals and high tides, which cause harm to the nests, and hatching process.

There have been various methods of mitigation implemented while also relocating some of the nests to the nursery or the sites considered safe at the beach.

Volunteers are also needed to help prevent looting and predation, regulate disorganized visitations by tourists, reduce the amount of vehicular traffic, artificial lighting, and reduce the accumulation of trash on the beach.

To learn more about the projects, go to  http://asvocr.org/. Application fee is $35 and daily cost (acommodation plus food) is $20.  If interested, contact Luis Mataritta at lmatarrita@asvocr.org.

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