Central America Costa Rica Volunteering Abroad

Lazy Days Volunteering – Ostional, Costa Rica


Falling asleep on the beach and waking up at 6am to the sun rising is definitely a beautiful sight. Last night I decided I was too tired to walk home so just crashed at the volunteering hatchery. After being woken by the bright sunrise I snuck back into the house. I needed a couple extra hours sleep.


Today was fairly quiet after the busy night we had releasing baby turtles. So, I went down to the station after breakfast and chilled out for a while to use the WIFI and play some card games with the group. After lunch was a sea turtle ecology and biology talk lead by one of the older volunteers, Sarah. We learned quite a lot especially about leatherbacks and their diet of Jellyfish.


At 3pm I had hatchery shift. Though, as it was so crazy hot I decided to go swimming between checking on the turtles. Next it was time to head home for dinner and an early night.


The next day . .

Another day in the paradise of Playa Ostional. Waking up around 8am I quickly had breakfast and went to my hatchery shift.  About thirty minutes in a couple leatherback babies appeared on the surface of the sand. We place them in a bucket and walked the little ones to the station. They will be released later at night when the tide is high and sand is cool.  There was then a discussion led by Wade so we didn’t have to return to the hatchery.


At the discussion we learned a lot about the work he does in regards to turtles, hummingbirds and salmon. It is pretty awesome how they capture hummingbirds- catching them in a trap, putting in a straight jacket to stop them flapping. Also, because of their exceptionally high heart rate they need to be feed often. This is where you literally have to fly the hummingbird around the room between your fingers to convince them to eat. The rest of the afternoon was chill time. Everyone went swimming, dried off in the cabana, played cards and bonded.


That evening I had night patrol. We walked 12kms along the beach searching for black and leatherback turtles, but to no success. Since my shift was from 7pm-12mid I was there for the release of the baby leatherbacks that surfaced earlier in the day. Though, unfortunately for some reason in Costa Rica once it is past a certain time I just fall asleep wherever. So I was physically there just not mentally. Unfortunately, after five hours of walking the beach, a small amount of sand made its way inside my shoes. This resulted in the bottom of both my feet getting majorly blistered up.

I am travelling through Costa Rica with a volunteer program called International Student Volunteers or ISV. For the next two weeks I will be calling Playa Ostional home while participating in conservation work to help protect the leatherback and black turtles.