Jackie wrote asking advice for her upcoming trip to Parismina:

Hi Sara,

How are you? I have been reading your CR blog the past few days and I just wanted to let you know its great. I lived In Quepos, CR for several months and loved it. I traveled all over CR and I am planning on returning soon. I have emailed Vicky about volunteering in Parismina for a few nights. I am very eager to see the turtles and do what I can.

I was reading your blog about doing the volunteering. It sounds like you had a tough time. I was wondering if you could tell me anything that would be helpful about this volunteering adventure I am about to embark on? Negative or positive advice/opinions/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am doing this with my friend who is a tico and he has never experienced the turtles nesting. We are looking forward to it, but on the other hand What will we be getting into?

Thank you so much for anything you have to offer. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

Pura vida!

Advice? Opinions? Suggestions? I’m full of it:

Hi Jacquie,

Vicki is wonderful. I have so much respect for her and what she is doing. On the boat from Parismina to Limón at the end of our stay, I met some people who were coming from Tortuguero. Tort is set up much more touristy – there were things about it that sounded wonderful: good restaurants, inns, shops… but their turtle setup did not sound AT ALL like Vicki’s. Tort’s is much more geared toward satisfying the tourist than the turtles. I would go back to Parismina before going to Tort.

The two things I couldn’t handle in Parismina were the heat and the long walk at the end of a really long day.

RE the heat: There was NO relief. No breeze, no cool shade. If you are going to learn Spanish and want to do a homestay, make sure they have a good fan. We had one fan to share between the four of us and it just wasn’t enough. Otherwise, Vicki’s sister in law has a hotel, the Iguana Verde, I think. Very nice woman also, speaks perfect English, was very helpful to me that last morning. I plan to stay at her place next time.

Next time I do the turtles, I will be in better shape for the walk. You need the best shoes for walking in the sand, I would guess sneakers or snug fitting tevos with socks, like that. I had on crocs that slid around; walking on sand is hard enough without fighting your shoes as well.

I would also take a beach chair or folding chair so during the day, I could go to the beach, find a shady spot and at least be comfortable with a book.

If I had known what to expect, I would have known to have better shoes, to not go that first night after whitewater rafting all day (what was I thinking?), to take water with me on the walk, to be prepared for the intense heat.

I would definitely go again. In fact, I must: I quit. I never quit! Please write to me after you have been there and tell me your experience so I can post that. I hate posting such negative things, particularly about such a good organization. But I gotta say what it was like for me. I’m looking forward to the next time and a better turtle experience!!!

Thank you for reading! Can’t wait to hear how it was for you. Good luck on seeing a turtle!

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