Samuel and his girlfriend Emma volunteered with us on the Turtle Conservation project in Kuemar in November of 2023. This is their review.

We had an amazing week volunteering with Kuemar – the turtle conservation organisation that we were paired with near Matapalo on the northern side of the Nicoya Peninsula. The volunteer work was very hands on. We did night patrol every night from approx 8pm-2am (or later) where we were busy collecting data on nesting turtles and relocating eggs to protect them from poachers. We even came across some poachers one night which made us realise how important our work was! During the day we had the mornings free (important when you’re up all night!), and the afternoons doing excavations where occasionally we were lucky enough to see baby turtles and release them to the sea at sunset, while collecting important data on hatching success. We were working with both Green and Olive Ridley turtles, and occasionally there are Leatherback turtles nesting too. We built great friendships with the project coordinators and rangers, and even had a private ensuite room with a strong Wi-Fi connection. The food was plentiful, delicious and fresh and there were activities to do on the closest beach if we wanted (Playa Conchal). The beaches are all very beautiful, and especially Playa Nombre de Jesus where most of our work was done. Key things to note: Unfortunately we only understand very basic Spanish, and as the Kuemar staff only currently speak basic English, communication was difficult until a bilingual volunteer was bought in to help during the week. Just a heads up that it would be beneficial to be able to converse in Spanish to get the most out of this project. We booked the volunteer week through Green Life Volunteers (GLV). However, we felt that we did not get much value from booking this through GLV (only some instructions on how to get to Matapalo and some accommodation in San José that they booked for us but we still paid for), considering their fee was US$299 per person – HALF of the total weeks’ fee! We were also surprised by this given we paid the fee per person, even though we were travelling as a couple and all administration would have only been done once for the both of us. Therefore, next time we would book the volunteering directly through Kuemar, and would still have the same experience. Kuemar has a well functioning website, Facebook and Instagram, and booking directly with them ensures that every dollar spent is directly supporting the rangers to continue to do this really important work. Kuemar is a small and down-to-earth organisation that really needs the support from volunteers to ensure more eggs are saved from poachers. I would highly recommend volunteering with them – you’ll have an amazing time learning new skills and knowledge, and building long-lasting friendships.

Interested in Volunteering in Costa Rica?

Subscribe and Receive Updates on Volunteer Opportunities in Costa Rica.

You have Successfully Subscribed!