Programme: Wildlife Expedition Jalova Gain valuable experience and help to collect critical data for the Costa Rican government to help make important conservation decisions and ensure the survival of the biodiversity of this unique area of the rainforest.
This programme runs for 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24 weeks contact us to find out the dates and start planning your adventure!.
Programme: Conservation Internship Jalova Gain valuable experience and help to collect critical data for the Costa Rican government to help make important conservation decisions and ensure the survival of the biodiversity of this unique area of the rainforest.
This programme runs for 24 weeks. Contact us to find out the dates and start planning your adventure!
Room & Board (any housing, food, and transportation included). During your project dates your accommodation and food are included in the project cost. The research station is located in Jalova which is within the Tortuguero National Park. Facilities will be more basic than applicants are accustomed to so will need travel with an open mind and a willingness to adapt to local conditions.
Accommodation is in shared (mixed sex) dorms with shared bathroom facilities. There is running water available for washing and cooking, with suitable water for drinking and brushing teeth. Flush toilet facilities are available.
Participants share responsibility for base duties, including cooking, cleaning, and other chores. Food is very basic and mostly vegetarian, with meat rarely available. Breakfast could be porridge or occasionally pancakes, typical lunches and evening meals may include lentils, chicpeas, pasta, beans, or rice, with vegetables. Fresh fruit is provided each afternoon.
Does the project require any special preparation? All volunteers are encouraged to learn more about local history, culture and customs before travelling. We encourage applicants to learn some Spanish either before arriving or once in Costa Rica. Montaña Linda in Orosi Village offer week-long one-on-one courses.
The following reading materials may also be of use ahead of time and while on base: The Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide by Richard Garrigues, Field Guide to the Wildlife of Costa Rica by C.L. Henderson and The Amphibians & Reptiles of Costa Rica by J.M. Savage.
Overview of the tasks and time commitment needed from the participant. The internship programme is split into two phases. The first three months applicants take on normal volunteer duties and responsibilities and in the final three months they will be placed in one of our local partner organisations, upon the recommendation of the field staff.
During the volunteer phase of this internship applicants may be involved in the monitoring and conservation of sea turtles (running March to October), research of marine turtle predation by jaguars, mammal and prey species abundance studies, resident and migratory bird research and data collection as well as Biological Assessment Surveys (BAS) which aim to identify all species of amphibia, aves, mammalia and reptilia in the region we are based.
Data collected for all our projects in Jolova goes directly to the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment (MINAET) and provides the basis for developing an accurate management plan for Tortuguero National Park. More specifically all turtle and jaguar data is recorded and passed on to local partners the Sea Turtle Conservancy and Panthera respectively. STC is been involved in the area since 1959 and Panthera is one of the worlds leading wild cat authorities.
During the volunteer phase of the Internship, applicants will be required to demonstrate particular leadership and time management skills. Applicants will be responsible for completing certain tasks on base and all the time showing a particular interest and enthusiasm for project life and objectives. Only on successful completion of the volunteer phase may applicants be awarded a placement. The placement is not guaranteed and is at the discretion of the field staff.
This expedition requires a full time commitment. Depending on your length of stay volunteers can expect to have a few free weekends to explore the surround areas or participate on fun dives.
What specific skills, education, or experience must the participant have? What skills, education, or experience are desirable? Volunteers need not have any specific skills just an enthusiasm and passion for contributing to the project and the local partner objectives. Volunteers need to be physically fit and healthy as they will be hiking long distances daily. As a result of the basic living conditions volunteers need to be flexible and able to work well in teams and people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds.
Volunteers will need to be fluent in English. Spanish is beneficial but not essential.
Health and safety (site specific health and safety information). A change of environment, climate, food and lifestyle often results in minor, and occasionally more serious, illness.
Inclusions/things to do (trips or extra features). Volunteers are welcome to organize side trips for their free time or pre or post their project experience. All associated costs and travel expenses are not included in the project fee and need to be factored into the volunteer's own budget. Given the isolated location, down time will generally be spent on base; the rain forest is not really a place to go wondering! However there are still some possibilities in the immediate area; visit Tortuguero Village, browse its small souvenir shops, visit the delicious bakery and watch the world go lazily by. For longer term volunteers weekend breaks can be spent exploring parts of the Caribbean region; hiking, snorkelling, fishing, or canopy and zip-line tours and whitewater rafting are some of the activities near by.
Orientation and Training (supervision and preparation the participant will receive). Staff in the field will provide training on the skills required, but you may benefit from learning more about local history, culture and customs before you travel.
The internship’s first phase concentrates on training alongside the bases other volunteers. After successful completion of the first phase of the internship program, interns attend 2 weeks of Spanish training while staying with a local family in their home. The second phase of the internship is the work placement. Successful interns could be asked to stay on as field staff members helping to run our conservation research programmes, or be placed with one of our local conservation partners in other regions of Costa Rica, assisting in local conservation efforts and/or scientific research.
By the end of the internship program participants will have the skills to monitor a wide range of mini-ecosystems in a very diverse location. Developing and applying a holistic approach to conservation, you will receive a range of certifications alongside valuable field based experience. Placements are not guaranteed and are at the discretion of our field staff.
Costs (detailed list of what’s included/not included and per diem estimate). What's included:
Pre-departure support and discounted services
24-hour emergency phone
Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
Long term experienced staff
All necessary project training by experienced staff
All necessary project equipment and materials
24-hour in-country support
Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
Teamwork and leadership experience
Leading biological surveys course
Track identification training
Transfer to rainforest location
Camera trap training
Wildlife identification skills
Sea turtle tagging training (season and placement dependent)
Tropical forest ecology training
Certification and summary of training and experience received
First Aid & CPR training
Weekly evaluation with your mentor
Confidential professional reference
Work placement (if successful on training period)
What's not included:
Medical and travel insurance
Additional drinks and gratuities
Extra local excursions
International and domestic airport taxes
Internal transport to work placement location
Additional Information. Field staff advise that you enter the country using a tourist visa. For most nationalities this doesn’t need to be arranged in advance. Check with the immigration authorities of the countries you intend to visit.