A few tips I have for future travelers volunteering in Costa Rica would be to keep an open mind and to try new things. When working at the project, you will have different jobs every day. This could mean you will have to do something you might not want to do.
In my case it was building new cages for the animals. I didn’t know if I was doing it right, or if I was going too slow. Never did I imagine that trying to build cages for the first time would be such a hard task, but it became almost impossible to do because I didn’t keep an open mind to try new things.
Along with having an open mind while volunteering abroad, here are a few other helpful pieces of advice to prepare you for your volunteer program in Costa Rica.
A few phrases you should know while working at the volunteer project are:
“Que hare el dia de hoy?” What will I be doing today?
Knowing this phrase will help you make sure you know what you will be doing for that day so you don’t get confused, plus you get to interact with the workers.
“Suena delicioso!” That sounds delicious!
Your host mom will cook your lunch every day and they will most likely tell you what they made for you before you put it in your bag. Saying things like “Suena delicioso” (That sound delicious), or “No puedo esperar hasta provarlo” (I can’t wait to taste it), let’s them know you appreciate their effort and hard work.
“Puedo ver la tele con ustedes?” Can I watch TV with you guys?
To really involve yourself with your host family, if you see them watching TV just ask “Puedo ver la tele con ustedes?” Can I watch the TV with you guys?
Something you need to prepare for when working in Proyecto Asis is coping with the fact that you will see sick animals. Really prepare yourself mentally. During my two weeks there we got two baby monkeys and a really sick parrot.
My favorite experience while volunteering in Costa Rica was when I was able to feed the parrot, but it was very heartbreaking too. It was being fed human food which messed up the parrots ability to eat regularly. It was a chance for me to work really closely with the animals as well as a teaching moment.
These are just a few tips to help you have a life-changing and successful volunteer program in Costa Rica. If you have any additional pieces of advice, share them in the comments below!
About the Author:
Citlalli Gonzalez, is 16-years old and our 2017 Greenheart Travel Global Explorer scholarship winner from Chicago, Illinois. Citlalli is traveling abroad as a volunteer in Costa Rica and is most excited about being able to stand in one of the greenest place on earth, being able to get out of her comfort zone, and experience a new culture. Follow her adventures here!