Upon arrival in San Ramon, I knew my decision to live in Costa Rica through uVolunteer was one of the best choices I had ever made. My volunteer coordinator was kind beyond belief and the home stay I was set up in was incredible. My host mother, who only spoke Spanish, was very patient with my limited knowledge of the language and a great help in improving my Spanish speaking skills.
After settling in, the following Monday I started work at the Child Care Center. The Tias, the women who ran the center, were very kind and welcoming and in no time, the kids became comfortable with the new volunteers. The kids and I played soccer, active running games, board games, drew in coloring books, and did arts and crafts. I had a great time, became really close to the kids, and looked forward to each new work day.
My two week stay included both Christmas and New Years. Although I did miss my family, I had a wonderful holiday season in San Ramon.
I spent the morning of Christmas Eve at the Child Care Center and found it very touching to watch all the kids opening presents and enjoying their new toys. I was also included in all of my host family’s festivities and felt warmly accepted in their homes.
Early January it was time for me to return home to complete second semester of my senior year. However, in just a short time period, I had become greatly attached to the Tias and children at the Care Center, my host family, and all the friends I had made during my stay, making it difficult for me to leave when the time came.
My experience in Costa Rica through uVolunteer goes down as one of the best times of my life.