Field report

I would describe Latin America in general as very diverse, open and exciting. You can experience new things everywhere and come into contact with new people, gain experience and have adventures.
March 2023
Our participant Sari
After graduating from high school, Sari decided to go to Costa Rica with WanderWorld to take part in the Youth Development Project in Sámara. At the beginning of her preparation, she didn't know much about Costa Rica and became more and more excited to get to know the country as she did her research. During her time in the project, she really enjoyed playing with and teaching the children and also felt very comfortable in her host family.


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My preparation time

After graduating from high school, I wanted to use my free time to travel to a foreign country. As I had already studied Spanish at school, I wanted to travel to a country where the language is spoken and came across Latin America and Costa Rica. In the three months before my departure, I found it particularly exciting to find out more about the country, as I knew very little about it beforehand. After learning more about Costa Rica, I was even more excited to experience the country and culture, try traditional dishes and get in touch with the people there and could hardly wait for the trip to begin.

The first days

When we arrived in Costa Rica, we were able to gain our first impressions of the country at the introductory event. We visited San José together in bright sunshine and learned a lot about Costa Rica, as well as tasting our first traditional food. After the introductory days, I took the bus to the project location and was warmly welcomed by my host family and flatmates. Because everyone was so open and friendly, I was able to settle in quickly and always felt very comfortable.

A day at the Youth Development Project

In my project in Sámara, I helped out from 11 am to 4 pm. The time before 2 pm was used to plan lessons and prepare materials. In addition, my tasks included creating social media posts, collecting donations in kind and writing reports about my time in the organization and especially teaching the children. After a lunch break together, the children's lessons started at 2 pm. There are two communities in which one teacher teaches each day. They alternate between English and art lessons. As a volunteer, you help with teaching simple vocabulary, answering questions, providing the necessary craft materials and much more. The breaks and the time before and after lessons, which were used to play and run around together, were particularly fun. The children taught me typical local games and I also showed them games from Germany. But just like here in the playgrounds, jumping rope, playing soccer and swinging are also a must.

My free time in Sámara

The project location is right on the beach, so we spent a lot of our free time there. There are beach volleyball and soccer pitches, surf schools and bars right on the beach. There are also small souvenir stalls, boutiques, food trucks, restaurants and a local market. The surrounding beaches and towns are also great for an excursion and there are several tours on offer, e.g. to the nearby reserve, horse riding, zip lines, snorkeling or boat trips. My best excursion was dolphin watching, where we saw a humpback whale jumping out of the water alongside flying rays and dolphins. That was incredibly impressive. It was just as nice to visit a local traditional festival, which took place because of Easter. There were several food stalls, carousels and shows, such as a rodeo.

My accommodation

During my time in Costa Rica, I lived with a host family on the outskirts of Sámara, about 10 minutes by bike from the town center. My host family consisted of my host mother, who looked after us, and her husband. There were also two other guest rooms in the house, which shared a bathroom. As these rooms were already occupied by nice roommates when I arrived, I was lucky enough to move into my own apartment. There I had a bathroom, seating and a fridge to myself and still had direct access to the main residence. I felt at home there from the very first second, because everyone was super welcoming and open.

Security on site

I felt very safe on site. You could cycle around on your own both during the day and at night, as the place is considered very touristy and safe. Of course, you should still be more vigilant at night and avoid deserted places. I was lucky that I often had company, as the neighbors of my host family all had guests with whom I spent a lot of time and so we were out and about together, but I also never had any problems on my own or on the way to the project. It's no problem getting to know nice people there and gaining experience together.

My tips for future participants

I can definitely recommend a stay in Latin America, because the mentality and the way of life of the people is open, friendly and always helpful. The landscapes in Costa Rica were also impressive, especially the rainforest with its many animals, the sea with its beautiful sandy beach and palm trees, as well as breathtaking waterfalls. I would describe Latin America in general as very diverse, open and exciting. You can experience new things everywhere and come into contact with new people, gain experience and have adventures. In addition to Costa Rica, I would definitely like to visit Panama in the future, as I have only heard and seen good things about it so far. I would especially like to visit Panama City and the islands of Bocas del Toro.

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Sophia, founder of Wanderworld Travel

Lisa, Coordinator & Participant Support 

Amanda, Support and advice before departure


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