Name: Megan Burton

Travel Date: Jun 27 2018

Country of Volunteer: Costa Rica

Project of Volunteer: Turtle Conservation(Matapalo, Pacific)

Recommend to other volunteers? : Yes

Global Crossroads was a big help. Every time I called almost immediately did someone answer. My application was a little complicated because I applied a mere week and a half before I left and I switched programs several times. However, Global Crossroads was very on top of everything and had answers to my many, many questions. I have a little different opinions on the actual program in Matapalo. There was not a lot to do and the activities repeated quite a bit. There were too many people for the lack of activities available. The organization was to a minimum. While we had many volunteers at hand, everyday people had 6 hour hatchery duties by themselves. There was no system for putting volunteers on certain duties and many times select volunteers would be overused in one week. While I know it is hard to have activities when it is low season for turtles, it'd be nice to have other things at our access. Explanations would also have been helpful, many times we would go on sloth walks and the people in charge would record information. We were never told what or why they were writing down. It would have been nice to be in the know about those kind of things and maybe learn a little more about turtles and sloths. Of course I still really enjoyed my trip, thank you for helping me get there! :)

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Name : Eleanor Carraway Noell

Address (Optional):East 87th St., Apt.14A New York, New York 10128

Date and Country of Program : December 20, 2014 – January 5, 2015 Costa Rica

    • How would you rate the following (please mark X):
    • Very Satisfied
    • Satisfied
    • Neutral
    • Unsatisfied
    • Services of USA staff
    • X
    • Orientation/ Airport Pick up
    • X
    • Language and Culture or Spanish Language
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      dations/ Meals
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    • Volunteer/
      Internship Project
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    • Response/
      Cooperation from local Staffs
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    • Overall
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Please summarize your volunteer/internship experience:

My Christmas and New Years vacation for 2014 into the new year of 2015 was incredible. I absolutely love the country of Costa Rica. You feel so safe there and welcome by the people. The head lady of house where I stayed named Gina (or Olga) was a pleasure and the as sweet as can be. She was also a phenomenal chef and personally cooked my meals for me every day. I do not eat very much meat so the Costa Rican diet actually works to my advantage and is good for my health because you mainly eat chicken or fish and always have the option of black beans, which provide an extra source of protein. Last, but not least I neither drink nor smoke and no one in their family does either. Now to my work, I helped Dora Castro with the rescue cats and dogs on a daily basis. I am happy to report that I worked every day that I was physically in Atenas over my trip. I would clean up the kittens' cage, change the water bowls, clean the floors, and add food to the food bowls each day. As an addition to my happiness I got to interact with, hold, and pet the animals as I liked. Dora's house was about a 15-20 minute walk from my place of residence. However, I woke up every morning by 5 AM and left the house to go for a run by 6 then would finish my run at the house where I worked.

Would you recommend Global Crossroads programs to others? Yes
Would you mind serving as a reference for future volunteers? No

Volunteer in Costa Rica Reviews- Julie Miller volunteer experience in costa rica- Alexandra

Name : Kimber Ray

Address (Optional) : 70 Harvey St., New Brunswick, NJ, 08901

Country of Program : Costa Rica

    • How would you rate the following (please mark X):
    • Very Satisfied
    • Satisfied
    • Neutral
    • Unsatisfied
    • Services of USA staff
    • X
    • Orientation/ Airport Pick up
    • X
    • Language and Culture or Spanish Language
    • X
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      dations/ Meals
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    • Volunteer/
      Internship Project
    • X
    • Response/
      Cooperation from local Staffs
    • X
    • Overall
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Please summarize your volunteer/internship experience:

Staff was always very quick to offer helpful responses to my emails before I arrived. No problem with finding Hannia at the airport for the pickup—once adjusted to the bus system/taxis, I think it's better to return to the airport through public transit (cheaper). The Spanish classes could be improved by encouraging more focused interaction and vocabulary expansion. Some things I liked in a different Spanish class I took: games such as Pictionary, listening to regional songs and filling out blanks on the lyrics, performing skits, receiving and reviewing worksheets on different verb tenses (subjective, imperfect, etc, with irregulars listed). Migdalia and her family were very kind and accommodating. My only complaint is that sometimes breakfast was a pack of saltine crackers. At first I assumed this was a cultural difference, but when I asked the women at my project, they told me that was not a typical Costa Rican breakfast. The project in Los Altos was very enjoyable, although I didn't feel like it offered a strong opportunity to contribute to the community. Tasks consisted of activities such as raking around their cabin in the mountain and picking up trash along the trail. Local staff Tina and Hannia were both very friendly and helpful. Overall, a great trip!

Would you recommend Global Crossroads programs to others? Yes
Would you mind serving as a reference for future volunteers? No, I would not mind

(If yes, please write your email address) : kimbernray@gmail.com

Name : Theo Lemoine

Address (Optional) : 12617 pony ln 78727 austin TX

Country of Program : Costa Rica

    • How would you rate the following (please mark X):
    • Very Satisfied
    • Satisfied
    • Neutral
    • Unsatisfied
    • Services of USA staff
    • X
    • Orientation/ Airport Pick up
    • X
    • Language and Culture or Spanish Language
    • X
    • Living
      Accommo
      dations/ Meals
    • X
    • Volunteer/
      Internship Project
    • X
    • Response/
      Cooperation from local Staffs
    • X
    • Overall Volunteer Experience
    • X

Please summarize your volunteer/internship experience:

I Strongly enjoyed my trip. No words can be used to describe the satisfaction I have from this global crossroads trip to Costa Rica. I could go on and about praise and stories of my trip, but I'm sure the more useful is to just say best and worst:

good: loved the project, the station was great. All the other volunteers and staff were so nice, and even being 16 they accepted me immediately.

bad: A large portion of the travel could have been more planned, and more taken care of. For example I remember waiting in the small town of Bataan, waiting alone for a bus to san jose. I was there an hour and a drunkard attempted to take my guitar. I'm not saying it ruined the trip or anything, I can take care of myself but I would rather hope that the organization send someone, or send a taxi in the future.

also on an added note, I knew very little about the project before heading out, more information before hand would've been nice.

Would you recommend Global Crossroads programs to others? Yes
Would you mind serving as a reference for future volunteers? Yes
(If yes, please write your email address): theo.lemoine@yahoo.com

Barbara L. Huwar

I have been here almost two weeks. The family and the people that have surrounded me, could not be better or friendlier. I am teaching in the elementary school and the teachers and children are most receptive to my lessons and it shows by their smiles and their increasing English communication among all of us as a school community.

The family has been very supportive, particularly the mother. She has spent ample time conversing in Spanish to be able to communicate in Spanish. Her cooking is so scrumptious, I think she should open her own restaurant some day.

Chris, the director, has been more than congenial, informative, helpful, and is a wealth of knowledge in numerous areas of the country, language, the people, etc. He has made me feel comfortable with my new situation.

I was in Spain last year for three months and there is no comparison. I never had any communication with anyone. Not the company, not the director, no on! I guess I was supposed to spread my wings and fly, except I did not know that I was flying totally solo. Thank you for giving me a good experience, thus far.

Name : Carina Saikaley

Address (Optional):

Country of Program : Costa Rica

    • How would you rate the following (please mark X):
    • Very Satisfied
    • Satisfied
    • Neutral
    • Unsatisfied
    • Services of USA staff
    • X
    • Orientation/ Airport Pick up
    • X
    • Language and Culture or Spanish Language
    • X
    • Living
      Accommo
      dations/ Meals
    • X
    • Volunteer/
      Internship Project
    • X
    • Response/
      Cooperation from local Staffs
    • X
    • Overall Volunteer Experience
    • X

Please summarize your volunteer/internship experience:

This was the most amazing experience of my life. Going on this trip was the best decision as I learned so much from it. The family I stayed with was very welcoming and made me feel very comfortable, like I was living in my own home. I owe it to them for making my experience that much better. As well, the students I was teaching at the school were incredibly pleasant. Not only were they adorable, but they were well-behaved and you could tell that they appreciated our presence. Those children taught me more than I taught them, and more than I could learn in my own country. It was an absolute pleasure to teach them, and I am so happy that I had the honor to be their teacher. This experience was unforgettable and has made me anxious to go on more trips like this. I would be more than happy to do this exact same volunteer trip over again. The only negative part of the trip was the local staff. Personally, I do not think my friends and I got along very well with the local staff. However, this did not make my experience any less enjoyable.

Would you recommend Global Crossroads programs to others? Yes
Would you mind serving as a reference for future volunteers? Yes
(If yes, please write your email address) : carinasaikaley@gmail.com

Name : Rhea Coriaty

Address (Optional): 185 Roy Ave Dorval, Qc

Country of Program : Costa Rica

    • How would you rate the following (please mark X):
    • Very Satisfied
    • Satisfied
    • Neutral
    • Unsatisfied
    • Services of USA staff
    • X
    • Orientation/ Airport Pick up
    • X
    • Language and Culture or Spanish Language
    • X
    • Living
      Accommo
      dations/ Meals
    • X
    • Volunteer/
      Internship Project
    • X
    • Response/
      Cooperation from local Staffs
    • X
    • Overall Volunteer Experience
    • X

Please summarize your volunteer/internship experience:

This was an amazing experience and I am so happy I decided to volunteer in Costa Rica. I am thankful that I chose to volunteer with Global Crossroad because we got to meet an amazing family and kids at the school. Watching them learn and appreciate our presence was priceless. Overall, this was a very enriching experience.

From the first day with our host family, we felt very welcomed. The kids at the school were very welcoming and loving as well.

We really enjoyed learning about the culture and taking part in daily activities in the village.

This was an unforgettable experience and not only we were able to help teach English but we were able to learn from our family and the kids at the school how to speak Spanish.

The only negative thing I could think of is that we weren't really on the same page as the local coordinator. We didn't feel like he really understood our concerns nor did he take our questions very seriously but that did not have any effect on our experience, we enjoyed it very much.

Would you recommend Global Crossroads programs to others? Yes
Would you mind serving as a reference for future volunteers? Yes
(If yes, please write your email address) : r.coriaty.1@gmail.com

Edgard Maldonado

San Juan, Puerto Rico

I volunteered at Santa Cecilia community in San Isidro de Heredia. I had the opportunity to participate in various forms of volunteer projects. During the week I worked at the Concepcion school helping the 3rd and 4th grade teacher. During the evenings I taught English to the kids of Santa Cecilia community. And during the weekends I either went to visit around, or just stayed home to help other ongoing community projects that were taking place such as the one to connect pipes to bring water to the community from the mountain river. My host family was all you can expect in a family. They even took me to the airport on my departure day. I drew many wonderful friends, and it is a must that I return next year. I encourage anyone considering volunteering in Costa Rica not to hesitate about it, you just wont be disappointed. Thanks to the people at Global Crossroad Partners, and Concepcion school for this wonderful experience.

Amy Stoltzfus

Volunteer in Costa Rica Reviews- Amy Stoltzfus

The Spanish class was very helpful. Classes were well prepared, and the teacher was attentive to my individual needs. Four hours a day is a good amount of time – not too much and not too little.

Everything was great! I wish I could have stayed longer. It was definitely better than expected!

Ben Elkington

Everything with my family was really good. They were really welcoming and I enjoyed playing games with Luis (the son). They were very kind in saying that I can come back to stay with them in 2 weeks. They always tried to include me in things that they were doing. This was good for things such as football matches and family meals together.

Families in Costa Rica are much more open and welcoming to strangers than in most other countries. I was able to go around to other people's houses and talk to their families. Also, the families are much larger here than in other countries, so I got to meet other members of the family.

Marco was great with helping us volunteer at the orphanage. Danitica was a very good teacher, and very enthusiastic. I loved my homestay and the people I have met in Santa Cecilia, also. Christopher was great on the mini-adventure and patient with us. Thank you.

Christi pears

Volunteer in Costa Rica Reviews- Christi pears

My host family also was great! They were very friendly and they adjusted to my Spanish very quickly. They treated me like their own daughter. Rosa cooked and cleaned for me, and did my laundry, which was much more than I expected! The only recommendation I would make would be for volunteers to bring ear plugs, because it gets noisy in the morning with the birds!

Justin Strobach

volunteer reviews costa rica- Justin Strobach

I worked at Monteverde, helping with the daily operations of the family's business and helping to teach English to the family and the community. My placement was excellent – I enjoyed every day of it. I would have liked to have done even more; perhaps working at the local school teaching English, or maybe in the reserve, if I had the chance.

My host family was wonderful, very accommodating and extremely generous. Every time I turned around, they were feeding me! I was becoming gordo [fat]!

Ketan Mistry

The experience was amazing, and the friendships we have made will surely last a lifetime. This trip has exceeded all of my expectations, and I am very grateful to everyone at Global Crossroad.

I worked at the Escuella Santa Cecilia, teaching and helping to make a library for the kids. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming; I feel my time there was very fulfilling and educational. I learned a lot and hopefully passed on a lot as well.

I could have accomplished more if we were there for a longer period of time. I had the chance to help develop and decorate a library, to make a better learning environment for the children. I wish I could have had more time to help clean up the outside of the school as well, and make it even safer for the kids.

Kevin Doll

volunteering experience in costa rica- Kevin Doll

The language cultural classes are always in time with full preparation. Most of the time topics were mostly organized with the practical ground of Costa Rican general life. Though the language and cultural program is fully devoted to vocabulary because of my lower level of Spanish I was unable to pick it up as some other people do. The most important part of language and cultural program is that it gives me better opportunity of exploring Costa Rican life. The next part of the program was volunteer project. Be very frank my volunteer experience was excellent. I loved Tarcoles and the family I lived with. The work was meaningful and purposeful and made me feel good. I would stay longer if I could and I would do it all again, and recommend it to many other people!

Lance Brune

Volunteer in Costa Rica Reviews- Lance Brune

I really enjoyed Costa Rica and my host family. Nelson and I both learned a lot from each other in trying to communicate. There were not many differences between my host family and families from North Carolina, which is a very good thing. It was Southern-like hospitality, Tico style!

Mathew Yao

volunteer reviews costa rica- Mathew Yao

I originally planned to work in the ebais [health care placement], but things didn't work out for that placement. I think teaching at Santa Cecilia School turned out far better. My experience working in the school was amazing – the kids were so friendly and many relationships developed. This is something that wouldn't have been possible had I been at the ebais. My placement was fun, comfortable, and welcoming – definitely one of the best experiences of my life! By the way, one month here is WAY TOO SHORT!

Nicole Fuller

Volunteer in Costa Rica Reviews- Nicole Fuller

In the Spanish language classes, I found the classes to be well prepared, and I was impressed with the lesson structure. I appreciate Danillo's passion for teaching; it really made me feel like I was going to excel. There was always plenty of time to practice new grammar lessons. And the afternoon activities were so wonderful and more than I expected! My host family was very kind and tried very hard to make me happy. Mona spent a lot of time with me. I found my family to be more home-oriented – home together as a family more often than here.The whole program was wonderful, and I would recommend it and hope to return.

Sophie English

volunteer experience in costa rica- Sophie English

I've had a great experience – the people I met have been wonderful and I love my family. The volunteer program seemed a little disorganized, but it is good for us to learn to be flexible – Thank You!

At first I felt intimidated by my lack of Spanish, but my family made me feel totally comfortable. They were so welcoming and really sweet. I would recommend them because they made me feel very comfortable which is important because being in a new country/culture can be intimidating.

Wei Luo and Jermy

The language class was very good, well planned and logical. There was plenty of chance to practice, and I learned more than I expected!

Everything is good here in Costa Rica. The staff here is nice, and things are organized. I like my volunteer placement a lot; it helps me to know more about Latin American countries and people. It gives me a lot of ideas for my art works.

My host family (ant the other host families) are very good "parents"; all of us love them so much. Costa Rican families are very friendly and hospitable, and I feel very comfortable with them, even though my Spanish is poor. Whenever I visit other families in town, the hosts always offer me food and drink, and they always give me the sweetest smile! Thanks everyone especially global crossroad providing this opportunity of life time experience

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