Day 1 in Costa Rica with Gary Comer College Prep Volunteers

Day 1 in Costa Rica with Gary Comer College Prep Volunteers

After months upon months of fundraising and preparation, Gary Comer students left their school on the South Side of Chicago at 2 a.m. yesterday for O’Hare International Airport to start their week-long adventure volunteering at an animal rescue center in the rainforest of Costa Rica!

It was a long and somewhat arduous journey with the 19 sleepy students and their 2 devoted teachers, Aiyeshia Wong and Ife Hampton. Nevertheless, not a complaint was heard throughout the 6-hour flight followed by a 3-hour bus ride to the northern part of the country.

We arrived to the animal rescue center and were immediately greeted with a thunderous downpour, followed by a warm welcome and exclamations of “Pura vida!” from our hosts Alvaro and Adriana. We had just a brief introduction to the center, as it was time to get home to our host families where dinner was waiting for us. We watched as bold students like Jenaro helped lower our luggage from the roof of the van, one of the first Costa Rican customs we had the chance to marvel at.

We piled in to one van, our suitcases filling another, and everyone was dropped off in groups of 2 or 3 with our 10 different host families. The evening was spent settling in and practicing Spanish as we got to know our hosts, many of which lived with their children, extended family, dogs, cats, and even chickens! Several houses finished their night playing a heated game of Uno, and finally, it was time to descansar (rest).

The students hit the pillow hard, tired from traveling and their many new experiences. Surrounded by the rainforest on all sides, they fell asleep to the sounds of intermittent rain, wild birds, and chirping geckos.

Stay tuned for more stories from our adventures in Costa Rica and follow along on Snapchat and Instagram!


One thought on "Day 1 in Costa Rica with Gary Comer College Prep Volunteers"

  1. Jamie says:

    Love this! I volunteered at Proyecto Asis in 2010, and the woman in the bottom was my host mom 🙂 Such a great experience!

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