Volunteer at this sloth and wildlife sanctuary in Costa Rica and help protect these amazing animals from the dangers of deforestation.
This conservation project is based in the wilds of Costa Rica and has an incredibly inspiring backstory. The project was founded in 1999 by two young girls who had a vision to help save the rainforest. The duo began by selling handmade crafts on the side of the road in an attempt to raise money to help save the rainforest, and eventually, their hard work paid off and their makeshift shop expanded! Since then, the project has grown and developed and it now helps over 200 local in-need animals including not only sloths but many other animals such as monkeys, birds and other mammals!
The project centre is surrounded by acres of forest which is home to many different species of animals and here you will have the chance to become fully immersed in the incredible biodiversity Costa Rica has to offer.
As a volunteer on the project, you will play a crucial role in helping to protect not only the sloths that reside here but many other animals too. Your assistance with activities such as maintenance, food preparation, health monitoring and construction will be crucial in helping the centre to run smoothly and to ensure that it can continue caring for the wildlife in the region for years to come.
Please note that this itinerary is subject to change so what follows is a rough guideline.
You can join this project on any day of the year, so if you would like to join on a date that is not listed below please enquire and we can book your place for you.
To secure a place on this project a deposit of £195 is required at the time of booking, with the remaining balance due any time up to 60 days prior to your start date.
This project was founded back in 1999 by two school children with the help of one of their mothers, and it certainly had humble beginnings. Life began for the project at a small roadside shop, where the two young founders Janine and Aislin sold painted rocks to help raise money to protect the rainforest. From there, things began to grow very rapidly and it eventually became the project you see before you today!
With only minimal resources, the project has taken huge steps towards achieving all of the conservation goals they have for the area. So far, the project and its volunteers have installed over 130 aerial monkey bridges, planted more than 7,000 rainforest trees, and beginning last year in 2016 they began planting 94,000 more! The wildlife rehabilitation centre on-site was founded in 2005 and it treats and releases almost 200 rescued wild animals each year. The wildlife sanctuary, which was opened in 2010, provides a safe home for those animals that are unable to be released back into the wild due to injury or other issues.
Without this sanctuary, injured and threatened wildlife in the local area would have nowhere to go for help, and your work as a volunteer plays a very important role in providing a better life for the animals in Costa Rica.
Friday the 20th October marks International Sloth Day 2017 and here at The Great Projects we want to help you learn a little more about these amazing animals. Sloths may be extremely popular animals, but very few people know much about them so we want to change that! Read up on the blog and learn a little more about sloths and International Slot Day 2017!
Love anteaters? Check out our top 10 fascinating facts about these awesome animals! Just remember that you have an amazing opportunity to volunteer with anteaters on the Sloth Conservation and Wildlife Experience, with 10% off of all bookings made before the 31st of July! What are you waiting for? Book your dream volunteering trip today!
During your time at the project you will be staying in shared accommodation with up to 8 other volunteers of mixed genders. You may be allocated a top bunk so need to be comfortable ascending and descending bunk bed ladders. Bathrooms are also shared between volunteers, and you will have access to a kitchen complete with a fridge, so you will be able to have a steady supply of cold water and chilled snacks!
If you wish to upgrade your accommodation during your stay, then one of the private cottages may be available for an additional cost. Please enquire with us to check availability.
Lunch is the main meal of the day at the project and this large meal will always consist of rice, beans, a salad, and vegetables, with the other parts of the meal changing on a regular basis to ensure variety. For breakfast and dinner, food will be provided but it is up to you to cook it yourself so we recommend taking turns with the other volunteers to prepare a delicious Costa Rican meal!
Clean drinking water and a variety of juices and sodas are available to drink throughout the day at the project site, but please note that whilst alcohol is not prohibited, it is not provided.
Please note that the project is able to cater for vegans, vegetarians, and those with allergies but please let us know before you travel so that we can inform the project team and they can get the appropriate ingredients in.
You will spend a lot of time on this project on your feet, walking from location to location and possibly carrying moderately heavy objects, so you will need to have a good level of fitness. It can be very humid in Costa Rica so please bear this in mind when deciding if this is the project for you. When the offer to visit the reforestation plantation comes up, please be aware that this involves a lot of walking on uneven ground, as well as up and down quite a steep terrain. In the rainy season this land overall can be quite treacherous, so be sure to take the correct footwear, as well as taking into account your own physical capabilities.
The vaccinations you require will depend on your medical history. We recommend that you consult your GP regarding your own immunisation needs. In conjunction with this, we would also recommend that you check Fit for Travel’s website. Please note that volunteers with Measles or the Herpes Simplex Virus will not be able to work with the monkeys as the animals are very susceptible to viral infections. The project also requires that you provide proof of both the Hep A vaccination and a tetanus shot upon your arrival.
As this project is predominantly based on the rescue and rehabilitation of sloths and other animals year round, there is no preferred time to volunteer when it comes to the wildlife. However, weather can have an impact. The dry season runs from January through to the middle/end of April, and throughout this time the forests will be slightly barer due to a lack of rain. The rainy season in Costa Rica runs from May until December, and this is when the forests in the region really come to life. It will still be very warm between these months, with the rains typically falling in the afternoons or evenings, therefore the best period to volunteer is between May and December when the forests are at their fullest and there are fewer tourists in the area.
You will need to arrive into San Jose airport in Costa Rica and then make your way to the project site on your project start date. Transfers are not included within the cost of the project, but a taxi can be arranged at an additional cost if you let us know in advance. Where possible it will be better to arrive before 12pm, this way you will arrive at the project site before it gets dark and be able to have dinner with the other volunteers.
The cost of a pre-arranged taxi between the airport and the project site is around $150 each way, and the driver will wait at the exit of the airport with a sign and drive you directly to the project site. This journey will take around 3.5 hours. If you arrive at the same time as other volunteers it may be possible to split the cost with them. Alternatively, there are regular buses available between Quepos and San Jose; these take between roughly 3 hours and 5 hours and cost only around $7. We can then arrange for a taxi to pick you up from the bus station and take you to the project site, at a cost of $20. Please contact us for further information on scheduling and pricing.
Please note that other taxis from the airport, or those that you flag down, are likely to cost more - the drivers of these taxis are at liberty to charge extra, so it is strongly recommended that your transfers are pre-arranged and with a price agreed.
If you would like help booking your flights, please visit our flight page and fill out the form. A member of our team will get back in touch as soon as possible with a suitable quote.
British nationals do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica and can stay as a visitor in the country for up to 3 months, although the exact period is at the discretion of the immigration officer upon arrival. For other nationalities please check with your local embassy as the requirements to enter Costa Rica may vary from country to country. Your passport should have at least one day’s validity from the day you are leaving Costa Rica, but if you hold a passport other than a British one different regulations may apply. You will also need to provide evidence of onward travel plans to ensure entry into the country.
The currency in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Colón. The exchange rate is around 10 CRC = 0.01 GBP, 0.05 USD, 0.07 EUR. Please note exchange rates are subject to change.
You can, however, use the American Dollar throughout Costa Rica; these are dispensed from cash points throughout the country. We recommend taking dollars with you to use at the project site if you wish to purchase canned drinks, however, do be aware that in Costa Rica it is not unusual for restaurants, store cashiers and so forth to round USD up, effectively charging extra for your purchase. With that in mind, it is suggested to take Colones with you for spending in the local town.
If you have any questions about this project or would like help finding the perfect project for you then please feel free to give us a call or send us through your enquiry and we will be happy to help.
Nikita & team.
The experience I had working with the animals and the information and research studies that I was able to learn about and be apart of, have completely changed my view and knowledge of Wildlife Conservation Projects.
Amy Cook, 2017