“Overall this was a great program.”

General Impression

Overall Rating:    9 / 10

Overall this was a great program. I was a little weary going into it because I'm not super fond of young children but once I saw the smiles on their faces as we entered the school each day I quickly warmed up to them. Despite the obvious language barrier the kids were friendly and very curious. The work that we were given was not too tedious, as it only involved painting for the most part. We were thankful for the easier work because of the high temperatures. Most of all I was thankful for this experience in which I got to experience a new culture and build relationships with the very kind staff.


Costa Rica is an absolutely beautiful country. When I stepped off of the plane one thing that absolutely stunned me was how green, lush and beautiful everything was. Everyone that we encountered on our trip was very helpful, patient and kind which I was more than thankful for given that I've never travelled without my family, and only spoke the tiniest bit of Spanish.

I absolutely fell in love with the little town of Jaco and everything it had to offer us. I was intrigued by the simplistic "mas tiempo que vida" lifestyle that everyone had in common, as well as the laid back "pure vida" lifestyle. As cheesy as it sounds, this little surf town quickly grew on me and will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Project & Staff

We were very lucky to not run into anyone unfriendly or rude on our trip, and everyone we met were very accommodating and kind. Our program advisor, Marco was very nice and tried his best to help us resolve any issues we had. He constantly went on supply runs whenever we needed him to and took lots of pictures of us. He wasn't around much because he said he had other programs that he was overseeing but when he was there he was always making jokes and playing as our tourist guide. He also made sure that we were okay when the earthquake hit, even though we had no clue it had even happened.

The staff at the school were very nice and tried their best to answer any questions we had even though they spoke very little English. In particular, the cafeteria lady, Rosita was very welcoming, helpful and kind. All the kids absolutely loved her and we quickly bonded with her. She made our volunteering fun because of her kind, grateful and funny personality.


One thing I can't stress enough to STAY HYDRATED. I ended up with heat stroke on one of our volunteer days which resulted in missing half a day of work. I thought I had been drinking plenty but that's not enough. You need to constantly eat salty foods to to help keep water in your body, wear light coloured clothing, wrap a wet cloth around your neck or head and keep in the shade as much as possible, because it's really not a fun experience, and your volunteering isn't something that you want to miss.

One Last thing- Even if the conditions aren't what you expect, find something to appreciate each day. Don't waste all your time taking photos for your friends and family-they will not look as good as the real thing. Be present in your volunteering and interact with the kids instead of being shy and only taking photos. Live your volunteer time in the moment and you'll learn, give and receive a much better experience than if you don't.