The Joy of Interns

staff paraiso One of the most pleasurable parts of leading Tropical Adventures over this last decade has been the relationships I’ve been able to create, maintain and enjoy with locals, volunteers, and especially with our interns. We have been extremely fortunate to have welcomed more than 120 interns. They usually work with us for 6 months, but we also accept folks for 3-month terms as well. Countries represented include the USA, Canada, the Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Estonia, Hungary, England, Spain, Curacao, France, Germany and others.

With very few exceptions, we’ve somehow attracted the most incredible people into our intern family. It’s been very rare that we find ourselves working with individuals who just want to do the minimum amount of work and to just ‘get by.’ The majority of those who choose to live and work with us give more than 100% and really make the best out of their experience in Costa Rica.

It’s been such a great experience for me personally, that I find myself craving it during those times we have no interns, or the very few times the interns we have aren’t really engaged.


A certain pattern seems to have emerged. I find in most cases the interns to all:

  • Be pretty darn intelligent
  • Have an enthusiasm for life
  • Have a lot to offer other people
  • Enjoy working with people from other cultures
  • Be fun loving, to enjoy participating in the local culture and to want to see everything possible around the country during their time with us
  • To love to dance
  • To have been bitten by the “travel bug”
  • Be willing to stretch and to learn and to grow through being fully present and engaged



Not all of our interns are in university. We often have people between the ages of 25 and 40 join us. That is not to say we wouldn’t love some people older than 40! Amongst the post-university crowd, some of the additional traits I’ve noticed are that they:

  • Are searching for something more meaningful
  • Are experiencing some sort of major transition in their life (death of a loved one, divorce, etc.)
  • Are tired of being surrounded by people who are negative and who can’t see beyond the rat race of life or the entrapment of material possessions
  • Recognize the beauty in simplicity


Some of the Shared Values they all seem to hold are a:

  • Love for Costa Rica
  • Love for the people of Costa Rica
  • Love for the flora & fauna of Costa Rica
  • Desire to make a difference in the world
  • Desire to grow personally and collectively
  • Desire to have meaningful relationships with those with whom we work and live with
  • Respect for other people

Interns in front of old house

I’ve also had the opportunity to see them grow immensely. I see most of them:

  • Grow in confidence
  • Learn how to better handle and resolve conflict
  • Balance work and fun
  • Have the opportunity to work hard and feel good about what they have accomplished
  • Experience another level, a deeper level, of relating with other people
  • Make new friends for life
  • Learn or improve their Spanish
  • Learn better tools for communicating with co-workers and locals

interns beach near samara


On a personal level, getting to know the interns has been one of the most rewarding parts of my job. I’m always so terribly sad when they leave. Yet I know that they will soon be replaced by other great people.

If you – or someone you know – might benefit from an internship in Costa Rica or Nicaragua, please see our available Internship Positions or contact us for more info!



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