Projects Abroad volunteers planting seedlings during Conservation volunteering in Costa Rica for teenagers

Conservation Volunteering in Costa Rica for Teenagers

Team up with high school students from around the world to protect the majestic wildlife of Costa Rica

Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Join our volunteer Conservation placement in Costa Rica for teenagers and take practical steps to protect our planet.


You’ll be based in Barra Honda National Park, a government-run wildlife reserve. The reserve is made up of lush forests and deep cave networks. The deepest cave here is 180 m underground and 60 million years old!


Through wildlife surveys, you’ll collect data on indigenous species. This data helps the reserve develop effective conservation strategies. You’ll even survey bats in the depths of the caves. You’ll be accompanied and supported by experienced professionals, making this a completely safe way to explore underground caves.


What’s more, you’ll gain practical conservation and research experience. You’ll learn valuable skills that will stand you in good stead for any career you pursue. You’ll be able to talk about your experiences during university or job applications. This helps set you apart as an independent global citizen committed to making a difference.


You’ll live in shared, same-sex volunteer accommodation with teens your age. This project has a set itinerary with organised social activities, so you’ll have plenty of time to bond with your group. Over late-night board games, you’ll make lifelong friends with like-minded teenagers, with the hum of wildlife in the dense forest as your backdrop.

When you apply you only pay $295, which comes off the total price.

Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 1 212 244 7234 to see if we can offer a discount.

Project Overview

Start Dates:

Fixed dates during school break

Minimum Duration:

Two Weeks

Placement Location:

Barra Honda (Read More)

Accommodation:

Shared accommodation at Conservation base Read More

Requirements :

This project is only for 15-18 year olds

What's included in the price?
  • Accommodation

  • Food (three meals a day)

  • Travel and medical insurance

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off

  • Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival

  • Transport to and from your work placement

  • In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff

  • Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team

  • Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources

  • Training and workshops from our experienced local staff

  • Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns

  • Access to our local office with internet connection

  • Certification of project completion

  • Visa support and advice

  • Access to our alumni services and discounts

  • Fundraising support, including your own personalized fundraising website

  • Pre-departure preparation by your own specialist Volunteer Advisor

  • Personalized MyProjectsAbroad website, with all the information you need about your project, accommodation and destination

  • A free cultural awareness course

  • Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch

  • Organized weekend tourism trips

  • Dedicated full-time staff members with you 24 hours a day

What's not included?
  • Visa costs (where applicable)

  • Flights

Is Conservation volunteering in Costa Rica for teenagers right for me?

This project is ideal for adventurous teens who are passionate about protecting our planet. If you’re looking to pursue a career in environmental studies, zoology, or botany, this is for you! You’ll gain practical experience working on conservation initiatives in the heart of the tropical dry forest.


Thrill-seekers and nature lovers are welcome! You’ll trek through the forest and explore caves, so be prepared for a step out of your comfort zone and into something extraordinary. This is a completely safe and secure way to experience this breathtaking ecosystem.


You don’t need any skills or qualifications to join. You just need to be physically fit and willing to skip some of your home comforts, like regular Wi-Fi access and hot showers. But you’ll find that in the heat of the forest, a cool, refreshing shower will be exactly what you need at the end of the day.


Travelling abroad for the first time? This project is ideal if you’re looking for a bit of extra support while you’re abroad. Our hassle-free approach means our staff will be on-hand 24/7 to guide you.


Conservation volunteering in Costa Rica for teenagers is available for two over your summer holiday. This project has fixed dates and an set itinerary, filled with plenty of exciting activities to keep you busy.

A group photo during Conservation volunteering in Costa Rica for teenagers

What will I do on this volunteer Conservation placement in Costa Rica?

You’ll spend your days working with other teens to protect the wildlife of Barra Honda National Park. Here are some of the tasks you’ll do:


  • Collect data on wildlife to help create effective conservation plans
  • Run workshops and presentations to teach people about the environment
  • Do community work and maintenance work to keep the park running
  • Plant trees to help combat habitat destruction and climate change
  • Explore the beautiful reserve and bond with your fellow volunteers

Your work will focus on five main areas:


Collect data on wildlife


One of your main tasks will be to collect valuable data on different species. You’ll do this during hikes through the forest, night walks, and trips into the park’s caves. You’ll also help with setting up butterfly traps, which safely catch butterflies so that you can record details about them. Once, you’ve collected this data, you’ll release them unharmed.


The data you collect will tell us more about the behaviour and distribution of species. With these information, we can create and implement more effective conservation strategies.


Some of the species you’ll survey include:


  • Bats
  • Scarlet macaws
  • Monkeys
  • Butterflies


Raise conservation awareness


During your trip, you’ll be learning a lot about Costa Rica’s unique plants and animals. Experts will also equip you with details about conservation strategies. You’ll then share this information with locals in the communities surrounding the reserve.


You’ll take trips to schools or community centres, where you’ll give presentations on topics like organic farming or recycling. This work ensures surrounding communities are invested in protecting the forest. It also means they’ll carry on important conservation work after you’ve finished your project.


Do community and maintenance work


Get your hands dirty and use your energy to make a tangible difference! During your project, you’ll dedicate some of your time to community initiatives. This could include planting vegetable gardens or painting environmental education murals at schools.


You’ll also help with park maintenance. Barra Honda relies heavily on volunteers to keep up it’s amazing work. You’ll play a vital role in maintaining the park by clearing trails, maintaining fire breaks, and renovating the camp.


Help with reforestation work


The tropical dry forest is threatened by deforestation. Cutting down trees and clearing land for farmland and urban expansion leaves many creatures without homes. You can make a difference by helping with reforestation initiatives.


As a volunteer, you’ll tend to young saplings in the tree nursery. You’ll also help with planting the larger saplings in the forest. This initiative helps rebuild this vital habitat.


Reforestation also helps combat climate change. More trees means more carbon dioxide absorbed, which helps reduce the catastrophic environmental consequences of this greenhouse gas.


Explore the surrounding nature


It’s not all work and no play! You’ll also have plenty of time to explore the park and connect with your fellow volunteers. This project has a set itinerary, with time set aside for social activities. This includes meals shared with your group, late night cards and board games, and even a trip to Rincon de la Vieja Volcano!

Project Partners

For this project, we’ve partnered with Barra Honda National Park. This is a government-run wildlife reserve in desperate need of volunteer support. We provide the park with the manpower to do important conservation work. In exchange, our volunteers work with and learn from some of the top minds in environmental studies.

Where in Costa Rica will I work?

Barra Honda

Our volunteer Conservation placement in Costa Rica for teenagers is based in Barra Honda National Park. This is a government-run wildlife reserve located in the northwest of the country. The nearest town, Nicoya, is about a 25-minute drive from the reserve.


During your project, you’ll live and work within the reserve. This area is a lush tropical dry forest with an intricate network of underground caves. You’ll stay in shared, same-sex dormitories with volunteers your age.


You’ll find living in the forest is unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Surrounded by the sounds of chattering monkeys, chirping birds, and buzzing insects, you’ll get to truly connect with nature.

AIRPORT PICKUP, FLIGHTS AND VISAS Costa Rica

When volunteering in Costa Rica, your arrival airport will be Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO). You will be met at the airport by a Projects Abroad staff member. You can find more detailed information on flights, arrival airports, orientation, and visas, on our Costa Rica Arrival Procedures page.

What are the aims and impact of Conservation volunteering in Costa Rica?

The main aim of this project is to support the staff of Barra Honda National Park in their vital conservation work. In the process, you’ll also gain valuable skills and practical experience.


Costa Rica is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity. So even though it’s a small country, it has plenty of indigenous wildlife. However, this wildlife is threatened by deforestation and climate change. That’s why it’s vital to understand how best to conserve local plants and animals, while also taking steps to ensure humans in surrounding areas work to protect the forest.


On this project, you’ll play an important role in making this happen. Your work will help us in striving towards long-term, sustainable goals to protect the tropical dry forest ecosystem.


Join us in Costa Rica and contribute to vital conservation work.

A staff member and a volunteer plant seedlings on a Conservation placement in Costa Rica for teenagers

Management Plans

We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.


Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.

Measuring Our Impact

Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers and interns actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work.


We produce an annual High School Specials Impact Report, which documents some of these achievements. Find out more about the impact of these projects, and read the latest report.

FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION

You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers during your stay at Barra Honda National Park. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your time together.


On our High School Specials, we will always try to have you share a room with at least one volunteer of the same sex and approximate age. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe. Your programme fees include three meals a day.


Find out more about our accommodation.

SAFETY AND STAFF SUPPORT

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.


Find out more about safety and backup.

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