Costa Rica Travel News – The fact that you are considering volunteering abroad is very honorable. It will make a great difference the organization and cause you choose to help, and perhaps an even greater change in you. Giving back is something that makes you feel good. Learning how the less fortunate live changes you into someone more grateful.
It helps you see what you take for granted. It makes you feel powerful enough to do something to make a change for someone else. In Costa Rica you can volunteer in orphanages, schools, senior citizen facilities, for wildlife conservation, or on an organic farm. The choices are endless. To have a positive experience volunteering abroad in Costa Rica consider the following carefully.
What amount of time can you give? Are you trying to fit a trip in on your spring break week or do you have 3 summer months? The average trips last between 2 and 12 weeks.
What interests do you have? Would you prefer working with kids, animals, or learning a new skill like gardening? Make sure you are in good enough physical shape for the activity and location you choose.
What are you prepared to pay? Trips can be expensive when you factor in transportation, meals, and organization fees.
Read all the fine print! Do you need to bring extra cash? Are you going to sleep in a dorm or with a local family? Will you have to survive without internet? Will those you stay with speak your language? Knowing what to expect will make the transition easy. Also know what kind of weather to expect and pack accordingly.
Lastly, do your research about the organization you volunteer through. Search online reviews from past volunteers. Ask about what kind of orientation you will have when you arrive and what systems are in place to ensure your safety. Here are a few organizations to look into:
Volunteer Base Camp offers childcare, conservation, ecotourism, and medical trips. They also offer special programs for nurses and doctors to go on medical trips for certified professionals.
United Planet offers flexible start dates to fit your needs. They can combine volunteer trips with language classes and stays with local families to practice the language and learn the culture.
Cross Cultural Solutions has a focus on helping the elderly and disabled.
Global Volunteer Network has a great variety of projects to choose from. They offer special arrangements to fit around holiday weeks.