GVI: Volunteer in Costa Rica

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We are proud to launch our new GVI Business Internships Abroad!

Business Internships Abroad are a great way to apply your business management and leadership skills, explore the world, experience new cultures, contribute to a sustainable cause and kickstart your career!


You can make a difference and volunteer with GVI in Costa Rica! From helping the local wildlife to working with underprivileged children, you can make a difference and learn about a new culture. GVI is sure to offer something for every type of volunteer in Costa Rica. Read more about each volunteer opportunity:

  • Wildlife Expedition in Costa Rica: Volunteers have the chance to work outdoors in the rainforest with environmental and marine conservation. During your stay in this beautiful national park, you will participate in research surveys and exploring the local nature and wildlife including jaguars, pumas, turtles, tropical birds and more.
  • Volunteer to Teach English in Costa Rica: Live on the Costa Rican coast while teaching English to underprivileged children, which is a very valuable skill. Volunteers can also help out with other subjects and activities.
  • Volunteer with Children in Costa Rica: Work with children and immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture. Local schools need help with lesson plans, workshop and extracurricular activities.
  • Jaguar Conservation in Costa Rica: Jaguar conservation work is becoming more and more important as the species continues to suffer and decline. Volunteers can make a big contribution while learning and researching in the beautiful forests of Costa Rica.
  • Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica: Work with the GVI conservation team to protect various species of endangered turtles. By recording data and patrolling beaches, volunteers can ensure the turtle population continues to thrive.
  • Alternative Spring Break Costa Rica Community Development: Use your spring break to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged communities; instead of simply traveling, spend your time giving back to a local community in Costa Rica. You get a chance to get involved in helping to develop the infrastructure and educational environments of the local community.

Questions & Answers


based on 27 reviews
  • Impact 8.2
  • Support 8.6
  • Fun 8.5
  • Value 8.5
  • Safety 8.7
Showing 16 - 27 of 27
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Jaguar Conservation Costa Rica

I spent just two weeks in Costa Rica with GVI, but in that short time alone, I felt I had gained so much.
Upon arriving I was greeted by a group of people who welcomed me instantly. The level of knowledge and enthusiasm each and every staff member and volunteer has is huge, and really inspired me to learn and become part of the team. I received training regarding the huge biodiversity of the Tortuguero National Park, as well as in data collection methods and practices key to life in the jungle. Although there is a lot to learn quickly, being out everyday helping with various programs allows you to put it all into practice.
Although the experience brought with it some challenges, such as physical exertion and living conditions that take some getting used to, they are 100% worth it, not only to be able to witness the good that is being done, but also in the personal sense of achievement.
As someone who has struggled with Anxiety, there were some moments before and during the program where I felt I was struggling, but the support of the staff and attitude on base that means no one needs to do anything they aren't comfortable with, these moments passed quickly.
I am to be back in the Jalova base before the year is out!

How can this program be improved?
Slightly cheaper due to basic living conditions.
Yes, I recommend this program
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GVI under 18s volunteer and construction project Costa Rica

I had the most amazing two weeks in Costa Rica, which was packed with new experiences! We spent the first week volunteering making sidewalks for a community in Quepos which was a great way to get to know all of the new people and the community were really welcoming. It would have been great if I had known a little more Spanish to speak to the locals more but the GVI staff were a great help with overcoming the language barrier. By the end of the week we had all become close as a group and were able to feel like we made a really positive impact. The second week was adventure week which was so much fun. We were able to go white water rafting, canyoning, hiking, surfing and so much more. GVI was a fantastic way to make lifelong friends whilst also contributing to their vital projects. I would highly recomend GVI and I cant wait to volunteer with them again in the future!

How can this program be improved?
It was an amazing program I only wish I could have stayed longer.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Best thing I ever did!

I had the best time working with GVI in Costa Rica. GVI really works closely with local partners meaning all the work you do is suggested and asked for by local people, so you know what you do really makes a difference to them. We worked with local children, built playgrounds and community centres, and helped run local events. The staff are incredible, the base is basic but comfortable, and it really does become one big family when you all sit down and eat together. I loved seeing the impact we had on the local community and how much everyone there really cared about the work we were doing, even when it was a day of hard work in the sun and the kids were being challenging. Also, Costa Rica is just the loveliest country full of amazing friendly people and stunning wildlife.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jalova, Costa Rica

Living at Jalova, Costa Rica was such an amazing adventure and allowed me to focus on a career that I am passionate about. It is very remote with just running water and one hour of electricity a day, mostly for light. No it is not for everyone, but if you like being off the grid, seeing exotic/new things, and making new friends, then you need to go. I worked with sea turtles, jaguars, birds and more. I learned about conservation and how important it is. The food was good, the fruits were interesting and fun, and you get to learn how to cook new things. Everyday was a new experience and the memories gathered are worth a lifetime!

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would say is that some of the things you were told to bring, you did not really need; although sometimes it is good to have. I wish I had brought a little less.
Yes, I recommend this program
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GVI - Quepos, Costa Rica

Firstly, read the review by ElGringo called "GVI Costa Rica - More of a Summer Camp than a Research Station." He said my review much better than I can, and I want to connect with him to debrief about it! It's 2016, and since that review was written in 2011, nothing has changed.

I am at the other GVI base in Quepos, Costa Rica (not in Manuel Antonio as the sales website would want you to believe), and my experience has been extremely similar. The entire program is 18 year old students in a gap year and run by 22 year olds. And it is more work than a fun volunteer experience. We work from 8 (or earlier)-5 pm (or later) everyday, and then there are chores to do around the house like scrubbing bathrooms and mopping the floors.

Despite paying a lot for the program, the living accommodations are dirty, lack air flow (ridiculously hot) and include things like cockroaches, mosquitoes and frogs everywhere (don't worry though, I've watched them alter the blog posts the volunteers wrote to not get a bad reputation). Also, the staff controls the food you are allowed to eat based on personal opinions, and you are not allowed to spend the amount you paid for (aka the budget). It seems a bit odd in my opinion that you are not allowed to use the money you paid to buy food.

In addition, watch out for the programs on the website. They are not at all accurate. GVI does not work with the teachers in the school to develop lesson plans, they do not have a sports program, and English is only 3-4 hours out of the 40 hour work week. The program truly is centered around an optional extracurricular "camp" the children can choose to go to, and you spend most of your time doing art projects, writing stories and singing songs. You will spend more time planning for lessons than teaching, and be prepared for drama amongst volunteers!

The most frustrating part is how much the program cost, how little I believe goes back into the community or the volunteers, and then being mislead by the programs they have on the website. I signed up for one that did not even exist, after confirming with corporate that it was legitimate. I would not recommend GVI or this program, and if you decide to do it, ensure you do due diligence on what you're signing up for! We've had one girl quit already, and the three that leave this weekend are counting the days to leave the program. If you ask them, they are sad to leave the country, and happy to leave GVI. I feel the same way, and I would recommend finding your own experience here if you want to spend time volunteering. It's an amazing country with amazing people, and I would hate for your opinion of it to be ruined by GVI.

Response from Global Vision International (GVI)

Hi Kate, we are sorry that you have had a less than satisfactory experience with GVI. We will be reaching out to you to discuss your review in further detail, and we will do our best to resolve your issues as soon as possible.

The GVI Team

No, I don't recommend this program
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GVI Costa Rica - Like Volunteer Camp

The morning of my GVI program, I met the Intern and Logistic Coordinator as well as a group of fellow volunteers at the hostel in San Jose. With crisp efficiency, these women took care of orienting us to the country, the project, and the community as we travelled the three hours to the Pacific Coast. Our accommodation was set directly between Quepos (where the project is) and Manuel Antonio (where one of the most beautiful beaches I've seen is).

When we arrived on the sweltering June day, the Project Manager served us the typical lunch of rice and beans and showed us around our home away from home. The accommodation was cramped and with a rotating schedule for cooking and cleaning, one bathroom for 12 people, and three bunk beds crammed into my small room, it felt an awful lot like summer volunteer camp for college students. (The upside is that the accommodation expanded to the lower level of the house as I was leaving, so it won't be quite as cramped for future volunteers).

While in Quepos, I split my time between the GVI Community Centre helping teach english to kids and a new library project where GVI is providing the resources to keep the library open for the kids all day. In the humid Costa Rican climate, the days can feel long, but the kids are wonderful and the project is continuing to evolve.

Like summer camp, friendships developed quickly and there were plenty of people to join you if you wanted company at the beach or on a weekend away. I miss the community of Quepos and Manuel Antonio already. It's a beautiful part of the world and a wonderful place to volunteer.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Wildlife Expedition in Costa Rica 100% Overall Rating

I applied for a 1 month stay through this program and my only regret is that I didn't choose a longer option. I currently work full time, and luckily my job supports educational leave. It was a great break for me during the winter months to advance my experience and knowledge. I work in the Zoological field, so I was very comfortable with the volunteer work, but no experience is necessary, you will be fully trained before you set out into the forest. People come from a variety of backgrounds (environmental/animal related to business) and a variety of ages. I had co-volunteers who were still in college receiving credit, to people between jobs or attempting a career change. If you are young, there are plenty of young volunteers, but if you are older and above 30, don't hesitate to go. There were multiple people in their 30s or above. There really is a great mix and everyone has different reasons for going on a GVI program. You don't have to be in excellent physical shape to go, but there is a lot of hiking so it is demanding. It is not a lounging on the beach vacation. This is a working vacation, so you will be doing work. The best part about it is, the work you do directly contributes to wildlife conservation. You will be trained to do surveys that are important and do make a difference. I also got to see amazing animals; including a jaguar far off in the distance (a rare site), monkey's, amazing birds like toucans, mankins and trogans, tons of insects/butterflies and amphibians and reptiles. You get to stay in a cabin, and there are showers and flush toilets (though the water is cold, but its very hot most of the time so its not an issue). The food was better than i envisioned, but it is mostly vegetarian with meat 1-2 times per week (optional). I couldn't eat rice for a month after I came back, though. I did bring a box of protein bars which was definitely worth it. 1-2x per month, you do get to take a boat into town and eat restaurant food and buy snacks to bring back. You are out in the national park, but you do get a glimpse of civilization now and then, but besides the going in for food, I really didn't miss the internet, my phone, or the TV. I was too busy learning and reading and enjoying life to really care for the lack of technology.

Yes, I recommend this program
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GVI Costa Rica Wildlife and Conservation

After completing my undergraduate degree, I decided to spend two months as an environmental volunteer with GVI. Located in the Tortuguero National Park on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, the research base is very isolated and only accessible by motorboat, this in itself makes for a very unique experience!

All the volunteers and staff were wonderful and it was great to make new friends and work with people from different backgrounds and nationalities.

It does not matter too much whether you have an environmental background as volunteers receive training in the first week. The staff were all extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The training week was well structured and by the end of it we all understood the work that is carried out GVI in Tortuguero and felt confident enough to go out into the field and be able to identify a wide range of wildlife for survey data.
I felt that we all slipped very easily into the daily life at Jalova, carrying out Biological Assessment Surveys, Canal Bird Surveys, Track Surveys and setting up and monitoring cameras traps to name a few.

GVI, unlike some other organisations, make all the data collected in the field publically available and the survey work does have a scientific purpose; the data that volunteers collect has contributed to a recent paper published in an international conservation journal: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPa…

Volunteers have the opportunity to work towards BTEC awards (at an additional cost) in biological surveying and leadership skills. In today’s competitive job market, this is certainly an added bonus to be able to add these skills to your CV. This, with the gained knowledge of conservation management and first hand experience from the field, will help give me an advantage and an edge professionally.

Alongside making some friends whom I hope to be in contact with for years to come, the abundance and diversity of wildlife in the area is what I most enjoyed about my work with GVI. Central American Spider Monkeys and Eyelash Palm Pit Vipers, became almost as common as seeing a Pigeon back home, yet for me, the novelty never ceased to get old! Some other highlights included seeing a Northern Tamandua, Sloths, Paca, Toucans and one of the first Leatherback turtles of the 2012 season.

The cost of the trip isn’t cheap, but I do feel that you get good value for money; all food and accommodation is included in the price and I was very impressed with both their in-country and home support. GVI claim that 70% is directly re-invested into their projects and I certainly have no reason to believe otherwise.

I was a little nervous before going as it was the first time that I had this sort of thing independently, but I had no need to worry. Most of the volunteers were also travelling solo and all the staff were extremely friendly. During the two months there was not a single moment when I regretted going away with GVI, and I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Sea turtles, tapirs and cows oh my!

I went to Costa Rica because I was looking for addition experience with wildlife conservation as well as an opportunity to see a new place and meet new people. I had an absolutely amazing time. I had to opportunity to work hands on with wildlife and new make friends. My highlights were having a Green Turtle shower me with sand while I tried to measure her, watching hatchlings running down the beach at night, and seeing tapirs on the edge of the canal. Having the base camp situated next to a deserted beach was also a bonus! The only thing I really didn't expect were the bovine beach invaders (who knew cows like the wade in the ocean??) and the iguanas who liked to live in the rafter of the dorms. They seemed totally harmless until they peed on your bed!!!!

Yes, I recommend this program
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GVI Costa Rica - More of a Summer Camp than a Research Station

I completed a six month internship with GVI in Costa Rica in 2010 and I have to admit that I was angry with them when I left. A year later and my feelings are somewhat mixed. I felt compelled to write this review because I feel that at least with respect to the Costa Rica program they are misleading people and taking their money whilst hiding behind the banner of being a “volunteer organization”. People deserve to know exactly what they are being sold. That being said I did have an amazing time!

Overall impression:

On the one hand I saw some stunning wildlife and came back with lots of great photos. I made some friends for life who share my interest in natural history and the experience of living for three months in a protected area where even regular tourists are not granted access cannot be understated. On the other hand I am still angry with GVI because I feel that they misled me in terms of the experience I was originally sold and on more than one occasion I feel they behaved in a less than professional manner during my stay

Okay so to get it out of the way first. The big issue about profit/not for profit. When you truly volunteer for a program you shouldn't have to pay more than is necessary to cover your food/lodging. GVI charge £1050 for two weeks at Jalova working on the jaguar camera trapping project. That's £75 per day. I'm not going to get into the debate about whether 70% of your fee goes back into the project because I think the numbers speak for themselves. The staff are paid around $100 per month each, the food is mostly rice and beans and they need to buy gasoline to power the generator (1-2 hours per day) and boat. You do the maths. The point is that this is not a volunteer program and by calling their paying guests "volunteers", advertising the whole thing as a volunteer program and using language such as "scientific research" and "research station" they are being dishonest and misleading. Make no mistake; this is most definitely a FOR PROFIT organization. This doesn't have to be a bad thing however; you just need to be aware of this up front. The place can be more accurately described as a holiday camp for grown-ups who are interested in natural history and don't mind roughing it in basic conditions in order to get close to the wildlife. If this is what you are looking for then it may well be worth considering. You are going to have to weigh your options though because for £1500 which is what GVI are charging now for 4 weeks at Jalova you could spend a month visiting many of the wildlife hotspots in Costa Rica including Tortuguero staying in decent accommodation and you would see some amazing stuff. It's a small country, it's crawling with wildlife, it’s safe and public transport is cheap and efficient. People looking for a proper volunteer experience or wanting to assist in scientific research however should definitely look elsewhere. Costa Rica is something of a world capital for eco-volunteering and there are plenty of true volunteer options available that won't cost you the earth.

This may sound harsh given that there are indeed a number of surveys run at the camp but the key problem is that they are not scientific and in general they are not run by scientists (see below). One exception to this is probably the turtle survey (see below). The whole thing just feels like a rouse to make people feel like they are actually volunteering and doing some good but if you challenge GVI on what is happening to the data that is being collected you'll come back with a blank. This happened during my 2nd/3rd week at Jalova. A number of people were feeling let-down by the lack of science and the fact that most, if not all the permanent staff have no scientific background or training. Several of the volunteers had a scientific background from university and were frustrated by the way the surveys were planned and organized. They don't follow proper scientific protocol and the quality of much of the data collected is questionable. We were told that the data goes to MINAE which is the Costa Rican department for the environment but aside from a few "posters" which summarize the data and have been created by GVI we couldn't find any examples of conclusions made or scientific papers that included GVI data let alone examples of environmental policy that were based on GVI's findings. You can check out everything they've published on their website. Hardly groundbreaking stuff given that they've been there since 2005. If this stuff is important to you don't take my word for it. Challenge GVI on this before you join the program and ensure that you are satisfied with their answers before you hand over your cash.


The key attraction with this program is the fantastic location. Let's face it; you get to live in an area of a national park where even paying tourists are refused entry. I suspect that the base at Jalova has only been allowed by the Costa Rican authorities because of the turtle work that is done there which receives international attention. This turtle work is not run by GVI but by the STC (see below) and having a base at this end of the park helps them enormously because of the size of the beach transects they need to cover.

You will see some truly amazing stuff. Even the more common species in Costa Rica can be beautiful and if you’re from Europe like me then you'll be blown away by the diversity, colours and sheer numbers. It's really amazing to wake up every day not knowing what cool critter that you haven't seen before might make an appearance.

If you get lucky and find yourself with a group of like-minded wildlife enthusiasts who are also there for an extended period you'll undoubtedly make friends for life. I'm still in touch with a number of the people I met there. Keep in mind though that this place attracts all sorts. You are likely to meet people who are keen on wildlife but it is also possible that you’ll meet someone who has been sent there by mummy and daddy, can't stand the bugs and spends a lot of time complaining and wishing they were at home.

The turtle project is important and unlike all the other surveys at the site the data is actually used by scientists and published to the wider scientific community. It's also an amazing experience counting the eggs and excavating nests. The turtle project is not managed by GVI however. When I was there it was run by the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (now the Sea Turtle Conservancy) which I believe is a proper conservation body. We as GVI volunteers were used as man power for data collection. I would recommend volunteering with them directly if you want to work with turtles in Tortuguero NP - http://www.conserveturtles.org/ For £1226 you can spend 2 weeks working with leatherbacks, you'll get hotels in San Jose included + 1 internal flight and you'll get to work directly with the conservation body cutting out the middle man (GVI).


GVI do not seem to screen their candidates properly before taking their cash. They give you a telephone interview where I assumed I would need to impress them enough to accept me but it was just an informal chat. When I was there one new volunteer arrived on site that couldn't swim. When you're isolated on a strip of land surrounded by water and many of the activities involve boats this ends up being not just unfair on the individual concerned but somewhat dangerous and irresponsible.

This is not a research station. There may be people with a scientific background at the site but this is the exception rather than the rule. When I was there, there was a Costa Rican biology graduate on site. I can't emphasis enough how much this contributed to the experience I had there. I was able to learn so much from him about his native flora and fauna and his passion for everything especially reptiles was infectious. As it happened I was doubly lucky as also on site when I was there was a biology graduate who was a six month volunteer like myself and had elected to spend his second phase again at Jalova. His knowledge of birds was unbelievable and being a science graduate he threw himself into recording all the sightings around the base and putting them into a proper database with relevant information. These people have now left the base though and the permanent staff are mostly past volunteers with no scientific background. The base is run by a mathematics graduate. If learning more about the natural history of the area is important to you during your visit I would ask GVI up front specifically about the backgrounds of their on-site staff and bear in mind that staff are coming and going at a rate that is difficult to keep track of. When I left the base a number of the volunteers were better at identifying the local flora and fauna than some of the permanent staff. They do try to hire people with a background in biology/zoology but inevitably these people arrive, realise there is not really any science going on and then leave fairly quickly.

GVI appeared quite prepared to mislead their volunteers when it suited them. During my time on base at Jalova this happened more than once. I think there are two main things that lead them to behave this way, worries about reputation (bad press) and the fear of being sued. Unsurprisingly both are financial motivations. During my time at the base two new staff members who had experience of working with elusive big cats left the base after only 4 weeks because of a disagreement with one of the permanent staff members over the Jaguar camera trapping program. They had experience of live trapping and camera trapping of other endangered felines and felt that they were not being listened too. In effect, as prospective staff members I think they had been miss-sold something too. Rather than be honest about events we volunteers were told by a GVI staff member that they had had to return to Europe because one of their parents had taken seriously ill. I had become friends with these people so I made enquiries and discovered that they were still in the country and very angry with GVI. This is one of a number of events where information given to volunteers by GVI didn’t seem to tally with some of the facts. It doesn’t leave a good impression.

Volunteer treatment at hotel prices. You are a paying guest but the staff will not treat you like one, remember that the daily rate you are paying GVI may be more than your average hotel in Costa Rica. You may well feel that the location and the experience are worth the price and that's fine but be aware that you are going to be treated like a volunteer. That means that every now and again you'll spend a whole day on camp duty cleaning toilets, preparing food etc. The staff are exempt from these duties and as a result I refused to clean the staff toilets. There are also lots of rules and restrictions in place which the staff will enforce. Many of these are for your own safety which is perfectly understandable but fear of being sued means that they can be quite strict and after 3 months at the place these rules can get to you. I didn't mind pitching in with the camp duties because for me it's part of the experience and I enjoyed communal living aspect of my time there but I have to say that at then end of the day I would rather have signed a waver promising not to sue them than have to follow all the rules. I'm an adult guest in my thirties paying upwards of £40 a day (depending on duration) and for that I expect to be able to walk on the beach with no shoes on if I want to, If I step on something nasty I'll take the consequences myself. Bizarrely a brief 5 minute demonstration on how to use a two-foot machete seemed to be all that was required before I was entrusted with this potentially lethal tool and sent off on trail maintenance so it's difficult to follow the logic behind it all sometimes. Also bear in mind that the staff members tend to be quite young (some are recent graduates) and older "volunteers" may have to bite the bullet somewhat when being told what they can or can't do.

Two weeks gruelling training in the Sweat Box! - I think they might have sorted this out now. I hope so! On arrival at the base the training started and it lasted nearly an entire 2 weeks. That's 2 weeks of sitting through presentations on how the survey's work, first aid, taking tests etc. mostly within the confines of an enclosed room with a metal roof. I was there for six months so it didn't bother me too much but some people had just paid for 2 weeks or 5 weeks and spent 2 whole weeks doing this rather than walking the trails. I would have been furious. After a while hanging out in the sweat box becomes the norm, in fact it's like the social centre of the camp but it does take some time to acclimatize!

Silly tests. - okay so it's important to be able to recognise the bird species so maybe regular testing on this makes sense and there is some important stuff you need to know before you go sticking your hand under a turtle but there was a lot of sitting tests with questions on really quite non-essential stuff. You get the impression that the exams were mostly to try and give credence to the scientific nature of the surveys (it actually had the reverse effect). If it’s not a proper scientific survey and the data isn’t going anywhere useful then I'd rather spend more time out and about thanks, I can learn the non-critical stuff on the job.


For those considering the six month internship, I’d say forget it. For the second 10 weeks of the internship GVI effectively just operate as a broker and sign you up to some other volunteer program in the country whilst charging you extra. You'll save significantly by just going to these places such as the turtle project at Samara directly. They'll be happy to have you at a fraction of the price. If you ask GVI before you go what the possible projects are for the second three months they’ll be very cagey. This is because they don’t want you to investigate these options independently. The additional support provided by GVI to transport you to the site of your second phase placement effectively amounts to handing over some cash (yes that would be some of the cash you gave them at the beginning when you first paid!) and being told to buy a bus ticket. The same is true of the Spanish language lessons in the middle. If you want to do a 2 week language course sort it out yourself, there are plenty in Granada and it’ll be cheaper than paying GVI a handling fee for doing next to nothing.

Recommending a visit to the research station at Jalova is trickier, past “volunteers” have mixed opinions and I think if you make a shorter visit you may be less affected by some of the issues I’ve outlined above. The location is fantastic. It’s GVI as an organization that’s the problem. There is no doubt that the turtle program has merit but if you want to volunteer with turtles please do it through a well established not for profit organization such as the STC (or any of the many others) directly. Now I’m back and I understand better how things work in Costa Rica I regret having giving my money to GVI. Apart from the beach cleaning it is difficult to see how the GVI base at Jalova is benefiting the environment of Costa Rica and indeed noise/light pollution, compost heaps and near continuous beach patrols may even be having a negative impact on the immediate environment which is Tortuguero National Park. Three months here left me in no doubt that GVI’s main priority is making money and lets face it a science research facility would not accept “volunteers” on 2 week visits. The sooner GVI own up and accept that they are running an eco-tourist operation and start calling us guests rather than volunteers the better. Making money under the pretence of saving the environment/conducting important scientific research is cheap and deserves to be fully exposed for what it is.

That said an eco-tourist will be hard pushed to find anywhere as diverse, isolated and beautiful as this site in Jalova so it will undoubtedly continue for as long as the Costa Rican authorities permit. I suspect that GVI need to maintain the “research station” rouse in order to stay open. Just make sure you keep your shoes on when visiting the beach!

No, I don't recommend this program
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What an experience!

After doing so much research on different volunteering opportunities I'm so glad that I decided to sign up with GVI in the end. I had the time of my life in Costa Rica on my six month internship. Every step of the way GVI helped out and provided further information where I required, and once on the expedition, there was something new and fun happening everyday. I think the best part for me was the variety that we got, we conducted 2 surveys a day and they could be on the beach, in the jungle, or on the surrounding canals. I would highly recommend this trip to everybody!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Wildlife Expedition in Costa Rica

In April 2011 I went to Tortuguero National Park to take part on a wildlife expedition with GVI. The base was incredible; set on the edge of the rainforest, miles of private beach to enjoy in between surveys and great food.

The mammals, reptiles, amphibians and reptiles we saw were fantastic; snakes, toucans, parrots, sea turtles and jaguars. Yes I saw four jaguars. Not just fleeting glances, but full on clear views with time to take pictures. We worked surveying leatherback and green turtles in the night, birds on the canals in the mornings and mammals and reptiles in the afternoons so there was a good variety of work.

The program was well organised, with knowledgeable passionate staff. Survey and free time was well balanced with plenty of hammocks for volunteers to relax in the heat of the day.

If I really do have to pick one negative, then it would be the thin mattresses on the beds, as I hadn’t necessarily expected a bed at all this really is stretching!

Yes, I recommend this program


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About Global Vision International (GVI)

GVI is an award-winning organisation that tackles critical local and global issues by operating education and training programs on sustainable development projects around the world.

Formed in 1997, we have been operating our award-winning...