Nature and environment: heading to Costa Rica
Nature and environment: heading to Costa Rica
Nature and environment: heading to Costa Rica

Useful information

Come live and work through a gap year in Spanish, all in the heart of a national park in Costa Rica. This will be done by helping the management of the reserve, the government of Costa Rica and organizations like Coastal Jaguar Conservation and Panthera to contribute to the research and conservation of the jaguar.

Learn about tracking techniques
Learn to identify species in a tropical forest
Work on a research project with a team of scientists
Learn to plan and coordinate a project




English Intermediate


Description of the program

Together with NGO staff and other participants from around the world, you will set up and monitor cameras set up along the coast and in the forest, and record all tracks on the beach, to note the abundance of jaguar in the area. Depending on partner needs, you may also be able to monitor camera footage to identify area jaguars and collect data for genetic research.

Like all of our programs for a gap year , the project in Costa Rica allows you to validate your year while impacting the local community in a positive and lasting way.

gap year in Spanish

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Highlights of Animal Projects in Costa Rica

- Live and work in a research station in the middle of a national park in Costa Rica

- Visit an area incredibly rich in jaguars in one of the only places in the world where jaguars are known to prey on adult sea turtles.

- Contribute to jaguar research by setting and checking camera traps in the rainforest.

- See Costa Rican wildlife in their natural habitats, including Caribbean beach sea turtles, monkeys, and neotropical birds.

- Learn biodiversity survey techniques and gain real-world field experience.

The missions of the volunteers

Part of our project is to help authorities and researchers observe unique jaguar behaviors on the beach. During turtle nesting season, the area is one of the few in the world where jaguars have been known to prey on nesting adult sea turtles.

Although jaguar research will be the main part of your program, you will also have the opportunity to participate in sea turtle and seabird research, as well as surveying the biodiversity of the forest. , including mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles.

Through this training and the hands-on experience, you can gain technical skills that could help you pursue a future career in conservation, or soft skills like cross-cultural team communication that will help you in any other way. professional that you could choose.

We constantly adapt our volunteering projects to meet the needs on the ground. The description of the program aims to give an idea of the mission, nevertheless the volunteers must expect possible adjustments on the spot. The missions respond to issues that can change over time, we must constantly evolve to adapt to our environment, and not the other way around.

Since you will be working in a national park, you will need a special scientific permit to allow you to carry out research. Other permits are required for turtle and jaguar research.

Host organization

In partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications of Costa Rica (MINAET)
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The project works closely with local authorities to collect, process and analyze data on fauna and flora in Costa Rica. This information will be used to take national measures to optimise and protect the country's environment.

In 2015, our humanitarian mission in Costa Rica (educational program with children) was featured on the renowned National Geographic Traveler 50 Experiences list. This project is always very popular with volunteers who want to engage in a sustainable humanitarian mission and learn Spanish at the same time.

For more information, see '50 Tours of a Lifetime' from National Geographic Traveler.

Our NGO partner is a member of the United Nations International Commission on Sustainable Tourism. All their initiatives and volunteer projects are led by experts in collaboration with the local population and national governments.

As a non-profit organisation, our conservation project is completely transparent. Volunteer contributions are used to cover on-reserve project planning (reconnaissance, team recruitment and logistical support), direct field costs (transportation, lodging, staff meals) and finally to support the project itself. Without the physical and financial help of volunteers, this project would not have been possible.

Strong points

Living and working in a research camp nested in the heart of a national park in Costa Rica
Contribution to jaguar research by setting and checking camera traps in the rainforest
Observe Costa Rican wildlife in their natural habitats
Learn biodiversity survey techniques and gain field experience

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