Field report


I would recommend a stay abroad in Latin America to anyone who loves nature and is looking for an adventure. I made an incredible number of strong friendships with whom I am still in contact.

August 2021 - September 2021
Vivien feeds a tapir with the bottle

Vivien spent two months with us in Costa Rica and had some unforgettable adventures at the Wildlife Sanctuary in Puntarenas and the hostel in Uvita. Look forward to a report in which she takes you on a little journey and tells you about her experiences on site.


The first days

I could already feel my excitement growing at the airport and it didn't subside even after I had arrived. It took me a few moments to realize that I would be staying in this country for several months. Thanks to WanderWorld, the pick-up went smoothly and I was able to relax as soon as I arrived. All in all, it certainly only took one or two days for me to feel "normal". My quick adjustment certainly had something to do with the fact that I managed to fully embrace the new and uncertain from day one and took everything as it came.

A day at the Wildlife Sanctuary & Hostel Experience Project

A typical day in the Wildlife project started for me at 06:00 in the morning. It was a wonderful feeling as the sun was shining on my face early in the morning and everything was bright and warm. Getting up at this time is generally very different in Costa Rica than in Germany. The animals first had to be fed before breakfast was served at 08:00. Throughout the morning, various projects were carried out in the park or repairs were made. These included cleaning the cages, collecting grass for the animals and applying cream to the tapirs to prevent them from getting sunburnt. In between, there were always juice breaks. At around 12:00 we had an hour's break and were able to enjoy lunch. At 13:00 the animals got their food and around 14:00 - 15:00 my shift was usually over.

A typical day in the Hostel also started at 06:00, as I usually worked the early shift. Here, however, the shift was a little shorter and I only had to work four hours. I prepared breakfast for the guests, helped to distribute it and then cleaned the kitchen. I was able to organize the rest of the day as I wished. However, I often also worked the lunch shift from 10:00 - 14:00 or the evening shift from 18:00 - 22:00. Working at the hostel was definitely a bit more relaxed for me than working with the animals.

My free time in Costa Rica

While I was working at the zoo, I mostly spent my free time relaxing, reading books or painting and spending time with the other employees or volunteers. We went on excursions together or went to the local supermarket to get snacks or an ice cream. Sometimes we also went out to eat together in a small restaurant in the nearby town. The project leaders also organized a few parties, for example for Mother's Day or when someone had a birthday. Once we even got a dance class.

My free time at the hostel was very varied. As the town of Uvita had a lot to offer, I had endless possibilities. What's more, you always met new people to do things with. I went hiking a lot, to the beach, restaurants, whale watching and parties.

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. The children play together almost every day and the adults usually spend their free time outside with other families from the neighborhood. This reminded me once again that you don't need much to be happy.

The people I met and got to know were incredibly friendly and I was fascinated by their culture. Everyone was so cheerful and lively, especially when it came to dancing and music. You met people everywhere who were happy to help you. I also really enjoyed the local food and overall I felt a pleasant culture shock compared to Germany. It definitely helps if you speak a few words of Spanish, but you can get by without it.

My most beautiful moments

I had so many wonderful moments. My favorite moment by far was when I was out and about with the other volunteers from the zoo. We quickly became close friends and when it suddenly started raining, we were happy and started doing sports. We taught each other sports and it was so nice for me because I could just be a kid again and felt light and carefree in the rain. We were all super relaxed and even the locals driving past cheered us on and called out to us.

My favorite place

My favorite place was the zoo right from the start. It was a complete contrast to everything I had known before. The staff made me feel like I was part of a big family and I was fascinated by life in the middle of nature. I also loved the beach in Uvita, near my hostel. The many palm trees and the endless beach were overwhelming. I could never have dreamed of traveling to such a beautiful place.

Why I love Latin America

I could list countless reasons for this. Starting with the locals, the culture that the whole country exudes, the food, the constant music, the nature and a combination of everything. Latin America has so much to offer and I have been so inspired by just one country that it has left me wanting more. I can only recommend it to everyone.

How the trip changed me

The trip has definitely changed my horizons and my view on many things. I have learned a lot about myself and what I want in life. I also became more reflective and open to everything that came my way. This was the only way I could get to know people and their culture. I also became more independent and self-confident.

My tips for future participants

I would recommend a stay abroad in Latin America to anyone who loves nature and is looking for adventure. You are guaranteed a unique experience that you will never regret. I made an incredible number of strong friendships with whom I am still in contact. The projects are super interesting and offer a new perspective on the world. You get to know new cultures, but not only that, you also learn a lot about yourself. Then there's the tropical climate and the locals, who you just have to take to your heart. My dream is to be able to come back again soon.

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Sophia, founder of Wanderworld Travel

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Amanda, Support and advice before departure


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