Why did you decide to volunteer with VIDA in Costa Rica?
Natasha: I decided to go with VIDA because after months of researching other volunteer groups, I found that VIDA offered the most hands on veterinary experience. They also had a perfect balance of volunteer clinic days and day adventures making it a very enjoyable vacation.
Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.
Natasha: My trip last year lasted for 2 weeks. The first week was spent in Costa Rica and was packed with things to do. Most of the nights were spent in various hotels while 2 of the nights were spent living with a local family (the best part!). We had 2 clinic days with small animals and activities included latin dance classes, a volunteer soccer game with our homestay families, beach, national forest, shopping and tons of great restaurants.
The second week was spent in Nicaragua and included 3 clinic days (2 small animal and 1 large animal day). We also went to a casino, sang karaoke, danced, went ziplining, shopping, and went on a boat tour of monkey island.
How has this experience helped you grow personally and professionally?
Natasha: It helped me confirm my desire to become a veterinarian, and likely strengthened my application as I got into 4/4 of the schools I applied to. It has also made me realize that I really want to continue to work with VIDA for many years to come. Volunteering anywhere is a very rewarding experience, but mix that with a wonderful experience abroad and you really cannot beat it.