Review Volunteer Tyler Kane in Costa Rica San Jose ChildCare program
1- How was the local ABV Coordinator/staff and the support provided in-country?
The staff in the country was very useful. Whenever a question occurred there was a quick response with an answer. When there was any fear of going on in the project a solution was found or they were able to help. This came in different forms such as how to get somewhere or helping find other volunteers to reach out to.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
Program: Having issues occur in the original project location and having to switch. How helpful staff in the project were
Host Family: Walking in the door and they did not speak any English.
By the end we could formulate a conversation without knowing much of the others language.
Country: The culture of the country and how friendly everyone was overall.
At no point in a big city did I feel unsafe.
3- What was the most challenging thing you experienced?
Program: Getting used to working in a preschool rather then an orphanage. Not what I expected to do down here so this was frustrating but ended up enjoying it.
Host Family: Figuring out a way to tell the family things such as where I was going and answering their questions.
Country: Figuring out how to get around.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
1. Pack a few extra things you don’t think you will need it will come in handy.
2. Don’t plan for anything when you’re here let it fall into place.
3. Find people to talk to regularly from the area as soon as possible.
5.1-Other things volunteers should know before coming here:
(thats not in the orientation guide)
a. Spend a lot of time on the language, from what I expected walking in I thought more people would speak English. I have taken classes and thought I had enough to somewhat understand until the first person started talking to me.
6- Personal Paragraph about the experience (ABV Program Testimonial):
Overall this was a great experience and I would suggest it to anyone who is thinking of doing any type of similar work. This being my first time leaving the United States it was a huge culture shock but it made it so much better in the long run. You get a real sense of the people and the culture that the country is made up of that I don’t think a tourist vacation would allow you too see. I think in the future I will put more thought into what kind of work I would like to do in a trip because I learned that anything can change and become what you wouldn’t expect. If I had the opportunity I would do this program again but for a longer period of time so I had more time to see the country.
7- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security, friendliness, quality others:
As a whole Costa Rica was the friendliest place I have ever been. I felt safe and welcome even when I couldn’t have a conversation with people. The food is excellent.
8- What was your favorite memory of this trip?:
Program: Seeing how different things are done in a different country. Working in the preschool is a lot different then a preschool would be in the United States.
Host Family: The food was excellent.
Country: How friendly everyone was and how beautiful of a country it is.
9- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling? (who helped you, emails, phone calls, chat online, how fast did you got an answer, did you got all your answers)
They were very informative without being asked. I received a lot of information before coming here that I didn’t really need to seek out answers to anything.
9.1- What do you think about the reservation system online?
It was very quick and easy.
9.2- Who did you find Abroaderview website (keywords, search engine, word mouth to mouth, recommended by .., other)
I knew I wanted to visit Costa Rica and looked up volunteer sites here and this was one of the first ones that came up. The application process was very simple and I had a response in a matter of a few hours/day. This drew me to the program rather then seeking out others.
10 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?
Yeah if anyone was looking to ask questions I would be willing to speak to them. It may be hard because my trip was so short but I could do my best to help with future volunteers.