Volunteer in Costa Rica
San Jose is the country’s capital, housing the majority of the land’s inhabitants and is typically the most popular volunteer and tourist destination. Outside of the bustling city are the forests and farms, where it is likely you will spend a great deal of time as a volunteer as well.
Costa Rica is known across the world for its for its natural life preservation and environmentally-friendly legislation. The indigenous communities are extremely connected to the land and consider it their duty to maintain and preserve the environment that gives them a home. Its no wonder why volunteers are so attracted to this country! In terms of environmentally active work, many volunteers join projects that allow them to make genuine contributions to conserving this stunning landscape and the wildlife within it - it is no wonder Costa Rica is considered one of the most sustainable countries on earth!
Although Costa Rica is rich from an ecological standpoint, it is a developing country with a low income rate. It does, however, rate high in human development when compared to its income, which means that volunteering abroad in projects such as healthcare, education and childcare are extremely popular. So, while environment related projects, such as the monitoring and release of sea turtles, are the most favored, human rights related issues come to a very close second.
No matter what type of volunteer project you elect to do, all volunteer work in Costa Rica will be extremely rewarding. It is amazing what one can learn by immersing themselves in a culture that is different than their own, especially in Costa Rica where the people and the culture reflect a “pura vida” way of life. This phrase literally translates to “pure life”, but it has a much more profound meaning once you experience the exciting land. “Pura vida” means live life for today and be fortunate for what you have, because there are always people who have less, and life is simply too short to be unhappy. So start living “la pura vida”, choose Costa Rica as you next volunteer abroad destination and make a lasting impact working with exotic wildlife or a community that really needs your help. read more close
I was the first intern to work at this placement as a Medical Social Worker, so it took some time to feel out what my role would be. As I mentioned, my supervisor gave me space to work independently often, but was also available to check on the progress of my work, as everything was conducted in Spanish.
My favorite survey was definitely the turtle surveys. I am currently going to school for Marine Biology so it was right up my ally! We would go to the different beaches on the island and look for fresh turtle tracks and crawls, as well as excavate turtle nests that had already hatched! We even came across a few nests that were emerging, as we were there which was incredible! They were literally bubbling up from the sand and the hatchlings of course crawled straight into the water!
When my plane landed in San José, I was as nervous as I was excited. It was my first time traveling on my own, and I had no idea what to expect fro the. However, after five minutes of talking to the driver from the Teaching and Social Work program in San José, an incredibly friendly man full of stories about his city and himself, I forgot to be nervous. My host family matched his friendliness; my host mother was always willing to work with my level of Spanish...
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