The volunteer program I signed up for through uVolunteer was the Costa Rican National Parks conservation project. There were only two park locations choices for the month of February, Tortuguero and, I chose Tortuguero. I did not know exactly what to expect before I arrived in Tortuguero but Ligia was very helpful with her correspondence; she answered all of my questions I emailed to her and she gave me a great orientation with a clear transportation schedule. There was constant availability for phone communication if I had a problem during my stay and Ligia was always very friendly.
Choosing to spend the first week in San Jose was one of the best choices I made. I had the chance to learn Spanish and live with a friendly host family that treated me like a princess.
The Spanish school had a wonderful group of staff that aided in my Spanish and made lessons fun and stress free I really enjoyed the teachers and the atmosphere.
The first few days consisted of Walter and me cutting grass and raking leaves on the National park property; the last week we cut trees and bamboo to reconstruct a fence around the National park property. The work was not too difficult and the hours were great; I had time to explore the park, the playa, the town, and to relax in the jungle. Walter was a great guide! He introduced me to locals, toured me around the rainforest, and cut down coconuts for me to enjoy.It was difficult to communicate all of my thoughts and concerns since I did not speak much Spanish and he did not speak any English, but this gave me plenty of time to practice speaking.
The night tours and the canoe tour were great in showing me wildlife.
While I was working and hanging out in the park there were many wildlife sightings; many monkeys, birds, frogs, and snakes; that was wonderful! I was working right in the jungle (if not in the park) and that was cool!
Overall, I had a positive experience; I feel that I truly experienced the life of Tortuguero; I got a glimpse of the culture, the rainforest, the beach, the wildlife, and the Spanish language. I think uVolunteer is a great program, with super opportunities in many different areas.