VOLUNTEER PROGRAM IN COSTA RICA

Head to the tropical paradise of the mountain rainforest of the Costa Rican wilderness and to the Pacific Ocean for marine mammal monitoring.
Help us protect them as a volunteer.

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COstarica project

THE PURPOSE

Help us monitor and protect the marine mammals in this breathtaking wilderness.
Join us as a volunteer in the lush mountain rainforests and along the Pacific Ocean shores of Costa Rica's tropical paradise.

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SLOVAKIA projects

WHY IS THE PROGRAM PAID?

Our organization does not receive any subsidies or grants. For this reason, the programs are paid.

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WHY Its important
to reserve the nature in costa rica?

Preserving nature in Costa Rica is not just about protecting the environment; it's about maintaining a balance that supports biodiversity, climate stability, economic prosperity, cultural values, education, and sustainable development.

Dates and Prices

GREEN LIFE

Reservation and base

At an altitude of 1200 meters above sea level on the border of NP Tapanti, our private reserve Green Life II is spread over an area of ​​155.9 ha of primeval forest, where a volunteer base is built, which hosts several volunteer programs throughout the year.

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BLUE LIFE

Center and base

the educational center Blue Life, has grown up in the Santa Elena reef, focusing on the monitoring and protection of marine mammals and the underwater world.

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LOOKing FOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS?

MORE INFORMATION

The AGenda

The content of the volunteer program is mainly audiovisual monitoring with the help of camera traps, which takes place in the Green Life reserve and in national parks.

Field patrol activity is also an integral part. The ocean part of the volunteer program brings you to the Pacific coast at the Blue life ocean education center.

Here you will find a rich program connected with getting to know the ocean and its coast, cleaning the beaches from garbage and, if necessary, assistance in extinguishing forest fires.

For those interested, there is an opportunity to participate in the monitoring of marine mammals, both from the coast or from the project ship The Spartan.

The program also includes work at the volunteer base, kitchen services and other necessary daily activities. Days off are also a matter of course.

The program is always planned in relation to the current weather, the given
situation and according to needs.

PRICE CZK 18,500 (€785)

Program Includes:

  • Meals throughout the program (excluding restaurants)

  • Accommodations

  • Expeditions to the forest

  • Expedition to the natural blue river

Program Does NOT Include:

  • International transport (airplane)

  • Local transport (from the airport to the reservation and back)*

  • Transport to one of the national parks *

  • Transportation to the Blue Life project*

  • Insurance

  • In the case of visiting a restaurant (exceptionally), meals in restaurants are not included in the price, the volunteer pays for himself

  • Participation in monitoring on the ship ($60)

Good to know

Costa Rica may be small, but it's packed with incredible natural resources both on land and in the ocean. This country features rainforests, cloud forests, volcanoes, and the tallest mountain, Cerro Chirripó, which stands at 3,820 meters above sea level. You'll also find mangrove forests and diverse coastal ecosystems. The underwater world here is stunning as well. As you explore, you might see various birds like hummingbirds and toucans, along with other wildlife such as tapirs, sloths, anteaters, agoutis, peccary pigs, four types of monkeys, and even jaguars.

Costa Rica recognizes its natural riches and has made efforts to protect its environment through education, eliminating the military, and fostering a peaceful community. The widespread slogan "PURA VIDA," meaning "simple life" or "pure life," is a testament to these efforts.

Generally, keeping animals in captivity is not just undignified for the animals, but also for people. Animals, like humans, deserve freedom and a natural habitat. This belief led to laws created a few years ago that not only ban animal captivity but also make it a criminal offense. In Costa Rica, you won't find circuses or traditional zoos. The only exceptions are facilities that have been converted into rescue stations. While there may be some debate about these facilities, they are rare and were established before the current laws were enacted.

Despite having many laws to protect nature and a strong focus on environmental education, Costa Rica is not perfect and still needs help with conservation efforts. The country faces significant challenges, including widespread poaching, illegal mining, and the illegal trade of exotic and wild animals, which are still in high demand globally. Even Costa Rica is not immune to the illegal animal trade.

Why should we help protect Costa Rica's natural wealth?

Costa Rica is a unique place where about 4% of the world's land biodiversity thrives in a relatively small area. In its oceans, a remarkable system of seamounts stretches between the Cocos Islands, the Osa Peninsula, and the Thermal Dome hotspot, hosting about 5% of Earth's oceanic biodiversity. However, ocean conservation in Costa Rica poses a significant challenge and urgently needs more attention, interest, help, and international cooperation. Costa Rica serves as a global model and a biological laboratory, demonstrating the importance of maintaining and supporting such initiatives for worldwide nature conservation. This model is vital for protecting biodiversity globally and can inspire similar conservation efforts across other countries.



HOW TO GET TO COSTA RICA AND THEN TO US?

If you're familiar with booking tickets and prefer not to wait for other potential volunteers, feel free to secure your own ticket at your convenience. For those who are unsure about how to proceed or would like assistance, we will connect you with other volunteers and help coordinate your flight to Costa Rica as much as possible.

To help organize the details of each volunteer year, we will create a Google form. You will be asked to fill in your contact and ticket information. This will assist us and other volunteers in coordinating and navigating the process more efficiently.

When booking your flight, please ensure your final destination is Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José, the capital of Costa Rica.

Once you arrive in San José, you can make your way to the Green Life Costa Rica reserve in Pejibaye (Cartago area) by your preferred method—whether it’s local transport, Uber, taxi, hitchhiking, or even walking. Alternatively, we can arrange transportation for you. The cost for a car or minibus will depend on the number of volunteers, and we always strive to find the most affordable and practical option. For those choosing to travel independently, we will coordinate a pickup in Pejibaye.

Before traveling to Costa Rica, you must complete the required Costa Rican pre-departure form and obtain insurance that meets Costa Rican standards. For all the details you need before your flight, please visit the MVR website provided here.


ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodation is available in the main building, which has 4 rooms, each equipped to house 4 volunteers. The beds are bunk beds, complete with mattresses and bed linens. Volunteers need to bring their own sleeping bags (or blankets) and pillows. The toilets are European style with flush capabilities, and showers are available—just be prepared for cold water. Time to toughen up! :)

Food

Cooking will take place in a wooden house featuring a fully equipped kitchen designed for forest cooking on a gas stove. The meals provided are primarily vegan, with occasional vegetarian options. Volunteers participate in daily tasks such as cooking and dishwashing, which are assigned the day before. We suggest bringing your own vitamins and minerals if you feel you might need supplements. Energy bars are also a good idea to have on hand. The water at the reserve is safe to drink.




SAFETY

Costa Rica is considered a safe country, but it's always wise to exercise caution. During your time in the volunteer program, you must adhere to the safety rules for moving around the reserve, which will be covered in your initial training.

INSURANCE

Each participant is responsible for arranging their own insurance, and it is mandatory to have it. Before departing, make sure to check the entry requirements for Costa Rica, as they may change frequently due to COVID-19 measures. More information about these requirements can be found here.

VISA

Costa Rica offers Czech and Slovak tourists a visa-free stay for up to 3 months, so there is no need to apply for a visa.



WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Due to the altitude of 1100 meters above sea level, expect cooler temperatures in the early evening and overnight, which can drop to around 16°C. Therefore, we recommend bringing warmer clothing and a warmer sleeping bag for the evenings. During the day, if the sun is out, temperatures typically range from 23-30°C.

Outdoor clothing must be in natural, darker colors such as khaki, brown, green, or black.

  • Trousers, shorts, sweatshirt, waterproof jacket or raincoat, small rucksack, scarf or headgear (depending
    on the season), swimsuit, towel, work clothes, work gloves,
  • Pocket knife, headlamp, water bottle, slippers, clothes to change into at the base,

  • A mat (it may happen that they go off-road), a sleeping bag, sleeping clothes, underwear, socks,
  • Hygiene, vitamins (magnesium, vit. C, Dologram, etc.), basic first aid kit,
  • Camera, binoculars

For footwear: we recommend boots suitable for rough terrain. You can rent them on-site or purchase them at a local store with our assistance. If you have hard-to-fit sizes, it's a good idea to bring your own wellies. The cost of wellies on-site ranges from 200 to 370 CZK.

We recommend wearing clothes that you won’t mind getting ruined. Prepare for varying conditions such as sunshine, humidity, and rain, along with expeditions on unpaved trails that we will be navigating.

What you do NOT need: Tent, dishes.

INFORMATION FOR SMOKERS:

Smoking is significantly restricted throughout Costa Rica, including in national parks and other protected areas. In line with this, our entire reservation—including accommodation facilities and public areas—is designated as NON-SMOKING. If you are a heavy smoker and need to smoke, you will be able to do so outside the reserve, about a 7-minute walk away. Thank you for your understanding.











Our volunteer programs occur during two distinct seasons of the year. From December to April, the weather is generally drier, with sunny days and occasional rain showers, especially in the late afternoon and at night. During the summer months from July to September, expect more frequent and intense rain, along with more common foggy conditions.

Our area is located in the Cordillera, the central mountain range of Costa Rica, where water is plentiful. This abundance of moisture supports the growth of lush, misty mountain rainforests filled with mosses and orchids. A raincoat and wellies are essential, as they are the standard footwear for navigating forest terrain.

Since our volunteer programs also extend beyond the Green Life II reservation into other national parks, you will encounter specific weather conditions there as well. For instance, in Braulio Carillo National Park at 2,900 meters above sea level, temperatures can drop to 3°C at night. Conversely, on the Caribbean or Pacific coast in Palo Verde or Cahuita National Park, you will need sunscreen and head protection to prevent sunburn. Thus, you can expect significant fluctuations in temperature and weather conditions while volunteering in Costa Rica, so please prepare accordingly.


Fees and Cancellation Policy for Justice for Nature Volunteer Programs

Deposit and Payment Terms:

  • A deposit of CZK 5,000 is required for all volunteer programs and must be paid at least 3 months before the program starts. For registrations made closer to the program date, adjustments can be made.
  • The full payment for the volunteer program must be completed one month before it begins.

  • Hygiene, vitamins (magnesium, vit. C, Dologram, etc.), basic first aid kit,

Cancellation Policy:

  • If you need to cancel, you can reschedule your participation to a new date within 1 year.
  • If you find someone to take your place, you may be eligible for a 100% refund.

  • Hygiene, vitamins (magnesium, vit. C, Dologram, etc.), basic first aid kit,

Cancellation Fees:

  • 22 to 14 days before arrival: 40% of the total program cost.
  • 13 to 8 days before arrival: 60% of the total program cost.

  • 7 to 1 day before arrival: 80% of the total program cost.
  • Less than 24 hours before the program starts: 100% of the total program cost.

Special Circumstances:

  • The organizer reserves the right to expel any volunteer for serious breaches such as violating safety protocols, instigating conflicts, sexual harassment, causing public outrage, or consistently refusing to participate in assigned activities. In such cases, a 100% cancellation fee applies.
  • If a volunteer needs to leave due to personal reasons from day one, a 100% cancellation fee is charged unless it’s a severe health or family emergency, like a death in the family. In these cases, the following fees apply:

    1-3 days: 50% cancellation fee
    4-6 days: 80% cancellation fee
    7 days or more: 100% cancellation fee

If the Organizer Cancels:

  • Should the organizer need to cancel the program, a full refund will be issued within 5 working days.
  • 13 to 8 days before arrival: 60% of the total program cost.

  • 7 to 1 day before arrival: 80% of the total program cost.
  • Less than 24 hours before the program starts: 100% of the total program cost.

Damages:

  • Volunteers are responsible for any damages they cause to project property and must cover the full cost of repairs or replacement.

Dates & Availability

04.01. – 24.01.2025
(max 12 / occupied 0)

*Transportation is not included in the price as the number of volunteers varies. We strive to provide the most affordable and reasonable shared transport options. You are welcome to join us for any duration that suits you, as arrangements are flexible.

If you're interested in joining, please email us at volunteer@justicefornature.org. Once your participation is confirmed, complete the electronic application and secure your spot with a non-refundable deposit of CZK 5,000 or €200 to the Justice for Nature account, no.

2602004454/2010 (IBAN: CZ7420100000002602004454, SWIFT: FIOBCZPPXXX).
Ensure to include "COSTA RICA VOLUNTEER PROGRAM" and your name in the payment note.

Apply here

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