Welcome to the garden and thanks for staying with us.
TERMS: Since January of 2007 the opportunity to stay for an extended period was made available to anyone interested in working in the Mariposario. The cost per person is $225 for a 4 week contract. We provide lodging, breakfast, and lunch. In exchange you give us 20 hours of work per week. Every month we have 3 work/stay positions available. Accommodations are dormitory style and co-ed, with two shared bathrooms, hot water and full kitchen. Laundry service is available on premises (900 colones per kilo), and there is internet and wifi available on the property.
Use the form on the Contact page to let us know a little about yourself and why you want to come down and volunteer at the butterflygarden. You can check our calendar for availability. We are also accepting interns for longer stays, please contact us for more information.
JOB DUTIES: Every day in the garden is different, and you can expect to learn more than you ever anticipated about the magical world of lepidoptera. A typical work day starts immediately after breakfast (8am) and lasts until lunch (served at noon.) Job duties include caring for and feeding both the butterflies and the caterpillars, cleaning the caterpillar pens, collecting butterfly eggs, monitoring pupa activity, eliminating predators etc. You will also be introduced to the amazing world of permaculture including organic farming, agroforestry, sustainable development and applied ecology. We have found that everyone who arrives at the garden brings a unique contribution to our continually developing project. Consequently we welcome your input and creativity.
QUALIFICATIONS: The only prerequisites are your interest and enthusiasm. All other skills you will learn on site. A scientific background, while helpful, is certainly not required. Spanish is a plus as our regular employees speak nothing else. (Occasionally our high school volunteers may be coaxed to practice a little English.) In general, work stay participants and tourists come from all over the world, and English is the common travel language.
WHAT TO BRING: When you come bring comfortable closed shoes with good tread. (Please note that at times your shoes may get very muddy.) Rubber boots, if you prefer, and ponchos will be provided. Dress to feel comfortable in the garden. We’ve seen attire that ranges from fully clothed: socks, shoes, light weight long sleeved shirts and long pants, to skimpily clad: spaghetti strap tops and mini skirts, or muscle shirts, tank tops, and shorts. The weather is hot and the humidity is high. It’s a neo-tropical jungle. We recommend a hat or head covering to protect you from the sun, as well as protection for working beneath overhanging plants. Bring the insect repellent of your choice. Some people prefer DEET products. Others keep the insects at bay using herbals such as citronella, and many locals swear by the consumption of limes. (Very recently I read an article that Avon’s Skin So Soft was a great product to ward off the pesky “no-see-ums”.) You may wish to bring your own water bottle but it is unnecessary as plastic bottles abound. Our facilities are served by the municipal water system of Delicias and we drink from the tap. Bottled water can easily be purchased.
HEALTH CONCERNS: Should the need arise, medical services are available in Cobano (7km away) and health care is relatively inexpensive. Please check out the section on Things to Know.
LEISURE ACTIVITIES: You’ll have plenty of time to relax, practice hobbies, and/or explore area beaches and waterfalls. If you’re a reader you may wish to pack a good book or two. Albeit tiny, there is a library in Montezuma. Upon leaving, any books you may wish to donate are greatly appreciated.