National Park VolunteeringWould you like to help out in the most incredible conservation areas and nature reserves of Costa Rica? Do you have a passion for nature, physical work and being outdoors? Then this project may be perfect for you!
- Quick Facts
- Volunteer's Duties
- Accommodation and Food
- More Info
- Age requirement: 18+ years
- Dates: This program runs year around except in the month of October (because some reserves close down that month)
- Working Schedule: 6-7 days a week for 6-8 hours a day
- Language requirement: Basic to intermediate level of Spanish is needed because the park rangers you’re working with speak almost no English at all.
- Costs: A one week experience starts from $499, for each additional week add on another $199 per week
- Duration Project: Minimum of 15 days (2 weeks!)
- Accommodation: Ranger station shared dormitory room with other volunteers
- Food: Three meals per day, but you need to help with cooking!
- Location: Various locations throughout Costa Rica
- We provide: 24/7 emergency telephone support
- Optional: A letter of recommendation and certificate at the end of your volunteer time
As a volunteer on this project will help the rangers at Ranger Stations around Corcovado National Park and Caño Island (a protected marine area and PRIME dive and snorkel spot in Costa Rica). The rangers need your help because there is not enough staff to cover all shifts and for safety reasons it’s best to have always 2-3 people on the site.
Often staff or rangers are alone on the island / ranger station which can potentially be very dangerous if something happens. There is not enough resources form the Ministry of Environment (MINAET) to cover extra rangers.
Green Life Volunteers wants to contribute to the beautiful nature of these sites by helping with the daily tasks of the rangers. During your stay you can also improve your Spanish because the rangers speak and understand little to no English. They really want to learn English, so you can teach each other your languages during your volunteer time.
- Beach clean-ups Patrol on the beach and station
- Volunteer has to help with maintenance work, for example, painting, housekeeping
- Help with tourists arriving at the station (sign up process)
- Help with constructing building
- Help with cooking meals, cleaning, daily tasks at the station
- Teaching English to Ranger Station staff (they usually speak very little English)
An ideal volunteer on this project has a passion for nature and also really wants to work with nature and conservation. Furthermore, the volunteer has to enjoy physical labor and being outside.
Volunteers need to be flexible and proactive who do not mind to get their hands dirty and put their own ideas into practice. The volunteer needs to be motivated to help the rangers with their daily duties.
You do not need a degree for this project. You can volunteer on this project if you are 18+ years old.
Please note that you need to be OK with being “out of touch” for a while – there is no cell phone signal in the park, and there is no wifi at most stations.
The project offers shared mixed-gender volunteer rooms with bunk-beds.
Food is made by you – together with the park rangers. They’re not there to cook for you. You’ll help with meals as part of your job duties.
The food/ produce is brought to the ranger stations on a frequent basis.
The locations for the National Park Volunteer project are San Pedrillo Ranger Station in Corcovado National Park, La Sirena Ranger Station in Corcovado N.P., La Leona Ranger Station in Corcovado N.P. and Isla de Cano just offshore from Corcovado N.P.
Corcovado National park boasts 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity, and is an extremely untouched and pristine jungle. It’s an extraordinary experience to be living in the park as a ranger – since normally no one is allowed to reside in the park.
La Sirena Ranger station is the only station that allows tourists to stay overnight in the park. Hence it’s also the most popular volunteering station, but often there is limited availability.
Isla de Cano is also absolutely protected and the only structure on the island is the Ranger Station. The island is a marine park, and many tourists go snorkeling and diving there everyday. Marine species that can be seen are white-tipped reef sharks, manta rays, whale sharks, turtles, sting-rays, and all sorts of tropical fish. It’s absolutely paradise !
Unfortunately volunteers CAN NOT choose their ranger station – you’ll be placed depending on what time of year you apply and where the National Park needs most help. We can not guarantee that you can go to a certain station of your choice, but you can let us know during your sign up process which station you’d like to go to!
Please view the Corcovado National Park Map below for the Ranger Stations in Corcovado N.P.
The costs for this project are:
- First week’s fee: $ 499
- Every Additional Week: $ 199 (It does not matter many weeks you choose, this fee stays the same)
FEES EXPLAINED: Our organizational fee of around $ 299 is included in the first week’s fee and covers the “behind the scenes costs”, such as staff salaries, office space rental, transaction and bank fees, and more. Our weekly fee for additional weeks covers the costs of your host family or project accommodation and food, the local staff on your project, and a donation to help with the daily running costs of the program you will help on.
NOT INCLUDED IN THE FEE: First and last night in San Jose in a hostel, travel to and from the international airport (airport shuttles are around 30$ each way to San Jose – We can set this up for you, just ask us during sign-up), travel to the project site (usually by public buses, which are from around 10-16$ one way), national/ International flights, travel insurance, visa costs, any additional food or snacks besides the host family meals, extra-curricular activities.
This is the GLV Handbook for the National Park Project. This will give you DETAILED info on everything you would need and want to know regarding the project. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!
To view our handbook in your browser, click on the PDF symbol:
To download and save our handbook on your computer, please click the link below:
Read Reviews of this Project:
Project: National Park Volunteering, By Mariana Damasco, Nationality: Argentinian. Age: 23. "I was a volunteer for one month in Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica. Every day I got the chance to see so many different animals not only in trails but in base too, such...
San Pedrillo Ranger Station (Corcovado)
Isla de Cano Ranger Station
The National Park System
Kitchen at San Pedrillo
Any Questions? Then Contact Us Here!
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