Latin American Sea Turtle Project (Costa Rica)

We have worked with Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) to design a sea turtle research program for you that will give you hands-on experience guided by local experts. While you will experience living on a beach on the beautiful Pacific coast of Costa Rica, this hard-working program will not be a relaxing beach vacation! You will, of course, have time to explore the area and enjoy the beach, but there is a lot of important work to do when it comes to sea turtle conservation. We’ll be starting early in the morning each day!

The Osa In-water project is located in Playa Blanca on the Dulce Gulf of the Osa Peninsula. The region is one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots of the world including the Dulce Gulf, one of 4 tropical fiords worldwide. Surrounded by different kinds of beaches, mangroves, and estuaries, the Gulf creates unique habitats for permanent and migratory species. More than 40 different fish species, as well as dolphins, whales, whale sharks, and sea turtles thrive in various ecosystems of the Gulf. The Osa Peninsula hosts a large variety of tropical ecosystems, providing habitats to numerous animals like scarlet macaws, monkeys, sloths, wild cats, and other wildlife, and countless tropical plants. A truly lush nature that still needs to be explored and researched is waits here for volunteers. The exceptional natural surroundings make conservation work an exciting and enjoyable experience!

LAST is part of WIDECAST, the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network, which is an expert network of biologists, managers, community leaders, and educators in more than 40 nations and territories who are all committed to the recovery and sustainable management of depleted sea turtle populations.

LAST asks important questions to guide their research:

What would a sustainably managed sea turtle population look like? What would it look like to a government? To a fisherman, a coastal community, a child? To an hotelier, a dive operator, a tourist? What would it look like to a reef, a sea grass bed, a sandy beach?

From the perspective of sustainable development, a sustainably managed sea turtle population would be defined as a population that meets the ecological, economic, socio-cultural, political, aesthetic, and spiritual needs of the present without compromising the ability of the population to fulfill these needs in the future.

LAST seeks to bring the best science to legislation and policy, education and outreach, for training and professionals, conservation and advocacy, and to research and population monitoring.

This program is designed to both ask big questions and empower you to make more informed choices everyday – choices rooted in the belief that decisions today create the choices and opportunities of tomorrow just as the decisions of past generations painted the landscape that we see today.