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The Gap Year Blog

Jungle Joy: My Time in Costa Rica

15 Oct 2019 16:35 PM

Let me tell you a little bit about my Costa Rican jungle experience. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect at first. I’m now in my final week here, and I have loved every minute of it.

The first wildlife survey that I took part in when I arrived left a lasting impression on me. A big part of what we do here at Camp Osita is sea turtle conservation. My first survey was a beach patrol, where we walked up and down the beach to search for new turtle nests and check up on the old ones. We dug up a nest that had 6 baby turtles in it, and I was able to observe them as they made the trek to the ocean. Seeing those cute little babies slowly crawl down the beach and get swept up by the tides is something that I will never forget.

There is no shortage of wildlife on the trails around camp. From spider monkeys and coatis to iguanas and exotic birds, I’ve seen it all. The wildlife surveys give you a great opportunity to observe native species in their natural habitat. On the weekends you have the freedom to do what you want, and I had the pleasure of visiting a local bird sanctuary near camp. I got to know the owner, Patrick, a very interesting man with loads of amazing stories. Even though one of his birds tried to eat my ear while sitting on my shoulder, it was a really fun afternoon! On the following weekend I got the opportunity to go whale watching and snorkeling in the Gulfe Dulce. I even got to see a couple of humpback whales and a huge group of dolphins!

Life on camp is pretty basic, but it is always full of excitement. The volunteers are awesome and the staff are very passionate about their work. The locals are all super friendly. My Spanish could use some work but I have come a long way since I got here. If I wanted to give advice to anyone thinking of volunteering with Frontier in Costa Rica, it would be this: just do it. You will not regret it and it will be one of the best experiences of your life.

By Mateo Winterscheidt - Frontier Costa Rica volunteer

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservationcommunityteaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!