I spent almost four months in San Ramon, a great city in the centre of Costa Rica.
My experience overseas started with a two-weeks language course which helped me a lot to learn about the specifics of the Costa Rican Spanish, to settle in and to prepare myself for the voluntary program.
I actually had two projects which I enjoyed a lot. The first project is a women empowerment project and it is the perfect place if you want to bring in your own ideas. I worked in the marketing and administration part, but although being a typical office job it was great to support a NGO with the knowledge I gained during my studies. Additionally I could exchange a lot with all participants, we had great events and I learned a lot about life in Costa Rica.
My second project was in the city hall, more specifically in the sustainable city development and here I could learn a lot about the efforts Costa Rica is undertaking in order to achieve their sustainability goals. The biggest part of my work consisted of supporting workshops in primary schools about recycling and it was super interesting to work with the children and teach them about this topic.
But my experience wouldn’t have been this great without my lovely host family. I felt like a family member and could really dig into the Costa Rican family life. For me it is a really important part of the voluntary program to also have this experience!
And to close I have always been supported greatly by my host organization in San Ramon. I felt welcomed from the very first day and we also did great trips together. Don’t expect that everything is working like in your home country! You are in a new and different country and therefore things are working differently. Just take some time, in the beginning, to settle in and observe how everything is working. Don’t compare too much to your home country and just adapt a bit to the lifestyle, I’m sure it will be an unforgettable experience!