Published on September 5th, 2017 | by Riyanka Roy
How a Volunteer Vacation in Costa Rica Can Change Your Life
Sometimes called “the soul of Central America,” Costa Rica is nothing less than paradise. The locals (Ticos, as they call themselves) use the phrase pura vida (“pure life”) to describe the quality of life that they experience in the country. With world-class infrastructure, goals of sustainable development and a huge reserve of natural resources, Costa Rica can be rightly named as the ecotourism capital of the world. This tiny country, bordered by the Caribbean on one side and Pacific on the other, has some of the most gorgeous beaches, apart for the lush green jungles and gusty waterfalls, that keeps adding to the natural beauty of the land.
While a trip to Costa Rica or a sunny Costa Rica vacation will always be memorable, a volunteering journey to this land will surely enrich those memories and give you a chance to contribute meaningfully towards the lives of those beautiful people. For those who are still wondering what kind of difference it’ll make, this article might answer your questions and convince you to take an unconventional holiday to Costa Rica.
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Here’s how a volunteer vacation in Costa Rica can change your life:
You’ll know more about the lives of the locals, while living with them.
Perhaps you would have otherwise chosen a luxury hotel with a private beach, which surely would have been amazing. But trust me when I say this, living with a local family can be one of the best experiences ever — something that you’ll never get at a hotel. During a volunteering journey, you’ll always be accommodated with a host family, where you’ll get to live like them, share meals with them, know their stories and absorb their good vibes. Know about how the Costa Ricans greet their guests, about their culture, heritage, customs and much more. The warmth of the people will make you believe in the goodness that still prevails in this world, and perhaps, you’ll learn a few mantras of happiness as well.
Learn Spanish in the most incredible manner
Going for a language course and sitting for exams might seem to be a heavy task. But learning a language from the natives of the country is absolutely amazing. Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica, as we all know, and hence, a volunteering trip will give you ample opportunity to learn the language. During a normal holiday, you won’t need to communicate much with the natives, therefore, learning the language might not come naturally. But while volunteering, it’ll be necessary to talk to the locals, majority of whom will not know English. That will be your opportunity to pick up Spanish, and by the time you end your project, you’ll be well versed in the language. Don’t hesitate to speak — the more you’ll talk, the faster you’ll learn!
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Your love and affection for nature will increase.
Once you start contributing back to nature, you’ll definitely feel more connected to it, and there no better place to start this endeavor than Costa Rica. Once you join this journey, you’ll know how important a role you play in this process of protecting the environment. The Ogilvy Turtles that were once found in abundance on Costa Rican beaches have now reduced to a great extent — and one of the main reasons behind it is the extreme footfall of tourists at the beaches, which used to be the natural habitat of the turtles. Being a part of a Turtle Conservation Project, you can look after the newly hatched baby turtles and also take the initiative to keep the beaches clean. You can also be a part of any other conservation project in the country, to spend ample time amidst nature, to absorb the freshness that it has to offer and give back as per your capabilities.
Explore the gorgeous beaches with perfect sunsets and also the wilderness of the jungles.
Costa Rica will never fail to amuse you — whether it’s the beaches or the jungles, waterfalls or the waves, toucans or turtles, you’ll fall in love with everything. A trip is complete in the true sense when you get to experience everything that a country has to offer. Spend time by the beaches and absorb the last rays of the sun before it travels below the horizon. You can also choose to go for sunset cruises. Explore the jungles in a unique manner — go for forest zip lining and river rafting, experience the thrill of the adventure sports, and spot some beautiful birds or may be a sloth, while walking along the jungle trails.
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You won’t hesitate anymore when approaching a stranger to start a conversation.
A volunteering journey will not only introduce you to the natives but also to other like-minded people from other parts of the world, who’ll be there, working with you for a similar cause. If you have always been an introvert and felt shy to talk to people, then now things might change. You’ll get to open up and talk to people, share your ideas and plans with them, travel together and make memories that would last for a lifetime. Making friends out of strangers is a wonderful feeling — and you’ll realize it slowly.
You’ll have a more positive approach toward life.
A volunteering trip to Costa Rica will surely change your attitude toward life. Being with the humble locals, you’ll learn how to be happy with the little things that you otherwise ignored. Working on a project with others, you’ll realize the importance of teamwork and that nothing in this world is impossible. Volunteering for the underprivileged kids will make you more compassionate and develop a sense of gratitude. Overall, you’ll be more optimistic towards life.
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So if you have always longed to visit this beautiful Central American nation, then now is the time when you should start thinking seriously about taking a volunteer trip.
Trust me, this is going to be the most special trip of your life! Costa Rica will touch you from within and give you that adrenaline rush which no other place could ever give!