Would you like to help a great new project to get off their feet? Do you like working outdoors and plant trees? Do you love butterflies?Then the Butterfly farm project is ideal for you.
- Age requirement: 18+ years
- Working Schedule: 5 days a week for max 6 hours a day
- Language requirement: English. Basic Spanish is advantageous but not necessary.
- Costs: A one week experience costs 449 USD, and add on 149 USD for each additional week.
- Accommodation: Host family or Project Accommodation (you can choose)
- Food: 3 meals daily in Host Family (cook your own meals in the Project Accommodation).
- Location: Puerto Jimenez, Osa Peninsula, Southern Costa Rica
- We provide: 24/7 emergency telephone support
- Optional: A letter of recommendation and certificate at the end of your volunteer time
The butterfly farm is a rainforest conservation and environmental education project in Puerto Jimenez on the Osa Peninsula. The project is located on around 2 hectares of restored secondary forest that includes a 25×35 meter enclosed butterfly habitat and botanical gardens. The butterfly enclosure is now stocked with butterflies.
The gardens include an extensive collection of plants that attract butterflies and wildlife, medicinal plants, and food crops that have been ecologically integrated into the forest habitat.
A major focus of the project is butterflies (order Lepidoptera) because of their importance to the rainforest ecosystem. Many butterfly species are at risk of population collapse due to loss of habitat, pollution, and climate change. By actively protecting and educating about butterflies, all the rainforest benefits. Butterflies are widely loved and it is easy to understand why they need protection, which makes them a great topic to lead in to teach about biodiversity and the complex relationships in the environment that support a healthy forest.
The project also teaches these concepts in workshops at local schools and host school field trips with local and visiting students. The project is committed to community development and promotes participation and interaction with nature to bring awareness, understanding, and action for rainforest conservation.
Volunteer’s responsibilities include:
Gardening work includes planting, soil preparation, filling plant bags, weeding, harvest, irrigation, seed processing, etc.
Butterfly tasks include egg and caterpillar collection, trap monitoring, butterfly tagging and mapping, host plant propagation and collection.
School groups visit the property on average 1-3 times per month (January-September) and we participate in school workshops and activities about once a month (January-October).
Volunteers will support the tour leader and may be asked to help develop activities. Transportation from the project site to the local schools is provided for volunteers.
Soft skills: plant propagation, seed processing, egg and caterpillar collection, butterfly trap monitoring, data collection/entry, plant pruning, design exhibits, computer work.
Hard skills: digging, sifting soil, moving soil/planting bags/rocks, working with basic tools and construction. The heat is difficult to work in, so we take plenty of breaks and provide shade and water.
The Butterfly farm is located in Puerto Jimenez, on the Osa Peninsula.
The farm is very close to the town center, around 5-10 minutes walk. If you are staying in a host family, you’ll walk to the farm every day. All of our host families are located a 5-10 minutes walk from the farm.
As a volunteer on this project you should not be afraid to get your hands dirty! You’ll be working outdoors and within nature. You should have a desire to learn about butterflies and their conservation, and be happy to show around kids and tourists. It is not necessary to speak Spanish on this project, as the project managers do speak English.
The Butterfly farm project offers two options for accommodation:
- You can stay on the project site in a special volunteer house, shared with other volunteers. If you stay in the volunteer house you’ll prepare your own meals.
- OR you can choose to stay in a host family. The host family is a Costa Rican family in Puerto Jimenez, closely located to the butterfly farm (walking distance). Food is Costa Rican typical food cooked for you and prepared by your host family. You’ll all eat together in a common space at certain hours. Usually breakfast will be around 6-7am, lunch around 12:00pm, and dinner around 6pm.
The costs for this project are:
- First week’s fee: $ 449
- Every Additional Week: $ 149 (It does not matter many weeks you choose, this fee stays the same)
Not included in our costs:
- National and International flights
- Travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Additional travel
- Any additional food or snacks besides the host family meals
- First night in San Joe in a hostel
- Transport to and from the project from San Jose
- Last night in San Jose in a hostel
- Taxis and airport shuttles
- Other personal expenses