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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

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Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
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Registered: December 2012
City/Town/Province: Waterloo
Posts: 1
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The following story recounts the incredible experience I had this summer in Costa Rica as a biodiversity surveyor for the Osa Conservation fund of the Osa Peninsula. The focus of the project was to gather important data on species abundance and diversity in the areas around Corcovado National Park and to strive towards greater protection of the area.

As we flew into Puerto Jimenez from San Jose, the tiny town came into view. Nestled between the ocean and hundreds of kilometers of rainforest, Puerto Jimenez was hardly able to qualify as a town. Yet despite its size and run down look it was very pretty, most likely due to the fact that it was surrounded by such beauty as the forest itself. As i stepped off the tiny plane, i was greeted by Kes my project leader, a guy who both had the laid back attitude and look of the place i had just arrived. The heat and humidity were also incredibly oppresive. I had already drank all my water and was sweating buckets. As we walked through town to the main street i noticed Puerto Jimenez was nothing more than the intersection of 2 roads, but it's colourful houses, exotic plant gardens and Latin culture of excitement made it an incredibly interesting place.

Going to Costa Rica with Frontier was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Arriving in Puerto Jimenez on the first day, I, and the rest of the volunteers felt already removed from the monotonous rush of modern life and felt relaxed, excited and eager to get going to the Frontier camp. Even in town, the jungle was everywhere. Macaws flying overhead, howlers in the distance and hummingbirds flitting outside our hostel.

Once we arrived in camp after a back breaking 2.5 hour bus ride, (It’s worse when you drank 2 water bottles beforehand and didn’t go to the bathroom before…so don’t do that) we saw where we would be staying for the duration of our project. And to be fair, it was pretty nice! Covered areas for the tents and hammocks and an eating are with a stove, taps with clean water and FOOD. There was even a flushing toilet! But paramount to all this was my amazement of the scale of the rainforest of the Osa peninsula. Enormous trees, the sound of bugs, birds, frogs and monkeys continually adding to the overwhelming presence of life in our surroundings. The next morning when i woke up (about 530 am because that’s when the sun decides to rise here) me, and a few other early risers were greeted by a tamandua! The first up close encounter of Costa Rican wildlife right in our camp! Stubbornly and predictably I decided to get closer and was almost within 5m before Greg (we named him Greg.) sensed something was up. He then sauntered back into the forest, yet left me amazed and hoping for more amazing encounters. Over the next few days after Sarah’s science talk about Osa Conservation and the area we were in, we started doing the surveys! (the most exciting part!). Primate surveys, Giant River otter walks, Swamp walks, early morning Bird surveys, Turtle patrols even just random walks to crawl through a bat tree, swing on vines, or chase crabs on the beach! All were incredible!! In short, I was amazed by the diversity and density of life around me. I saw everything from tree frogs in the showers to spider monkeys swinging through the trees to Olive Ridley turtles laying their eggs on the beach. All this was facilitated by the amazing staff there; Sarah, Kes, Flora, Tom and Anik, who made the experience even more rewarding. This trip has only inspired me to travel more places, but I’ll always remember Costa Rica with Frontier as one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had and an inspiration for me to continue my career in wildlife conservation.
Date: December 29, 2012 Views: 5839 File size: 16.1kb, 1289.3kb : 2592 x 1944
Hours Volunteered: 300
Volunteers: 20
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18 & 16 to 21
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 100
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 18
Native Trees Planted: 20
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