Field report


At first I wondered about the saying 'Pura Vida', but I have since understood that it is a way of life. It is the attitude with which you get up in the morning, with which you welcome strangers to your country and accept life as it comes.

November 2021 - January 2022
Ferdinand in the rainforest project

Snakes, tapirs and jaguars in a jungle right next to beautiful beaches and waves that invite you to surf. Ferdinand's dream of seeing it all with his own eyes came true. He traveled to Costa Rica with WanderWorld Travel and spent three months there working in a hostel, supporting the Environmental Protection Project and the Rainforest Reserve. In this report, he talks about his fascinating encounters with the animals and the local people, his free time and his experiences in the projects.


My preparation time

I have always been fascinated by exotic animals and extraordinary environments, so Costa Rica was the perfect destination, with its enormous biodiversity and breathtaking volcanoes, waterfalls and rainforests. I planned the trip in mid-summer 2021 and flew to Costa Rica in early November 2021. In the months leading up to my departure, I tried to work through WanderWorld Travel's travel list, possibly add some things of my own and read through a lot of testimonials. This definitely helped and prepared me for my stay. I could hardly wait to get on the plane and it relieved me to know that I wouldn't be arriving in Costa Rica completely on my own, but that WanderWorld and other travelers would be waiting for me.

The first days

I immediately felt at home and made new contacts. The introductory day in particular enabled me to get to know a lot of people straight away, with whom I later even traveled all over Costa Rica and spent New Year's Eve in Panama. I am very grateful to these people and can attribute it to them that I had little to no homesickness and never felt alone. The Costa Ricans also played a big part in my well-being. I settled in within a few hours and after a few days I considered them my second family.

A day in the project

My daily tasks varied from project to project. I cleared jungle paths with machetes, cut wooden boards with chain saws, looked after local children, painted houses, measured trees and much more. For me personally, the coolest job in the Rainforest Reserve was when I was able to check the reptile traps at night in the cloud forest and catch snakes for species identification. In this job, I was even able to take on a leading role and guide other volunteers through the cloud forest, as well as telling them their tasks and showing them how to handle snakes. I made good friends in all the projects and always got on well with the staff.

My free time in Costa Rica

In the projects, there was always enough time for myself during the day and for excursions every weekend. After my shift in the project was over, I spent a lot of time at the beach. I tried to make the most of the nature around me and so I visited numerous waterfalls, a volcano, went diving, did a bungee jump, watched how turtles hatch and much more. Sometimes I also looked for tapirs, anteaters or sloths in the national parks. Once I was able to watch someone feeding a 5 meter crocodile and I am still amazed and astonished by this encounter. We often had campfires on the beach in the evenings. In summary, I can say that every experience was incredible and new to me and I can't even list everything I experienced.

My experience with culture

The people in Costa Rica were very open to me and approached me directly during the project. They sometimes took me and other volunteers to parties or on other adventures and really infected me with their zest for life. Even if there is a language barrier, there are always ways to talk and learn from each other. The Ticos and Ticas, as Costa Ricans are called, often didn't speak much English, but we always helped each other out in Spanish and English and taught each other words. I was very happy that they welcomed me with such warm arms, as it immediately gave me a feeling of home.

My most beautiful moments

It's actually very difficult for me to pick out one of my thousands of wonderful moments. But I think that the New Year's Eve I spent in Panama on Bocas del Toro with friends from WanderWorld Travel is one of my favorites. We just celebrated life and the new year so carefree and I felt so close and connected to people I had only known for a few weeks through the experiences we shared. Another very special moment was when I did a bungee jump from a height of 143 meters. That was simply breathtaking. In general, I can say that it was the people I got to know that made the memories as special and beautiful as I remember them now.

My favorite place

There are an incredible number of places in Costa Rica that fascinated me. Every place is unique and the whole country has a lot to offer, whether beach, nature or city. Of all the places I visited, La Fortuna was my favorite. There is a huge volcano, some waterfalls and even hot springs. This place had a very special vibe and is perhaps forgotten by some tourists who are just looking for a perfect beach. I can only recommend a visit to La Fortuna to anyone.

Why I love Latin America

I love Costa Rica not only because of the variety of exotic animals and the crazy nature, but above all because of the way of life. Being there was like breaking out of reality. Thanks to WanderWorld Travel, I was able to travel to and get to know this great country and can definitely recommend the organization, as they always supported you on the trip and the planning was very easy. I learned a lot in the three projects and was able to help local families and children, look after a hostel and further my studies in herpetology. During my stay abroad, I met so many different and funny people of all nations, skin colors, religions and sexual orientations, who were all so incredibly nice. I learned that we are all equal and how important it is to respect and value others.

My tips for future participants

I've seen a few countries before, but never before have I experienced such incredible nature, biodiversity and exciting culture as in Costa Rica. It was a feeling of freedom that I will never forget. At first I made fun of or wondered about the saying "Pura Vida", but now I understand that it's a way of life. It is the attitude with which you get up in the morning, with which you greet strangers in your country and accept life as it comes. As a participant, you should take an interest in the local culture and nature and be open to the differences you might notice compared to your life at home. You should definitely enjoy meeting new people and tolerate people who are different or think differently from you. With these tips, I'm sure you can have just as unforgettable a time as I did.

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