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Volunteering and Apprenticeship opportunities at The Ara Project
The Ara Project’s breeding and release sites could not exist without the incredible help of our dedicated volunteers from across the globe. Working at The Ara Project gives future conservationists and conservation enthusiasts the opportunity to learn about and work closely with some incredibly beautiful and charismatic birds, meet people from all over the world and experience Costa Rican life and culture in a remote area. And, of course, they will be making a difference to the survival of two threatened species of Macaw.
Depending on the time of year, we have a variety of different positions available. Please check your availability below and read about and apply for each position in the column on the right.
Below you will find more information regarding our two different sites. Please read this and the “What you should know” page before applying.
At the Islita Breeding Center, the climate is very hot year round and rainy from June to November. We have a maximum capacity of 7 volunteers. The volunteer house has two bedrooms with two beds and a shared bathroom, a kitchen and a social outdoor area. We also have private, sheltered tents for long term volunteers, which offer more privacy. As it is so remote, volunteers spend most of their social time together. This site is located on a 15 min walk from the beach, which is good for surfing and surrounded by beautiful dry tropical forests. Islita is the nearby village where volunteers can join the locals to play football, have a drink or meal out. As this village is very small, there is a weekly trip to Samara (40 min away) to do their food shopping.
Please understand that we are a Conservation Organization and not a rescue centre or pet project. Even though we keep birds in captivity we try to simulate their natural living situation as much as possible. Our captive macaws are breeding birds or future release birds. To be able to have optimal success for both purposes, we do not allow any physical, verbal or social contact when you work with them.
Work at this site includes:
This site is also remote, located within the Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge. The wet and dry seasons in the South Caribbean region are not as defined as on the Pacific coast. The Manzanillo site is located in a humid tropical forest where temperature can go from cool nights (18°-20°C) to hot days (26° - 32°) with tropical thunder and rainstorms as well as dry spells during the same month.
Volunteers live in a cabin onsite at the release facility with 3 beds in 2 bedrooms, 1 shared bathroom, a fully equipped kitchen and an open porch living area. The volunteer cabin has bedding, fans and mosquito nets.
This Manzanillo site is located south of the town of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in southern Limón province near Panama. This coastal area is one of the most attractive places in Costa Rica with beautiful beaches and lush coastal rainforests. You can Google - Puerto Viejo - Manzanillo in Talamanca, Limón, Costa Rica for more information. Getting to and from the station, includes a steep walk up a private road and one must take a bus or bike ride get to town.
Volunteers usually take the public bus for shopping, ATM and other services; there is also an organic farmers market Saturday mornings. To live and work at Manzanillo site, you should be comfortable to be on your own, and enjoy the beauty of Nature and spending evenings reading a book. We do have a cellular Wi-Fi service at the station that you can use for a couple of hours daily and there is also a Wi-Fi connection available at the local general store.
Volunteer work at the Manzanillo site includes:
Click on the links below to learn more about the position, and fill out an application.
Our positions are also posted on: www.environmentjobs.com
For more information please review our “What You Should Know” section.
Come and join the team!
We are a not-for-profit organisation and we couldn’t do the work we do without the incredible donations of time and energy our many volunteers make! Wherever possible we try to provide new experiences, a chance to develop new skills and fun activities in our off time. However, our resources are limited and the greatest reward you will receive from working for The Ara Project is the knowledge you’re helping these two endangered species avoid extinction in Costa Rica.