Pod Volunteer | Wildlife Rescue and Turtle Conservation

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, Pod Volunteer has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

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About

Pod Volunteer are looking for volunteers to help sloths, turtles, monkeys, anteaters + more in Costa Rica.

Wildlife Rescue Project: Join a wildlife rescue team and care for the animals in the sanctuary. Provide food and enrichment for sloths, anteaters + other animals that have been injured, orphaned or mistreated. Explore the beautiful rainforest surroundings and coastal National Park in your free time.

Turtle Conservation Project: Join an active conservation team monitoring and protecting sea turtle populations. Protect turtle nests against the risks of poaching and release hatchlings into the Pacific Ocean. The data collected is used to gain an understanding of sea turtle reproductive behaviour, and improve conservation strategies. Explore the stunning scenery, mangroves and coastal areas in your free time.

Highlights
  • Learn about turtles and conservation whilst living on the stunning Pacific coast
  • Join an active conservation team monitoring and protecting sea turtle populations
  • Assist at a wildlife sanctuary which provides a safe haven for rescued animals
  • Help to care for animals such as monkeys, sloths, birds and anteaters
  • The diverse landscape of Costa Rica includes volcanoes, mangroves, rainforest and beautiful beaches making it a fantastic country to explore.

Spaces to join in 2020, 2021 and 2022!

The lovely Pod Volunteer team will support you from helping you to prepare for volunteering and travelling overseas, to providing 24/7 back up while you are away, we are here to support you every step of the way.

Visit our website today and we can help you start your own volunteering journey!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

1 Rating
based on 1 review
  • Impact 1
  • Support 1
  • Fun 3
  • Value 1
  • Safety 1
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Jen
1/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Do your research

This was a large and expensive learning experience. My advice is to never go through an agency like Pod Volunteer. I wasted so much of my hard earned money when I could have volunteered and given my money to a legitimate organization. Pod assured me my vegan diet would be accommodated and it was not. The center was extremely disorganized and offered more opportunities to those they would benefit more from. The conditions weren’t really safe as far as having amateurs go into cages, while being barked at by the kitchen manager. When I brought these issues up to Pod, they only covered for the center and brushed my (valid) concerns off. This is a money making scheme on all ends. I love to volunteer my time, which is actually more valuable to me than money, but I could have used my resources and went somewhere that appreciated my help. I wasn’t given the name of the actual center until right before I left, and conveniently after I paid. Next time I will go to the organization directly to make arrangements and i will never trust an organization like Pod in the future.

Response from Pod Volunteer

Hi Jennifer,
We are very disappointed you still feel this way given the review we undertook with yourself and the local team at the beginning of 2019, which included giving you money back towards the fees you had paid.

The feedback we receive is incredibly valuable to us and it’s hard for us to see how you feel we can have ‘brushed off’ your concerns given that it was escalated to a Director of Pod Volunteer who led a 2 week in-depth review into the situation with both our UK staff and the team in Costa Rica.

As a non-profit and registered UK charity we are in no way in this to make money, we are passionate about helping to match volunteers to projects in need of assistance around the world, and supporting our volunteers throughout the process. We are very proud of the high levels of feedback we receive from volunteers and, in the unlikely event there are issues, we try to address these as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

The placement fee that we charge has to cover our own costs as well as the local placement costs incurred. We keep our costs to a minimum, but do need to ensure we are able to operate as a highly professional organisation and meet or exceed the standards that are expected of us as a leading UK based volunteering organisation.

The project itself is dedicated to provide the best level of care possible to the animals, supported by volunteers who enable the specialised local team to focus their attention on new rescues and prepare animals for their re-release into the rainforest. Without the efforts of volunteers such as yourself, the centre would not be so successful in re-releasing animals to their natural habitat. This is particularly true in busier periods, when there are a limited number of volunteers and the small team in the sanctuary really benefit from the additional volunteer resource. The safety of volunteers is always carefully managed and we have never had any incidents or issues.

With regard to your vegan diet, we were very sorry about the use of a vegetable oil spread as we know how important it is to respect dietary choices, something we also believe passionately in. The team are very apologetic about the vegetable oil spread which was used to cook a few of the foods – as soon as it was discovered that this contained small amounts of milk solids it was no longer used. We understand that the team checked with you on a daily basis about food and if there was anything they could do or buy and that you said it was fine, so we are surprised to get this feedback. The project receives quite a few vegetarians and vegans, and they feedback that they have a good selection of food available.

In our position as a volunteer agency, we can’t disclose the project name on our website so we provide very detailed information before volunteers book so they can see if it’s the right project for them unlike most other organisations who ask for a deposit before giving all the information. We then give further details including the project name and contact details after a volunteer is confirmed.

We hope that despite the issues you still have some positives from your experience and that over time you may reflect back on our role a little more favourably.

Best wishes, the Pod Volunteer team