• Costa Rica
    • Heredia

Program Details



Price Details
Full support from the moment of booking and throughout your placement to your return home. There are support staff 24/7 in all our destinations worldwide and a 24 hour emergency international telephone line direct to the Head Office. All meals are provided, unless otherwise stated. Accommodation is provided (whether a rented house, a hotel/hostel, homestay, apartment or flat).
Jul 06, 2018
Aug 03, 2013
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About Program

Bienvenido a la vida pura de Costa Rica(Welcome to Costa Rica)... Latin America’s Utopia.

This magnificent country has a simple Motto: Pura Vida – “The pure life” this describes why it is on the bucket list of every traveller and a treasure to those that call it home; its untouched beaches, misty crater lakes, roaring waterfalls and wild jungles are but few of the unbelievable sites and experiences it offers.

We have three wonderful projects in Costa Rica:
- Volunteer to Conserve, Care and Release wild Macaws
- Care for Children in a Kindergartens in Heredia
- Volunteer as a teacher

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from Travellers Worldwide.

Consider your impact: Volunteering abroad can be a rewarding experience for both volunteers and local communities, and at Go Overseas, we believe all volunteers should have the resources to make informed decisions about the type of volunteer project they want to partake in. However, despite best intentions, some organizations offering placements in orphanages may unknowingly place children in danger. You can read about the potential dangers of orphanage volunteering here.

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Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 3 reviews
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  • Impact 4.7
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.7
  • Value 5
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

An Unforgettable Experience

This was my second visit volunteering with the elephants, and it was as unbelieveable as the first. From the moment that I was collected from the airport I became part of the family. So much so that the other two volunteers and myself, were invited to Niranjala's (the organiser) house for the Sunday. Here she provided food for us all day, and I was honoured to see a Sri Lankan house other than from a distance.
This time, at the orphanage, there were two baby elephants. Both about 8 months old, and the experience of actually being able to react with them was beyond belief.
Most of the staff at the orphanage remembered me from last year, and greeted me like an old friend, and could not do enough for me.
In addition, all the Travellers staff, without exception, made me feel like part of the family.
My last day with the elephants, was my 68th birthday, and we all went out for a meal and had a wonderful time. I am going back again next year!

What would you improve about this program?
To stay for longer!!
14 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An Inspirational & Emotional Elephant Journey

Wow, Am I glad I booked this enlightening journey to Sri Lanka to work with these amazing gentle giants.

I had never travelled alone before but Travellers Worldwide were there to advise and help me through every step of the process. Not once did I feel alone, I was well informed and felt very safe in their capable hands.

I have loved Elephants since I was a little girl and it was a life long dream to be close to them and interact with them. I was not disappointed! My first sight of the 80 or so Elephants bathing in the river was a very emotional, happy and almost dream-like experience. Little did I know this trip was to get even better!

It was quite hard work at times as we spent the mornings of our work days mucking out the Elephant sheds and as you can imagine there is ALOT of mucking out to do, but the Mahouts we were working with became like friends and we all had a great laugh as we worked.

The afternoons were alot more relaxed and so rewarding as we met the Mahouts down by the river where we played with the Ellys and washed them! These were my favourite moments by far. A couple of little tips for anyone wishing to do this extraordinary project...

1) When washing an Elly that is lying down in the water, watch out for their trunk as they like to tickle your feet when your not looking!

2) When sitting at the river edge. My favourite Elly Saboo is very loveable and likes to stand with you. She loves to be tickled and stroked. Make sure you tickle the roof of her mouth - she LOVES this!

You will see some amazing sights here as Elephants really are clever and each have amazing characters and traits. A few funny things I saw were an Elly trying his best to balance a log on this head, the little ones play fighting by nudging each other off the rocks they were trying to balance on, the little ones also playfully charging at one another, the females chasing a very handsome looking male Elly, not to mention the sight of them all putting their trunks in the air and rumbling, trumpeting and even squeaking!

I would also like to add how amazing the Sri Lankan staff are that lived with us in the house, nothing was too much. They helped us plan our weekend trips, cooked us amazing traditional Sri Lankan food and generally took care of us the whole time. I feel truely blessed to of lived with them and the other fantastic volunteers that I shared the experience with.

Sri Lanka as a country I found eye-opening, it is so different to the Western world, and makes me feel grateful for what I have. It is great to experience another culture first-hand. If you book this project - and I strongly advise you do - I would suggest you take mostly old clothes and shoes to work in and on your last day leave them there as there are so many Sri Lankan women, men and children that would be so grateful for them.

The Pinnawala Orphanage are doing extraordinary work and I feel so priviledged to of been apart of it. They have given home and a fantastic life to orphaned Elephants who otherwise may have not survived. I strongly advise you help the vet out on his daily rounds as you will see first hand the amazing work they do to help these Ellys and keep them healthy. This orphange provides home to elephants young and old, blind and even 3-legged. Nothing is too much trouble for them and I cannot stress enough how enlightening this trip was for me, it changed my life and I WILL be going back soon.

16 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing!

I did this placement along with the teaching project in Sri Lanka back in 2002! At the time I'd never travelled anywhere like this and certainly not on my own.

I stumbled across Travellers during my lunchbreak one day and could not stop reading the information about this elephant project in particular. In a brave moment I called the office. Travellers were so nice on the phone and all the way through that I felt really supported and safe going somewhere so remarkable with them avaiable at the end of the line 24/7. They were well organised and personal throughout.

Arriving in Sri Lanka is still very clear to me. I was met by Roshan the country manager who drove me to the elephant orphanage with a running commentary about life in Sri Lanka and a huge grin on his face, stopping off for roadside fresh coconut milk along the way. He was so firendly and later became a good friend!

The project was exactly as Travellers had explained it would be and scrubbing the elephants down with a cocounut husk every afternoon in the river was totally incredible. The mahouts (who work with the elephants) seemed pleased to have us there and those days of helping them clean and wash the elephants in the hot sun will always stay with me.

In the evening we would sample the local delicacies - arrack, fruits and curries and play cards, write and chat. At weekends we would always go somewhere. Sri Lanka's small so there are loads of things to see with a weekend break, from ancient cities to huge climable rocks, temples and enormous golden buddha's hiding in a cave, shopping in the Capital and, my favourite, a staggering choice of breathtakingly perfect remote white beaches. We'd go on mass and snorkel, have dinner outside at night followed by a few cocktails at a local beach hut.

The best thing about this trip? Well, there are 2 things - I went there by myself (slightly terrified!) and I met a whole load of great friends there, including my absolute best friend who was at the birth of my first baby 3 years ago!

The other... Travellers support (both in Sri Lanka and from the UK head office) was SO good, they were utterly approachable, available and responsive and genuinely wanted me to have the time of my life. This level of support minimised any problems I encountered such as when I got sick, or was homesick, or wanted to extend my stay and change my flights! This positive start to my travelling really added a huge amount of confidence to my enthusiasm. So much so that I went on to travel independently for a year after my placement and I've continued to feel confident travelling alone ever since, spending much of my 20's doing so! Travellers made my dream come true and I would recommend for anyone to do a project like this, it will inspire you for the rest of your LIFE :-)

16 people found this review helpful.

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