There were many summer volunteer placements that could have catered to the adventure I was looking for.

However, I am very thankful to have committed my time with the uVolunteer teaching English program in Costa Rica. During my pre-destination research, I was convinced uVolunteer was right for me because of the well-organized website, the structured volunteer opportunities, and the beautiful location of Costa Rica.

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Before my arrival to Costa Rica, my teaching English volunteer placement was clearly communicated by the uVolunteer staff. The Costa Rican uVolunteer team were very prompt with any questions that I had concerning the program and accommodations. Immediately, I could tell that these employees were committed to their job and to their genuine intentions of doing good in the community. I felt confident that I would be taken care of on the field and within my dorm. The day I arrived, my choice was reassured when I had the pleasure of finally meeting the uVolunteer coordinators, Ligia and Nohelia.

Barry Tremblay

To further my reassurance, I was sharing this wonderful experience with the best group of volunteers I could have asked for.

For 6 weeks I live in the dorm accommodations located in the town of San Ramon, Alajuela. The house I was sharing had enough space for all eight other volunteers living there. If I may speak for the others, we were all well taken care of by the rich cookery and hygienic conditions maintained by Dona Isabel. She introduced us to a variety of delicious typical foods of Costa Rica, and she always had a fresh coffee ready for me when I needed one. The town itself was an ideal location for volunteering and traveling. The busy urban centre of San Ramon provided the conveniences of vitality and an exposure to a different way of life and culture. The climate is cool and comfortable, and the town’s central location made it easy to travel to the alluring destinations of Costa Rica on the weekends.

As for the teaching, uVolunteer provided a very organized and structured program for assisting within the classrooms and connecting with the communities. My placement was mainly in a small elementary school in the charming rural mountain communities of San Ramon. The teachers and staff were all very friendly and helpful, and the kids were very respectful and energetic. It was a complete joy to work alongside Senora Isabel and Senor Jerson, my associate teachers. I was able to assist with the lesson planning, help with the English pronunciations, and relieve the teacher’s long hours of instruction. Having experience as a teacher back home was an asset, but it is not required for this program. However, I do recommend having knowledge of the Spanish language as it will greatly assist with the learning activities in the classroom. It will also benefit with understanding the lively staff conversations during the coffee breaks.

Overall, volunteering in Costa Rica with uVolunteer proved to be a life enhancing experience.

The volunteering was rewarding, the people were hospitable, and the friendships were influential. For all of those who were a part of my experience – you know who you are 🙂 – thanks for being such a positive entity in my life. I hope all of your future ambitions are met and that someday down the traveler’s path, we meet again. Que rico.

By Barry Tremblay

At the end of my program, I left this report for uVolunteer. I hope it helps future volunteers have a good understanding of the uVolunteer program. I've also allowed uVolunteer to give out my email address to those interested in asking me questions about my trip and the uVolunteer program.

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