Help rebuild Sea Turtle Conservation camp and home after fire in Barra de Pacuare, Costa Rica

  • Costa Rica
  • Favourited 688 times
  • Last activity: 4 May 2020



 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks



  • Description


    Our mission is to educate, inspire, and engage a new generation of volun-tourism for the conservation of animals and the promotion of community sustainability initiatives.

    Gaby is a local of Costa Rica and an ex-poacher. He has been able to get out of poaching by co-creating this volun-tourism and community sustainability project. He also makes and sells coconut oil, and jewelry. Gaby can climb a coconut tree in an instant and cook up some amazing food with next to nothing. He's also an avid fisherman and will take you out fishing and bring it back and fry it up for dinner.

    I'm Sherri I came to the island 10 years ago as a volunteer and fell in love with the island, the turtles. and Gaby too. Gaby and I built our house and created this project to help the turtles, the community, and the Earth. We are not sustainable yet, so I return to the states June-December to work, save my money and come back to Costa Rica for the turtle season. I am in the states now and we could really use some help and give Gaby some company while I'm gone

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care
    Language practice
  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Gaby speaks only Spanish so this is an excellent opportunity for 100% emersion. You can also practice your teaching skills with helping him learn your language.

    You may have the opportunity to learn many useful survivalist skills such as building fires to cook with, and learning of the sustainable food products on the island. We also use sustainable building supplies such as using wood or plants from the beach to make fences and other structures

    Learning about native plants and their health and medicinal benefits will also be an opportunity when Gaby or myself is in the island. We also specialize in organic gardening (no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides) We are also creating permaculture gardens

    Our idea of permaculture is creating a garden that can take care of itself. Each plant in our permaculture garden has a specific purpose. Currently we have plants both for food and others for medicine. We use native-plant cultivation, wildlife gardening, edible landscaping, composting and companion planting,--some of our plants simply boost the permaculture garden’s beauty.

    Workawayers can also earn about a very unique island culture all its own. The island consists of about 25 locals and traditionally their main source of income was from poaching the turtles. But we are making a difference by offering alternative sustainable incomes for the locals. We employ them, and work along side them in construction projects or pay them to bring firewood and with property maintenance. We also purchase coconuts from them to make coconut oil.

    Making and selling the coconut oil offers a sustainable income for Gaby and workawayers can learn about the benefits of coco oil and help make coconut products such as oil. soap, lip balm, and items with the coconut shell such as jewelry, bowls, masateras etc.

    This is a very unique opportunity to stay in a place where the rainforest meets the beach. Few places still exist without electricity and we hope you enjoy, learn, and value our goals of helping to save the turtles and living a lifestyle that helps sustain our planet too.

  • Help


    We recently had a fire and lost everything, and we are slowly acquiring supplies to rebuild. Currently we are cleaning the property, planting, and cutting the wood planks using a chainsaw.

    Our remote location may be a challenge for many or paradise for others. We cook with fire and Gaby will teach you how. You will learn how to find suitable firewood, to start a fire, and to cook with fire by yourself so that you can sustain yourselves for when Gaby and I leave to go to town (1-4 days).

    Gaby can teach many survivalists skills and then you can try them out. When Gaby is not on the property you will need to stay on the property, but we are also right on the beach. We will need you to help feed and give love to our 9 dogs and new litters of puppies. You must feel comfortable speaking only in Spanish (when we are not in the property)

    Our community is complex. It has always been a poor poaching community, but we are slowly changing this by offering alternative sustainable incomes to the locals, but it is still very challenging. We ask that you please stay on property when Gaby is not with you.

    We have over 30 different fruits, vegetables, and herbs on the project and they need love as well as the 9 dogs. We maintain the house and property daily to prevent overgrowth and "unwanted" guests like ants.

    General housekeeping duties include keeping the dishes washed and kitchen clutter free. We need the sink, tables, and stove clean and free of debris. We also rake and maintain our property and the beach to keep it free of both garbage and organic waste. This insures a healthy and safe place for our nesting sea turtles (Leatherback, Green and Hawksbill)

    Currently (as of March 2019) we are cleaning the property, planting veggies, make the floor boards, and refilling the space where our house was with sand from the beach.

    Gaby is an excellent cook and enjoys doing most of the cooking, but helping to clean and cut veggies or make juice or salad is greatly appreciated. He will even teach you how to make some great Caribbean dishes such as Crab soup with coconut milk!

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Our property is remote and rustic, but the views are amazing! We are completely off-grid. We have no electricity or running water but instead have a fresh water well on the property. You will wake up to monkeys howling in the morning and fall asleep to the sounds of the waves. The wildlife viewing is second to none!

    Until we rebuild, we currently have one 3-4 person tent with a cushion to offer our Workawayers. It is private and we will not have two different workawayers in the same tent but please feel free to bring your own tent also. We also have on the property a temporary outdoor shower and compostable toilet. Workawayers have full use of the outdoor kitchen, property and beach. We enjoy our off-grid living and hope that you will too

    This off-grid living is purposeful because of our proximity to the nesting turtles. Artificial light confuses the turtles and impedes their nesting rituals. Without any artificial light also allows for maximum star gazing potential. There are also no cars, stores, bars, or restaurants on the island just beautiful rainforest and beach.

    When Gaby or I are not on the property--Workawayers must feel comfortable speaking only Spanish, and preparing their own meals with fire. We have neighbors, but they only speak Spanish and often with a very strong accent.

    If you are here with us--Gaby does most of the cooking but he can use help with washing and cutting the veggies, making the juice and salad. The Costa Rican food is basic with the staples consisting of rice, beans, and veggies for almost every meal but Gaby also makes great pastas, soups and arepas (sweet flat bread). Breakfast is usually around 8, lunch around Noon, and dinner around 5 with an afternoon coffee break around 2.

    Remember that we are a very small grassroots project and our funds are very limited but we greatly appreciate your help! In exchange for your help we try to keep you well fed with traditional Costa Rican food. We try to accommodate most diets, however, if you are a vegetarian, vegan, require more than usual food, or think you will want seconds or thirds, then we kindly ask that you please consider contributing extra food. Helpful contributions will include fruits and veggies, rice, beans, coffee, sugar etc Remember--we are very remote and need to bring in all our food with us. We have no stores on the island --only a very small pulpuria with basics and high prices.

    We thank you in advance for all your hard work and all your help with helping our small community and helping to save the turtles too!

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The schedule is a couple of hours after breakfast (9-11) and the free time is after lunch to enjoy the beach, go fishing, hiking etc., then we will usually work a little in the early evening when the sun is not so hot (3:00-5:00).

    Most of the day is spent with general housekeeping duties such as preparing the 3 meals a day with an afternoon coffee break, cleaning, raking the property, finding firewood on the beach and animal care and feeding

    In your free time you can enjoy the beach the rainforest and the island. Please bring books or any hobbies with you

    Because of our remoteness, transportation to the island can be challenging-- but don't worry I will give you all the details! Plan on 60,000 colones for round trip transportation to the island. This will include bus/taxi from Bataan and the r/t Boat ride to the island.

    We do have limited phone and internet service on the beach but be sure to check with your provider about optional service plans or roaming here in Costa Rica before you come. Note ONLY the Kolbi chip works here!

    Remember to bring a small lock to lock your valuables in a part of your bag

    As far as how much money to bring to the island-- there is a small pulpuria on the island that has snacks and drinks for sale-- if you want and minimal food products

    Wwalso try to get as much money as possible back into the local community to provide alternative sources of income instead of poaching. So Gaby, Mauricio, and other chicos on the isand offer "tours" such as fishing, crocodile hunting and la selva tour. It is customary to tip them 2-5,000 per person and for each tour.

    If you want to go fishing--keep in mind that there might be a charge for renting the boat 2-5,000 and a cost for the bait 2-5,000. it is best to bring small bills since no one ever has change

    On a cultural note--The Costa Rican people are very generous and love to give gifts. But be careful-- because if they ask you to "prestar" or "regalar" money it is meant as a gift and you might not get it back-- so only "regalar" what you can afford to loose :)

    If you are looking for an alternative and very unique experience we may be the one for you. There is no tourism here-- but only you and nature. Are you up for something challenging and unique? Please let me know what questions you have! Thank you for saving the turtles

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day ,4- 5 days a week

Host ref number: 949645846486

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