My husband and I spent two weeks volunteering at the Piro Research facility and had the best experience imaginable. We worked with the turtles, on the organic farm, in the rivers assisting with testing, and even got to follow the researchers into the field to check camera traps. It was the slow season for volunteers, January 2017 - most volunteers go during the US summer vacation, so we were the only volunteers for most of our time there. But there was plenty of work to be done. The staff are top notch, the food fantastic, and the facility well run. If you are looking for a nature conservation volunteer experience and are ok with it being quiet at times, no tv, no bars, etc, this is the place for you. And our spanish is not good, but that didn't matter either.
Ever felt homesick?
Well, I did when I left Osa Conservation. I had such an amazing experience, the people there, the scenery...bright blue sky. At night it felt like staying at a million star "hotel". Yes, it's been a while since I saw millions of stars so clearly.
The walks on the beach, horseback ride, walks among the tallest trees I've ever seen, it's paradise!
I can't wait to go back there. I've been trying to figure out what to do next in my life, a job I can do and love what I do with passion.
This experience has awakened that passion which was long ago dormant. The passion of saving this planet, contribute to make it a better place, fight for it.
I am grateful to everyone I met at Osa Conservation! See you soon!
I'm in the middle of my 3-month volunteer term with Osa Conservation and I'm having a great time! I learn new things every day and also feel like my past educational and professional experiences are being put to good work here. I love living in the middle of the tropical rainforest. I wake up to the howler monkeys, eat breakfast with squirrel monkeys, hike the trails to look for coati's and Great Currasow's, and love walking along the beach and releasing turtle hatchlings. Osa Conservation offers such a variety of programs and conservation projects - from wildcat monitoring to reforestation, stream ecology to turtle hatchery work, I have yet to be bored. I appreciate that Osa Conservation has begun reaching out and connecting more with its regional communities and I look forward to seeing this community outreach increase to get everyone involved with conservation on the Osa Peninsula. I'd recommend a visit to anyone and everyone interested in exploring richly biodiverse nature, learning about conservation, and trying their hands at it. We welcome you anytime!
My name is Casey Walker and I am a recent graduate from the Environmental Studies program at the College of Idaho in the United States. Sometimes it does not matter how much you plan out your life because life has a plan for you already.
I have always known that I wanted to immerse myself in the world of permaculture. The concepts of permaculture are based on both agricultural and social design principles that are wholly centered upon the patterns and features perceived from within natural ecosystems. Despite my ever growing interest with sustainable agricultural practices, my student loans were enormous. Throughout my senior year, I struggled to concoct a strategic plan to live out my dream job and avoid letting my loans hold me back. In the end, most of my plans fell through and I surprisingly ended up working as a research field assistant for the Sea Turtle Program at Osa Conservation. This non-profit organization is near Corcovado National Park and in my opinion has an endless amount of potential with regard towards tropical rainforest restoration.
My initial plan was to fight forest fires for half of the year and volunteer for the other half of the year with the WWOOF (World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) project. After about six years of this rotation I would have my student loans payed off, hopefully. This plan always made me feel uneasy though, because I don’t feel that fire suppression is very effective nor conducive to the natural cycles of temperate forest and grassland ecosystems. One day, my favorite ecology professor, Dr. Yensen, made it very clear that while he understood my financial situation he hoped that I would not “waste” my education on fire suppression. On account of my admiration for this particular professor, I began to brainstorm new ways in which I could pay off my student loans and do what I love simultaneously.
Out of nowhere, I was put into touch with a man out in the Osa Peninsula who had a property near Drake bay. This man convinced me to buy a ticket out to Costa Rica in order to help him develop an NGO based upon a small scale agriculture support system for all the local schools in the area. He wanted for me to manage this project and in return he would pay me on a monthly basis. Well, long story short, those plans did not work out as imagined.
Despite the major change of plans, I decided stick around and come up with another find another way to do something positive out in Costa Rica and not let my travels go to waste. I sent out some resumes to conservation NGOs and I received a response from Osa Conservation. They were interested in hiring me as an assistant researcher for their Sea Turtle Program. I was thrilled! I immediately gathered up my things and took a bus out to the Piro research station.
When I arrived I was welcomed by a friendly and professional staff and shown to my room. From that point on I have had a huge smile on my face and loads of energy on the account I am doing something that I enjoy so much. I love my job and it turns out that there is a student loan forgiveness program in the States for graduates who dedicate themselves to a US based NGO for 10 years. Other than the sea turtle conservation program, Osa Conservation just this last year launched Osa Verde, a sustainable agricultural program. There is a great opportunity to move beyond cattle grazing and produce food in a more sustainable manner according to social design principles from within tropical rain forests.
farm Osa Conservation’s sustainable agriculture farm, Finca Osa Verde.
While working as a sea turtle researcher I plan do what I can with helping Osa Conservation attain their goals at Finca Osa Verde, and who knows, maybe one day I will be living out my real passion and work here full time growing food.
Working for Osa Conservation is a once in a life time opportunity! Saving sea turtles, reforesting Osa's forests, tracking big cats and their prey, or helping in the sustainable farm, all of this surrounded by pristine tropical forest ,amazing wildlife, and deserted sandy beaches. Paradise really!! My accommodation and meals are amazing! Who would have thought you could live so well in the middle of the rain forest! Staff members are very friendly and helpful, I feel like I have a second family and a second home here at Piro's Biological Station.
I have been closely affiliated with Osa Conservation (OC) for the past eight years as a supporter, technical adviser and board member. Grounded in science and remarkably effective, they have literally ushered in a new era of conservation on the peninsula. Their organic, locally-based approach to conservation is paying dividends by fostering community awareness of and support for protection of the Osa's forests and wildlife. Their system of strategically located reserves serve to buffer and complement the peninsula's threatened national protected areas.
Due to the unwavering efforts of OC's dedicated staff and their "smart conservation" strategies, the future of the globally significant Osa Peninsula is much brighter.
Working with Osa Conservation has been an extremely fulfilling opportunity. I applaud the effervescent staff for their commitment to this truly unique, pristine, and thriving area. I trust the Osa Peninsula is in good hands for many, many years to come and I am excited to see what the future holds for this wonderful organization!
Review from Guidestar
An amazing nonprofit, dedicated to protecting the Osa Peninsula. I have worked with them both in DC and in Costa Rica and in both locations I was surrounded by inspiring individuals who were truly passionate about what they do. The Osa Peninsula is a beautiful place, and absolutely essential to conserve! I feel so lucky to be a part of their work.
Review from Guidestar