Costa Rica: Turtle Conservation Program (College)

Costa Rica: Turtle Conservation Program (College)

Questions? Call (440) 975-9691 for an admissions counselor

2025 Departure Dates Soon

Journey to a secluded beach on the Pacific coast to help protect Costa Rican sea turtles. These majestic creatures face threats to their nesting grounds from hunting, pollution, and development. While we can’t guarantee you’ll see a sea turtle, you’ll be certain to contribute to the conservation of this endangered species. In the mornings, join beach cleanup projects and help construct a hatchery. At night, monitor the beach for turtle nests, record the number of eggs you collect, and carefully transport them to the hatchery or a safer place along the beach. With help provided by expert volunteers, many of these eggs will hatch into healthy baby turtles and contribute in the preservation of sea turtles. In your free time, learn traditional art techniques and take trips to the beach town of Samara to learn how to surf the incredible waves of the Pacific Ocean.

Service projects support UN Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals
Program Profile
Program Profile
Service
National Wildlife Refuge
Additional Activities

Packing the right gear (and the right amounts) is the first step to an incredible travel experience. Follow these tips to pack like a pro:

Travel light. Pack only the essentials. You’ll need less than you think!
Consider no checked bag. We strongly recommend that you consider packing only a carry-on size bag. This prevents your luggage getting lost or separated from you, keeps your bag manageable, and helps you be more mobile on your travel day.
Bring the right clothes. Pack clothes that are culturally appropriate for your destination and acceptable for service projects. This means bringing long shorts (think Bermuda and basketball shorts), t-shirts with sleeves to cover shoulders, and appropriate footwear.
Leave your valuables behind. While traveling, it’s easier for things to get lost, stolen, or damaged. Keep any prized possessions safe at home.
Check with TSA. Make sure your luggage complies with TSA regulations, especially your carry-on. Useful tip: Pack an empty water bottle and fill it up after security.
Extra paperwork? If you need additional forms filled out to get credit for your service hours, no problem! Bring these forms with you so they can be completed in-country.

Daypack

A school backpack is ideal as it will be used for daily activities and outings.

  • Passport
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Wallet/money
  • Book and/or journal
  • Pen
  • Phone
  • Camera
  • Chargers
  • Ear buds
  • Change of clothes
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Medication
  • Additional community service forms
  • Visa documentation (if applicable)
  • Consent to Travel Letter (for students under 19, recommended by the US State Dept but not required)
  • Rustic Pathways emergency contacts
Main luggage

A 40-50 liter duffel bag or backpack is ideal.

Clothes

  • Socks (6-7, at least 2 long socks)
  • Underwear (6-8)
  • Pants/capris (2, preferably dark color for night walk)
  • Long, loose-fitting shorts for service project work. Something that provides coverage and protection while keeping you cool.
  • Tank Tops (4-5)
  • T-shirts (3-5)
  • Long sleeved shirt (1-2, preferably dark color for night walk)
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit (1-2)
  • Quick dry towel
  • Beach towel/sarong
  • Rain jacket
  • Strappy sandals (like Tevas or Chacos)
  • Sneakers
  • Rubber boots (service work in the beach area can get your sneakers wet)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat (for sun)
  • Headlamp w/ red light setting

Toiletries

(Travel size bottles in Ziploc bags)

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Oxybenzone-free sunscreen (reef-safe)
  • Biodegradable/natural bug spray
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Contacts
  • Contact solution
  • Foam earplugs
  • Personal med kit
  • Deodorant
  • Wet Wipes
  • Razor/shaving cream
Important Reminders
  • *Community Service Appropriate Attire includes T-shirts and tank tops with no visible undergarments and shorts with a 3” or more inseam.
  • Don’t forget the Big Five: Water Bottle, Sunscreen, Bug spray, Rain jacket, Closed-toe shoes.