At a glance
- Live and work in Barra Honda National park, a government-run reserve filled with lush rainforest, wildlife and deep caves.
- Protect the rainforest in Costa Rica by collecting scientific data that contributes to new conservation policies.
- Improve your Spanish language skills during regular lessons and by practising your conversational skills with the locals.
Fixed dates throughout the yearSee Dates
This project is only for 15-18 year olds
Is conservation and Spanish in Costa Rica with other teenagers right for me?
If you have a passion for conservation and other cultures, you’ve landed on the right project! It’s great for aspiring environmentalists. You’ll get your hands dirty in the forest through numerous conservation tasks like wildlife surveys and reforestation efforts. This unique perspective will give you an edge when you figure out which field of conservation you want to pursue.
You don’t need any prior experience to join as our staff will take you through everything you need to know. However, you need to be physically fit as the project requires a lot of treks through the forest. You should also be prepared to miss a few home comforts like regular WiFi and hot showers. Although, you’ll be so busy, and in the heat of the forest you’ll crave a cold shower at the end of the day.
You’ll get to experience a completely different language and culture while in Costa Rica. This is why you’ll get to participate in daily Spanish language classes. These lessons are catered to your skill level so no need to worry if you’re still a beginner. Being in a country where Spanish is most commonly spoken will make it easier for you to practice your language skills.
Our staff will arrange everything for you, including a few social activities that will give you the chance to explore the beauty of Costa Rica.
Collect data on wildlife to help create effective conservation plans
During your project, you’ll spend time doing wildlife data collection with local conservationists and scientists. This data will help them understand the behaviours and populations of different species. Through this analysis, the park can develop better conservation policies that protect the wildlife that call it home.
Run environmental education campaigns in surrounding schools and communities
An important part of conservation is education. You’ll be sharing what you learn with the surrounding community to educate and create a culture of protecting the environment. The talks and workshops you deliver will encourage people to conserve the environment long after you’ve left. You’ll also share the perks of organic farming and how to start the process.
Learn Spanish during private lessons
Your personalised classes will cater to your skill level. If you’ve never spoken Spanish before, this will be a great way to learn some of the basics. You can even practice your new found language skills with the locals. They’ll be happy to give you a pointer or two. This will make speaking basic Spanish easier as you’ll get a good feel for the way words are said.
Explore and experience Costa Rica with the other volunteers
During your time in Costa Rica, your project supervisor will take you to explore the surrounding areas. You’ll get to raft through the fresh waters, zip line through the forest and explore the depths of the famous cave system in Costa Rica. This is a great way to bond and make friends with other volunteers from around the world. Many lifelong friendships have been formed in the Costa Rica forest.
We’ve partnered with Barra Honda National Park. This is a government-run wildlife reserve in desperate need of volunteer support. We provide the park with the manpower to do important conservation work. In exchange, our volunteers work with and learn from some of the top minds in environmental studies.
Where will I work in Costa Rica?
You’ll be based in Barra Honda National Park for the duration of your conservation volunteer work in Costa Rica. You and the other teenagers will live and work in the government-run wildlife reserve located in the northwest of the country. This area is a lush tropical dry forest with an intricate network of underground caves you’ll get to explore.
You’ll find living in the forest is unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Surrounded by the sounds of chattering monkeys, chirping birds, and buzzing insects, you’ll get to truly connect with nature.
What are the aims and impact of this project?
The aims of this project is to support the staff of Barra Honda National Park with conservation work, while bumping up your Spanish skills.
Costa Rica is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity. So even though it’s a small country, it has plenty of indigenous wildlife. However, this wildlife is threatened by deforestation and climate change. That’s why it’s vital to understand how best to conserve local plants and animals, while taking steps to ensure the community plays a role in protecting the forest too.
Combining your language course with the conservation project will help the local community while preserving a small part of Mother Nature. It’s also a brilliant opportunity for cultural exchange. By improving your Spanish language skills, you can interact more with the locals and learn about the culture and way of life. You’ll leave with an understanding of traditions and practices different from those of your home country.
Join other teenagers volunteers on our Conservation and Spanish language Project in Costa Rica. You’ll soon discover what you’re capable of.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers and interns actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work.
We produce an annual High School Specials Impact Report, which documents some of these achievements. Find out more about the impact of these projects, and read the latest report.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have all the extra support you need as a young person travelling abroad. Our Projects Abroad staff are there for you 24 hours a day during the week and over weekends to provide constant support and guidance. Our staff also make sure you feel comfortable and safe at your placement and accommodation. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Costa Rica
Not quite what you’re looking for?
Take a look at the following pages where you'll find collections of similar projects: