From the minute I arrived in Costa Rica, I was welcomed at the airport with a warm hello by Marianella, a uVolunteer staff member. I was excited to arrive at the volunteer dorm, but at the time I did not realize how quickly it would turn into a home. All of the volunteers were so friendly and I knew immediately upon meeting them that these were people I would form long lasting friendships with.
During orientation, the uVolunteer staff went over a few basic policies and explained the routines of the house to us. Then, they walked us around the city so we could get to know the area. It was extremely helpful and enabled me to get to know San Ramon very quickly. The staff was eager to answer any questions we had and to help us with any concerns.
For my volunteer project, I worked as a physical education teacher at an elementary school in San Ramon.
I remember walking to the school my first day and being so nervous. Luckily, I had Andres, a uVolunteer staff member, with me to talk me through the whole thing. Upon arriving at the school, I was immediately welcomed by all the students and teachers. They were so excited and happy to have me there, which immediately made me feel more comfortable. It did not take long for me to fall in love with the students. Every one of them was so appreciative of everything I did and it felt really nice to be welcomed every day with hugs from all of them. I remember one specific day when I brought in a soccer ball for the students to have. It was amazing to see how appreciative they were over something so small. I looked forward to seeing them every day and it was so hard to say goodbye to them on my last day of my project.
Another highlight of my experience was having the opportunity to travel on the weekends. It was extremely easy and inexpensive to get from place to place. I was lucky enough to get to travel every weekend and to see different parts of Costa Rica. Traveling enabled me to get to know the culture of the country better, and also meet many of the countries natives.
Every place that I saw in Costa Rica was so beautiful and I looked forward to having new experiences and meeting new people every weekend.
My past five weeks in Costa Rica have been the experience of a life time. Although I am leaving, I am happy to have formed friendships that will last far longer than my time in Costa Rica. I would highly recommend uVolunteer to anyone that is interested in volunteering abroad. uVolunteer helped make my time here the best it could possibly be and I am happy I chose this program. My only regret is not signing up for a longer stay.
Thank you, uVolunteer, for an amazing volunteer and travel experience!