Field report


I was fascinated by Latin American culture right from the start. The locals in both Colombia and Costa Rica are incredibly friendly and helpful. You get into conversation with them really quickly and feel immediately welcomed.

April 2021 - June 2021
Our participant Christina in front of the waterfall

Our participant Christina spent four months in Latin America with WanderWorld Travel and worked in a children's aid project in Colombia and a wildlife shelter in Costa Rica during her time there. In this report, she talks about her experiences and would like to help future travelers in their decision for a stay abroad in Latin America and give insider tips.


My preparation time

During my preparation time, I found out a lot about Colombia and Costa Rica, read a lot of travel reports and blogs and generally looked at some backpacker tips. Of course, I was also in contact with Lisa and Sophia the whole time, who gave me all the important information about vaccinations, insurance and other questions and always supported me during this time. I also started learning Spanish again, watched series in Spanish and listened to songs from Latin America to prepare for my trip. The weeks shortly before departure were particularly exciting, as I received more and more information about my programs and my anticipation continued to grow.

The first days

After arriving in Cartagena, I quickly realized that life here really is totally different to life in Germany. I had to get used to it a bit, but after a tour of the city with my contact person Jan, who gave me lots of interesting information, I started my children's aid project on the third day full of curiosity and anticipation.

In my second destination, Costa Rica, I was also given a tour of the city by Lisa after my arrival in San José, together with another participant, and we went out for dinner together in the evening. I got on really well with the other volunteer right from the start, we went to a bar on the first evening and the next day we traveled to Montezuma together to start the wildlife project from there.

A day at the Youth Development & Wildlife Rescue Project

In my youth development project in Colombia, our day always started with breakfast together. Afterwards, there was either a lesson in the morning from 9-11am or in the afternoon from 2-4pm. The rest of the day was usually free and I often did something with the other volunteers or we spent time with the children on the project site.

In the wildlife project in Costa Rica, we had two shifts, an early shift from 6 am to 1:30 pm and a late shift from 3 pm to 2 pm. However, there were several breaks in between. Those who worked in the morning usually did something together in the afternoon. If you are assigned to the late shift, most people use the morning to sleep in or chill out by the pool.

My tasks in the wildlife project initially included activities such as cutting vegetables, preparing food, feeding monkeys, cleaning enclosures, doing laundry and collecting leaves. After a short time, however, you can "level up", so to speak, and are then given more responsible tasks. You are then allowed to get closer to the animals and at the end of my time on the program, for example, I was allowed to lift the oppossums out of their cages, weigh them and feed them. If you stay longer, you even get to bottle-feed the baby monkeys at some point. So the work never gets boring, as you are always learning new tasks. In general, the tasks were always well distributed among the volunteers anyway. Care was taken to ensure that everyone took on the less popular tasks and not always the same people were allowed to do the nice tasks.

My free time in Colombia & Costa Rica

In my free time in Colombia, I often played soccer with the children, baked cookies with them or helped with their homework. With the other volunteers, we also often went into the city of Cartagena, went to the beach, explored the island and played cards or had movie nights in the evening.

One particularly nice excursion that I went on in my free time was a boat trip to a group of islands near Cartagena in Colombia. I went there with the other volunteers from my project and our boss, who had organized the trip for us. We went snorkeling in the beautiful turquoise blue sea, ate fresh fish and just relaxed. I also went on an excursion lasting several days to Medellin, San Gil and Barichara with a friend from the project. There we dared to go bungee jumping from a height of 140 meters. That was a really special experience. I found it very interesting to travel to these places, because the interior of Colombia is quite different from the Caribbean coast.

In Costa Rica, we had more working hours and therefore a little less free time, but we always made the most of it. As there were more than 20 of us volunteers in the project, we always got together in large groups and went to bars, went out to eat, played beer pong by the pool or had beach parties with a campfire. On our days off, we could also plan excursions a little further afield

My experience with culture

I was fascinated by Latin American culture right from the start. The locals in both Colombia and Costa Rica are incredibly friendly and helpful. You get into conversation with them really quickly and feel immediately welcomed. Especially when you speak Spanish with them, or at least try to, you immediately notice how happy they are that you are showing an interest in their culture.

My most beautiful moments

One moment that particularly stuck in my memory was my farewell on Tierra Bomba. It was one of the most beautiful but also one of the saddest days. I left the island on a Friday, which meant we still had a surf class with the children in the morning. Two other volunteers also left the project that day, so we invited some of the children to join us on the beach after the lesson and a woman from the village cooked lunch for us all. "Arroz con Pollo" was the children's favorite meal. It was really nice to sit at the table together again, eat and laugh a lot. It was at this moment that I really realized how much I had grown fond of the children. But it wasn't easy to say goodbye to the other volunteers either. The nice thing about that day was that I realized that I had found a home in this place for two months and I hope I can come back and see how the children have developed.

My favorite place

I visited many beautiful places on my trip, but I particularly liked Montezuma in Costa Rica. It's not far from the project I was working on, so I often spent the evenings there with the other volunteers. There was always something going on. We even had a regular restaurant there, which served delicious and, above all, unusual food. Even the waiters already knew us there. Montezuma also has a beautiful beach and a waterfall. It's not a particularly big place, but that's exactly the beauty of it: it's simply not overrun with tourists. You always meet the same familiar people there, which makes you feel right at home. It's an indescribable feeling to be recognized on the street and greeted from afar in such a foreign country.

Why I love Latin America

I have wanted to travel to Latin America for a long time and I am so happy that I have now been able to fulfill this dream. What I love about Latin America is the open-mindedness and warmth of the people, the music, the good food and also the Spanish language. There is so much to discover in the different countries and I will definitely be coming back.

How the trip changed me

I learned a lot on my trip. The fact that it was my first trip all by myself made me more independent and I had to decide many things on my own. I also learned that I can no longer take our prosperity here in Germany for granted. Nevertheless, it has awakened my curiosity and desire to travel all the more and I would love to go straight back and travel to new countries.

My tips for future participants

I can really only recommend a stay abroad in Latin America, simply because you get to know so many new things. Life there is not comparable to life in Germany. It's incredibly exciting how many interesting people you meet on such a trip. Especially when you live together for a longer period of time, you build up a completely different connection and special friendships with the people there. It's such a great feeling to have friends from all over the world. It also seemed to me that life in Latin America was just a bit easier. Somehow there is always a solution to every problem and it is never an issue to ask for advice, because you will hardly meet anyone who doesn't try to help you.

Would you like to find out more about our programs?



Sophia, founder of Wanderworld Travel

Lisa, Coordinator & Participant Support 

Amanda, Support and advice before departure


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