Review Volunteer Laura Soria in Costa Rica San Jose at the Child Care program
1- How was the local ABV Coordinator/staff and the support provided in-country (airport, orientation day, follow up, communication, emergencies)?
Everything was great. The coordinator made himself available if anything was needed or if I had any questions. Overall the communication was great.
2- What was the most positive surprising thing you experienced ?
a.- Program: I think the most positive surprising thing I saw when I arrived at the program location was the location in general. I was expecting for the program to be in a not so safe place, but it turns out the location is safe and perfect.
b.- Host Family: The host family was amazing. They made me feel at home, and the food was great as well. I felt very comfortable and like part of their family. I loved being able to learn about their traditions and family in general. I thank Alice and her family for everything. She helped me by showing me a couple of places, taking me to the city and giving me advice on what places to visit.
c.- Country: When I first arrived I think I was a bit shocked and surprised, which is normal. Everything was just so different then what I am used to in the U.S. After a couple days though I got used to it and realized it is actually beautiful in its own ways. I had a weekend where I decided to take a trip and see the beauty this country offers.
3- What was the most challenging thing you experienced?
a.- Program: The most challenging thing I experienced was the hours. The first day of volunteer work I worked a 10 hour shift. It was not at all the hours I was expecting to work. It was honestly quite overwhelming.
b.- Host Family: I speak fluent in Spanish so there were no challenges with my host family. They were amazing.
c.- Country: I think getting around in general was kind of challenging. I was fortunate to have a host mom that took her time and showed me around. I think giving the volunteer a tour of the things close to their home is a good idea.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations, gift for the host family)
1. Dont be afraid to ask questions. Everyone here is friendly.
2. Don't overpack like I did. Follow the trip list ABV emails you.
3. Make sure to pack an umbrella if you go in rainy season or buy locally.
4. An important thing to remember is to enjoy your time here. Take a weekend to take a trip and relax. Get to know the country and the things it holds.
5.1-Other things volunteers should know before coming here:
(thats not in the orientation guide)
a. Make sure the program director you are volunteering at knows what hours your working.
b. Keep in mind Costa Rica can be expensive.
c. If you are going out at night use Uber, it has good prices sometimes better than a taxi.
6- Personal Paragraph about the entire experience (ABV Program Testimonial) give as much detail as you can:
Coming here I really didn’t know what to expect. I was in a bit of a culture shock, but I gave it about two days and I felt better. Arriving at my host families home and meeting them gave me peace. I felt at home the moment I walked through the door. I realized all the people here are very friendly and helpful. My first week I have to admit was pretty rough because of my schedule and being homesick. I spoke to the coordinator about my situation and he was helpful. This experience was enjoyable and I appreciate everything.