The biodiversity and the density of different species in Costa Rica are among the highest in the world. The lowland rainforest, which is located in our research area, even has an above average contribution to that. Mapping the natural resources is very important for its protection and moreover, it is a joy for every researcher or student to be part of this venture.

Work With Nature’s goal is to learn with and from one another. We are offering you a chance to acquire research skills. You share your knowledge, science and results with the project. This way, we can reinforce each other’s knowledge and make it possible for nature and the local population to take advantage of this as well.

Who are we looking for at Work with Nature? Everybody who is interested to learn about and study the rainforest is welcome to join and reinforce our team. Whether you are trying to find a suitable internship, looking for a location to carry out an existing research topic, or if you simply want to discover whether or not this field of work is suitable for you. We execute long term research, which is accessible to people with all different levels of experience. If you have your own research question, feel free to join us as well.

The goal

Our project area covers roughly 10 square kilometers and so far, it has hardly been mapped out. Even Barbilla National Park, which is located near our research area, still leaves a lot to discover. Our area is located in between this national park, an Indian reservation and some widespread banana plantations. Quite some parcels in the project area have been heavily disrupted by logging. But luckily, the rain forest itself remains mostly undamaged. We want to know exactly what it is we are going to protect, what the threats are and which measures need to be taken to have the biggest possible impact. Therefore, we have a strong focus on three main goals:

  • biodiversity
  • reforestation
  • sustainable life

Project area WwN



The use of the land here has influenced nature the last few hundred years. Different kinds of habitats are close to eachother in a mostly forested area. The main target of our research project is documenting the biodiversity of those different kinds of habitats. This will give us a clear view of the biological value of the area as a whole as well as show us the influence of different kinds of land usage on the biodiversity. With this we would like to document the biodiversity of our research area and research the influence/importance of protecting the rainforest. By using a certain amount of standardized methods we can measure the biodiversity in a very broad and specific manner. As a student or volunteer you don't need any specialized knowledge to be able to contribute to this research. During your stay you will learn the skills that are required to carry out this research. Also, you can choose to take part in set longterm research with existing protocols or focus on a specific group of animals or plants that you are interested in.


Our reserve has not always been spared from logging. In the past, hectares of forest have disappeared. Obviously we want to reforest these areas. We are researching which types of trees are most suitable to get the forest back in its original shape as fast as possible. Afterwards we will closely follow the development of the forest and the diversity of species. For this type of research you also need little to no experience and knowledge. Besides, the foundation has a tropical forester on site, who is able to teach you all the ins and outs on the subject.

Sustainable life

The research center is located on the edge of the rainforest. Our goal is to be able to work on the project with a minimal impact on the environment. We will produce our own power, pump drinking water out of the ground ourselves and we make sure that our wastewater is treated before discharging it. Besides that, we work in our garden, which consists of several hectares, based on permaculture in order to be as self-sufficient as possible. We are always looking for people that would like to help us with our goal to be self-sufficient. This can be practical help or help with research, provide knowledge in regard to sustainable life for the project - and our surroundings - and to also improve and promote the project.

Your own topic

Want to work on another topic? No problem! We always need additional research. Research on air and water quality, on the influence of the indian reserve, soil quality and erosion, the influence of (small scale) agricultural activities and hunting, biodiversity of different taxa and so on. Interested? Please contact us to discuss the possibilities.

In the area

Support and expertise

Since 2017, two biologists have constantly been coordinating the research and supporting the researchers themselves. Starting 2018, a tropical forestry worker will also join the team and be present in the reserve. They will be involved in the interpretation of your data, choosing the right methodology and help with the practical side of living in the rainforest. Besides this Dutch team, there will be locals present, who will be available as guides.

Your data and reporting

We offer you the means and guidance to conduct research in our reservation. We expect that you will share your collected data, so this can help enhance the activities of Work With Nature. Besides that, we collect data from other researches who will visit us, and with that we will create a database. If you cooperate on one of our long-term research programs, we will make sure that you will collect enough data to be able to make conclusions based on your own work.


You will reside in the research center, or in a small village close-by called San Miguel. You will have a bedroom and bathroom at your disposal, which you will share with a maximum of three other researchers. Meals will be served three times a day. If you participate in our research, you will be collecting data and helping out on other practical activities, for 4-6 hours a day on average. There will always be someone around to speak to, and to ensure your safety in the area.


You will receive full pension (accommodation and 3 meals daily), professiona guidance of a biologist and an amazing experience for EUR. 35,- a night. 


Sign up or more information

If you want to know more about the internship/research possibilities or want to sign up, please fill in this contact form.

Want to know more about the Dutch foundation Work with Nature? Please go to: