Sea Turtle Rescue and Spanish Immersion Program
4-Week Sea Turtle Rescue and Spanish Immersion Program
The Sea Turtle Rescue and Spanish Immersion program offers students the unforgettable opportunity to learn Spanish while making a difference at the same time. Tico Lingo has partnered with a nonprofit organization in Costa Rica dedicated to saving leatherback and green sea turtles. In this one-of-a-kind program, students spend two weeks volunteering before returning to Heredia for two more weeks of intensive Spanish classes and homestay family accommodation.
Program Cost: $1,800 USD
This program runs for four weeks. It is broken up into two parts: a volunteer program held on the coast of Costa Rica, and an intensive Spanish immersion program held at Tico Lingo in downtown Heredia. During their time volunteering on the beach, students will have the opportunity to care for hatchling turtles, practice their Spanish, and make lifelong friendships in the process. After returning to Heredia, they will live with a local homestay family and take four hours of comprehensive Spanish classes at Tico Lingo each day.
It’s an all-inclusive program that offers students the chance to immerse themselves not only in the Spanish language, but in Costa Rican culture. You’ll meet new people, experience a new way of life, and walk away having had an adventure like no other.
Your contribution to the program not only helps with the protection of endangered sea turtles but also the betterment of lives of local Costa Rican families. You’ll walk away helping a community of animals and people while improving your ability to communicate in the Spanish language.
Who should signup?
Anyone who is enthusiastic and open-minded is welcome in the program. During your first two weeks, volunteers will be working alongside 15-20 other volunteers whom come from all over the world. Looking for nesting turtles can sometimes be physically demanding, so we advise registrants to be in decent physical condition.
While living with a family and studying Spanish in Heredia, we encourage those who want to truly immerse themselves in Costa Rican culture. Participants should be open to new experiences and willing to say “yes!” to the adventure of a new city and people.
In groups of 3-4, volunteers will be patrolling the beaches for turtles at night (in all types of weather). Likewise, volunteers will be manning the turtle hatchery, collecting data, and releasing newly born baby turtles. Each volunteer will be involved with the day to day operational duties of running the project and caring for turtles and volunteers alike.
When to sign up?
We have an open enrollment for the program which means student volunteers can select any Saturday or Sunday or their choosing! Select any weekend between November 1st and September 1st throughout the year.
Airport Pick-up and Drop-off
A friendly face will be at SJO International Airport to pick you up and drop you off. You’ll get the name and phone number or your airport pickup and arrival 24/7 is absolutely a-ok! 🙂
Hip, Urban Hostel
Upon arrival you’ll have a comfortable bed and bath waiting for you in a downtown San José hostel where volunteers will be prepped with pre-program details. The hostel is dedicated to turtle saving project and your stay supports the program.
Weekend Excursions Included
Two all-day, all-inclusive weekend tours are included in the program. While on the beach, you’ll have a full day wildlife tour. While in Heredia, you’ll have options like volcano hiking, rainforest canopy, or whitewater rafting tour!
While volunteering, three meals a day are included in the program. While studying Spanish, you’ll have breakfast and dinner with your homestay family. Carnivores, vegetarians, and vegans all welcome!
Where Your Tuition Goes
This program is dedicated to helping local communities in both rural beach areas as well as urban city areas in Costa Rica. Your registration dollars will go to helping locals stay clear of the illegal turtle egg trade by providing them with an opportunity to help turtles rather than hurt them. Likewise, staying with a homestay and taking Spanish classes not only helps families financially but also provides Costa Rican Spanish professors an opportunity to work sustainably in their local community.
Where your tuition money goes:
Turtle Rescue Project
Local Teacher and Admin Salaries
Transport, School Supplies, Overhead
Frequently Asked Questions
- When can I sign up?
- Can I arrive during the week?
- Can I do Spanish first and turtles second?
- What is the level of the Spanish classes?
- Do I need vaccinations?
Program start dates are rolling and begin every Monday. Students have the option of arriving on either the Saturday or Sunday before the start of their program. Just tell us which Monday is best for you! 🙂
Students have the option of arriving early if they’d like, which would be an additional $38/night for the hostel accommodation in San José with breakfast included.
Unfortunately no. Because the 4-week program includes many moving parts (pre-organized transportation, three different locations of accommodation, and many preparatory materials for both parties), we try to keep things as simple as possible and get volunteers on the beach helping turtles before returning to the city for Spanish immersion.
Regarding any concerns for needing Spanish at the volunteer project, we run the program 100% in English. The program is supported by volunteers from all over the world and we rely on English as our universal language to relay detailed instructions to volunteers during their stay.
Before each students’ arrival, we conduct a thorough written and oral exam to assess their Spanish level and place them in the class that suits them best. Each student be placed with a group that shares the same listening and reading comprehension as well as similar abilities in speaking and conversation.
No immunizations, shots or vaccinations are required to enter Costa Rica from North America or Europe. Check with your doctor for and individualized vaccination recommendation. They aren’t required, but they may be recommended by a doctor based on your history of health.
Looking for something different?
Check out our flexible adult programs