Volunteering sights in Central America
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The Tortugario Monterrico, run by Cecon (Centro de Estudios Conservacionistas de la Universidad de San Carlos), is just a short walk east down the beach from the end of Calle Principal and then a block inland. Several endangered species of animals are raised here, including leatherback, olive ridley and green sea turtles, caimans and iguanas. The staff offer lagoon trips in the Biotopo Monterrico-Hawaii, and will accept volunteers.
There's an interesting interpretative trail and a little museum with pickled displays in bottles.
About 200m north of Tortuguero village, the CCC operates a research station that has a small visitor center and museum. Exhibits focus on all things turtle-related, including a video about the history of local turtle conservation.
CCC also runs a highly reputable environmental volunteer program, recommended by none other than National Geographic. During nesting season, volunteers can assist with turtle tagging and egg counts, and during bird-migration seasons, help with mist-netting and point-counts. Volunteer fees start at US$1440 per week and include bunk-house accommodations, all meals, first and last nights’ hotel room in San José and transport to and from the…
This not-for-profit organization operates the Estación Biológica Caño Palma, 7km north of Tortuguero village. This small biological research station houses a diminutive museum that contains, among other things, an impressive collection of skulls. From here, a network of trails wind through the surrounding rainforest. Coterc is surrounded on three sides by water, so you’ll have to hire a boat to get here.
The group also runs a volunteer program, in which visitors can assist with upkeep of the station and ongoing research projects, including sea-turtle and bird monitoring and plant-diversity inventories. Volunteer fees start at US$200 and include accommodations in…