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Learn Spanish & Volunteer

From {{totalPrice}} EUR Extra kosten tijdens tour None
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Dit is zonder vliegtickets. Wij helpen je graag om de goedkoopste tickets te vinden.
Wat is inbegrepen?
Duur
8 dagen
Begint in
Santa Teresa
Eindigt in
Santa Teresa

Learn Spanish & Volunteer in Santa Teresa - a jungle surf camp hidden in tropical forest where you can learn Spanish and get involved in Turtle and Coastal Conservation.

This program starts on the first and third Sunday of each month, so you can ‘settle in’ before the program proper starts on Monday morning. As well as Spanish lessons and meaningful volunteering placements, other programmed activities include hiking, so you can explore and enjoy the beautiful hinterland of Nicoya Peninsula and get a real feel for the biodiversity of this special part of the world.

Your experience will be based at ‘Jakera Jungle Surf Camp’ where we have created a jungle paradise complete with swimming pool overlooked by a rich tropical forest bursting with wildlife including red squirrels, howler monkeys and tiny magical hummingbirds. We are a 5-min walk from the cool cafes, bars and shops that line the 6km stretch of road and beach that make up Playa Santa Teresa/Playa El Carmen.

Throughout the volunteer projects you assist in preserving precious ecosystems and help local people raise their quality of life. However, there is still free time to enjoy a great social life and participate in the many other activities to be enjoyed here.

Please note: Turtle Conservation in CIRENAS Playa Ario is ONLY available in the 3 and 4-week programs.

Reisroute

Learn Spanish & Volunteer

Spanish Lessons

Depending on how long you've booked to stay, you will have 2 x 45 minute Spanish lessons (usually between 09:00-11:00) from Monday to Friday during weeks 1, 2 and 4. Tuition is delivered by accredited and licensed teachers and on day one you will receive a short test to establish your level and objectives. These lessons will be tailored to suit all levels from beginner to intermediate and are designed to help you interact and immerse with the local community and enjoy being in a Spanish speaking country.

Please note: Spanish lessons are not included while volunteering with turtle conservation at CIRENAS Playa Ario.

Volunteering

During weeks 1, 2 and 4 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (2-3 hours per day), you participate in volunteer projects designed to conserve and respect local natural resources. Project work is varied and priorities are seasonal and weather dependent. However, most of our efforts are focused on the following areas:

Beach Conservation
Here we work alongside the Santa Teresa Lifeguards. Having seen the amazing beaches of Santa Teresa, and adjoining Playa Hermosa and Playa Carmen, the recreational opportunities are clear. However, beaches need to be maintained to keep them clear of debris that not only looks unsightly but can cause harm to people and wildlife. Work includes promoting Lifeguard issues with regard to beach safety and etiquette (through signage, presentations and speaking to visitors), organizing clean ups with focus on recycling.

Blue Flag Initiative
Formed in response to water and beach pollution, this government-backed initiative aims to reward communities that adhere to their guidelines on conservation practice. By awarding the Blue Flag, the communities gain international recognition for their beach and can attract more tourists and investment.

Recycling
We are leading the charge in our local community to create as many recycle stations and collection points for plastic waste in particular so that Bionics can easily collect it all once a week from main road. We have built two recycle stations on our street and this has reduced the normal garbage by 30% or more. As a result, on our street alone we collect a huge amount of plastic for Bionics each month.

We clean the beaches of plastic once a week at least and participate in community clean ups on a monthly bases and this month collected close to a ton of recyclable rubbish in one day with the help of about 100 volunteers. We go once a week to the Bionics Depo 30 mins away in Cobano to help them clean, organise and package the plastic for shipment to the USA where they turn it into shoes, T-shirts, building blocks and a whole variety of consumer goods, hence giving real value to this recycled material. This is the future and this is what may just save the planet or make a difference at least. Once this "rubbish" has value people will start to take notice and collect it and turn it into something useful. This way we show our students the full cycle of events, how plastic gets into the eco system, how hard it is to take it out once it's in there, and finally the light at the end of the tunnel, what we can do with it once we collect it.

Tropical Forest
Our main focus is the forests' most important resource - water! You help with the maintenance and supply of our tree nursery; planting carefully selected saplings, gathered seeds and ongoing support of recently planted trees to ensure their success. We support the local Waterkeepers who patrol the river systems of Santa Teresa and neighboring tropical forest resources by helping to report any contamination, clear forest debris and litter from streams before it is washed out to sea and can cause further damage to wildlife, and by maintaining walking/hiking trails that allow visitors to access this beautiful area. It is also a great opportunity to learn about the biodiversity of flora and fauna in this special part of the world.

Jakera Club
The Jakera Club is all about community work with the kids of the Santa Teresa community. Here we team up and work hand in hand hosting extra curriculum activities for kids from our immediate vicinity. Our activities are run by international and local volunteers, and include sports, arts & crafts, English classes, environmental and social awareness activities. We also organise and run out of school activities (including Saturday afternoons) for the kids to appreciate entirely new experiences and adventures, including organised sea safety, beach and kids surf classes as well as nature conservation activities.

Turtle Conservation Volunteering (Week 3; Only Included in 3 & 4-Week Programs)

If you have booked the 3 or 4-week program, week 3 will be spent at a Turtle Sanctuary that we support, CIRENAS Playa Ario about an hour's drive from Santa Teresa. You’ll be protecting the eggs and hatchlings of Olive Ridley, Black Turtle, Hawksbill and Leatherback species, who visit local ‘semi intensive’ nesting beaches at night to nest. The principle objective of the project is to protect adult female turtles that frequent beaches along this coastline, and their nests, from human predators and wildlife, natural events such as beach erosion and flooding due to high amounts of rainfall in nesting season. This is achieved by maintenance of infrastructure and surroundings, beach cleaning, night patrols to look for nesting female turtles (in season), transport of food and water, collection of data and releasing baby turtles into the ocean (in season) and the construction of a hatchery.

Seasonal Support
It is important to note that although turtles nest frequently in peak nesting season (July to November), there will be times where turtle activity is very low. We still need help during most of the year for the construction and maintenance of the hatchery, critical for the upcoming season.

Hiking

We would like you to enjoy Nicoya Peninsula - an area of outstanding natural beauty so each Wednesday in weeks 1, 2 and 4 we will explore our surroundings on foot. The first is a 2 hour ‘jungle river trek’ along a river that runs by Jakera Jungle Surf Camp and into the lush tropical forest that surrounds us. You will quickly find yourself ‘lost’ and wondering which direction the seemingly nearby beach is. The second Wednesday we hike from ‘beach to waterfall’ to discover a multitude of waterfalls and rivers that tumble and twist through the rainforest and out into the Pacific Ocean. This hike helps us to understand how the whole eco system works. There is a huge range of flora including trees with specific medicinal applications. We begin to understand the beauty of this truly diverse location.The last hike in Week 4 is a bit flexible and depends on the weather and how much of the area the volunteers have already explored.

Please note: The schedule order may be subject to change according to tide, weather and volunteer work specifics.

Free Time

During the weekends, there are a lot of opportunities to expore the area and try out different activities. If you're into yoga, try a beach session on Sunday mornings: get up a little earlier than usual to enjoy a pre-breakfast yoga session on the beach. Yoga is very popular in this part of the world and 45 mins costs around $15. You can also try white water rafting, horse riding, surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, whale watching, a jungle canopy tour etc. There is always something to do and if it all sounds to active, you can just enjoy the beach or pool.

Please note: Travel on the weekends, or any of the extra activities is at your own expense and risk. We cannot be responsible but, if anything happens, we will of course be there to assist. Please ensure that you have adequate medical insurance before you carry out any activity.

Mandatory Volunteer Requirements

Police Clearance Certificate

What Makes a Good Volunteer?

Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.

Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.

How Long Should I Volunteer?

Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities.

Overzicht

Wat is inbegrepen?

Extra kosten tijdens tour
None

Accommodatie

We have created a jungle paradise complete with swimming pool overlooked by a rich tropical forest bursting with wildlife including capuchin and howler monkeys.

Accommodation is single sex dorms with beds, and separate toilet and shower facilities (hot and cold water!). Breakfast and lunch are provided but the daily routine will be structured to accommodate quality of the surf (generally better in the mornings) as we try to create opportunities for the beach in between our priorities of Spanish lessons and volunteering.

There is a laundry service in the local town for getting your clothes washed at a very reasonable price.

During week 3 if you are based at Cirenas, accommodation is in a nice wooden house with 6 rooms, each with a couple of bunks up to 4 per room, a maximum of 16 guests. Open air showers and toilets, all rustic but clean and nice. Sheets, pillows, and mosquito nets are provided and all the rooms have fans. All 3 meals are served up at the main lodge and are good healthy Costa Rican dishes.

If you are based in Montezuma, you will be staying in a local hostel. Breakfast and lunch are provided. The hostel has dorm style rooms with bunkbeds (single sex) and conventional bathrooms with showers (hot & cold water). While meals are prepared by a chef, everyone is expected to share communal duties, including cleaning the living areas and bathrooms, and washing pots after meals. Montezuma is a small picturesque village, fairly laid back with some shops, small restaurants and bars. There are also opportunities for boats trips, snorkelling etc as well as inland hiking and wildlife spotting. You will need to bring a light weight sleeping bag.

Please bring your own towel.

The arrival package includes airport transfer to the hostel in San Jose, one night in San Jose in dorm accommodation, transfer the following day from San Jose to Playa Santa Teresa.

Lokaal vervoer

You can either get to the project on your own, or make your arrival smoother by booking an airport transfer or an arrival package.

Airport Transfer
You can book your project including an airport transfer. Between 01 Jun and 14 Dec there is an airport transfer at 08:00 from San Jose. Between 15 Dec and 31 May there are transfers twice daily at 06:00 and 14:00 from San Jose.

Arrival Package
You can book an arrival package including 1 night in San Jose and a transfer the following day in case you can't make these transfers:
Between 01 Jun and 14 Dec there is an airport transfer at 08:00 from San Jose.
Between 15 Dec and 31 May there are transfers twice daily at 06:00 and 14:00 from San Jose.

Other Transportation
Local transportation during the program is at your own cost. If required you can book and pay for a departure transfer locally.

Maaltijden

Breakfast, lunch, and brunch on weekends are included. Safe drinking water, tea, coffee, natural soft drinks will be provided.
All food in our camp is organic, sourced from local farmers and fishermen with garnishes and a few extras from our own garden. Our menu is predominantly vegetarian, though we do also serve locally sourced meat and fish.
There is a kitchen at the camp where you can make your own food.
There are also social nights arranged at camp - pizza night, burger night, Mexican night etc where diiner costs between USD7-10.
Safe drinking water, tea, coffee, natural soft drinks will be provided throughout. Beers and sodas are not included.
Although menus will be local, they’ll be tempered to western tastes and vegetarians are easily accommodated. Salads, simple soups, tortillas, sweet plantains and local food made of tubers (similar to potatoes) are also popular.
You will need to help with cleaning dishes and keep your room and public areas tidy.
During your week at the turtle rescue centre all meals are included.

Houd er rekening mee

Volunteers will need dark coloured clothing to work at night, preferably long sleeved, flashlight with a red LED if possible, mosquito net, closed toe shoes for turtle patrols that will be comfortable and a waterproof jacket.
Light weight sleeping bag for night patrols and mosquito net are useful and should be in the packing list.

Learn Spanish & Volunteer

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