Sunday, 4 December 2016

We had a fun time with the Corcovado Foundation! Despite the weather being particularly bad, we were still able to patrol at night and do most of the daytime activities.

We learnt a lot about the biology of sea turtles and the methodology of their conservation program which meant that we understood the need for the data and the help that the sea turtles need. All the staff are really knowledgeable and passionate about the work, making it really enjoyable for the volunteers.

They were kind enough to give us, as a couple, our own cabin which we really appreciated. The food has been very good and the set up of the camp good, just basic as expected.

The patrols are hard work but rewarding and worth the effort! We would recommend this place as it has a good balance of hard work and relaxation - thank you for a great time :)
When I first arrived at the camp, I must admit that I was feeling quite unsure of what I had signed up for. I'm a solo-travelling girl of 25 years from Australia and all I knew was that I wanted to do something good for the environment and have a totally different experience. The other volunteers and research assistants were really welcoming, but they also told me stories of endless rainy days, a girl who was bitten by a snake, creepy crawlies, rice and beans for every meal and how nothing ever dries here. I soon found out that it was all true, however none of it was as scary as it had seemed at first. Going completely out of your comfort zone is always going to be challenging, but it is something I am so glad I did. Oh, do I have some stories! What an adventure I have had. Now, on my last day, I am truly sad to be leaving this place that has become my home, people who have become my family. I feel like I´ve gained an intimate relationship with the jungle that most would never experience on the main tourist trails of Costa Rica. I´ve realised how far my capabilities extend, no longer afraid of wading through murky lagoons at midnight or snakes that may be hiding in tall grass. I have experienced the mysterious behaviour of the turtles, developing a deep, hands-on knowledge about these beautiful and strange, prehistoric creatures. I have formed close friendships with all of those in our group. Even though we had plenty of rain, it became a game to work with it, trying to dry your clothes in creative ways or just embracing it all as part of the experience. It is amazing how all these so-called obstacles in our way were actually the best part, the source of countless jokes and laughter, the inspiration for many tales to tell when I go back home. Everyone should experience something like this at least once in their lives, to live more simply, out in nature, learning just how wild the beach and the jungle really is.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Bajas del bote, y sentir la arena bajo los pies te resulta muy agradable. Has llegado a la playa. La patrulla va a comenzar.
Todo está muy oscuro, sin embargo la luz del cielo más estrellado que probablemente tus ojos hayan visto jamás, va a ser más que suficiente para que tu vista identifique lo que has venido a buscar: el rastro de las tortugas marinas que van a venir a desovar esta noche. Hacemos los grupos de patrulla y cada grupo se encargará de un sector de la playa. Y nos ponemos a caminar en una arena que ilumina tus pasos a través de las luminiscencias del plancton. Es extremadamente emocionante saber que esos pasos en la oscuridad durante las próximas 4 horas van a conducirte repetidas veces al que para mi es, sin duda, el espectáculo natural más bello que existe.
Y ahí está, habitualmente no hay que caminar demasiado para toparte con la primera huella. El contraste oscuro de la huella con el resto de la arena te permite identificar la presencia de la tortuga sin necesidad de usar una linterna. Te aseguras de si hay también rastro de bajada, y si no es así, ya lo sabes: ahí está la primera tortuga de la nocherealizando su trabajo. Subes hacia la vegetación siguiendo la huella de la tortuga para ver en qué fase del desove se encuentra. A veces no ha hecho más que llegar, o aún está haciendo el nido y debemos esperar. El cuidado con el que usa sus aletas para crear el nido es absolutamente increíble.Cuando empieza a desovar comenzamos a trabaja con ella: la medimos, la plaqueamos, la revisamos… Anotamos todos los datos que necesitamos y, otras veces, llegamos a ver cómo la tortugaregresa al océano.

Participar en este proceso durante las noches de la playa Río Oro es una experiencia absolutamente única. Se trata de un contacto directo con un acontecimiento natural que habla por sí solo de lo que es la vida. Estos animales asumen de manera totalmente instintiva su compromiso, y salen repetidas de su medio seguro, exponiéndose a múltiples peligros, porque sencillamente saben que es necesario.
La participación en este proyecto sencillamente me emocionó. Es fantástico saber que existen personas dispuestas a crear organizaciones de este tipo por amor a la naturaleza y su conservación. Fue genial saber que nuestra presencia en la playa ayuda a que este acontecimiento se siga produciendo en el futuro. Y fue genial compartir tantos momentos de risas con los responsables del proyecto y demás voluntarios.
Si duda una oportunidad única para estar en contacto con una naturaleza deexuberancia excepcional, conocer mucha gente, divertirte y aprender mucho sobre estas fascinantes criaturas.

¡Gracias por todo a todos los que compartisteis el voluntariado conmigo, espero podamos volvernos a encontrar pronto!

Juan, 27, Spain

My time at Hacienda Rio Oro was much too short, but the memories I made will definitely last me a lifetime. There are numerous reasons that this place was so special to me: you are surrounded by incredible nature, with all sorts of jungle creatures showing up on your doorstep. Every day is an adventure! The turtles are amazing and working with them is a lot of fun - particularly the hatchlings. You are working for a very important cause. Most importantly though, both the coordinators and the other volunteers are extremely kind and helpful. I felt welcomed into the Hacienda family from the moment I arrived. If you’re thinking of volunteering at Rio Oro then be prepared for some physically challenging work, crazy wildlife and uncooperative weather, but also a lot of rewarding experiences and unforgettable moments. I will miss you guys! 

Sunday, 6 November 2016

My stay at Hacienda Rio Oro has been absolutley wonderful. In the past month, I have gained an abundance of life experiences which I will never forget! Apart from the wonderful staff, the biodiversity here is absolutely stunning. The mixture of unique plants and animals that make up the Osa Peninsula will blow your mind.
I was lucky enough to have been here during the peak of the season, when we saw 109 sea turtles nest in one night! Although very tiring, the work you do here is extremely rewarding. I am leaving feeling as though I have participated in something that really does make a difference. Everyone here is extremely passionate about what they do and that is surely
reflected in the energy of the hacienda.
I have met so many wonderful people here and have shared so many laughs with the other volunteers. I am forever grateful for the beautiful moments I have spent here in Costa Rica. This experience has been life-changing.
Adios Costa Rica!! Gracias por todo!

Georgia, 17
Texas, USA

Saturday, 22 October 2016

I stayed in Hacienda Rio Oro 3 weeks and from the beginning the people here were very cool, helpful and relaxed. Relaxed is probably the best word to describe this experience. But sometimes we also get the change to discover some amazing beaches, landscapes and views.
Working with turtles is an extraordinary experience. If you are lucky (that you probably are because you are coming to this beautiful place) you will get the opportunity to see a green turtle, they are huge! It’s a challenge to tag them but team work is always available at the Hacienda at anytime.

Hacienda Rio Oro also offers other activities, especially if you are a creative person. But besides the nature and beauty, getting in touch with different cultures and learn other things from other experiences is what makes this project complete :)

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Ah what to say about Hacienda Rio Oro… I can definitively say that this is like no other place on earth. The wildlife here is incredible, the atmosphere unmatched, and the turtles nigh indescribable. All in all, this month has been an experience that I will remember fondly for the rest of my life - and hopefully one I will revisit in the future.
The wild, untamed energy of the beach at night, the sheer power of the waves against the shore, the ancient majesty of the adult turtles, the intensity of working with the hatchlings… I could on and on. It certainly isn’t for everyone, but for those who love nature, are passionate about conservation, and don’t mind getting more than a bit dirty, I can’t think of a better place to go.
 The people here truly care about what they do; I’ve heard more than once that this isn’t only a job for them, it’s a lifestyle. Being out in the jungle and living more-or-less off the grid is a way of living that everyone with the capability to do should experience. I only regret not staying longer.
 Thank you so much to Aida, Ava, Alberto, Beto, Emily, Ed, and all of the volunteers! Best of luck with all that you do. – Shane Howe, 18, MN USA

Friday, 30 September 2016

I spent the last 10 days in Rio Oro and my experience exceded my expectations. I came during the peak of the season and on my last night saw 15 turtles! Last year I came to Drake Bay to volunteer in early July and I would definitely recommend coming later in the season around mid September/October as the activity is much greater. I was concerned coming during the rainy season but luckilly for me it was warm and sunny every day besides a few on and off showers! During the day you can expect to have a decent amount of downtime, but it´s easy to stay busy with different activities such as kayaking, horseback riding, taking a trip to the beach/river, or relaxing at the local bar (which I did a little too often). At night is when you get really busy! Patrols last about 4-5 hours but the time flies by fast when you´re on the beach working with the turtles. You´ll help with tagging and measuring the turtles, taking down various data, relocating nests, and if you come later in the season like I did, helping the hatchlings make their way down to the sea. My coordinators and assistants, Aida, Eva, Alberto, Ed, and Emily, were all extremely helpful, friendly, and made the experience so enjoyable. I can´t wait to come again in the future :)


Sunday, 4 September 2016

Après 3 ans sur les bancs d'école, j'ai eu grand besoin d'évasion et d'aventure dans un domaine qui me passionne et qui me montre des possibilités pour mon avenire. Je pense avoir fait un excellent choix en venant dans la magnifique conservation de corcovado.
J'ai rencontré plein de personnes incroyables et vécu dans une véritable petite famille pendant 2 mois.
J'ai pu adrmirer la faune et la flore de la forêt tropicale du Costa Rica, et profité de tour magnifique.
J'ai appris a ouvrire des noix de coco, à faire de l'huile de noix de coco, à faire des bracelets, des colliers, à danser, mais plus important encore j'ai appris énormément de chose sur les tortues marines:
Comment les reconnaître, comment s'occuper d'elle sans les déranger, comment les protéger et j'ai eu la chance de m'occuper de plus de quarante d'entre elles.
Ça peut paraìtre être un paradis et ça l'est à mon sens, mais c'est également un travail épuisant qui n'est pas fait pour les marmottes. C'est pourquoi le staff à besoin de l'aide de volontaires et les tortues ont besoin de notre aide.
Pour finir sur une pointe sentimentale, je dirais merci, merci pour tout à Aida et aux assistants (Eva Alberto, Emily et Ed), qui se donne tant de mal pour que notre expérience sois inoubliable et qui prennent tant bien soins de nous expliquer tout ce que nous avons besoin de savoir et bien plus.
Je n'oublierai jamais cette expérience et toutes les rencontres enrichissantes que j'ai faites.


Lena, 21 ans

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

I came to the Corcovado Foundation as an environmental science major trying to figure out if the path of a field researcher is one I really want to take. This was the best possible decision I could have made. During night patrol the last 4 weeks I worked on over 20 turtles, helping to measure the turtles' carapace, write down data, camouflage nests, and relocate eggs that are at risk. While the turtles are obviously the main purpose of being here, we have ample free time during the day to go to the beach or the river, travel to Puerto Jimenez, go on hikes, hit up the bar, and relax in hammocks. The Osa Peninsula is absolutely beautiful and the wildlife you will see is incredible. In addition to all of this, the volunteers and leaders here are some of the most wonderful people you will ever have the pleasure to meet. Thank you Emily, Ed, Eva, Alberto, and Aida for making this such an unforgettable experience and I'll miss you all! I may be leaving with more bug bites than the entire population to Costa Rica has put together and a recently developed fear of rice and beans, but I can't say enough good things about this program. Thank you again and I can't wait to tell everyone back in California about my time at Hacienda Rio Oro.


Monday, 15 August 2016

I can honestly say that my two weeks working on the sea turtle project as part of the Corcovado Foundation has been one of the best experiences of my life! Aida and the team were welcoming and friendly from the moment I arrived and they really took the time to not only teach us all about the important work that they do but also to spend time with the volunteers taking us on excursions and showing us the local area. The strong sense of community was unexpected but was what will make my experience unforgettable. I will definitely be recommending the project to my friends :)

Helen 30 UK
The reason why I signed up to come to this project was to help towards conservation of a turtles, to meet like minded people and to experience something that I have never done before! All of these things I feel that I have accomplished over my two weeks stay. My stay here has been full of surprises and challenges, which the staff and fellow volunteers here have helped me to enjoy. I will never forget my time here at the foundation and I will miss everyone that I have had the pleasure of meeting here!


Saturday, 13 August 2016

J'ai realise un reve ici, vivre au milieu de la nature avec des personnes qui donnent de leur temps et de leur personne pour une superbe cause. Je n'oublierai jamais ce sejour, ce fut un reve emeveille d'etre parmis ces personne et ce paysage, un superbe cadeau! Etre volontaire fut une aventure incroyable et si magique, que je la recommande.
Merci a toute l'equipe, Aida, Alberto, Eva, Emily et Ed. Hope to see you soon again :)


Thursday, 11 August 2016

If I had to describe this experience in Hacienda Rio Oro with few words I would say: the best experience of my life. Thanks to volunteers and coordinators who suddenly became my friends I succeedeed in enjoying this adventure in Costa Rica at the maximum level. Monitoring turtles and feeling very useful for saving my planet helped me to grow up both as a volunteer and a person. I would never forget the good times I spent here in Costa Rica. A big THANK YOU to everyone! 

The time I spent at Rio Oro was an unforgettable experience. I really enjoyed how remote it was, the rest of the world just seems really far away. All the people were great and because you spend all your time together you become good friends very quickly. I saw turtles almost every night and the work is so fascinating. I think the best part was being on the beach, you look around and as far as you can see, there is no other person, With all the work being at night, you very quickly get used to sleeping at any hour, but it also means you have the days off for tours or activities, or to just chill in a hammock all day. I would definitely recommend coming here and I will never forget the time I spent here.


Monday, 8 August 2016

Coming to Costa Rica and volunteering with the Corcovado Foundation was a spur of the moment decision of mine. If I could go back to that moment, the only change I would make would be planning to extend my stay. One week here, while wonderful, surely wasn´t enough for my liking. From the moment I met two other volunteers in our travels to the Hacienda, I felt welcomeand excited.Landing in Puerto Jimenez, we were greeted by departing volunteers and a wonderful staff. When I did some research about the program prior, I felt very prepared for the workload and program. An unexpected surprise, however, was the family-like atmosphere. Each meal, day,and patrol is shared with others from many different areas of the world, contributing their own personalities and cultures. Of course, I also learned a lot about turtles in my stay here. The nesting process, identification, and general activity of sea turtles wasvery unexpected and beautiful to be able to witness. You feel a connection with the turtles as you record and possibly relocate their nests,I felt like another parent in the situation. Along with turtles, Costa Rica and the Hacienda have much more wildlife to see and learn about including a variety of reptiles, birds, and small mammals. Overall, I only have great things to say about Rio Oro, the staff, and of course the turtles. I could only wish for more time here.
Laura Hickey
Age 18

Virginia, USA
I thoroughly enjoyed my two weeks at Rio Oro working, socialising and patrolling the beach. The research assistants (Ed, Emily, Eva and Alberto) and head of the project, Aida, have made my stay very comfortable and great fun. They are extremely friendly and although their primary job is turtle conservation they are always making sure you are enjoying yourself and are happy with the activities and the general day to day goings on. The people I have stayed with here have all been very welcoming and some of the most interesting and diverse people I have met. Patrolling and seeing turtles has got to be the highlight of the trip but learning about the local area, working to help the project, exploring the surrounding area and hanging out with the other volunteers don´t fall too far behind. It has been an experience of a lifetime here at Rio Oro and I wish my writing skills were good enough to convey my appreciation of my time here. I will never forget the people and the wildlife and I hope Ican return soon.

Daniel Ridley.  

Sunday, 7 August 2016

I applied to the Corcovado Fundation with the idea of protecting turtles, and today, after one week, I'm leaving with amazing memories. It is not only a question of planet's conservation but also a great human experience. I've met so many people from all around the world, from different cultures. I´ve been out of my confort zone, discovered another world and feel so glad to relocate turtles's nest. Thanks you Corvovado Fundation for this unforgettable week!

Marion, 21, France  

Thursday, 4 August 2016

At first, I didn't exactly know what to expect, Am I going to get killed by a scorpion, a spider or even a crocodile ? But the truth is that I quickly became a master at scorpion killing. But that's only a small part of this amazing experience. Seeing a turtle nesting is such an incredible experience and is totally worth all the night walking. In fact, you get addicted to that feeling of finding a turtle and justalways want to see more !!!  You can make a real difference in the future of sea turtles and that's probably the best reward you can get. Don;t forget to enjoy the bar and have fun ! There are so many opportunities to learn something new, you just have to be open minded !

Alex, 23, Quebec
Amazing experience when you love wildlife and you would like to go through your limits in a really friendly environment, It s really easy to feel confortable and don t care sleeping around beeting insects and snakes, I really enjoyed to feel fare from normal life,without wifi/electricity/hot shower, and to apreciate each moment, I learnt a lot thanks to permanent workers and other volunteers, about turtles, wildlife, other countries and myself. Even if I saw more scorpions than turtles, each night was really exciting when we were looking for turtles. Thanks for all you are doing for turtles and the wildlife in general, you are doing a really good and important job for the future.

My trip to Costa Rica for the Sea Turtle project has fulfilled my desire to travel in my gap year perfectly, and i have thoroughly enjoyed my stay here in Rio Oro. It really is a beautiful place, with very comfortable living spaces filled with welcoming faces and stunning countyside. The research assistants and leaders are a fantastic bunch too. They´re very knowledgable about what they do, involve everybody equally and just make a light and friendly atmosphere. For someone that´s fascinated by wildlife in general, the location and work are great, and the conservation aspect is the icing on the cake. Unfortunately I´m limited by the fact that i can´t write a book about my experience for my blog entry as there´s simply too much to fit into one paragraph (even if it is on the hefty side), and I would relish the opportunity to come back in the future.


Monday, 1 August 2016

WOW! Who´d have thought eight days in the Costa Rican jungle would fly past so quickly!

Arriving after two days travelling from England, nervous didn´t cut it. Within a matter of minutes I felt like I was part of the family! Everyone is so welcoming, kind and supportive, even when you´re panicking on the beach at 5am during a tropical storm!

My first experience of backpacking and working on a conservation project has been truly amazing, from the exotic wildlife, exploring the beautiful jungle, swimming in rivers, trekking through the forest, jumping waves in the ocean to patrolling the beach for turtles.

There have, of course, been some difficult moments; cold showers, very limited wifi, numerous insect bites and painful sunburn (regardless of how much suncream you use!) but my time here has been unforgettable.

Rosie, 23, England

From Brighton to Rio Oro!

I´m 24 years old and never thought I would be doing something like this! Wildly apprehensive (and scared within an inch of my life!) I have never felt so nervous as I did stepping off the wonderfully bumpy Collectivo...

However, the second I arrived here in camp, I have felt welcomed. Everyone here has treated me with kindness and support and laughter. It did not take long for me to relax here, to enjoy the hammocks, the fireflies, the cold showers the card games, the friends, the weather, the cabins, the beach, the streams and of course the turtles! The constant suprises of exotic wildlife flitting around the camp, high in the sky, the trees, the water, the ground were continually met with excitement from ALL members of camp - whether they´d been here 2 days, 2 weeks or 2 months.

There are challenges here - the size of the spiders being a particular one for me! But the limited electricity and wifi and hot water fade into insignificance as you really start to commit to the lifestyle here. I have met people from all sorts of countries and walks of life who I have built firm friendships with. It has been truly amazing, an experience I am sad to end and will treasure forever.

Josephine, 24, Brighton, England

Choosing to come to Costa Rica was a big decision for me as it took me more than 30 hours to simply get to San Jose. However, it has been an amazing experience to be volunteering with the Foundation as Aida and the research assistants are professional and helpful. They do their best to make the best stay for the volunteers with the activities and interaction.

The life at the lodge is completely different from the city life. From the constant little surprises of spotting wildlife along the road and in your room to living with limited electricity and internet, it brings people down to the simple things in life and truly enjoy the rustic life of what Costa Rica has to offer. I can assure you that it is an experience you can never find in a city and it is a wonderful thing to be supporting the conservation efforts of the sea turtle population. Keep up the good work and I hope to be back some day!

James, 27, Singapore

Monday, 18 July 2016

The program and everything surrounding it was amazing. Aida and all the assistants are amazing people that are actually trying to make a difference and that is what makes this project stand out from the bunch. In just a couple days it was very easy to get along with everyone and there is a very relaxed yet hard working vibe going on. One thing I particularly enjoyed was making bonds with the community and helping out in any possible way. Not only the volunteers and assistants were amazing people, but the locals also have a lot to offer and add to the positive vibe.
The program and everything surrounding it has been amazing. Li
The program and everything surrounding it has been amazing. Life goes back to

Friday, 15 July 2016

After first being sceptical about our week in Hacienda Rio Oro due to the rustic way of life, we stepped out of our comfort zone and embraced the lack of wifi and electricity. It is fair to say life is different here, however only for the better. We have enjoyed every minute of our time on the programme, both the directors and workers welcomed us with open arms and ensured we were adequately trained before patrolling the beach at night. It has been a great week and we would highly recommend the programme to anyone interested in conservation of sea turtles and wildlife in general. We would like to thank the coordinators and assistants for making our time here relaxing and enjoyable.


Tom and Ollie