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2-3 months in Costa Rica...Volunteering

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean 2-3 months in Costa Rica...Volunteering

1. Posted by lisay (Budding Member 21 posts) 11y

I am planning on being in Costa Rica next winter/spring for 2-3 months. I am an environment engineering looking to learn spanish and volunteer in the rainforest or with sea turtles. I love to get some exerpeince with environmental edcuation. In a need to keep my costs down has anybody had an luck in volunteering for free or in exchange for room/board. Any other suggestions on living cheaply for a couple months in Costa Rica.

Also looking to take a spanish immersion class 2-4 weeks. what's the best school/location/price?

Any other must do's since I have a good chunk of time. Although I'm sure it will fly by.

Thanks for you help!

2. Posted by chuckolas (Full Member 31 posts) 11y

It depends which city your staying in, if any. For instance, in San Jose, you can stay at a decent Pension for less than $150 a month. Outside the capitol, you can find even cheaper room and board, often with meals included. However, working in exchange for room and board is not usually a viable option. Since wages are so low in Latin America you would have to work full time (and hard) and you would have no time for volunteer activities.
I assume you will be on the east coast, perhaps Tortugero? And did you just up and decide to go volunteer there? You're not already part of a sponsored conservation group?

3. Posted by chuckolas (Full Member 31 posts) 11y

By the way, I don't really think a Spanish immersion course is all that neccessary for C.A. Wherever there's turtles, there will be people who speak English, and within a few months you will be jabbering away in Spanish like a monkey in a tree. (a Spanish-speaking monkey, of course.) It took me about two years to become fluent, but I was conversational within months.
But if you have your heart set on it, I would recommend not an immersion course, but a grammar class. Because Spanish is an inflective language, grammar is far more important than in English and will allow you to progress much faster than if you had only conversational skills to begin with.

4. Posted by lisay (Budding Member 21 posts) 11y

Not part of a group. Going solo. I am looking to quit my job...as an Environmental Engineer and hopefully get some different experieinces via volunteering. Figure out if I want to go back and get a Master's in Environmental Education or Science. I found one sea turtle convservation program that had a pretty nominal fee of $5-7 per day to volunteer and I think it was in Tortugero or maybe more south on the Carribean coast.

I thought an immersion class might be a good transition into the country and learn the language. I will look into a grammer class. I may take Spanish I at a local community college before I go. I'd like to become fluent someday.

5. Posted by chuckolas (Full Member 31 posts) 11y

Well, then as your first Spanish lesson, when I asked if you would be on the east coast, maybe Tortugero, it wasn't just an educated guess. The name Tortugero means, as closely as possible: Turtler. A tortuga, you see, is a turtle. There is no ditingushing between turtles and tortioses that I know of. Therefor, a 'Turtler' most likely refers to a person who hunts turtles, like a whaler hunts whales.

6. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting lisay

I found one sea turtle convservation program that had a pretty nominal fee of $5-7 per day to volunteer and I think it was in Tortugero...

Tortugero was my favorite place in Costa Rica. I was there in January and the turtles weren't there then, but it's a really cool place (except for the rain, but I guess you kind of expect that in a rain forest ).

7. Posted by lisay (Budding Member 21 posts) 11y

Fortunately, with input from people on these forums and further reading has opened my eyes to exploring more of Central America then just Costa Rica. Thanks to all!