Volunteer Review: Violet A., Spanish in Costa Rica
So let me tell you a little about my trip to Costa Rica. After a long journey, I arrived in San Jose with a sense of fear, excitement and confusion all mixed in one. But all my anxieties swept away the moment the friendly face of Daniel Moreno, the manager of Projects Abroad Costa Rica swept me into a taxi and brought me straight to the bus station to then move on to Liberia, the town where I would be staying. During the long wait we chatted about our lives and our interests and it is then that I discovered Daniel,s weakness for action movies, especially when Danny De Vito is involved.
Liberia is not a particularly large town, but extremely safe and with a very particular style of its own; therefore I felt it was a good place to be living. It is composed of the parque principal, a square that marks the centre of the town where old men dressed in cowboy outfits sit and watch the passer-bys under the shade of a coconut tree. My host family was composed of two middle-aged sisters (Magda and Cristina) and their mother (Selmira). Each one of them was crazier than the other.
They spent their days running around the house desperately finding some chore to keep them busy and working from morning till night on their many jobs. I fully enjoyed my time with them, and they made me feel completely at home. Magda (an extremely talented dancer, after a couple of Imperials) founded a school for handicapped kids. So in the mornings I would help out in the school, and then in the afternoons I would have my Spanish lessons. My teacher was a beautiful young woman called Carolina who works incredibly hard at Liberia's local school during the day teaching English, and at night stays up studying and writing essay after essay so as to get her degree in English. She was extremely nice to me and we had a lot of fun together; slobbering over mangoes, dreaming about Elvis and trying to communicate with one another with my very broken Spanish.
The culture of Costa Rica is so rich and varied that there was never a boring moment. After staying with my host-family I travelled around the country for a month and visited volcanoes, national parks and beaches. Costa Rica is a very small country but has such a wide variety of ecosystems. Thanks to this I was able to see jungle, snakes, sloths, poisonous dart frogs, monkeys, tropical fish, lava, mountains, plains, and much more. The most incredible thing about this country are the people. Never have I come across such hospitable and generous people. They are very proud of their country and as tourism is the main font of money there, they make sure to greet the travellers with great warmth. I fully recommend Costa Rica as I had the most amazing time there. In fact I hope to go back there one day. There are so many more attractive things about the country, but if I tried to list them all I would go on forever.
This is a personal account of one volunteer’s experience on the project and is a snapshot in time. Your experience may be different, as our projects are constantly adapting to local needs and building on accomplishments. Seasonal weather changes can also have a big impact. Find out more about what you can expect from this project, or speak to one of our friendly Program Advisors.