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The Gap Year Blog

Project Blogs - Costa Rica


I have always been curious about Costa Rica. Throughout my education it always seemed to be the pinnacle of biodiversity. It was constantly used by teachers and later lecturers as one of the richest remaining hotspots with regards to density abundance, and diversity of organisms.

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Plastic is a resource we as a species have become increasingly reliant on. However, the world is also becoming increasingly more aware of its impact on the health of the planet, its wildlife and humans ourselves. As a wildlife conservationist, I have taken a special interest into researching the effects of plastic on the environment and have seen first-hand the widespread reach of plastic in the environment.

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Mental health. It’s becoming an increasing prevalent problem, with over 300 million people worldwide suffering from depression alone according to the World Health Organisation. And unfortunately, it’s often tough to combat. Although its stigma has weakened in recent years (and for good reason), there aren’t really any definitive cures, and with some UK patients waiting up to 13 years for required NHS treatment as shown by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, it can sometimes be up to ourselves to find something, however small, that helps.

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Last week I had the most amazing experience; I was on my way back from leading an amphibian and reptile survey at night with some volunteers when we saw some eyeshine on the airstrip.

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Coming to Costa Rica to volunteer with Frontier is a huge commitment, so it’s pretty understandable that you’ll probably want to know every little detail about it. Don’t get me wrong, the field brief you’ll receive prior to your departure is pretty exhaustive. But it could never have the answer to everything. It’s not your mum.

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Here in Costa Rica the majority of our day is spent on wildlife and conservation surveys. But it’s not all reptile ranking, puma pursuing or turtle tracking. Here are a few ways we like to keep ourselves busy when there’s a moment to spare…

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Once arriving at the festival, the first thing I stumble upon was some rather interesting talks of what was happening in the community and the different projects that were running. After a very sparse audience materialised it was decided that the talks should be moved closer to the other festivities prompting a migration down the trail.

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Hiya, I’m Lila, I’m here for 3 months and I am hoping to do a project on the crocodiles and caimans in the lagoon. The lagoon is only 5 minutes from the camp and connects to the sea during the wet season. I’m here in the dry season but I am still hoping to look at the abundance of crocodiles and caimans in the lagoon.

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I’m going to come clean - I don’t really have a clue about nature. Or science. Or travel. Or anything you’d likely associate with Frontier’s work in Costa Rica.

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It’s been another busy week at camp Osita. The schedule included usual turtle patrols and surveys as well as some trailblazing to see if we can extend some of our current trails we use for surveys. However, this week was particularly eventful as I celebrated my 19th birthday ...jungle style!

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