Volunteers in Costa Rica 


During July 2022, the first summer volunteer program of the year took place. We had six volunteers gather at the Green Life II Preserve, one of which was only for a week. The other five stayed for the full three packed weeks.

We had a lot of tasks ahead of us in the form of cleaning and painting the container at the new hut, cleaning the trails, monitoring with photo traps not only at our place, but also in the La Marta reserve, preparing the construction of the relaxation terrace by carrying cut cypress trunks to the base stakes, planting tree seedlings in the reserve, and daily cooking and maintenance of the volunteer base. Volunteers tramped dozens of miles in the field in mud, rain, streams and steep slopes.

After two wonderful and challenging weeks, we all moved to La Cangreja National Park where we continued our work, monitoring and learning activities for one week. The biggest task was the demolition of the so-called Green House, a large covered shed where tree seedlings were stored.

However, the foundation beams were already eaten through by termites and the entire building had to be demolished, and without a bulldozer. The main force was us, seven Czechs and two men.
Based on maximum physical effort and also strategic thinking, so that the whole thing would not fall on our heads sooner than we would have liked, after two days we actually got the hall down gradually. Much of the work took place at five metres high with no guarding and a chainsaw in hand. In the end, it all got done and we proved to ourselves that we are a super hard working, plus smart team that just won’t let anything stop us.


The next activity was folding tree seedlings from the truck, which was not so creative and risky. After all, stacking 4,000 seedlings is not as much fun as demolishing an old shed. Other activities were to furnish the guardhouse we were given, including setting up the beds. All the time we cooked our own food and once again it turned out that we had a very capable team this time, in all aspects of the activity. An important task was to deploy our five photo traps as part of the monitoring programme.

During this trip Leonel showed us the beauty of one of the smallest but beautiful national parks in Costa Rica. The final icing on the cake was a visit to a private reserve where we were amazed by the beautiful waterfalls. This final day was rounded off with a sumptuous lunch in the centre of this reserve. We had no choice but to say goodbye to La Cangreja NP and the wonderful people who work here as rangers. We have agreed to help organize this year’s World Ranger Day here on August 2, 2022, which will be part of the second volunteer program, so once again we have something to look forward to.