Volunteer Spotlight on Citlalli Gonzalez: Greenheart’s Global Explorer Scholarship Winner in Costa Rica

Volunteer Spotlight on Citlalli Gonzalez: Greenheart’s Global Explorer Scholarship Winner in Costa Rica

Greenheart Travel is excited to send a group of amazing travelers to study and volunteer abroad as part of our 2017 Travel Correspondent and Global Explorer Scholarship awards. To help introduce our inspiring writers, we are doing a series of spotlight interviews to help you get to know a little more about who they are, where they will be headed and what inspired them to travel abroad.

Read on to meet 16-year-old, Citlalli Gonzalez, our Greenheart Travel Global Explorer from Chicago, Ill., who’ll be traveling abroad as a volunteer in Costa Rica!

Favorite thing to do in your free time?

My favorite thing to do during my free time is watch Netflix and read. I’ll start many TV shows, and read many romantic novels.

Have you traveled abroad before?

I have gone to Mexico before to visit family, but this is the first time I’ll really be going away away.

What got you interested in volunteering and traveling abroad?

I go to GCE Lab School, a school where they really value community work and building. Which meant I’ve done a lot of volunteer work and the satisfaction I got afterwards was very rewarding, which is why I wished to continue volunteering wherever I can. Being able to volunteer while traveling abroad is just a huge bonus!

What are you most excited about experiencing or seeing during your volunteer program?

I’m most excited about the forest! To see all different kinds of plants everywhere, and trees that are thousands years old is what I’m most looking forward to.

Why do you feel it’s important to travel to a new place and volunteer with the local community?

I think that going to a new place and volunteering with a local community is very important because it allows you to grow as a person and change other people’s lives as well.

What are you nervous about?

I’m most nervous about being so far away from home. Illinois to Costa Rica is about 2,210 miles away (yes, I googled that) and that’s a bit scary to me.

How well do you speak a second language at this point?

Both my parents’ native language is Spanish, which works to my benefit. I am able to speak, read and write in Spanish. Being so close to departing for this trip, I’ve asked both my parents to only speak in Spanish with me and to correct me whenever I am wrong.

How do you think you will change the most during your time abroad?

I think my views toward the world will change immensely. Living in Chicago, a VERY urban area, it’s very easy to forget to recycle/reuse, or remember that there isn’t an infinite amount of water I can use. I think that the time in Costa Rica will help me be aware of that and help me respect the world and remind me that, yes, there is a limit in the amount of water I use.


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!

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