Travel to the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica and help raise awareness and funds for important conservation work being done there. You’ll learn a diverse set of skills and put them to good use, all while living in a tropical paradise.

Based in their own 4,700 hectare research center, this organization works to create transformative connections between people and the environment through education, research, integration, and innovation. They conduct long-term, fine-scale research projects on agroforestry, permaculture, and sea turtle nesting. They then share their knowledge, using their research center, or campus, as an educational space for conservation awareness.

As an intern, your role will revolve around marketing, communications, and fundraising. You’ll create content for various digital and physical channels, develop marketing strategies, and organize fundraising campaigns. You’ll develop and practice a diverse set of skills and build an impressive portfolio of work.


Based on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, CIRENAS is a conservation-focused nonprofit operating from their own 4,700 hectare research center and educational campus. Here, they run an array of fine-scale conservation research, devise sustainable practices, and establish conservation initiatives for the region. They then share their knowledge through community outreach, education programs, and online informational resources.

Their mission is to create transformative connections between people and the environment through education, research, integration, and innovation. Their work includes agroforestry and permaculture projects, in-field conservation work for nesting sea turtles, wildlife rescue, and development of a seed bank and nursery.


There is a great scope for variety in work with this program. There’ll be opportunities to develop skills in marketing strategy, fundraising, grant-writing, web design, copywriting, and creating content for a range of channels.


  • Managing social media channels and blogs
  • Producing informational brochures and fliers for community outreach
  • Developing marketing strategies
  • Organizing fundraising drives
  • Writing grant applications
  • Reaching out to new collaborators and partners
  • Creating content and writing copy for blogs, newsletters, and other online channels
  • Designing and updating web pages
  • Coordinating promotional activities


  • Academic or prior experience in marketing, communications, or related field is preferred
  • Fluent English
  • Basic Spanish skills
  • Technologically literate with Microsoft Office, Google Drive, and social media platforms
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Passion for conservation work
  • Bring your own laptop


You will be based at the Caletas-Ario National Wildlife Refuge ranger station – which is conveniently located right across from the Cirenas Campus. This allows you access to all campus amenities, and enjoy a great diversity of scenery. You will sleep in cozy bungalows on a sharing basis with bunk beds, there are also several shared social spaces and a basic kitchen free for you to utilize. On campus, there are classrooms, laboratories, a huge network of nature trails, and spaces for yoga, meditation, and events.

Safety & Support

Safety & Support

Costa Rica is generally considered a safe travel destination although you have to keep the normal safety precautions in mind (take care of your valuables, don’t go out alone after dark, etc.). Make sure to visit your doctor and dentist for a check-up before your internship and to get all the recommended vaccines and/or medications necessary to stay healthy. Malaria risk is low, but consult your local health on whether or not to take any malaria medication.



There is a Wi-Fi connection for work-related issues. For personal use, it is recommended to either buy a local sim card or use international data roaming.



From Monday to Saturday three basic meals are provided, and you will have cooking shifts with other residents – a great way to get to know each other. The meals offered are mainly vegetarian. On the occasion you would like to explore the local food scene, your best option is going into Cobano.

Location details

Location details

You’ll stay near the town of Manzanillo, a short drive from popular beach Santa Teresa on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica. This area is an area of staggering natural beauty and rich biodiversity in one of Costa Rica’s most important coastal watersheds along the Bongo-Ario basin.


Fee Breakdown

Internship dates are flexible. The exact start and end dates will be discussed with you during the selection process.

What you’ll pay (2024 rates)

8 weeks USD 4,113

12 weeks USD 6,170

16 weeks USD 6,961

20 weeks USD 7,119

26 weeks USD 9,255


  • Careful matchmaking. It takes time to find the right internship for each person, and we take this process very seriously.
  • Initial interview with one of our team to gauge your skills, interests, and desired learning outcomes.
  • Shared accommodation
  • Three meals a day from Monday to Saturday (you will have cooking shifts)
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement & other preparations
  • An orientation program with your supervisor
  • Supervision and support during your internship
  • Regular check-ins and feedback from your supervisor.
  • Access to workshops with a focus on career development
  • Troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship


  • Flights to Cobano Airport
  • Transfer from Cobano Airport to the campus
  • Visa, medical and travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Meals on Sunday
  • Drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities


Some of our most commonly asked questions for programs in Costa Rica.

What can I expect from an internship in Costa Rica?

During your internship, you can expect to gain a mix of professional development and cultural exploration. Also, throughout your internship, you’ll gain hands-on experience in your chosen field, collaborating with locals and fellow interns, building relationships and a strong network.

How will a nonprofit internship in Costa Rica boost my career development?

As you engage in meaningful projects that contribute to sustainable development and environmental causes, you’ll gain a sense of purpose and passion for creating a positive change. Also, you’ll get to use and sharpen your professional skills, as well as your interpersonal skills. If you wish to know more about how doing a nonprofit internship is good for your career, make sure to check this blog out!

While on an internship in Costa Rica can I receive university credit?

Yes, but you must ensure with your university supervisor that the internship meets the needed requirements. You can also choose to purchase transfer credits to supplement your internship experience.

Will I receive compensation of any kind during my internship?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to receive any sort of stipend. When interning for a nonprofit organization, you will not be paid, but here are some ways to fund your internship. Your experience will bring opportunities for both professional and personal growth and a wealth of new knowledge which is invaluable!


LOCATION: Manzanillo, Costa Rica
TASK FOCUS: Digital Marketing, Content Creation, Fundraising, Outreach
LENGTH: Min. 8 weeks
COST: From USD 4,113


  • Gain international experience in a nonprofit context
  • Develop a diverse skill set in marketing and communications
  • Build a deep and varied portfolio
  • Head up your own fundraising drives
  • Contribute to valuable conservation work


If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:


Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) which includes sharing your CV to us.



We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.


If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.


If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, getting started with the booking process and all the info you need.


Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.


Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form below. We’ll be happy to assist!


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