Stephanie and her 11 year old daughter, Anna, had a special experience at our wildlife rescue center with Tropical Adventures Foundation. Having prior experiences in volunteering abroad, Stephanie and Anna decided to go this time to Costa Rica.
Both of them were welcomed at the host family of Donna Bella and her son. “Staying with Donna Bella felt like visiting my grandma. They were so warm and accommodating.” The two stayed two weeks in Costa Rica, one week with the host family working in the wildlife rescue center and the other week at a hotel. “The experience was so different staying at a hotel as a tourist.” Staying with a host family gives you the advantage to experience authentic Costa Rica.
You learn about the way of life of the Costa Rican people, their values, their culture as well as the culinary aspect. Besides the typical dishes of Costa Rica, the two report that the meals were healthy and rich in tropical fruits such as papaya, bananas, pineapples and many others. Living with a host family is also a great opportunity to compare your own culture with the host culture. One good example in Stephanie’s and Anna’s case was how relaxed people in Costa Rica are even when an electrical power outage occurs, like it did in the house of Donna Bella. Whereas people from other countries would be grumpy about the fact that there was a blackout, people in Costa Rica are more at ease and may even be thankful to have the opportunity to relax. They value and appreciate things differently.
A typical day at the Wildlife Rescue Center and the daily tasks of Anna and Stephanie were cleaning the cages and living areas of the animals, preparing the food for the animals, as well as feeding and taking caring for them. The guides of the Wildlife Rescue Center were very flexible and that is why the two could choose from what they wanted to do. The caretaker, Teniente, was especially considerate of volunteers’ personalities and needs when planning who would go into which animals enclosures. They were very accommodating to make sure that everybody had a really good experience.
The wildlife rescue center was founded 12 years ago and is the largest private reserve in Costa Rica, covering 54,000 acres and accommodating many kinds of monkeys, birds, caymans, boars herons ducks, raccoons, dogs and cats. Anna loved playing with all the animals, but her favorite tasks were washing the dogs and playing with the little kittens. For Stephanie, the white face monkeys crowned her experiences with the animals.
All in all the two had a great experience in Costa Rica, learning about the Costa Rican culture and the diversity of wildlife. “I liked it, we spent two weeks doing fun stuff!” says Anna smiling. “It is a wonderful experience being with my daughter doing such a trip” says Stephanie.
Indeed a rewarding and bonding experience for Stephanie and Anna. Tropical Adventures says thank you for your great help at the Wildlife Rescue Center.