I spent my spring break volunteering in Bambu, Costa Rica with Tropical Adventures. On the flight over, I was nervous and excited because this was my first time travelling out of the country by myself and excited to meet everyone in Bambu and experience Costa Rica. When I arrived in San Jose, I was greeted by Manuel who drove me to my hostel, Casa Yoses. The hostel was both clean and friendly, and I enjoyed my night there. The next day Manuel picked me up and drove me to the bus stop where I caught a bus to Puerto Viejo. Isaac picked me up in Puerto Viejo, and we ate lunch and discussed what volunteering in Bambu would be like. His biggest piece of advice was to "go with the flow," and it turned out to be excellent advice.
Bambu was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I stayed with a family, which really added to the experience. During the days, I volunteered at the retirement center and the school. The people at the retirement center were really appreciative of the volunteers, and it was great spending time with them and getting to know each individually. The school was fun too, and the children were very excited for their English lesson!
After volunteering, it was great to return home to my family and eat lunch with them. After lunch, I either participated in a tour or spent time with my family. I did the Panama Waterfall Tour on my first day in Bambu, and it was a great introduction to the week. Ito and I took a boat ride out to the waterfall and spent a couple hours swimming there. It was beautiful!
I was sad to leave my family at the end of the week, and I would love to return one day. I only spent a week in Bambu, but the people were so friendly and open, that by the end, I felt as if I belonged there. Likewise, I was very happy to volunteer through Tropical Adventures because they really took care of me. Susan practically organized the whole trip- all I had to do was book my flight! Tropical Adventures booked my transportation, housing, and meals; they made it easy for an outsider to get an inside look at Costa Rica.