Volunteering at Osa Conservation: A Once in a Lifetime Experience

Blogpost by Nicole Ross, 1-month Volunteer

Before Osa Conservation, I had never volunteered anywhere for longer than a day. I had never been away from home longer than a week. I had never travelled alone. That all changed after volunteering at Osa Conservation.

Knowing I would be travelling alone this summer, I wanted to make sure wherever I went was safe enough for a young woman on her own. I had heard really good things about Costa Rica, and how friendly the locals were. I also knew Costa Rica was well known for their abundance of sea turtles. So, after a quick search online for volunteering opportunities with turtles in Costa Rica, I found Osa Conservation. The more I read about it, the more I fell in love with the program. The organization is highly reputable and respected, which was very reassuring, and as a volunteer, I would get to travel and experience a new culture, work with wildlife, live in the middle of one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, and most importantly, help make a difference.

After arriving at Osa, I was not disappointed. The wildlife surrounds the entire camp. After two weeks here, it still amazes me that I still manage to see a new species every day. The tasks are just as interesting as the wildlife. While working in the turtle conservation program, the day would start bright and early. While working in the program, I got to help identify and record new turtle nests, check up on old nests, relocate eggs to the hatchery, and build a new hatchery. A moment I will never forget is the morning I got to release almost 60 baby green and olive ridley turtles into the ocean. And of course, the staff, researchers, and other volunteers make the experience even greater through their enthusiasm and dedication to the conservation efforts here. Plus, they are always eager to learn and teach you more about what they do.

Bucket full of baby Green and Olive Ridley turtles.
Photo: Nicole Ross
Watching as the baby turtles are going down Piro Beach.
Photo: Mariam Weyand
Olive Ridley tracks leading up to a new nest on the beach during morning patrol.
Photo: Nicole Ross
One of the many picturesque trails to explore.
Photo: Nicole Ross

Although volunteering alone for a month in the middle of a rainforest is something I had never really thought about, and was completely out of my comfort zone, I am incredibly happy I took the leap and did it. If I had not, I never would have met so many amazing people, participated in once in a lifetime experiences, learned valuable conservation practices, and helped maintain the most biodiverse intense regions in the world. So, if you’re looking for culture, adventure, and wildlife, and all in a sustainable and environmentally conscious way, Osa Conservation is the place.

Osa Conservation
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