Costa Rica is one of the 20 most biodiverse countries in the world. It is home to 26 National Parks and is known for its beaches, volcanoes and biodiversity. More than 500,000 species are found here, representing 4% of the total species estimated worldwide, despite the country being only 0.03% of the world’s landmass. Approximately a quarter of Costa Rica is made up of protected jungle. Through our projects Raleigh works to preserve this biodiversity, increase the resilience of local communities to climate change and improve access to education.
Environmental Projects in National Parks
For our environmental projects, Project Site Volunteer Managers will be living and working in a national park alongside their volunteer groups. You will work to improve the trails and ranger stations and increase awareness in local communities through environmental education initiatives, helping them to better manage their natural resources for future generations. Field base staff will also get to see our work in action, on site visits to manage supplies, get updates from the team and report back on the group’s progress.
Improving Community Access to Education
Indigenous populations in Costa Rica are often the most marginalised members of society and tend to be some of the poorest. Education levels in these communities are much lower than the national average and poor school infrastructure further exacerbates the situation. The volunteer groups as led by our Project Site staff, work with local communities to improve educational infrastructure by building or improving school facilities. These efforts help the community secure government funding for teaching staff, and ensure they have the knowledge to manage and maintain schools in the years to come. As with our environmental projects, Field base staff also have the opportunity to experience the changes being achieved in communities through their visits to our project sites.
Out on Trek
Leading our younger volunteers on their Youth Leadership phase, our Project Volunteer Managers will embark on an adventure on one of several different trek routes in Costa Rica, covering 280km in three weeks. You’ll travel through rainforests, up hills, through local villages and see stunning views of the Costa Rican environment. Trek requires courage to venture outside your comfort zone, and it is here where your support for the volunteers may be most important. Friendships formed on trek are often some of the strongest on Expedition, and the experience of seeing the volunteers grow and develop through this experience is hugely rewarding.
Life at Field base
For our Volunteer Managers stationed at Field base, life is just as exciting. From here in Turrialba you will carry out the essential day-to-day running of Expedition. It’s a calm and peaceful place to work, surrounded by lush farmland you’ll travel through each morning from your accommodation off-site, only a five minute walk away. Despite this sense of remoteness, it is still within walking distance of Turrialba town should you need to gather supplies. With a great sense of space and connection to the outdoors, you will likely encounter a great range of wildlife at your door, from toucans and parrots to frogs and cows. There is great variety of things to do on your days off, from sampling local food, trips into town, or hikes into the surrounding area of rivers and hills.