Volunteer Opportunities

“Looking back at my stay with the Macaw Recovery Network’s team, I’m just starting to realize how lucky I was that I’ve been given the possibility to be a part of this great organization, together with all those amazing people.

Thank you guys so much! For everything that I’ve learned about conservation, birds and nature and for teaching me English, and Spanish and how (not) to be an adult. For deep conversations and controversial discussions. And for just being the intelligent, open, childish, funny, nature-loving people that you are. Stay awesome!”

– Lotta Dümeland, Germany, October-December 2017

Volunteering and Apprenticeship Opportunities

The Network's conservation sites could not exist without the dedicated volunteers that join our teams year round. We offer various Volunteering and Apprentice positions which give you an opportunity to get hands-on experience with the conservation of two threatened species of Macaw. Volunteers have the opportunity to make a difference to these species, meet people from all over the world and experience Costa Rican life & culture!

Volunteering at Punta Islita

Breeding Center

Punta Islita is home to our Macaw Breeding Center and Wild Scarlet Macaw Reserve. With only long term opportunities (>6 months) during the breeding season such as the Apprentice Program and Field Biologist position, short term stays are possible during the non-breeding season (August-November).

This site is in a remote, dry tropical forest and is just a short walk from the beach. Nearby is the village of Punta Islita, where volunteers can join the locals to play fútbol, have a drink or share a meal. The volunteer house has two bedrooms with two beds in each room, a shared bathroom, a kitchen and a social outdoor area. There are also private, sheltered tents for our long-term volunteers.

Please understand that we are a conservation organization and not a rescue center. Even though we keep rescued birds in captivity, we try to simulate their natural living situation as much as possible. Our captive Macaws are breeding birds or future release birds. To be able to have optimal success for both purposes, we do not allow any physical, verbal or social contact when you work with them.

Punta Islita volunteering opportunities:
  • Apprenticeships

  • Macaw Conservation Volunteer

  • Veterinarian Macaw Volunteer

  • Volunteer Field Biologist

  • Tour & Communication Volunteer

see full descriptions of volunteer positions


Volunteering at Sarapiqui

Great green Macaw field station

During the Great Green Macaw breeding season (December through May) our field team sets up camp in Sarapiqui, close to the town of Puerto Viejo. Our field manager works with the team to scout around the northern area of Costa Rica monitoring the breeding activities at wild nest sites.

The field station is in a remote area in the Caribbean rain forest with no major tourism attractions nearby. Puerto Viejo, the nearby town, is where volunteers can do their shopping, get Wi-Fi, have a drink or share a meal. The volunteer house has three bedrooms with two beds in each room, a shared bathroom, a kitchen and a social outdoor area.

Applicants who join the field team will need some relevant background studies and to be able to live in basic conditions, whilst being outside during long days.

Sarapiqui volunteering opportunities:
  • Volunteer Field Biologist

  • Volunteer Research Assistant

  • Volunteer during our Annual Census

see full descriptions of volunteer positions


Volunteer schedule

Throughout the year we offer various positions, which carry different roles and responsibilities.
Please check our calendar, read more about each position and apply below.

  • 1. Punta Islita Breeding Site
  • 2. Sarapiqui Field Station