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Dance Volunteering in Costa Rica

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It worked out really well.

I lived with a family of 3 adults. I had my own room and private bathroom across the hall. My host Daisy was a lot of fun, and very talkative which helped me with my Spanish a lot. Host Family, CRLA, Ballet Magnificat - All were positive.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Above and Beyond

The teachers at the language academy were no different than professors I have had in the States... except for the fact that the teachers in Costa Rica made lessons more personal, which was great but the demanded the same respect and hard work from their students as any other professor would.

Positive aspect of my experience was making new friends, new connections, experiencing life in a different culture, being able to create an impact on someone's life, as well as allowing others to make an impact on my own as well.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

PAA balanced culture, volunteer work, and my own educational pursuits

I learned that I can overcome some challenges that seem impossible. I just can't give up. Taking things one step at a time and celebrating little victories. For me, teaching five classes a day to extremely energetic kids in Spanish was extremely exhausting and sometimes seemed crazy. But we found a common language using my minimal Spanish and demonstrations. A smile is a smile in every language.

My Spanish improved greatly as well as my ability to communicate with people who did not share a common language with me. My dance teaching ability has also grown and changed a lot. I am much more confident teaching in English now that I've successfully done it in Spanish! Also, taking Latin American Dance classes at CRLA was absolutely fantastic. The teacher was great at gearing the class to multiple experience levels and I feel like I learned quite a bit.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Gaining confidence in Spanish and teaching dance. I know I can do it now!

I definitely learned to be flexible and go with the flow. The kids that I worked with usually came from very poor homes, broken families, abuse, etc. They definitely had attention, behavior, or emotional issues. This is completely understandable but sometimes it disrupted class. If this happened we would work together to find out what made everyone feel good. Sometimes we just played games or they made up their own dances. They just wanted to have fun no matter what that looked like.

I would let future volunteers know that the kids may come from rough backgrounds and that may impact their teaching.

If they plan on traveling outside of Costa Rica they should take Malaria pills as a precaution. Also, there is a great herbal supplement called ParaZyme which is full of enzymes, probiotics, and anti-parasites that I took while abroad and never had one stomach issue!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    6

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    6

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    7

Amazing Trip, Pretty good volunteering

I loved my trip so much! I stayed with a very friendly family and I always felt safe. I took high quality spanish classes and volunteered during the week and traveled on the weekends. For my volunteering I taught dance classes in schools. I enjoyed it but it felt like there was a lack of communication between Performing Arts Abroad and the schools I taught at. Nobody seemed to know why I was there and they volunteering sights didn't seem to care what I taught. It was hard for me to prepare lessons without knowing the class time frame or the specific age range. I supposed that's just part of volunteering though- you have to kind of improvise. Sometimes I didn't have anyone to hang out with because the other girls at my home stay were in a different program but I always found things to do. There was so much to explore and I took full advantage of it so over all it was an amazing trip!!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    8

My Costa Rica Experiences

It was a great experience! Dance volunteering with children meant more than I expected. PAA with CRLA had organized locations, home stay, the schools I worked and ect. before I arrived so everything was quite easy. Also Costa Rica was a wonderful country with wonderful people that I enjoyed so much. My host family was very kind and helpfull like CRLA personels. I have many memories and great moments now that I can't forget!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Learn about yourself through teaching dance

You will grow like you have never grown before, in your teaching skills and yourself. You get to immerse yourself in a completely different culture and way of life, while contributing your gifts and talents to it. It's also a great way rapidly improve your spanish skills and vocabulary learning in the classroom by day, and then incorporating what you have learned by teaching in the evening. The reward is beautiful and priceless.