I arrived in Costa Rica two months ago with my best friend Katie and since then we have been known as ‘the twins’. I guess the title suits as we both came to Costa Rica for the same reasons and now we have to sadly say goodbye. I know we’ve both had such an amazing experience here and we’re going to miss San Ramon and everyone we have had the chance to get to know here!
2010 is our ‘gap’ year before we begin college in 2011. I’ve always loved traveling and exploring different countries and cultures, so it made sense to spend this year away from home, somewhere new, doing things I’ve always wanted to try. After researching into different volunteer programs, we came across uVolunteer Costa Rica. It seemed to be one of the most rewarding programs and the best suited for us. Plus it was a great way to immerse ourselves into a completely different culture and learn Spanish! While also helping others in need and hopefully making a small difference within the community of San Ramon.
We have spent the past two months living together in the dorm house and working together at Simon Bolivar Escuela. This was the first time visiting Costa Rica for the both of us and I’m so happy we chose to come here as it is so beautiful and the people are so friendly!
Living in the dorms was a great experience for me, as it made me become used to the idea of living away from family and from my home. I also think it has made me grow as a person as I have had to be more responsible and independent, not always relying on someone else to look after me. Plus you get to meet other uVolunteers from all over the world!
Having Dona in the house each morning and night was such a great aspect to living here. As we were able to taste typical Costa Rican dishes and she made it feel more like a home then a dorm. I will miss Dona and her hugs every single morning and night!! She’s the sweetest woman, she even went out to buy me some medicine when I was unwell and made me soup! Without her, I would not have felt as comfortable as I did living here for the past two months. She was our Costa Rican mother for the past two months! Te quire Dona!!!!!!!!!
Working at Escuela Simon Bolivar was such an eye opening experience. I really enjoyed my time there and am sad to have to say goodbye to the students (who were absolutely adorable) and the teachers. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming to us from the start, really making us feel like part of their community. They were also very thankful so it really felt like we were helping. Katie and I also decided to raise money to donate paint and help re-paint the school, along with some friendly locals, which we have spent our last week doing.
I’m so happy to we were able to do this as the school was in desperate need of a new paint job and physically helping really makes you feel more involved. I hope I am able to come back and visit again one day!
These past two months living and working in San Ramon have flown by way to fast. When we first arrived, it felt like we would be here forever. Two months seemed like such a long time, but really it feels like we only just arrived. You really have to take full advantage of your time here and not waste a single minute. Go explore the town, make friends with locals, see the night life, eat local food, learn as much Spanish as possible and visit as many beautiful places as you can on the weekends! Because before you know it, it’s time to say goodbye.
Coming into the uVolunteer Costa Rica program was really last minute for Katie and I. But I’m so happy we chose to do it, as it’s been such an incredible experience for me. One I’ll always remember.
Paz y amor!