Thursday, 26 November 2015

Three weeks have never gone so fast. I have done other animal conservation programs and my expectations were far surpassed. I made amazing friends and learned an incredible amount about sea turtle conservation in the short time I stayed. Drake Bay is beautiful and everyone treats you like family. Rio Oro was a very unique experience with lots of turtle interaction and takes the trip to the next level. My homestay was fantastic and humbling, you really get a chance to experience the day to day life of the locals and I think it is really cool how they have offered new ways of making a living by infusing the volounteer accomodations with the families of El Progresso. The turtle program is a community wide effort and involves many locals(my homestay mother included). I have made friends from all over the world and if you dont come with a sense of duty to protect the turtles it will surely rub off from the coordinators and volunteers who live for it. The only thing on my mind right now is how I can return to Costa Rica and offer even more for the turtle program. I hope programs like this become more popular than they already have until the turtles are no longer threatened.
Come and stay for a while, it was unforgettable.

Joe Hejna
I could never imagine living such an amazing experience in Costa Rica. In the first place, i was really happy to work with turtles, especialy in Costa Rica. But the more i stayed, the more i get closer to the others volunteers, to the coordinators and, obviously, to the amazing dogs we have there, and i think this made my trip. In 59 days, ive met a lot of very interesting and amazing people. I learnt a little bit from each of them, and i will keep it in me for the rest of my life. I feel like ive learnt much more here than in several years in university. So the only thing i can say is thank you for everything.
The second I arrived at this beautiful place, one of my very first thoughts was I have to extend my stay, and that is exactly what I did. Between the amazing people, the turles, the local atmosphere, the incredible sun and blasting rain, I fell a little in love! Though the mama turtles were sparce in Drake Bay at the time of my arrival, because it was the end of the season for Lora tortugas, there were plenty of babies at the hatchery. On my third day here, I was lucky enough to be part of a group who released 45 baby turtles into the Pacific Ocean at sunset, and it was possibly my favourite moment here. Three days later, I was lucky again and saw my first laying turtle on an early patrol of South Beach. It was a miserable night and it was pouring rain and cold and the tide was high and we had lost all hope and then suddenly, there was a dark line ahead of me that looked like a trucks tire tracks! There was our Olive Ridley, laying her eggs. I collected the eggs, which did not feel as I had expected, and we relocated the nest. I decided to go to Rio Oro for a week because I heard there were many more turtles there and it was really in the middle of no where, dodgey electricity and all, and I was excited to get an even more off the grid, genuine Costa Rican experience. I was not disappointed! Night after night, turtle after turle, some Lora, some Verde,and lots of coconuts, I loved Rio Oro even more than I had thought I would.
Words cannot express the experience you will get here. But if I could give any words of advice, they would be: learn to love rice and beans.
But seriously. Es increible aqui. Pura Vida!

Emily Curtis, 22, Vancouver, Canada.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

When my sister and I decided to go to Costa Rica for 6 weeks to work on a turtle conservation project I don´t think we were prepared for what was ahead. On the first day we looked at each other and said lets just get through 1 week and then we can leave. There was so much jungle and so many creatures and we were completely terrified. By the end of that first week we fell in love with the place and ultimately ended up pushing back our travel plans to spend one more week here. Alice and Aida really made this place feel like home for us. Aida, our new found role model, took care of our bumps and bruises and Alice, the funniest person around, became our third sister and built a community for us that got us through that first week. This whole experience was supposed to be about the turtles, and don´t get me wrong, the turtles were absolutely amazing, but it was way more than that. We got to see what it looks like to really be able to dance... and then we got to try it ourselves. We picked up a few spanish words here and there. We made amazing friends who we got to go on adventures with, and who could understand the importance of peanut butter.
We got very creative about how to make rice and beans taste more interesting. But more than anything we pushed ourselves to try new things that we would have never imagined doing. For example, there are two ways to get to the hatchery, one is by boat and the other is by walking through the edge of a lagoon in the jungle. The first time we went through the path I thought my sister was going to actually die. Luckily we were with a big group of people and they talked us through it. Two weeks later my sister and I had a shift at the hatchery and had to take the path, we found ourselves wading through the water, all alone, without even thinking twice.
Every aspect of this trip has been a challenge and we were surprised to find that we were capable of every bit of it, and that we actually really liked living here. We wish we didn´t have a flight out of Costa Rica and a long list of places to see so that we could stay here for another month.... But then again maybe we´ll be back for january, commiting to plans has never been our strong suit.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

I´m Really Going to Miss This Place

After only two very short weeks, my time here at Drake Bay must come to a close. I´m saddened to go, because I´ve made so many wonderful new friends and the locals are all so friendly. Here at Drake Bay, I´ve felt like a part of something bigger, a feeling I´d long forgotten through the trivials of school and work.

As my final day comes to a close, I am reminded of all of the things that I did not have time to do and learn. If it were at all possible, I´d extend my time here. I feel like I´ve made a new family here and it just won´t be the same going back to the United States. There is nothing in Texas that is at all as beautiful as even just the small portion of Costa Rica I have seen.

I will never be able to see such a beautiful sunset from my apartment in Denton, Texas as I did my first night here, watching the sun go down over the water. The picture I took of the sunset off of the Atlantic Ocean my first night here is still my favorite picture that I have taken.

I don´t want to leave. I would like to stay here in paradise forever. I will greatly miss everyone and everything about Progreso in Drake Bay (except the ants!!).

Hasta luego, Bajia Drake. I will see you again soon.

Kris Pryor

Saturday, 7 November 2015

As my amazing ten week excursion in the beautiful Osa Peninsula comes to a close confusion seems to be the only thing running through my head. No, this is not because I had a bad time, in fact, it´s just the opposite. I have such a good time I can´t seem to wrap my head around leaving. This was my first big trip outside the U.S. and even my first time away from my house (which I´ve lived at my whole life) for ten weeks and I have to say it really feels like a second home here already. All the people I have met (volunteers/coordinators/locals) have been extremely nice and made it so easy for me to have a good time. This in combination with the unbelieveable environment that´s filled with all sorts of wildlife from turtles, to monkeys, to parrots, to sloths has truly made this adventure some of the best weeks of my life. I highly reccomend anyone who wants to take a step back from their normal life for a new perspective or participate in being part of the solution rather than part of the problem to come here as soon as possible. 

Friday, 6 November 2015

2 Weeks in Rio Oro

What a magical two weeks in Rio Oro! After a somewhat disappointing first few nights where we trudged up and down the beach and saw absolutely no turtles we finally got a good dose of those tortugas. We were there in the lead up to the full moon and walking along the deserted beach beneath the starts and moon, so bright it almost seemed like daylight, was in itself a very special experience, turtles or not. But it was definitely exciting finally seeing our first turtle crawling up the beach. Although she took a little detour and went for a swim in the lagoon before writhing around in the mud, she finally made her nest, laid her eggs and returned to the sea.

Rio Oro is nothing if not a beautful and relaxing spot. After often exhausting night patrols our days were spent competing to be the President (and avoiding being the scum) at cards, beading and weaving colourful bracelets, pampering ourselves with mud masks in the river and most often the hours were whiled away with a book in the hammock under the trees.

When we weren´t relaxing though there was plenty of hard work to be done. Walking barefoot through the jungle during the monkey senso after the rain turned the path into a mud slide, seeing baby toucans and hearing monkeys howling through the trees, flying down the road in the middle of the night with three people to a motorbike, attempting the bachatta at the local bar (and failing miserably) and running along the beach like a crazy person in the pouring rain trying to defend the precious tortugitas from the hawks and crabs that would appear out of nowhere and try to snatch them away were just a few of the highlights.

We went for the turtles and stayed for the good times. This project might be all about conserving turtles, and yes, you´ll feel pretty damn good when you manage to scare away the hawk that was inches from stealing a tortugita just seconds from getting its first feel for the ocean; but you will leave with many more memories of the people, the place, the snacks, the laughs and all the other weird and wonderful goings on that you can´t help but think will make a great story when you get home.


The Corcovado Sea Turtle conservation program was a very unique experience filled with great people and great memories. Being an animal lover, it was fun woring with the turtles and learning more about them. It is gratifying to feel as if I have made a difference even though it made be small...every little bit helps. Meeting new people, observing turtles and making long lasting memories are things that I will never forgot. I have only positive things to say about my turtle time in Drake Bay and Rio Oro. - Ange Mariano

Thursday, 5 November 2015


So happy I got to spend the last 3 weeks in Hacienda Rio Oro. It was really great getting to know all of the kind people here. Every night was a great adventure in its own. I loved being apart of the sea turtle conservation and I can´t wait to see some results from all of the hard works going on at the Corcavado project!
Taylor

My time at Rio Oro was magical; I can´t explain the beauty or tranquility of the place, therefore you´re only option is to visit yourself! You won´t regret it, as you are surrounded by beautiful scenery, animals and people. I saw vacant beaches and rainsforests filled with turtles, toucans, anteaters.  I also formed friendships that will last a lifetime. the whole program is a must!




Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Começo me apresentando: meu nome é Lorena, tenho 24 anos e sou uma brasileira que, atualmente, vive em uma das maiores e mais populosas cidades do mundo, Sao Paulo. Sempre fui uma dessas pessoas que cresceu escutando a respeito das maravilhas da natureza e da vida selvagem; fosse fauna, fosse flora. Mas nunca tinha, de fato, vivenciado seu funcionamento, sua harmonia e equilíbrio. Há nao tanto tempo atrás, aprendi sobre a riqueza da vida simples. Mas nunca consegui me aprofundar dentro dos meus mínimos detalhes para viver de com o meu "mínimo suficiente". E recentemente emergiu, em mim, o questionamento a repeito de como seria conviver em comunidade com a natureza, sem disputas e sem conflitos. Dentro de tantos outros pensamentos, estes foram os principais combustíveis que me movimentaram e tanto me transformaram durante minha vivência na Bahia Drake, fosse com: as pessoas, o trabalho, as plantas, os animais,... o ecossistema. Em tao pouco tempo, aprendi liçoes tao imensas, intensas e profundas a respeito da vida, que nenhum curso, mestre ou professor poderiam me propiciar, pois esta é uma dessas experiências que precisamos encarar por conta própria para compreender.
Foi observando e acompanhando o nascimento de inúmeras tartarugas, desde a desova até a libertaçao. Foi trabalhando em prol de manter funcionando uma ideia, um ambiente e uma comunidade. Foi aprendendo que podemos fazer grandes transformaçoes, movimentando pequenas atitudes - como a de ajudar um simples besouro a se levantar todas as manhas, pois ele sempre se cai de costas durante a noite e nao pode mais sair de seu lugar. Foi, também, observando o dia, a tarde, a noite e a chuva. Foi, e com muita ênfase nesta parte, observando as pessoas que trabalham duro todos os dias para manter vivo o espìrito em comunidade que existe na vila e na fundaçao. A experiência é completa em cada mínimo detalhe, aqui, e sem dúvidas posso dizer que carrego, agora, comigo, aprendizados que fazem parte de quem sou.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Time in Rio Oro changes you as an individual. I have never encountered a place that has altered my perception of the world so much. When I arrived, I saw the glamping aspect of the camp that everyone had talked about. All the people in Drake Bay mentioned the amazing cooking and long days spent free from technology in Rio Oro. But after my first patrol, my perception of the entire place changed. Instead of farm, isolated and stuck in time, I saw a piece of paradise. 
And if the camp impressed me, I was absolutely hypnotized the first time I saw a mother turtle. I could not believe that anything so primitive could be so beautiful. When our guide went to run his hand across the top of the shell, the trail of his hand left glowed a brilliant blue. I noticed the glow in the sand for the first time. When you disturbed the sand, it created a shower of stars where you walked. I tried to look up and down at the same time (allowing me almost faceplant over a coconut) because the stars were so bright and the sand was so beautiful. Luckily, we walked with no light so I could observe my surroundings as they were meant to be seen. I wa
s fortunate enough to encounter a turtle who was nesting too close to the high tide line on my first night. We had to move the eggs in order to save the babies from destruction from the waves. With gentle encouragement from my guide, I caught the eggs before they touched the sand. My blood was pounding against the walls of my ears and I knew that I was grinning from ear to ear. My movements became automatic for a minute while I fantasized about being a vet. I snapped myself back to reality quickly because I knew this was something I needed to remember forever. The entire week away from reality is an experience of a lifetime and I cannot wait for my next trip to the isolated paradise that I called home. 

Saturday, 17 October 2015

POR SIEMPRE FELIS

When thinking back over our cuatro weeks with the Corcovado Foundation nosotros find it hard to put words to our experience.  Every day was a new adventure. From tortugias with three flippers to elusive mammals eating mangos and chips on our front porch, you can never guess what’s going to happen next!
Over the tres semanas we spent in Rio Oro we saw almost cien olive ridley turtles(lora), tres Tortuga negro y muchos tortugitas. The rugged and remote location of Rio Oro [plus lack of wifi] really made us feel closer to nature. The local ninos(Oscar y Wilson y loco Wilber) that came with us on our patrols helped us to learn some basic Spanish [as you can see throughout our blog post it has expanded immensely]. We learnt about the tides, marea alta/ marea baja and le mar, la luna, le cielo y actividad por el tortugas.
Some activities we got to partake in at Rio Oro included,  ordenar sacar leche con vacas and making queso from said leche, washing the water buffalo, a ver monos y VAMOS A MONTAR A CABALLO, leading Costa Rican jungle treks (without Muñeco), playa clean up and so much more. One of our personal highlights was to see the guapa roseate spoonbills, a bird that we never thought we would see.
In Drake Bay our favourite job was relaxing in the hammocks at the hatchery. Taking part in exhumations allowed us to see underdeveloped tortugitas and other factors that effect and impede the growth of a turtle.
Overall, this experience has changed us for the better, allowing us to expand our knowledge of tortugas, tico culture and leadership skills. We have blossomed throughout our Tortuga journey and we will now forever glistening and sparkle like the bioluminescence that twinkles in the arena between our toes, like the Estrella fugaz above our heads (a glitter sandwich if you will) and the glow of the Tortuga carapace will forever be in our hearts.

And who is the elusive WE that we speak of, that’s for us to know and for you to find out.  xoxo gossip goat.

Con Mucho Gusto,


Lucia, Karla, Flash y Muñeco (not Cocoa).












Friday, 16 October 2015


I have just spent a week in Rio Oro and it was definitely one of the best weeks of my life! The rustic setting surrounded by monkeys and scarlet macaws followed by night patrols on the beach made my week an unforgettable experience. Before coming here I had never seen a turtle up close before and just ten minutes into my first patrol we saw an Olive Ridley! We measured her and tagged her for future identification, a process of which we do for all turtles we see. Each night I saw at least three turtles and one night we saw fifteen! Communicating with the locals who we patrolled with was really fun even with my broken Spanish who were very patient and lovely and I was able to learn all new turtle and beach related vocabulary. During the day when we were not patrolling we had time to make coconut carvings of turtles and the like and relax and read in a hammock in the shade. Also doing monkey censo in the mountains and horse riding which consisted of galloping through fields and ending with lunch in an idealic stream. One evening we were even lucky enough to go to a Costa Rican baby shower which was an enjoyable experience and gave us a taster of the locals' lifestyle. All week, although we had seen many turtles we hadn't yet seen any 'tortugitas', yet on  our last night we saw two nests hatch and I finally saw some babies! I am really looking forward to this week in Drake Bay and having the experience of a home stay with a local family. Pura Vida!

Monday, 12 October 2015

I have only been in Drake Bay for a week now and it has easily been one of the best weeks of my life. The sheer diversity of Fauna and Flora is mind blowing. Every day is a new adventure, I have already experience so much. We went scuba diving a few days ago and it was so unbelievably beautiful. We saw a Green sea turtle, sharks, stingrays, more ray eels, an abundant amount of fish and colorful coral. I think it was one of the best days of my life.



 Another really special moment was when I was woken up by my host family screaming ´´Peresozo!´´ I jumped out of bed as quickly as I could and ran across the road to find a three toed sloth slowly crawling along the ground and eventually make his way to a tree. Everyone was so excited, it was a really special moment.




Yesterday I had a hatchery shift in the morning, at around 8am two baby turtles hatched from a nest that had hatched the day before. It was the first time I´ve ever seen a baby turtle so as you can imagine I was ecstatic. I whipped on a glove and carefully grabbed them and put them into the bucket. We walked them down to the beach and then released them. It warmed my heart watching them make their way to the ocean. It really made me feel at peace.



Even just going down to the beach is awesome. We either ride or walk down and will take the boat across the lake or walk through the lagoon. I especially enjoy the walk through the lagoon. Sometimes you can see monkeys and birds up in the trees and small fish as you walk through. The bridge is my favorite part, I feel like I´m in Inindiana jones!




Costa Rica is the most beautiful place I have ever seen and having the opportunity to do this project has really brought be so much joy. I can´t wait to see what the coming weeks will bring! 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Hallo.
Es ist wirklich schoen hier. Heute haben wir einen Ausritt durch den Wald zu einem Wasserfall gemacht und das war einfach nur super schoen und aufregend.
Letzte Woche war ich in Rio Oro. In einer Patroullie haben wir zehn Schildkroeten gesehen und ganz viele kleine Babys. Wenn ihr hier ins Projekt kommen solltet, muesst ihr auf jeden Fall auch nach Rio Oro gehen.
Aber Costa Rica an sich ist wunderschoen und hat so viel zu bieten. Es ist super spannend, die vielen Tiere zu beobachten und die Umgebung zu erkunden.
Viele Gruesse

Friday, 2 October 2015

During our stay in Rio Oro many things were eye opening. First off, working with sea turtles is an amazing thing that has to be expirienced first hand. During night patroll one may be very tired but as soon as a turtle or nest is spotted the long walk on the beach is well worth it. Secound, being educated about the hardships the turtle population is facing is devestating. Poaching and over fishing is leaving these creatures with many problems. Working alongside the people in Rio Oro was very satisfying in knowing that we were helping atleast some of the population. This location is very remote so be prepared for quiet days in order to save your energy for the night time.
Greetings from Drake Bay, Costa Rica!

It is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING here. There is life everywhere... monkeys, snakes, crocodiles, butterflies, birds, AND of course... sea turtles!

For the next couple of weeks, I will be volunteering with the Corcovado Foundation in Drake Bay. The foundation has a few programs, but I am specifically volunteering with the Sea Turtle Conservation Program.

I am so happy to be in this place. It is so clear that Drake Bay is an incredibly special and life-altering corner of the world--hidden from the hustle and bustle of non-sustainable and urbanized societies.I think it´s best to explain how incredible Drake Bay is via a typical night on patrol...

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2015



I met Alberto, my local leader for the night, at the hostel at 7:30PM; we grabbed our gear, hopped on our bikes, and made our way to beach. The bike ride takes about 15 minutes and we have to cross the local airstrip, take a boat across the crocodile lagoon, and then we’re on our way.

Even with a pretty intense series of sea turtle conservation crash courses, I was a little nervous for my first patrol. The entire night, there was an unbelievable lightning storm that lit up the entire beach every minute or so… it was beautiful, but really disorienting. We don't use white lights on the beach so as to not disturb any turtles, so as soon as I would get somewhat used to trying to walk in a straight line in the dark, the lightning would throw me off again. My poor leader must have thought I was the most uncoordinated human… I had to grab onto him more than once to keep from falling over and even still I ended up in the sand more than five or six times; it was quite comical. We can use red lights (sea turtles cannot sense red light) every now and then, which is really helpful. It was quite an adventure.

As I mentioned before, on patrol we walk up and down Drake beach looking for turtles, tracks, nests, etc.

A picture of our beach that we patrol...


In total, we walked something like 5-6k last night. At this particular site, you’re lucky if you see one turtle if any on your patrol, so I didn’t get my hopes up just in case.

After about two or three falls in the sand and maybe three or four laps on the beach, Alberto looked at his watch and said it was just about time to check on some nests. None of the leaders speak English, so the four-hour patrol doubles as a four hour Spanish lesson… I can really feel my Spanish improving; it’s amazing.

So, we headed towards the nests not knowing what to expect. As soon as we came on the scene, we turned on our red lights and there they were!


¡TORTUGUITAS! Baby turtles all squirming about trying to escape the nest! It was amazing. So much new life… it was unbelievable.

We grabbed our relocation equipment and went to work. Overjoyed, I pulled on some latex gloves and carefully started counting the baby turtles by picking up each one and putting them carefully into a bin with some ocean water at the bottom. There were a whopping eighty-three, beautifully healthy baby turtles in the nest!

We then carried the bin closer to the ocean shore and gently tipped the bucket over. Immediately the baby turtles started squirming their way to the ocean. It took them all about 15 minutes to get to the ocean and even then I had to pick up some stragglers heading back towards the nest to point them in the right direction.

For most of the process though we just sat on the sand and watched as they made their way. I’d be lying if I said the entire process didn't cause me to tear up a bit… it’s impossible to describe witnessing and being a part of such a natural process.

I am so lucky.

I have censo duty tomorrow morning from 5AM-12PM and I am so excited. For censo, we wake up at around 4:30AM in order to be on the beach at 5AM. We walk up and down the beach once or twice to check and see if the patrols missed anything, and then go and watch over the hatchery for the rest of the day. Some nests are supposed to hatch pretty soon, so maybe I’ll see some more babies!

Looking forward to tomorrow and everyday after.
Elegí Bahia Drake por ser el lugar que menos había oído hablar de Costa Rica, porque cuando preguntaba a alguien en mi país siempre me recomendaron otros lugares por desconocimiento de éste y cuando me puse a investigar vi que aquí se escondía un paraíso que necesitaba explorar. En general toda la Península Osa, quizás con un acceso algo más complicado pero sin duda una parada obligada para todo aquel que decida conocer este país.
En esta zona muchas personas se dedican al turismo y siempre estarán dispuestas a enseñar acerca de los "rinconcitos" que aquí se esconden. Desde el Parque Corcovado, con la gran cantidad de fauna que alberga hasta el bosque primario de Drake con sus cascadas, sus playas vírgenes. Aquí se ofrecen tours para conocer los distintos tipos de aves, ranitas, tortugas, la práctica de snorkeling o buceo en sus aguas cristalinas, paseos en bote donde poder avistar ballenas, delfines... aquí no hay tiempo para el aburrimiento!
La magia que transmite este lugar, el sonido, el aire puro, todo... sinceramente no lo he sentido en ningún otro sitio.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Hi,
I´m Maya and I´ve been here for almost a month. Tomorrow I´m going to Rio Oro for a week for the first time and I´m excited to see a ton of turtles. The first day I got here we had orientation. In this orientation we discussed patrols, shifts, and a way of transportation throughout town: biking. I never learned to ride a bike so this was a moment of anxiety. As I started to tell people that I couldnt ride a bike they all looked at me in astonishment like I had just grown a third eye. One of my friends, Molly, started teaching me how to ride a bike. It was not easy. I fell a lot and have the cuts and bruises to prove it. As the weeks went on others from the hostel started to help me. They would hold the bike so I could balance or give me tips. Then the locals started getting involved. First two girls around age ten started trying to teach me, at this point I could last a few seconds before comming face to face with the ground. One of the girls, Wendy, was my host sister so she told that I should bring a bike home the next day so she could teach me how to ride a bike. I came prepared, bike and all. to my surprise it wasn´t just her helping it was her Aunt Angy aswell. They held onto the seat of my bike and ran next to me as we biked down the road. It was a rush! I was biking!!! it was so exciting! They would let go without me knowing and I would keep going by myslef. I was exstatic. However, getting started as a whole nother story. I tried to do it myself and failed most of the time. Now, about a week later I am briking to and from my host family´s house from the hostel. It still takes me a few tries to get started and I can almost bike in a straight line. Learning how to bike was such an unexpected accomplishment from being here. I am so excited to take this skill wherever I go. Thank you Drake Bay!
-Maya

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Coming Back

2 years ago, I came to paradise. I fell in love; not with a person but with a state of being. I found happiness, a sense of community, and wonderful friends. I learned a lot from my previous time spent with the Corcovado Foundation and the months/years that came after. I matured into my womanhood and discovered something inside myself that was triggered by the wonderful things we do for this community. But most importantly, returning back to paradise I realized something very important.

Eva and I began our walk to the river called Rio Oro on a bright sunny afternoon to tan and enjoy the ¨Pura Vida¨ lifestyle. Exchanging stories (new and old) of El Progreso and the project, she turned to me and asked, ´Well, what is different about you?´ and as I began to launch into a series of physical differences such as my short hair and the fact that I was no longer ¨gordita,¨ she cut me off and repeated the question, ´But what is different about you?´ pointing at my chest. Thinking back, the answer should´ve been more obvious to me but I explained to her, ´well, I think I´ve accepted that not everyone can like me and I´m okay with that. I find it easier to let things roll of my shoulders and not affect me. I´m happy with my life.´ And Eva looked at me and said, ´so you love yourself.´

I don´t know why but it had the strangest impact on me, our conversation. I was left wondering for days why I hadn´t seen it before. I´ve come to the conclusion though that returning to a place in which you loved so big will open up different parts of you. In that sense, I believe it is important to return to the places that you travel to. It´s like a puzzle... the best kind. I´m so happy to be back and create more radical adventures.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Jungle Days

     The beauty in the Osa Peninsula is astounding. I´ve only been invovled with the sea turtle conservation program for 2 weeks but it is the most beautiful place I´ve been too. So far during my stay I´ve seen Green Turtles, Olive Ridleys, an ocelot, squirrels, howler monkeys, crocodiles and an assortment of other amazing wildlife. That´s not even mentioning how beautiful the beach is during the day and even more so at night. Walking the beach at night is breathtaking at times; look up and the sky is riddled with stars, look down and you can see the sand light up as you walk. Regardless of time or day, the crash of waves is a constant sound that pushes out any silence.
     What has made this experience even more special is the people I´ve met. I´ve met many locals, volunteers and research assistants who are amazing people and after my trip is through parting with them and this great place will be difficult.
   

Friday, 25 September 2015

Han pasado cinco días desde que me embarqué en esta maravillosa aventura, y por más que lo intente no podría expresar con palabras todo lo que siento. Desde el primer momento que llegué siento que estoy en mi casa. La naturaleza, las personas, los animales....todo pura vida!!

Estoy viviendo con una familia local, algo que recomiendo incondicionalmente. Son personas agradecidas, generosas, siempre pendientes de que todo esté bien y de que no me falte de nada. Estoy teniendo la oportunidad de conocer mucho acerca de su cultura, de su pasión por las pequeñas cosas. Todo ello te cambia y te hace plantearte mucho acerca del estilo de vida tan diferente que tenemos.

Por aquí todo el mundo se interesa en que podamos aprender más acerca de la naturaleza que nos rodea, conocer más acerca del curioso mundo de las tortugas, lo importantes que son para mantener en línea el ecosistema. La fundación junto con la asociación local, todos unidos para lograr un mismo objetivo.

Todavía me quedan muchas cosas por descubrir, cada día hay algo nuevo, nuevas sensaciones, nuevos sentimientos...

Sin duda una experiencia recomendable que espero muchas personas puedan llegar a conocer, porque la mejor manera de entenderlo es vivirlo.



Ich bin jetzt seit fast einer Woche hier und die Zeit vergeht so schnell! Die Gastfamilie ist super nett:) Es ist nur ein bisschen schade, dass ich mich nicht wirklich mit ihnen unterhalten kann, weil mein spanisch leider nicht gut genug dafuer ist.
Es sind gerade echt viele Freiwillige hier, fast 20. Die meisten sind aus den USA, Kanada oder England, also reden wir untereinander eigentlich die ganze Zeit englisch. Aber es ist schwierig, zwei Fremdsprachen gleichzeitig zu lernen. Ich mische spanisch und englisch oft ausversehen;)
Aber die Tiere hier sind super interessant und ich habe schon viele schoene Voegel, aber auch Schlangen und Krokodile gesehen und beim schnorcheln konnten wir viele schoene Fische, Delfine und Schildkroeten beobachten.
Aber leider habe ich noch keine kleinen Schildkroeten oder Eier gesehen.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Una experiencia diferente!


Diferente es la mejor palabra que encuentro para describir esta experiencia que estoy viviendo, pasar de vivir en una gran ciudad a este pequeño pueblo fue un gran cambio para mi. La primera semana fue la mas difícil, pero al pasar los días uno se va acostumbrando al estilo de vida y al ritmo de trabajo de las patrullas nocturnas y las otras actividades que se realizan en el hostel.

En este momento estoy siendo hospedado por una familia local del pueblo. No tengo de que quejarme ya que me tratan muy bien y son muy buenas personas, hasta me tratan como uno mas de la familia.

Una de las cosas que mas me gusto de esta experiencia es que logre conocer a gente de diferentes países y aprender de otras culturas.

Para concluir el post voy a decir que es una muy linda experiencia y que se la recomendaría a cualquiera! 


BABY TURTLES!

A nest hatched the other day. Some people are going to do the exhumation in just a few minutes, to examine the nests and see how many eggs made it, which ones didn´t, and if there are still babies digging their way out. If there are still babies, they´ll collect them and release them later, once it´s dark out and there´s a little less danger out on the beach for tiny turtles. There´s never no danger out there, not for something that small.

So this is my fifth week here with the program, my fourth in Drake Bay. Honestly, I´m not sure what I was expecting when I got here, but I´m loving every day, and I´m definitely not looking forward to leaving next week. Everyone here - staff, locals, and volunteers - are passionate about what they´re doing. When we aren´t on patrol, we´re learning about each other´s home countries, playing cards, helping around the hostel... There´s never a dull moment here.

It´s the most fun I´ve had in a long time.

Beth
I have been here 3 weeks now and today is my last day. I was nervous to come as first but I am so glad that I did. I was shocked at my host families house though. I have never lived in such a run down house before without basic necessities such as a shower head or doors. It was so nice that they make the best of it and think nothing of it. I feel extreemly blessed that I was able to experience life outside of my american bubble. I am so glad I came and loved the experience :)

Monday, 7 September 2015

Taking it all in

Blogging from within the charmingly rustic confides of the Backpackers Hostel in Drake Bay is almost surreal. Although I've been here for only a little over two weeks, the 'Pura Vida' lifestyle has seamlessly settled in and I've quickly become accustomed this simple way of life.

My first week, spent at Rio Oro, ensured that, with the complete lack of electricity, I made the most out of my time here. This lack of modernity did not however have any effect on our day as we were always too busy to notice that it'd been hours since we'd last checked our phones. On our arrival we were taken around the premises that almost felt irresponsibly luxurious. In addition to our en-suite tent, we were treated to hammocks, candle-lit paths and jungle gardens illuminated at night by, what seemed like, hundreds of fireflies. Every day has been different, we've swum in waterfalls, lassoed cows, fished in lakes and strolled picturesque, completely deserted beaches. There really has not been a dull moment. In the same manner, every patrol has brought with it something new. Some nights so busy we were running back and forth between nests, trying our best to tag and measure the turtles. Work that you can't help but feel passionate about after spending time with the people here, immersed in the local culture. Some 'uneventful' patrols spent walking the moonlit beach, gazing at the impossibly clear sky whilst having conversations about things you'd never expect to be able to, with people you've known for such a short amount of time. If technology was ever missed, it was soon forgotten by the magnitude of everything around you, and if anything it has begun to feel almost like a hindrance to experiencing real life. Would we had paid as much attention to the sound of the jungle had we been able to watch movies in our down time? Or been as impressed by the sheer volume of water that can suddenly erupt from the sky?

Any person coming to Drake Bay will undoubtedly have a good time; the people are welcoming and understanding, the surroundings are beautiful and there's a never-ending list of things to do. Experiences like these allow you to take away whatever you put into it, you can come and have a great time, and for some people it can be just that. But if you crave more, this place has a wealth of intelligent, passionate people, scenes of sheer beauty that leave you in awe and 'things-to-do' that will inspire you and encourage you to reflect on more than just the superficial.


Thankyou for everything

Saturday, 5 September 2015

The Drake Bay Rookie

The second I arrived at Drake Bay Backpackers I instantly felt welcome by all the volunteers as they played card games, music and learned about each others home countries in their spare time. It was an incredible scene and a fantastic way to start my trip as unlike many of the other volunteers here, this is my first travelling experience. I was extremely nervous at first as I didn't know what to expect from the local culture, people and environment but I can happily say that I can think of no better way to introduce yourself to backpacking. Being surrounded by people from all over the globe with vast knowledge and tales of travelling, I quickly settled into the way of life over here.

I arrived in Drake Bay expecting to be working with the local community and turtles 24/7 due to the nature of the program, but quickly realized its so much more than that. At the hostel you spend every minute of every day alongside other people with similar passions and consequently develop very close relationships with interesting people from all over the world who make every day even better as you always have someone to share all the incredible moments with. I spent my first week in Rio Oro Beach where most of the work is done at night time when the turtles come on to nest, leaving 12 hours of glorious sunshine to take part in a huge range of activities to do. In the space of 6 days we went horse riding, fishing, climbed waterfalls, hiked through the jungle, swam and body-boarded the 6ft pacific waves, learnt how to lasso cattle on the local ranch, went to see live music at the local bar and of course, every evening we helped collect data on countless turtles. Being able to head back to camp after all these mind blowing experiences and share stories with fellow backpackers made every day and night that little bit more special.

Of course if you come to Drake Bay with an intention of seeing as many turtles as possible or helping out in the local community everyday then that would be encouraged, but for me the one thing that is left out in the information sheets is just how welcoming and friendly the volunteers are here and I strongly believe that is what I will remember most of all about this place. 

Friday, 4 September 2015

An Unexpected Journey

When I started my Masters in Sustainable Development it was always with the intention of being able to start a career in conservation.  My first trip to Costa Rica in September 2013 only helped to cement this desire. However as my degree went on and lectures were more about creating sustainable business solutions than conserving wildlife I began to lose hope that I would end up qualified to do my dream job.

When it finally came to doing my dissertation I thought that this at last would be my opportunity to really focus on conservation and do something that I was truly passionate about.  I contacted Rob at the Corcovado Foundation to see if it might be possible to conduct my research in Costa Rica, all the time at the back of my mind thinking it would probably not be possible, but I was in luck...and so here I am!

This is day two of what I know is going to be a life changing experience. This morning was spent on the beautiful beach, keeping a close eye on the hatchery where volunteers help to relocate turtle nests to protect the eggs from poachers and predators. Tomorrow night I´ll be heading out on a night time patrol looking for nesting turtles under the Milky Way (hopefully! It´s not called the rainy season for nothing!)

 Over the next few weeks I will be interviewing members of the local community about their involvement in the project and the difference it has made to both them and the incredible wildlife it was design to protect. I can´t wait!

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Final Day, Final Thoughts

Half a year ago, I had no idea I would be spending the final three weeks of my summer in Costa Rica. It was kind of a last minute decision to join my sister and her friends. During the first few weeks of my summer, I was so preoccupied with work and school, I had not even thought about what to expect when coming here. Yet here I am, expectations (or lack thereof) replaced by the expectation of me to write about my experiences on this blog. So, here is a list of five things you should expect when coming to work with the Corcovado Foundation.

I should mention - I was fortunate enough to volunteer both in El Progresso and Rio Oro, in August. Both were different entirely but equally wonderful. In Rio Oro, we were privileged enough to grow really close as a team and see and work with many turtles, whereas in El Progresso, we were able to help with more general work and meet even more people. Anyways, what to expect...

1. Cold showers.
Youre in rural Costa Rica! Embrace the river swims, and the rain storms that cool the air, and the cold showers. The showers were actually very appreciated - they cool you down when you feel permanently clammy. There was nothing better than hopping in the cool, open air shower at the camp in Rio Oro after a busy, hot, summer night on the beach. 

2. A permanent state of happy sleep deprivation.
Everyone might say you rest all day, but thats not necessarily true. There is a lot of down time, sure- but there are so many fantastic people to spend your time with and fantastic things to do, you will likely find yourself happily sleep deprived for most of your stay. Waking up earlier one day than you went to sleep two nights ago is one of the unique experiences of volunteering in turtle conservation. Even with that, every day, a new opportunity to see something new or help with something different or do something new came up. Besides that, especially in Rio Oro, the happiness of working with turtles and of the experience in itself outweighed the lack of sleep.  
That being said, the people here are not slave drivers, if you need rest you will get rest!

3. Being "one" with nature.
Insects to mammals, everywhere I have stayed here has been pretty open-air concept. Even when you are not intentionally looking for wildlife (hiking in Rio Oro, we saw poisonous tree frogs, monkeys, toucans... the list goes on), the wildlife is all around. Macaws at the beach, spiders the size of a playing card in your room, you get the drift. There are turtles, too - obviously. Think of how incredible it is to be surrounded by nature literally right outside of your door, and be prepared for the mosquitoes and host of other insects so you can enjoy the rest.  

4. Doing things you arent remotely used to (and might not be entirely comfortable with, but will love all the same).
On my list? Relocating turtle nests, walking on the beach with beautiful tropical thunderstorms on the horizon, crossing knee deep bodies of murky water in the dark - at home, you might be able to say "Hey, at least there are no crocodiles!", but that isnt necessarily the case here -, riding in the back of pickup trucks, being trusted with power tools youve never used... just to name a few.  Be prepared for the cliche of "stepping out of your comfort zone"!

5. Falling in love with the people, the country, and the lifestyle.
Everyone I have met here is someone I have learned something from. Every experience was something I grew from. The food is great, the people are generous and kind and welcoming, and the pace of life is very easy going, very "pura vida". Every day I have been here, I have grown to love it more. 

So many things have happened here, I couldnt choose any specific event to write about- but I can say that for all the challenges, this trip was the best trip I hadnt expected to go on.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Everything is possible and nothing is for sure

"Everything is possible and nothing is for sure" this saying has proven to be very true during my time in Costa Rica. It is my third and final week with the Corcovado foundation and it has been an amazing experience. From the moment I arrived here in Drake Bay I have felt an feeling of peace. Whether your laying in a hammock listening to the sounds of the rain forest or walking along the beach in the dark, there is a feeling of wholeness and happiness. There are so many things I want to write about, but I will just write about my favourite night patrol.

We were out in Rio Oro, another location where the Corcovado foundation works along side an organization called LAST. We were all fairly tired after patrolling for a couple nights in a row, but you always forgot how tired you were once you saw a turtle, which in Rio Oro was every night. That night, the director of Corcavado, Rob, had came out with us on patrol. He said he was good luck or something, we thought he was just kidding. As we stood waiting for an indecisive olive ridley turtle to find a spot to lay her eggs we looked at the stars. It was a beautiful night. There was not a cloud in the sky and all the stars were visible. You could see the Milky Way galaxy so clearly that it made you feel small.

Rob piped up "I have a feeling we are going to see a green turtle tonight, it is always a beautiful night when you see a green turtle". He rambled on about the last green turtle he saw while we continued heading down the beach. Down the beach, clearly etched in the sand, we could see turtle tracks going up the beach. We had seen many tracks by this time, but these ones looked different than the olive ridley tracks that we usually saw. They were clean, defined and larger. We walked towards the tracks with excitement and examined them closer with a red light while Aida went to see what the turtle was doing.

Now that we were close to the tracks, we could clearly see that they belonged to a green sea turtle, which did not come to this beach as often as the olive ridley turtles. Aida beckoned us to come up the beach. There she was, preparing to head back to the sea already. She was very determined to walk straight through us and back down the beach, but we tried to hold her down for just a couple minutes. I quickly took her measurements while Aida and Rob wrote down her tag information. After that we let her go and she walked back down to the ocean, stopping every couple seconds to exhale. We followed slowly, staying a few steps behind her until she was swept away by a wave.

In that same night I got to relocate a nest of an olive ridley turtle. She had chosen a spot right next to the lagoon, which we knew would soon be underwater as it is only the beginning of the rainy season. I lied behind her in the sand, collecting the eggs as they dropped into the nest. Each egg a perfect white circle, delicate and soft. I counted them as I placed them into the relocation bag. 97! There were 97 eggs in the bag. We let her cover up the now empty nest and we carried the eggs down the beach to a safer spot. They are surprisingly heavy! Once we found a suitable spot, Aida began to dig a nest, so perfect in neat because you would not expect anything less from Aida. I held the eggs in my lap as I looked at the stars. It was a memory I will not soon forget. Once the whole was dug, with its perfect chamber, I lowered the eggs into their new nest.

I suppose Rob did prove to be good luck on patrol that night, but each night was amazing in one way or another. My time here in Costa Rica has been amazing. I have made so many memories and met so many incredible people. My only wish is that I could stay longer.

Que bonita es la vida en una hamaca!

Ali, 20, Canada

Hot Pink Crocs

They were a last minute addition  to my backpack, almost an after thought. After constant ridicule back in Canada for even owning a pair, I never would have imagined that they would have carried me this far. I find it hard to believe the single best item brought with me on this trip was a pair of pink crocs (I recommend the investment).

When my friends and I arrived in Drake Bay, I don't believe any of us had a real clue of how much of an adventure we were about to embark on. We were rapidly whisked off to Rio Oro within the first few days of arrival, me with my crocs in tow. Rio Oro is a far more rustic conservation location than what you'd find in Drake Bay, completely cut off from the outside world. Every day spent there was full of incredible experiences similar to things that your parents warned you never participate in. 

 On a typical day it wouldn't be uncommon to wade through knee deep crocodile lagoons in the middle of the night, wrestle with massive sea turtles during tagging, cover 10km a night on pristine beaches during night patrol, and get sprinted off the beach during a rapidly approaching lightning storm. 

Much to my friends amusement, my feet and I were constantly very grateful that I had the always fashionable crocs on my feet.  (I would also like to point out that they were the shoe of choice by the local guides.) 

My time spent with the Corcovado Foundation has definitely been filled with experiences that I will never forget, or be able to properly explain to anyone back home! Getting to interact on such an intimate level with the sea turtles and learn about their conservation was more than worthwhile. For anyone looking for an unforgettable experience with some truly amazing people I recommend making your way down here yourself and seeing where the adventure takes you.

Pura Vida

- Heather, 20, Canada

Monday, 24 August 2015

The Best of Both Worlds

        Before my friends and I arrived in Drake Bay we were told that there would be an opportunity to see Rio Oro as well, given that we were staying longer than two weeks. Despite the fact that we hadn't expected to stay somewhere so secluded, we were excited to hear that we could go "glamping" in an area where we would be able to interact with more turtles. 

        After staying in San Jose for our initial orientation, we stayed in Drake Bay for two nights before heading out to Rio Oro. The Hacienda Rio Oro where the volunteers stay is located in an area with only very few other homes. Volunteers stay in tents on raised platforms, with no electricity or WiFi. It was a nice change to be disconnected from the world in that way and to be focused on spending time with old friends, and making new ones. The accommodations were described as being simplistic, but were very new and comfortable. 

       

      We stayed in Rio Oro for a week, and although there are a limited number of tours to go on during the day in comparison to Drake Bay, we went hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, and traveled to Carate to visit the beach there. The best part about Rio Oro is the opportunity to work with many turtles every night, and to grow close with a small group of people in a short amount of time. We got to see both Green Turtles and Olive Ridley's, which made the nightly patrols go by quickly. When the time came to leave, we'd not only grown attached to the area and the way of life there, but the people that we were able to spend our week with. On our last night, we were able to see a cow being born and watched a very colorful sunset from the ranch. 



     Coming back from Rio Oro made El Progreso, a small town of 150, seem civilized and busy. Being here has been a very different experience. There are far fewer turtles every night, but the beach does offer the opportunity to swim. Going to the beach here also involved a walk through a flooded portion of the lagoon, much like Rio Oro, but there is a canoe here to take across for night patrols as well. The hostel here offers a totally different experience, as do the home-stays. You meet a lot more people and there are a lot of activities during the day, but it is harder to get to know the others in the same way. 

     Both Drake Bay and Rio Oro are amazing experiences on their own - but for anyone that has the chance to do both, I would highly recommend it!






      

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Dos Semanas En La Fundaciôn Corcovado

Tras dos semanas sumergida en el Proyecto de Tortugas de la Fundaciôn Corcovado aislada de lo que me rodeaba en mi ciudad, retomo el contacto con las nuevas tecnologîas para plasmar mi experiencia en este increible lugar antes de coger una avioneta con destino a San Josê.

Volviendo la vista atrâs me doi cuenta de todo lo que he aprendido de un sector que desconocia y que nada tiene que ver con mi profesiôn. He aprendido a distinguir tortugas, sus rastros en la noche, a preveer cuantas tortugas saldrân a anidar en funciôn de la marea y de la luna, a escuchar atentamente historias de los lîderes locales en las patrullas sobre un medio que es su vida, a reubicar los nidos para proteger los huevos que cuidadosamente la tortuga camufla en la arena y sobre todo a respetar y valorar enormemente las acciones llevadas a cabo por la Fundaciôn y la involucraciôn de un poblado ante un proyecto de conservaciôn tan a largo plazo que probablemente sean sus hijos quienes puedan ver el resultado de tanto esfuerzo en patrullas y viveros.

De toda mi experiencia destaco cada uno de los minutos vividos en Rio Oro, os recomiendo a todos si tenêis la oportunidad de ir que lo hagâis, estar una semana sin electricidad, telêfono, internet y volver a mantener conversaciones sin un whatsApp que las interrumpa sino que sea porque alguiên nos señale que ha visto una lupa, un mono aullador o una araña pícacaballo no tiene precio.

Por ûltimo, comentar que ademâs del Proyecto y de lo enriquecedor que ha sido si me tengo que quedar con algo....me quedo con las personas que he conocido.
Volunteering here is truly a great experience that should be embraced to the fullest. Make friends, try things you normally wouldn´t and make the most of the time you have here.

"If you live every day of your life as if you are on a wonderful journey through an endlessly fascinating, strange land --- you are"

Friday, 21 August 2015

Veni, Vidi, Amavi

I have been here for 3 days, and already this has been the most adventurous, enjoyable and eye-opening trip I have experienced! I arrived in San Jose on Sunday, and as the plane landed I was excited and nervous (mostly nervous), I couldn't help thinking to myself, "what have I gotten myself into" as this is the first big trip I have done alone. It took a a day or two to get settled, but I already know it is going to very hard to leave this wonderful place. Being in San Jose for two nights was an adventure itself, however, as an environmental science student I couldn't have been more excited to take the long 9 hour journey to Drake Bay and get out into nature. The second I got here it felt like home. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly and the atmosphere is very relaxing. I have only been here a short amount of time but I feel like I have done so much, and there is still so much I want to do! I think the trek to the beach may be my favourite part, although it is long, there is much to see and do on the way. Whether its waving to locals, playing with dogs, canoeing across the lagoon or taking the "Indian Jones" style bridge, something new always happens each time I go to the beach. I have done two night patrols so far, I haven't seen a turtle yet, but I have not lost hope, I still have lots of time! The night patrols can be quite tiring however it is beautiful to just look at the stars and watch the lightning light of the sky and the fireflies light up the beach. I am here for another week and a few days but I am already wishing it was longer.

I have so many stories already that I can't wait to share with my family when I get back home. There have been so many "I can't believe I'm doing this right now" moments and I absolutely love it. I have done so many things I never thought I would. I've always loved traveling and I have been lucky enough to have gone on many vacations but after this trip I feel like this is the first time I've REALLY traveled. Coming here and living with a host family, and being thrown into their culture and way of life, it's just so different then just going to some resort and lying on a beach. I feel more a part of a community and I love being able to help protect the sea turtles. This was a huge step out of my comfort zone and I'm so happy that I did it. I have fallen in love with Costa Rica.

I wish I could post a picture but clumsy me fell out of the canoe into the river and soaked my phone on the first day, but that's okay its just the universe telling me to get off my phone and enjoy this beautiful place.

Veni, Vidi, Amavi. I came, I saw, I loved.

Peace and Love,

       - Rachel, 19, Canada

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

An experience for a lifetime


Today is my last day in the turtle project and knowing this leaves me somehow with a bad feeling. The last 24 days passed so fast also if the life here is really quiet. And in the village EL Progreso  is not really much to do, besides going to one of the two pulperias. The work with the turtles is mostly limited on the night. Each of the two night shifts lasts four hours, the first begins at 8pm, the second one on midnight. This was for me really tiring after a time, especially when you have to patrol a few days in a row. Besides the night work there are also the shifts in the hatchery, where you have to take care that no eggs get stolen by poachers. But somehow this work simply consists of chilling in a hamac.

I was always left behind with my mouth wide open by all the great nature you can find in the environment of the village, from a huge amount of different butterflies to rare snakes, toucans and a lot of loud parrots and even louder monkeys. This includes also the underwater world of the Caño Island, where you can meet for sure some turtles, sharks and if you have some luck also dolphins and whales.


Rio Oro - A must see 

When volunteers are staying in the project longer than two weeks, they have the possibility to go to Rio Oro, where the turtle partner project of the Corcovado Foundation is located. I took this chance and I was really surprised how good it did to be away from internet, electricity and also the possibility simply going to a grocery store, because there was no one in this accumulation of a few houses. I could really enjoy the calmness and the nature in its finest.


The food is simple and tasty with a lot of rice and beans, as you can imagine. =) And there are way more turtles than on the beach of EL Progreso. Touching the skin of a turtle, when she is laying eggs on the beach gives you a feeling that can’t be explained.




Enjoying life together

To sum up it can be said that working with the turtles makes a lof of fun, but you have to expect that your work exists of long walks on the beach during nighttime and that sometimes you must be lucky to see a turtle and not only her track on the beach. But after all the work with the turtle with the combination of seeing all this great spots in the Costa Rican nature makes this stay to an experience I really don’t want to miss in my lifetime. Meeting people and volunteers from all over the world and going a small way of life together made the stay even better.



Julia, 23, Italy

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Mi experiencia en la fundación Corcovado ha sido positiva desde el principio. Antes de llegar a Drake Bay me mandaron la información necesaria sobre el proyecto así que sabía exactamente que esperar sobre el trabajo que iba a realizar.

Los coordinadores del proyecto son muy amables y atentos a las necesidades de los voluntarios. Aunque yo no tuve la opción de alojarme en el hostal porque estaba lleno, me alegra haberme hospedado en una casa de familia porque me dio la oportunidad de convivir de cerca con la gente del sector y darme cuenta que la mayoría de esta comunidad comparte el ideal de proteger a las tortugas marinas.

Otro aspecto positivo del proyecto es que como voluntarios también tenemos la oportunidad de ayudar en otro lugar  a 3 horas aproximadamente de Drake Bay llamado Rio Oro. Yo me quedé una semana ahí y fue una experiencia increíble porque pude ver muchas tortugas anidando. Vale mucho la pena ir a Rio Oro sobre todo en esta época que no se ven muchas tortugas en Drake Bay, así que si vienen por 2 o más semanas es buena idea combinar entre los dos lugares.

El trabajo que realizamos consta basicamente de patrullas noctunas para localizar a las tortugas anidando  o nidos ya hechos. . En Drake Bay también se cuida el vivero en el día donde se reubican los huevos encontrados. Aunque muchas veces es cansado pues toca quedarse despierto hasta muy tarde caminando varias horas en la playa y a veces con lluvia todos tenemos muy claro la razón por la que lo hacemos y el hecho de saber que estamos creando un impacto positivo en la conservaciónb de esta especie hace que valga la pena el esfuerzo.


Ahora estoy de vuelta en Drake Bay por unos días más trabajando y aprovenchando de los tours que ofrece el hostal a lugares cercanos como el parque nacional Corcovado, la isla Caño, entre otros. En general esta ha sido una linda experiencia donde he conocido muy buenas personas y lugares hermosos llenos de vida silvestre!

Nefi (Ecuador)





Monday, 17 August 2015

Wedding anniversary

August 12, 2015

¡Hola!
For our ten year wedding anniversary, we knew we wanted to go away, but we weren´t sure exactly what we wanted to do.  We were nervous to leave our two daughters behind for two weeks.


We decided to try something outside of our comfort zone and we´re so glad that we did!  This is our first trip that we are staying with a host family and doing conservation work.  Staying with our host family has truely given us the opportunity to experience the “rico” culture of Costa Rica.  We also made some great friends! 




We have learned a lot about the turtle conservation project and are impressed with the collaborative nature of the project and the way it reaches out to local families and schools to educate the community. 
So far the highlight of our trip was during our morning “censo” (i.e. the early morning census of the beach) when we discovered some fresh turtle tracks and were able to locate the turtle nest by ourselves.  After confirming that the eggs were in the nest, we then camoflauged the entire area in order to hide the nest from poachers.  




Overall, this has been an eyeopening and exciting trip!  We need to run now though to prepare for our night beach patrol in a few hours!
Jesse & Karen Ferguson
Marion, Massachusetts
United States



I can easily say that the experience I'm having here in Costa Rica is one of the best thing I did in my life. The people here a so nice and welcoming, the locals in particular are very sweet. I've arrived here after spending two days in San Josee, and this place is a little peace of paradises. Ive saw so many exotics animals, unfortunately I didnt saw a turtle yet but maybe Ill be lucky at my next night patrol. 

the ambiance at the hostel is very nice, everybody is relax and they always try to organize excursions to make us discover the beautiful landscapes. There is always something to do or you can just relax in one of the many hamacs and just appreciated the life here. 

there is always something to see and learn, the conservation program is doing a lot to help not only the turtle but also to improve the life of the families and all the community. Each day I can discover something new and be completely amaze by the nature and the way that people live here.

Its been an experience that has change the ways i see life, and one of the greatest things i did in my life !       

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Corcovado Fundation

-What a journey !

My trip in Costa Rica is from far the best I have ever done in my life. Not only the landscapes are one of the most beautiful things I have seen, but also because the people here are truely amazing. They are extremely polite and full of life. Never have I seen someone not saying ´´hola´´ or not waving his hands when we see each other. I can easily understand why ´´pura vida´´ is their motto !

Talking about visiting, I went downtown San Jose for my first two days. I recommend it for anyone who likes walking through huge crowds and go to some museums, churches ! Definitely, it´s a good thing to do if it is your first time in Costa Rica. After all, visiting the capital is a pretty natural thing to do ! We left San Jose on Tuesday the 11th in order to go to Drake Bay. During the bus ride (9 hours), we went through heavy jungle, forests, small towns. It was amazing !

What can I say about Drake Bay and its surroundings ? First of all, the hostel is a really nice place where everyone comes to chill, have a nice time. The people managing it are really cool and kind. The inhabitants of El Progresso are lovely people. I just love being in my homestay. The hosts, Edin and Yrlani are the kindest people on earth, definitely ! I had the chance to go to a waterfall, a river. There are so many places where you can swim, it is unbelievable ! Of course, the beach is the place to go, what a view from there ! But there is not just water here. Hiking and walking through the forest is something that you have to experience. You could have the chance to see birds, monkeys and other animals !

The turtle conservation program is so far a good experience; even though, I haven´t had the chance to see a single turtle. Elias and Eva, the biologists are really nice people. They try to do anything to pass their knowledge and love of turtles. They make sure that we´re having a good experience.

When coming here, I did not know what to expect in any aspects. Now, thanks to the things I have seen, the places I have been and the people I have met, I can easily say that I do not regret coming here at all.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Paradise

A veces imaginas el paraíso...un lugar remoto, lejano, lleno de árboles verdes con lianas colgando de ellos y monos que bajan de esos árboles para comer alguna banana que se ha caído del bananero... Mientras los tucanes multicolor vuelan por encima de las copas de los árboles y algún perezoso sube lentamente a comer hojas de un guarumo. Miras hacia arriba y escuchas la inmensa cantidad de ruidos de vida que se oyen alrededor tuyo y piensas en todos los animales y plantas que te rodean. Respiras hondo y tus pulmones se llenan de un aire que jamás podía ser tan puro...estás en el paraíso. Si caminas una media hora des del proyecto, llegas a un aeropuerto de película, donde la sala de espera es la misma que la sala de embarque y los bancos están hechos de árboles centenarios. La terminal tiene unos 20 metros cuadrados y la pista de aterrizaje está rodeada de sapos enormes a la noche. Des de allí se llega a la playa, parte importante de este paraíso. Una playa que cuando la ves por primera vez pone los pelos de punta y no puedes dejar de mirarla...llena de cocos y palmeras altas.
Ahora des de donde escribo se oye un queco y dos guacamayos que se han posado en un árbol cercano. Antonio el lagarto del hostal corre por la red de delante de la pared de afuera y yo, despues de esta graan inspiración poética...creo que no quiero marcharme nunca de este paraíso...
peace, lovee and sea turtles... qué mas se puede pedir.

Pura vida!