Field report


My trip to Costa Rica taught me to face everyday challenges with more ease and to enjoy life. The many people I met from all over the world broadened my own horizons enormously and the numerous friendships I made showed me each time anew what really matters in life.

November 2021 - December 2021
Lena with a red parrot

Lena traveled to Costa Rica with WanderWorld Travel for two months over her birthday. There she experienced animal adventures at our Wildlife Sanctuary in Puntarenas. In this report, she talks about her unforgettable time there, her experiences and adventures in the project, as well as her free time.


The first days

The first few days after arriving were very exciting, but also challenging, as there were a lot of new impressions. You first have to get used to the new surroundings. However, the perseverance was more than worth it, as I was able to experience an incredible number of wonderful moments during my time in Costa Rica. One thing I particularly remember from the early days was a bioluminescence tour on my very first day. We went out to sea at sunset together with other volunteers and you could see the water glistening in the dark. Of course, we couldn't miss out on a dip in the sea. Despite all the effort and tiredness of the day of arrival, it was a really nice evening.

A day at the Wildlife Sanctuary Project

A typical day at the project always started at around 05:30 when the alarm clock rang, as the animals had to be fed in the morning at 06:00. After getting up, we just did the essentials in the bathroom and then headed off to work. We first collected the food dishes from the previous day, washed them thoroughly and then prepared the new food for the animals, which we then distributed again in the enclosures. After feeding, we had breakfast at around 08:00. This was followed by different tasks every day, such as cleaning, furnishing and redesigning the enclosures, repairing the paths in the park and much more. Almost every day there was also a short juice or coffee break to catch our breath. At 12:00 there was always lunch, which, like breakfast, often consisted of rice and beans, as is typical of the country. You soon got used to this after a while and I have to admit that I almost missed it when the typical Costa Rican "gallo pinto" was missing. At 13:00 we went back to work to feed the animals a second time a day. If you want, you can also organize and accompany tours for visitors to the park, which I personally always enjoyed very much.

My free time in Puntarenas

In our free time, we would occasionally walk to a small store just 20 minutes away to buy a few snacks or other groceries that we needed. The walk there and back was often an experience in itself, as we always talked about all sorts of things and had a lot of fun together. After dinner at 6 p.m., we walked to a nearby river a few times to make a campfire and occasionally grill marshmallows or even plantains over the fire. There was always an exuberant atmosphere and thanks to the often very clear sky, you could see numerous stars in the sky, which was always a magical moment for all of us. I was in the project for around two months and on my days off I was usually out and about with other volunteers. We went on excursions to various places, such as Manuel Antonio, Monteverde or Jacó. As well as working on the project, you also got to see a lot of the country and new friendships were formed through the shared experiences.

My experience with culture

During my time in Costa Rica, I generally noticed that the locals, especially those from the poorer part of the population, seemed very happy and fulfilled. One day, I walked to the next village with three other volunteers to play some soccer together on a soccer field. After a while, we decided to play with the children from the village, which was a really unique experience for me. The children there play soccer together almost every day and the adults also usually spend their free time outside with other families from the neighborhood. This showed me once again that you don't need much to be happy.

My most beautiful moments

That's not so easy to answer, because I was able to experience so many unforgettable moments. If I had to choose one beautiful moment in Costa Rica, it would probably be my birthday, which I spent in a completely different way than usual, namely in Monteverde. That alone was a great gift! Together with two very good friends I met on my project, we visited a hummingbird café that day. There you are greeted by lots of colorful hummingbirds that fly around you at an incredible speed. The time we spent there was really special and is deeply anchored in my memories.

My favorite place

Of all the beautiful places I was able to visit during my trip, the "La Fortuna Waterfall" probably fascinated me the most. This waterfall has its source in the middle of the rainforest and the water plunges from a height of 70 meters down the cliffs of Cerro Chato, an extinct volcano. The rock faces at the bathing area are extensively overgrown with moss and other very small waterfalls run down them. Just like in a fairy tale!

Why I love Latin America

Although I was "only" traveling in Costa Rica, this small country already made me realize the great diversity of Latin America. This always made traveling exciting and thrilling, as there is something new to discover in every place that you can't see anywhere else. I think that Latin America has something for everyone and is perfect for backpacking.

How the trip changed me

My trip to Costa Rica taught me to face everyday challenges with more ease and to enjoy life. The many people I met from all over the world broadened my own horizons enormously and the numerous friendships I made showed me each time anew what really matters in life.

My tips for future participants

I would recommend a stay abroad in Latin America to anyone who loves nature and is looking for adventure. There is more than enough of both in Costa Rica. You should start every working day in the project with joy and see it as an opportunity to gain new experiences. It is also very important to approach the new culture with a great deal of respect and openness and not to shy away from things you have never done before.

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