Erik’s volunteering in Costa Rica
“The best part of my trip for me was the feeling of connection with the other volunteers. It felt like a little family. The bond you build when you spend so much time together and do such extraordinary work is incomparable.”
Erik spent a month with us at the wildlife project in Costa Rica, where he volunteered with 20 other volunteers from all over the world. Among other things, his job was to feed and care for the project’s monkeys.
Erik quickly settled into the project and learned to love the incredible community among the volunteers. In his free time, he explored the unique environment and discovered many beautiful places. On the trip, he made countless new friends and learned a lot about himself, which he would like to share with future travelers in this report:
At the end of last year I decided to travel to Costa Rica in February. I had two months to prepare, get the necessary things and get vaccinated. Everything worked out great because I had enough time. The most exciting part of the preparation for me was the anticipation of the project and the people. I couldn’t imagine exactly what to expect, but that was just the interesting part of this time. Of course, I informed myself a lot about the country, and the anticipation grew from day to day.
MY FIRST DAYS
Together with another participant, I flew to Costa Rica and was picked up at the airport. For the first few days, WanderWorld booked a hostel where we stayed. Our contact person Lisa showed us the city and told us many things about Costa Rica. Two days later, I moved on to the project.
Arriving in a foreign place is a big adjustment at first. The other volunteers in the project had been there for a while and knew each other. It is therefore important to approach them. After a short time, however, you knew everyone and we had a great time together.
A NORMAL DAY IN THE PROJECT
There are many volunteers from all over the world working in the project, so everything has to be well coordinated. There are two different shifts, one starts in the morning from six o’clock and goes until half past two, and the other goes from three o’clock until half past nine. In between, of course, there are breaks. It’s nice to have either the whole morning or the whole afternoon off. You also have a day off once a week when you don’t work. So there is enough free time, which I spent mostly at the pool when I wasn’t out with the other volunteers. There is a lot to explore in the surrounding area, the beaches are not far and there are beautiful waterfalls.
MY FREE TIME
In my free time I often enjoyed the sun and lounged by the pool. The project has a large pool surrounded by rainforest. When you chill in the pool you can watch the parrots flying overhead because they have the feeding station right above the pool. There are also many tables and deck chairs by the pool where the volunteers often hang out.
We volunteers also went on many excursions as a group, for example, we once rented quads and explored the area with them. In the evenings, we often sat together in the lounge and played cards and talked.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE CULTURE
A very special experience for me was the friendliness and warmth of the people in Costa Rica. You were welcomed directly by everyone and quickly felt at home. In addition, Randy, the cook in the project, cooked typical Costa Rican food, which was super delicious! The cuisine in Costa Rica consists mainly of beans, rice, vegetables and meat. The food is very versatile and also very healthy.
WHY LATIN AMERICA?
The nature. The animals. The people. The combination of these three things makes Latin America, and Costa Rica in particular, an incomparable place.
MY MOST BEAUTIFUL MOMENT
The best part of my trip for me was the feeling of connection with the other volunteers. It felt like a little family. The bond you build when you spend so much time together and do such extraordinary work is incomparable. I have made many new friends and met a wide variety of characters from all over the world. Every single one of them is a great enrichment to my life.
MY FAVORITE PLACE
I was very fascinated by the small bays and the hidden beaches. It was incredibly quiet and breathtakingly beautiful. The search for these spots is definitely worth it, because when you find them, it feels like a piece of paradise.
MY TIP FOR FUTURE TRAVELERS
Be open, approach people. The people here are very friendly and are happy when you approach them and talk to them. You will quickly make new contacts and people are interested in your culture. Latin America is definitely worth an experience and the small surfing places with their special flair are really paradise.
THIS IS HOW THE JOURNEY HAS CHANGED ME
I have definitely developed personally through the trip. I am more open and less shy about talking to strangers. In addition, the experience of living in a country with different infrastructure standards is also very valuable. As a result, you perhaps appreciate some things more in Germany that you took for granted before.