There are several volunteering programs in and around the Montezuma area that attract participation from travelers and expats all over the world. The programs run from conservation of Costa Rica’s near extinct species to volunteering for teaching languages, musical instruments and other skills to children. Many retirees here sign for one or the other volunteering programs to add value to the local community that they now call home. If volunteering in Costa Rica is on your bucket list, here’s some helpful information to get you going in no time.
Organic Farm and Permaculture Volunteering
There are plenty of volunteer opportunities at the Rancho Delicioso and volunteers are expected to work hard on the project. Since the fees are kept reasonable volunteers can expect to be offered enough sufficient local vegetarian food. This will act as a great learning experience and anyone wanting to get involved in the project is welcome to be a part of it.
Volunteer activities here include farm manual working, taking care of animals, general maintenance of the retreat, cooking, providing ideas for ongoing projects, internet research and promotion. Volunteers are granted the required resources and framework to carry out their ideas, but they are also required to respect the work schedule, cook their own meals, do their laundry and utilize only organic cosmetic/cleaning products in keeping with the spirit of the destination. An advantage of volunteering here is that volunteers will enjoy free-of-charge yoga classes at Anamaya Resort.
Address: Montezuma, Costa Rica, Cobano – Delicias Rd, Costa Rica
Phone:+506 2642 0203 www.ranchodecioso.com
Romelia Costa Rica Sea Turtle Program
Sea Turtle Protection Volunteers
Another popular volunteer program in Montezuma is the Romelia Costa Rica Sea Turtle Volunteer program. This organization’s aim is the preservation of endangered species of turtles; a large part of the organization’s focus is on promoting global environmental awareness. This process is conducted by having international volunteers contribute their time, energy and share what they have gathered from their experiences.
Depending on the season that volunteers come to assist at this placement they may be assisting with monitoring and recording the species and frequencies of turtles laying their eggs on the beaches of Romelia. Volunteers may also be required for the construction and maintenance of the turtle hatcheries by finishing tasks such as carrying driftwood up the beach to make fences, filling and placing sand bags, up keeping the roof of the structure and ensuring that the beach surrounding the hatchery is free of dirt. Volunteers may be required to assist coordinators and staff members in recording the size, weight and other biological information of both laying and hatching turtles.
Volunteers may help with turtle hatchling release by ensuring that baby turtles are set free during low tide, when it’s not very sunny, by walking with turtles to the water and remaining on watch until the last turtle has been released and swam away. Volunteers may need to lend a hand with the construction and maintenance of the public paths and walkways to and from the project site. This task consists mostly of clearing leaves from the path. Volunteers may also be needed to help with keeping the beaches clean and clear of dirt so that laying turtles can easily make their nests.
Volunteers may also be asked to participate in tasks not directly related to the sea turtles, however; it is important to note that without these tasks being completed the project will not run successfully, and as such these tasks are just as important as the ones which involve direct interaction with turtles.
Volunteers will be asked to participate in a rotating schedule for all household tasks. Greenhouse duty involves watering existing plants, planting new ones, and weeding out unwanted plants. Dish washing duty involves assisting the cook with washing all dishes used in preparation and consumption of food at the project. Volunteers will also be asked to help with taking out the garbage, facilitating the compost heap, burning waste and sweeping and mopping the residence. Volunteers are required to work Monday to Saturday, with 3 hours free on Wednesdays. Sundays from 5 am to 5 pm are free, with the occasional overnight free day given.
Tropical Adventures Foundation
Call US or Canada: +1 218-506-8426
Call Internationally: + 506 8868-0296
Wild Sun Wildlife Rescue Center and Volunteer Program
Wild Animal Sanctuary and Hospital
There is also the Wild Sun Volunteer Program. Formerly Rainsong Wildlife Sanctuary, the new owners have been working on improving conditions for the animals, and getting all their permits renewed. Wild Sun takes in injured and/or abandoned wildlife and treating and releasing innumerable animals and birds in the area. Those with permanent handicaps can be cared for in habitats. Volunteers will spend many hours each day caring for the wildlife in the rescue center. They will also be involved in the process of clearing brush, landscaping, and building more animal habitats for the hospital and breeding areas.
While volunteering on the project, volunteers can also take trips to Cabuya’s beaches, nature tours, waterfalls, and hiking in virgin forest.
Volunteers several enjoy many free activities such as fishing and snorkeling excursions to Isla Cabuya, jungle and waterfall trips, wildlife hikes, and other group activities. Volunteers’ enjoy discounts for nature tours by horse, fishing and snorkeling trips by boat, boat tours, entrance to Montezuma Butterfly Gardens, and other activities.
The Mariposa Butterfly Garden is always looking for volunteers and outdoor enthusiasts who want to acquire hands on knowledge about raising butterflies. They need work/stay volunteers to help them raise caterpillars, feed adult butterflies, and work in their garden to maintain host plants. They are also adding an organic garden that they need help with maintaining beds, planting, and working on soil amendments.
Since January of 2007 the opportunity to stay for a greater duration was made available to anyone interested in living at the Mariposario. The cost per person is $225 for a 4 week contract. They provide lodging, breakfast, and lunch. In exchange you give them 20 hours of work per week. Every month they have have 3 work/stay positions available. Accommodations are dormitory style and co-ed, with two shared bathrooms, hot water and full kitchen.
Surf, Spanish and Language Teaching Volunteer Opportunities
Kerri Bowers and Cesar Benavides founders of Proyecto Montezuma manage a unique and resourceful volunteer program which not just attempts to give back to the local community but also encourages cultural exchange, pays reasonable wages and hand over a token of appreciation at the end of the program in the form of a souvenir/gift for contributing your time and energy. Participants can choose a project that’s close to their heart and which they’re good at such as conducting English language classes for locals or getting rid of trash from the beach and jungle or conducting lessons on teaching musical instruments and art. Volunteers can also register for an eco adventure tour or surfing lessons in and around the Montezuma region.
Proyecto Montezuma is a private nonprofit organization that offers free English classes for local adult learners and Costa Rican elementary school children from humble backgrounds that cannot afford to hire full-time English teachers. Proyecto Montezuma also provides various other learning opportunities to members of the local community free of charge. The organization gives aspiring volunteers the opportunity to travel like they care by earning their TEFL certification, volunteering to teach English or other lessons in their area of expertise, or by booking surf lessons, Spanish classes, and sustainable tours and adventures through Proyecto Montezuma’s tour agency. It not just helps build a better future for local school children and the Montezuma Community.
Teaching English to a community ensures that they highly benefit from speaking a second language since global tourism is an important aspect of their economy. Volunteers will be in direct contact with the locals and become part of their community as they share their knowledge of the language with the local community.
My new favorite restaurant, Clandestina is not to be missed by food lovers staying anywhere near to Montezuma. Established in March 2015, Clandestina is the new kid on the block. The Oregon/Tico collaboration is a winner among locals and travelers alike, with artisan craft beers, made onsite by Butterfly Brewing Co. and delicious, exciting […]