Costa Rica Care and Conservation
- Who?Groups of at least 5
- When?Projects have flexible dates and run all year round
- Where?Heredia and Barra Honda National Park, Costa Rica.
Our Care and Conservation trip in Costa Rica is perfect for groups wanting to work with children and gain some experience in a National Park conserving the natural environment, all while exploring a gorgeous country. This mixed project is perfect for groups of any age, any background and any level of experience.
Childcare in Heredia
The first part of your trip will see you working in the town of Heredia in the northern part of the Central Valley, overlooking the capital of San Jose. This relaxed and friendly town has a high number of families and children, with most attending preschools, kindergartens and secondary schools within a short walk of the town centre. This means that you have quite a choice in the type of placement that you'd like to work in during your stay.
If you would prefer to work with older children, primarily teaching English, then you'll be working with children aged 6 and over at the various placements. Alternatively, if you would prefer to work with the younger children then there are a broad range of kindergartens and preschools that are in need of extra assistance. Typically these placements are well stocked with materials, games and activities, but the sheer number of children make it hard to manage with the numbers of staff members that they have.
For most childrcare placements, you'll typically focus on providing educational activities that focus on:
- English language
- Nouns, adjectives, numbers, shapes, colours, animals, etc
- Arts & crafts
- Sports activities to aid motor skills
- Fun games
This is also a great opportunity for your group to practice any basic Spanish skills that you might have. There are also plenty of opportunities to explore the town, enjoy some shopping, try some traditional dance classes like Salsa or Swing, sample the variety of restaurants or even venture further out of the town to try some zip-lining or to visit the Britt Coffee Plantation to have a tour of the site and learn all about the history of coffee cultivation in Costa Rica.
Tropical Dry Forest Conservation in the Barra Honda National Park
The second part of your trip will be spent working in the natural environment of the Barra Honda National Park. This tropical dry forest is a biodiversity hotspot that sits atop a vast cave system. Millions of years ago, the limestone that makes up the hills in the park were once a vast coral reef in a shallow, tropical sea. Through millions of years of uplift, weathering and erosion, a vast network of caves and tunnels now stretch out beneath the park and provide a home for a huge population of various bat species. In the evening, the bats leave the caves in their thousands in search of food, such as berries, nectar and insects, inevitably spreading seeds and pollen far and wide and allowing a uniquely diverse ecosystem to form.
Your group will not only get to spend some time with our expert guides exploring these caves and seeing the bats in their natural habitat, you'll also be spending much of your time in the forests above conducting a variety of surveys and tasks, all in the name of protecting, studying and conserving this natural habitat. These activities include:
- Monkey surveys
- Butterfly surveys
- Trail maintenance
- Bat surveys
- Community clean-ups
- School environmental lessons
- Vegetable gardens
You will be given an extensive tour of the area where you'll be working and then given tasks to accomplish by the time you leave. You may prepare environmental education materials for local children living around the park, paint buildings and maintain and restore trails, paths, and signs.
Costa Rica, in the heart of Latin America, is a country of contrasts and a varied mix of landscapes and cultures. Its fine range of attractions includes volcanoes, tropical rainforests, magnificent waterfalls and beautiful sandy beaches. You can live with a local host family or in a hotel on the first part of your placement in Heredia, a friendly small town, full of colourful, colonial-style, clay-built houses. For the second part of your placement in Barra Honda, you'll be staying in the dormitories that we have on site. Costa Rica is one of the most stable and well developed countries in Central America, creating a perfect mix for volunteers who want to experience Latin America.
This placement is fully researched, safety audited and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.