Volunteering in Costa Rica – A Wonderful Opportunity

Posted by: Omar G.

I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Costa Rica and take part in the Sea Turtle Conservation project. The entirety of the trip was set up fairly smooth, even for planning this out only a half year in advance. The GoEco representatives did a wonderful job of keeping in contact with me and connecting me with the organization I was to be stationed with while abroad.

I had the option not to attend the first week of my three at this language academy because of my fluency in the Spanish language. However, I chose to attend for the sole reason of receiving the full Costa Rican experience; and I did indeed. I was placed with a host family for that first week, and this family turned out to be one of the most kind and welcoming people I have ever met. Though my Mexican culture contains some similarities with the Costa Rican one, I took full advantage in learning about the things I was unaware of. The food was incredible, the communication was effective and lastly, the facts of the Costa Rican culture were introduced to me in a very fun manner. The city itself was fairly big and a bit hectic, but thanks to the effective communication I received, I learned how to get around. This family made me feel like I was one of their own.

The following two weeks were spent at the lovely sea turtle conservancy of Camaronal, located near the pacific beach town of Samara, Guanacaste. This experience was unlike no other. I will say to begin with here, the tasks and duties performed here are meant for volunteers willing to “go the extra mile”. Due to the year-round nesting of sea turtle eggs, there is a substantial amount of work to do here. This was a characteristic I found myself fond of because I like staying busy. There are beach cleanings, trail cleanings, multiple hatchery check-ins, and a tiring night shift where you guard the hatchery or walk the 3 kilometer beach in search for mother sea turtles. Again, I enjoyed these qualities due to my desire to remain busy. The beach was a lovely black sand beach with an enormous attraction for surfers as the strong waves are of great quality for them. You get one day off a week to do some exploring or relaxing. I spent my day off by renting a four-wheeler and riding around Samara. Beautiful beaches and laid-back people all around.

I would never trade this experience for anything in the world. This was an amazing learning experience for me and it gets you away from the normal lifestyle.