My Next Adventure - Volunteering in Costa Rica and Nicaragua


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Central America Caribbean
October 2nd 2017
Published: October 2nd 2017
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Volunteering in Costa Rica and Nicaragua


Playa CabuyalPlaya CabuyalPlaya Cabuyal

Nice beach! I will be walking it every day/night looking for turtles
Time for another adventure!



I have been planning this since Dec 2016, sold my franchise end March, then 6 months of painting and house projects. Plus travel bookings and purchases.

All gone well except a slight leg injury in last week!!! Tackled by a clothes horse....

So just a short blog to test and relearn how to use this site, plus give a plan of my next 8 mths.

For those of you who followed for my 2010 travels, you know that you will receive an email with a link to latest published blog. Like this one!

NB I wont have daily access to the internet most of the time so either a weekly or bi weekly blogs.



So I fly out to Costa Rica on 4th October direct flight from Gatwick. Then 6 hours of shuttles/bus towards the North West Pacific coast where I am spending 60 ish days at a Turtle research/conservation camp with The Leatherback Trust, in Playa Cabuyal.

The camp is very remote, with rustic living conditions eg cold showers, solar panels for power, water from a spring, outside kitchen, Rice and Beans!!

Max 10 volunteers here, our main role is to walk the 7km beach to look for nesting turtles plus observe other local wildlife (crocodiles, insects, Jaguars...).

Here is the link to the project http://www.leatherback.org/get-involved/join-us/playa-cabuyal

NB Why do we need to help turtles??

All seven species of sea turtle are on the endangered species list, except one. Plastic, fishing nets/tackle, pollutants, climate change (temp determines sex of hatchlings), poaching, so basically humans!.

Sea turtles graze on sea grass, which in turn gives other marine species somewhere to live/grow up.

"Slaughtered for virtually every part of their body, including their eggs, shells, meat and skin, sea turtles of all species fall victim to poaching and exploitation daily. Fishermen and climate change are also two culprits in the decimation of the sea turtle population. The eggs of sea turtles are highly sought after as well, by both humans and other animals, which is another reason why the overall population of sea turtles is declining. Many migrate thousands of miles to different coastal areas to lay their eggs and can be easy targets at night. People aren’t aware of the declining population of sea turtles because frankly, it isn’t viewed with the same importance, but sea turtles are a key part in the ecosystem of the ocean.

If sea turtles become extinct, they could severely impact the ecosystems of marine life in ways that we may not be aware of. Sea turtles and sea turtle eggs provide important nutrients to dune and beach ecosystems as well as marine and ocean ecosystems. These ecosystems house many animals and promote the safety of the wildlife and without sea turtles, the ecosystems would be in great danger."





So then early December I take a bus to Nicaragua, heading for Ometepe Island.



Ometepe is an island formed by two volcanoes rising out of Lake Nicaragua in the Republic of Nicaragua. Its name derives from the Nahuatl words ome (two) and tepetl (mountain), meaning "two mountains".It is the largest island in Lake Nicaragua with a population of approx 40,000.



The two volcanoes, known as Volcan Concepcion and Volcan Maderas, are joined by a low isthmus to form one island in the shape of an hourglass, dumbbell or peanut. Ometepe has an area of 276 km2. It is 31 km long and 5 to 10 km wide.

Concepcion is still active, Maderas is dormant and has a lake in its caldera! Also some other local swimming holes (ojo de agua).

I will be working on The Bona Fide Project, a permaculture farm approx. 26 acres growing various crops.

Again rustic and remote but not as remote as Cabuyal!

Ten weeks here, farming duties, site maintenance, helping with research projects. etc

Link to project http://projectbonafide.com/support/volunteers/



Feb 19th head back to Costa Rica, flying into San Jose for a couple of days of hot showers! Then bus to Pacuare, just north of Limon on the Caribbean side, only accessible by boat, where I have a role as a Field Research Assistant. My main responsibility is to construct the turtle hatchery for the coming hatching season in the April. Lots of digging and cleaning sand, putting fence and roof cover up, laying out nest matrix. Again remote and rustic!



Project link http://www.latinamericanseaturtles.com/conservation-programs-pacuare.php





Finish here May 7th, need to leave Costa Rica as my visa will run out, so I think I will need a holiday by then!! Nothing booked but couple weeks chilling is the plan then fly home May 23rd.







After that I don't know! Maybe couple months at home then off again..... campervan round spain...???







Hope that was interesting enough for you! Don't forget to send me messages while I am away through the blogs.



Adios

:o)


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2nd October 2017

Awesome!
Mark, what a great trip you have ahead of you. Very best of luck with it all.... look forward to hearing your updates and ogling the photos too. Karen x
3rd October 2017

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Hey Mr. Larf, That looks awesome, i call you tomorrow before you go. All the best Bro! J.

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