Volunteering in Costa Rica – Spanish and Conservation

Posted by: Shantelle P.

I did volunteering in Costa Rica with Go Eco in April  for a total of 3 weeks, 2 weeks specifically with Animal Rescue and Conservation in San Carlos. My first week I spent in San Jose with a host family and attended a language school to learn beginner Spanish (taught in Spanish) which I consider to be a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and become familiar with the language of the country you will be living in, it also helped immensely as my host family only spoke Spanish.

The staff at the language school are very attentive and approachable (they speak English), they truly care for their student’s experience and well-being. The first week was hard as it came with a culture shock but it got better as time passed, the city is very busy but that also made it more accessible to get around.

My following 2 weeks was spent with another host family at the center, the complete opposite of the city, in the remote and secluded countryside high up in the mountainous region. From Monday-Friday I would travel by bus to the local zoo to help the zookeepers with their daily duties caring for the animals. This included cleaning enclosures, pathways, preparing meals and feeding the animals. At this zoo none of the staff spoke English either, but the tasks were quite simple and easy to understand. Overall, I would recommend GoEco for their excellent organizational skills they truly made this a hassle free trip for a first time volunteer.

I gained experience for my career field and met some great people along the way.