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Costa Rica - Animal Rescue and Conservation

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

La Marina and Paraiso Carlisa

I stayed 2 months in Costa Rica with 6 weeks of volunteer work. My first month was in 2 projects for animal rescue and conservation and I was really lucky because these 2 projects were amazing.

In the first one, I had the chance to meet a lot of people from all over the world and we had a really good time during the day at work. We lived together in a family house close to the project and the family allowed us to leave for amazing week end around the country at the end of the week. The team at work and our family were all really nice to us and did everything so that we could feel like home.

In my second project, it was really different because I was the only volunteer here for the first days but it was perfect. I fell in love with all the animals and I loved working there, feeding the animals, hanging with them during all day, listening to the parrots talking and laughing ... The team there was so nice to me and this project was a little paradise.

When you do something so different than your actual life, you can have hard moment because you are not use to take your time and to just enjoy the present. I live in Paris and I love my life but it is so different than my adventure in Costa Rica. I have learned to take more time to do things, to focus on one thing at the time and to stop wanted to rush everything. It was another way of living and I am trying to keep this good habit. I realized a lot of my dreams there, Costa Rica is an amazing country and the projects proposed by Go Eco helped me to discover it from another side than just travel in a country. I met a lot of local people and this was the best way to know the country and discover secrets places ! I can't wait to do it again.

Thank you Go Eco, it was perfect from the beginning to the end.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Excellent Variety of Wildlife & Very Friendly Co-Ordinators

Being the very first volunteer project that I did overseas I was completely blown away by the organization of the project, the friendly co-ordinators and the wide variety of animals that I was able to work with. From the incredibly cute sloths to the adorable marmosets there was enough variety here to keep the project interesting and rewarding.

Your morning tasks include cleaning out the enclosures then feeding the animals (Sloths, marmosets, monkeys, birds). Afternoon tasks include enrichment for animals, assisting with repairs around the project.

I would highly recommend anyone come to this project due to the beauty of Costa Rica, the variety of animals here and the friendly staff.

Date volunteered: September 2016
Recommended time spent here: 1 week
Living conditions: Dormitory style bunk beds, cold showers
WiFi: Not Bad
Vegetarian friendly; Yes
Additional Notes: You can scrape by with minimal Spanish but will assist you further if you do know.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Volunteering at La Marina Wildlife Rescue Center in Costa Rica

My adventure in Costa Rica began with a week of language school in the capitol of Costa Rica, San Jose. The Spanish classes were taught in the relaxed atmosphere of a small class in a beautiful setting. There were five of us in my class, and two of the students were from Europe. It was an enriching experience to learn Spanish and meet people from all over the world. Besides the language classes I delighted in taking part in a yoga class, cooking class, and Costa Rican dance class, all taught in Spanish.

For the second two weeks in Costa Rica, I volunteered at La Marina Wildlife Rescue Center in the Alajuela province, which is inland in a mountainous area. I thoroughly enjoyed my work of feeding animals and cleaning sidewalks and animal enclosures. It felt good to do physical work, very different than the work I do for a living, which is teaching. After I was at the wildlife center for a week, the animals got to know me and became my friends. Monkeys reached through fences to hold my hand. They leaped and did cartwheels and acrobatics, showing-off for me, like small children might do. Rico, a toucan who was raised at the wildlife center and set free, stopped by to say hello to me one day while I was cleaning a sidewalk. Later, I fed Rico banana pieces. When I was feeding parrots one day, a parrot landed on my head, which is a sign of affection. A deer at the wildlife center came up to me for a treat of fruit. I fed wild macaws peanuts when I got home from work. I felt such a kinship with animals through these experiences!

My home-stay hostesses were very kind and hospitable, and especially patient with me as I am a beginner in speaking Spanish. The food was amazing. My hostesses went out of their way to cook delicious meals. I also enjoyed spending time with my house-mates who were also volunteers. We relaxed in hot-springs near the wildlife center after a day’s work, and we took trips into town to shop at the farmer’s market.

Costa Rica is a very easy country to travel in without a car. You can take a bus almost anywhere, and buses are inexpensive. Also, day-tours are readily available. I took two day-tours which included rain-forest hikes, zip-lining, and a boat-ride on a river through the forest- unforgettable!

I was very pleased with the organization Go-Eco. Before my trip, Go-Eco people responded to my questions via e-mail in a timely manner.While in Costa Rica, I didn't need to make travel arrangements from San Jose to the wildlife center and back to San Jose. That was taken care of for me by Go-Eco. Also, Go-Eco arranged my home-stays. My trip was well-organized and worry-free, thanks to Go-Eco.

By Jenifer Garlitz