* Please note that not every expedition has couples’ or single's accommodations available. Please call or email Earthwatch to check for availability prior to reserving your space(s) on the team.
Monteverde: Volunteers on Teams 1(a and b), 2(a and b), and 4 (a and b) will stay at the CIEE Monteverde campus. Being a study abroad campus for the Council On International Educational Exchange allows for a singular experience of educational and nature based activities, as well as interaction with the local community.
Las Cruces: Volunteers on Teams 2c and 3 will be staying at The Las Cruces Biological Station, a very comfortable field station. In addition to providing housing for researchers (short and long-term), Las Cruces also receives Natural History Visitors (i.e, ecotourists). Given this, the station is able to provide many amenities.
Monteverde: All bedding is provided and beds are either full or bunk beds. No mosquito netting is needed at this elevation. Each room for three to four people includes an en suite bathroom with flush toilet and shower. Depending on the available space at the research station, single or couple room requests can be accommodated. Single gender rooms are assigned with three to four volunteers per room.
Las Cruces: The Wilson House will be used for this team, as well as student groups and teen teams, as it provides sleeping and classroom space, and a wonderfully sunny common room in a spacious building located in the center of the botanical gardens. Wilson House dormitory accommodations have several comfortable bunk beds per room.
* Earthwatch will honor each person’s assertion of gender identity, respectfully and without judgement. For both teen and adult teams, where logistics dictate single-sex accommodations or other facilities, participant placements will be made in accordance with the gender identity the participant specified on their Earthwatch Participant form and/or preferences indicated in discussions with Earthwatch.
Monteverde: A full en suite bathroom is located in each shared single-gender bedroom. Showers and hot water are available.
Las Cruces: Ample shared bathrooms, with several toilet and shower stalls, are located on each of the two floors on each floor. The showers are supplied with solar hot water— this means there is often hot water available for showers, but not when there has not been a lot of sun.
You are welcome to bring electrical equipment. Electrical outlets in Costa Rica are 110v just like in North America. However, although most wall outlets are being switched to 3 prongs, if your device uses a 3-prong plug, we recommend bringing an adapter which converts from 3 to 2 prongs. Power can be unreliable at the at these remote locations, so come prepared for outages.
Both locations have wireless internet access. You may bring your own laptop or tablet for free-time use. PIs and staff can be reached via telephone, cell phone, and email for both emergencies and casual communication.
Please note that personal communication with outsiders is not always possible while participating in an expedition. Earthwatch encourages volunteers to minimize outgoing calls and immerse themselves in the experience; likewise, family and friends should restrict calls to urgent messages only.
FACILITIES AND AMENITIES
Monteverde: The CIEE campus is a field education campus. It boasts labs, classroom space, and dormitory-style living accommodations to support independent student projects of the study abroad students. These facilities may be in use by other groups when your Earthwatch team is present.
There are limited shopping opportunities nearby. If there is something that you like to have every day, we recommend that you bring it with you.
Smoking is not permitted on the CIEE campus in Monteverde.
Las Cruces: This research station is operated by the Organization for Tropical Studies. There are labs, classroom space, and various accommodations to support researchers and students. These may also be in use by other groups when your Earthwatch team is present.
Laundry service is available for a fee of $10 USD per bag. Plan to allow up to 16 hours for your laundry to be washed, dried and available for pick-up.
There are limited shopping opportunities nearby. Several small grocery stores are located in San Vito, which is ~4 miles from the field station and is reachable by bus. Since it would not be possible to make this trip very often, and as items typically available in US grocery stores may not be available in Costa Rican grocery stores, if there is something that you like to have every day, we recommend that you bring it with you. There is a small craft shop nearby that teams may visit for souvenir opportunities. Las Cruces also has a small gift shop at the reception building.
FOOD AND WATER
Monteverde: CIEE dining hall staff will prepare all meals. Most days will include bag lunches, but breakfast and dinner will be sit-down, family style. Volunteers will not have to do meal prep or shopping. Clean up will only include taking plates and utensils to the counter near the sink.
No personal refrigerator space is available at the CIEE facilities in Monteverde, unless needed for special circumstances, e.g. medicine storage.
Las Cruces: Las Cruces Biological Station provides family-style meals prepared by the dedicated kitchen staff. There is also an area with coffee and tea available throughout the day. Volunteers and research staff will not be involved in any cooking, shopping, or cleaning up--other than bussing their dishes.
The kitchen has refrigeration, and can be used for storing medications needing refrigeration. Also, if you are accustomed to snacking between meals, please note that this is not a typical custom in Costa Rica so you should plan to bring your own supply of snacks. You may store them in the refrigerator to avoid attracting ants.
Water from all taps at Las Cruces is spring-sourced and safe to drink.
The following are examples of foods you may find in the field. Meals are typical Costa Rican fare—beans, rice, vegetables and poultry or beef. Variety depends on availability. We appreciate your flexibility.
- Breakfast: Gallo pinto (rice and beans), eggs, toast, pancakes, arepas, cheese, plantains, fresh fruit, coffee
- Lunch: Sandwich bag lunch with peanut butter & jelly, or lunch meat and cheese options plus juice, cookies
- Dinner: Chicken, beef or fish option, plus steamed vegetables and rice, beans, or pasta
- Dessert: Tres leches cakes, and other pastries, fruit, rice pudding
- Beverages: Fresh juice, water, coffee, hot chocolate
SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
Please alert Earthwatch to any special dietary requirements (e.g., diabetes, lactose intolerance, nut or other food allergies, vegetarian or vegan diets) as soon as possible, and note them in the space provided on your volunteer forms.
Vegetarians and vegans can be somewhat accommodated on this project, if they are prepared to be flexible. Usually there is plenty of food that the meat and dairy can just be avoided, and avocados and beans will usually be good protein substitutes, but processed vegetarian meat substitutes are not available. There is not much dairy included in the typical Costa Rican diet so lactose intolerance should not be a problem to accommodate. Wheat-based foods are also not typical in Costa Rica (rice is the primary grain consumed) and so a gluten free diet should also be easily accommodated, with sufficient notice.