I have always wanted to go to Costa Rica. After all, who wouldn’t want to experience such a beautiful place? It was during my spring break that I felt the itch to go travel somewhere. My mother had seen Tropical Adventures on Facebook and had followed it for a year or so. Once I brought up the idea, she urged me to look into Tropical Adventures, which was when I contacted Scott.
Scott really encouraged us to fundraise for the trip. Being broke college students, the flight alone left us little money for the rest of the costs. We looked up a few different fundraising websites and found a website called Volunteer Forever. I checked with Scott first to make sure the web site was legitimate before we started the account. Once we got the OK, we followed the prompts from the website.
I wrote a little background on my boyfriend and myself and described the work we would be doing in Hojancha. We each posted the link to our page on Facebook and encouraged our friends and family to share the page, even if they couldn’t contribute. In the end, we raised more money than we had even asked for!
Once we got to Costa Rica, I was finally able to shed the big sweater and jacket I was wearing and change into shorts and a tank top. That in itself was quite a treat coming from freezing New Hampshire. I would definitely recommend having a driver pick people up front the airport because the roads are nothing like the states. I was considering renting a car instead, but I was much happier that we didn’t.
Once we arrived at our housemother’s home, she gave us a quick tour of the area. Scott came by later that day and took us to the local pool, which was really nice and relaxing. We were exhausted from all the traveling, so we were glad we got to spend the remainder of the day poolside.
Flori fed us very well for the entirety of our stay! She was always smiling and doing her best to make conversation with us. Because she didn’t speak any English, I was forced to use some of the Spanish I know. I was really glad about that. By the time we left, I saw a great improvement in my Spanish.
Working in the garden was hard work, but definitely doable. The area itself is so beautiful, so it felt good contributing to its aesthetics.
Once we finished up there, it would be about lunch time. We would have a couple of hours to go home, eat, and adventure around. I loved the bakery and Cosechas! After lunch, we would meet back up with Stephanie, our guide, and go work with the private school’s English class.
One of the nights we got to go see the baby turtles at the turtle sanctuary. I was really happy we got to help out a little bit with them because I had a hard time deciding which program to do; the sea turtle program was one of the top contenders.
Scott and the rest of the Tropical Adventures Team showed us around Hojancha and brought us to some of the local spots we would not have otherwise ventured into. The people in Costa Rica are so friendly, which really made us feel welcome there. We were so sad to leave. Costa Rica is such a wonderful place that I could even see myself living there one day. And trust me, I love having four seasons in New England, but the Costa Rican way of life persuaded me in moving there someday in the future!
Written by Ashlyn Daniel-Nuboer, previous volunteer