Elizabeth Mooney - 2014 Program Participant

Project in Costa Rica
With the other volunteers in Costa Rica.

What made you want to volunteer abroad?

I was thinking about animal conservation as a future career so this seemed like a fun, different and exciting way to see if that was a good idea. I also simply enjoy travelling and seeing new places.

What about Frontier drew you specifically?

Frontier looked like a better value than some other companies and I wanted to go with a company so there was some security in case something went wrong.

What made this program so exciting to be a part of?

The variety of activities meant that you were never bored and there was always something to do. It was an outdoor and constantly active lifestyle which is exactly what I love. The project leaders also ensured we understood how everything we did aided the animals which was great.

What’s one thing about your program that future participants should know?

Future participants need to know that they need a high level of fitness to cope on this project. For me one of the best things was the primitive lifestyle but they also need to be sure that this is right for them.

What was your favorite part program activity?

My favorite activity was the night turtle patrols. Touching a sea turtle at 2 a.m. in the morning on a pristine Costa Rican beach was a magical experience I will never forget!

Would you have done anything differently?

I would have gone for longer than two weeks (and taken more treats!) 

Describe a typical day in the life of your program.

It is hard to describe a typical day on this project because every day was different. Your body clock shifted so the days ran from about 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. although you got up earlier if you had a morning turtle patrol or bird walk and you went to bed later if you were doing a night patrol. Typically there was a morning activity then lunch back at camp, an afternoon activity and then dinner before an early bed. All activities were voluntary so you could take time off if you were too tired. The activities ranged from turtles to monkeys to birds to otters to tree planting to sustainable agriculture.

Did you experience any culture shock?

I did not really experience culture shock as everyone on camp spoke English and all but four were from England like me.

Now that you're home, how has your program abroad impacted your life?

The project has impacted my life by making me determined to pursue animal conservation as a career.