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Surf and Yoga, Environmental Conservation, Turtles & Adventure

Matkaohjelma

Surf and Yoga, Environmental Conservation, Turtles & Adventure

Weeks 1-2 Surf and Yoga and Volunteer Program:

Arrival Day
On Sunday, you will get to the camp around midday and we'll kick off your program on Sunday with a comprehensive orientation session to familiarize you with the camp rules and your program itinerary. Afterward, we'll take you on a walking tour of the town, highlighting key areas such as ATMs, supermarkets, shopping areas, and beach access points to ensure you feel confident navigating your new surroundings

Yoga
Every Monday thru Friday in the morning, you can choose to participate in professional yoga instruction. We offer a variety of yoga styles to try during your stay with us, with each class lasting between 60 to 90 minutes. You can attend up to ten classes in the first two weeks. Yoga helps promote mental balance and body control, allowing you to relax and fully enjoy your journey in Costa Rica. Experience the calming mantras and discover a new way to connect with your body and nature by practicing yoga and embracing the pura vida lifestyle.

Additional Yoga Classes can be purchased locally for 16$.

Surf Lessons
Monday and Thursday afternoons, you have the option to participate in Surf lessons. Our professional surf instructor will guide you through the basics and help take your skills to the next level, all while ensuring your safety by teaching you about local issues such as rip tides. Surfboards are provided for the approximately two-hour lessons, and additional lessons and board rentals are available upon request.

Hikes & Exploring
The first excursion is a 2-hour 'jungle river trek' along the river that runs by Jakera Jungle Surf Camp and into the lush tropical forest that surrounds us. As you walk, you'll find yourself immersed in the stunning surroundings, with a diverse range of flora including trees with specific medicinal applications. The hike helps us understand the beauty of this truly diverse location and how the whole ecosystem works.

The second Wednesday, we hike along the beach to the rock pools exposed by the low tide. Here, you'll discover the multitude of sea life that lives in the pools and have the opportunity to take a relaxing dip in the warm waters.

Weekends during Weeks 1-2

Brunch. On weekends, there are always optional tours or you can have extra surf/yoga lessons (not included).

Volunteering during Weeks 1-2

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.

Week 3

In your third week, you'll spend 4 to 7 days in a Turtle Conservation Sanctuary engaging with Permaculture, Reforestation and activities aimed at protecting the ecosystem. In the high season (August to January), the primary focus is on Turtle Conservation, where efforts are concentrated on safeguarding the eggs and hatchlings of Olive Ridley, Green Turtle, Hawksbill and Leatherback species. This involves protecting adult female turtles and their nests from various threats, including human predators, wildlife, beach erosion and flooding caused by high rainfall. Depending on the season, there may be a shift to work more in other sectors such as Permaculture.

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.

Besides the Turtle conservation you will do in Cirenas, there will be some other works you will do:

Caletas-Ario Mixed National Wildlife Refuge
- Maintenance and Hikes on the trails
- Bird watching
- Monitoring of Wild Fauna through camera traps
- Identification of native trees

Permaculture and Healthy Eating
- Sowing and planting
- Composting
- Biomass
- Irrigation installation for plants
- Prune fruit trees and harvesting
- Hen house

Forestry Reforestation
- Collection of seeds of native trees by dry season
- Sowing in seedbeds
- Reforestation of native tree species on and off campus

Turtle Conservation volunteering is always part of the 4 week program and is available for non 4 weeks students upon request and depending availability.

Monday-Friday
Departure to CIRENAS. Turtle conservation volunteer placement at CIRENAS Playa Ario (about an hour drive from Santa Teresa) 4 to 7 days dependuing upon season.

Week 4

During your last week, you’ll begin an overland adventure to explore Monteverde National Park. The duration, depending on the schedule and weather, will be tailored to 4 to 7 days. Staying in picturesque Santa Elena, we delve into hikes exploring both a Cloud Forest and a Tropical Forest. Daily activities include hikes, hanging bridge adventures and optional extras like zip-lining, visiting El Tigre Waterfall, Trapiche (Coffee, Cacao, Sugarcane productions), horseback riding or bungee jumping, ranging from $50 to $90 per activity (at own cost).

Day 1
After an early morning breakfast, we load up the jeep and drive east approximately one hour in time for the 09:00 Paquera ferry. Enjoy the 1-hour voyage to the ‘mainland’ and Puntarenas, before continuing a very scenic jeep transfer with amazing views across Pacific Ocean and surrounding mountains roughly north for 2 hours to Monteverde arriving in time for lunch.

We will spend the next four days in the town of Santa Elena, staying at a hostel (breakfast and lunch provided with lots of local options for dinner). Each morning we will get up early to enjoy a 2-3 hour hike exploring this unique biosphere including guided tours of two national parks, Cloud Forest and Tropical Forest. After we explore the village of Santa Elena and surrounding area to get our bearings and discuss the plan for next couple days - for those who have a head for heights and want to ‘hug a tree’ there is a huge ‘Stangler’ fig tree that we can climb inside. Back to hostel for chill time before dinner.

Day 2
After breakfast we enjoy a guided hike to the Monte Verde Reserve to explore Cloud Forest and find out about its inhabitants and flora. This is one of the few places on earth where you can see the rare Quetzal bird and get spectacular views of both the Caribbean and the Pacific Oceans. There are three kinds of monkey, medicinal plants and a plethora of insects and bird life. Back to the hostel for lunch and then your afternoon is free to chill or enjoy one of many activities including rope bridge, bungee jump and zip lining (from USD 50 per person), or visit to a coffee, cocoa and sugar cane plantation (from USD 30 per person), horse riding (from USD 50 per person), ATV tour (USD 60 per person) and canyoning (USD 70 per person).

Day 3
After breakfast we enjoy a guided hike to the Curicancha Reserve. This is primary rain forest hosting an array of animals plants and insects. Our guide will be able to identify and explain medicinal plants and wildlife, many unique to this environment. Back to the hostel for lunch - afternoon and evening free!

Day 4
Free morning to enjoy the activity of your choice before we head back to Puntarenas and the 14:00 ferry and return Santa Teresa early evening.

Your stay in Monteverde typically spans 4 to 7 days, depending on the season. In case your duration is less than 7 days, you'll return to the Jakera Jungle Camp to enjoy the weekend.

Free Time

During the weekends, there are a lot of opportunities to expore the area and try out different activities such as 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 too 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.

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.
Yhteenveto

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Ylimääräiset paikallismaksut
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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 same-gender dorms with beds, and separate toilet and shower facilities (hot and cold water!). Do Yoga, take Surf Lessons and hang out and chill in your free time, socialize with other students, enjoy your meals, and share good moments..

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

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.

Paikalliset kuljetukset

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

Arrival Package
You can book an arrival package including pick-up from the airport, 1 night in San Jose (Sunday) and transfer to the project on the following day.

Ateriat

Breakfast, lunch, and brunch on weekends are included. Safe drinking water, tea, coffee, natural soft drinks will be provided. Beers and sodas are not included. 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. 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.

There is a kitchen at the camp where you can make your own food. You will need to help with cleaning dishes and keep your room and public areas tidy.

There are also social nights arranged at camp - pizza night, burger night, Mexican night etc where dinner costs between USD 10 (not included).

During the days at the turtle rescue centre all meals are included.

Lisäinfoa

Clothing
- Shorts
- T-shirts
- Lightweight long trousers and long sleeved shirts. As in all subtropical areas, insects can be a nuisance, especially in the evening. Long sleeved shirts and trousers are recommended to offer the best form of protection in the evenings.
- Fleece
- Bandana or buff. December to May specially you might have dusty roads and want to bring a bandana or buff to protect your face.
- Rain jacket. From May to November it might rain a bit or a lot, so bring a waterproof rain jacket or poncho.
- Swimwear
- Long sleeve rash guard (for surfing)
- Clothing you don't mind get dirty (while volunteering)
- Some clothing to go out for dinner
- Shoes. Good walking Shoes or Sneakers for everyday / Sandals or good flip flops with strong sole / Waterproof hiking boots (Rainy Season)

Equipment
- Personal towel (quick dry sports towel)
- Dry bag is necessary for everyday use
- Cap or hat
- Gloves for Volunteering

Volunteering
Bring a pair of simple garden gloves or working gloves with you. You will need dark colored clothing to work at night, preferably long sleeved, a headtorch with a red LED if possible, closed-toe shoes for patrols that will be comfortable and a waterproof jacket. Please pack a red light/lamp, you will need this if you join a night time turtle patrol.

Luggage
Take a big backpack for all your luggage rather then a suitcase. A smaller backpack or drybag for your expeditions to Cirenas and Monteverde is also necessary (about 4 days clothing).

Medical Kit
It is always useful to carry a small personal medical kit. This should include items such as: plasters, wound dressings and bandages, personal medication to last the duration of the expedition, antihistamine cream/ tablets, fungicidal foot power/cream, antiseptic cream/solution, Imodium tablets (x30) and rehydration (e.g. dioralyte) sachets, mild pain killers (e.g. Paracetamol), tweezers, scissors etc. Also, we recommend to bring ear drops that contain Antipyrine/benzocaine/analgesics.

Sun Cream, zinc or other waterproof sun protection
You will be spending a lot of time in the sun so please bring adequate sun protection. We recommend a higher block than usual.

Insect Repellent
Insect repellent and after bite is recommended. If you are allergic to repellents, seek advice before leaving your home country

Sun Glasses
A GOOD quality pair of sunglasses is essential. Make sure they offer 100% UV protection.

Headtorch
Bring along a headtorch as it is more useful than a normal torch.

Camera
If bringing a digital camera bring a number of memory cards.

Small travel padlock
Bring your own padlock to lock up your valuables

Photocopy of passport
Please bring a copy of your passport. Travel tip - email yourself a copy of your passport and other important documentation.

Stationery
Bring pens, pencils, notepads and A4 notebooks for your Spanish lessons

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