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From $40.00

If you are interested in helping the turtles, you can volunteer at Gandoca Manzanillo.

At the Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, you are able to find on the most important beaches for the nesting of sea turtles. The community has developed a conservation project for the turtle species that visit the beach. Gandoca Tours offers the opportunity to participate in the voluntary program, where you will be able to support this noble cause and contribute with your time to the realization of restoring the sea turtle population.

You will be given a training of the activities you will partake in during your stay with the project (patrols, beach cleanups, nursery control, data collection, various activities). You will be provided with various loding options with local families. Your meals will be provided by the family where you will stay.

Minimum: 5 days required to participate:

Inscription: $ 40.00 per person.

Home stays: $ 35.00 per person per day (loding with a local family)

Cabinas: $ 45.00 per person per day (private bath)

Hostels: $ 30.00 per person per day (shared bath)

Practicum, course, local guide and all meals included.

February to August every year.

General description:

At Gandoca beach, 3 types of sea turtles can be found: hawksbill, green and leatherback turtle, of which the latter is in serious danger of extinction because of the loss of its most important nesting areas, beach erosion, water contamination and most importantly: humans.

Since some time already, Gandoca has developed a conservation project to protect these species. The local community manages this project and involves the local families directly through a volunteering program.

Volunteering project:

Each season, families prepare for receiving volunteers that will be given the task to help local staff with patrols at the beach as well as the construction of nurseries, beach cleanups and other activities.

The patrols have the goal to find nesting females and provide them with assistance and protection, the recollection of data and relocating the eggs to the nursery or any other ideal natural location.

The construction of the nurseries is a difficult task where parts of the sand needs to be cleaned and desinfected, and mesh needs to be placed to protect the eggs from predators.

During the day you will engage in beach cleanups, as the waves bring in a lot of trash.

The patrols are carried out during the night from 8 to 12pm (1st shift) and 12 to 4am (2nd shift) in different sectors of the beach. The volunteers will be committed to complete each assigned task.

When you arrive, you will be given an orientation and basic training on how to work with turtles.

5 days minimum are required for participation.

Lodging and meals:

The local families have adapted their homes to receive volunteers, with clean and green living spaces. The rooms are small yet comfortable, generally equipped with mosquito nets and pillows. Some may be shared with other volunteers.

The meals are 3 typical ones that include many local produce.

These families live close to the beach and offer basic amenities such as water, electricity and a phone.

In Gandoca there is no internet nor cell phone service. There is a small bar, mini super and 8 km away you will find a bank and schools.

Among the activities offered in the area, you will find the Gandoca lagune, lush forest, farms, horse back riding tours and wildlife observations.

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