Staff Spotlight: Hannes Wackerbarth

Online Communication


In 2018, he acquired his M.Sc. in Sport, Business and Law with the focus on sustainable management and marketing. After completing his internship at Planet One World, he took over the online communication and new business section.

What is your favorite travel memory?

That was definitely in Malaysia, national park Taman Negara. Four young guys are going into the jungle on their own. A guide was recommended but not needed, and there were two camps and a little village inside the national park.

The first day was perfect. Bathing in the rivers, seeing a lot of animals, fishing, and grilled fish on the bonfire. We sleep at the first camp, safe and calm. The second day, our "map" wasn't helping so much that we first took the wrong route. During all this time we saw elephant shit, and the whole rainforest smelled like them. Before we made it to the village, we stumble upon a wild boar herd, and that can be really dangerous if they have cubs with them - anyway we were lucky.

Arriving at the little fishing village, we noticed that it's was destroyed. It seemed to be that the elephants destroyed everything. So we were in the middle of the rainforest and also short on water. We decided to take the route along the big river back (the thing with the elephants got too hot for us). It was 4 p.m., and we had still 8 km to walk. The only thing was that maybe 100 little rivers were entering the big stream, which meant that we had to descend into the riverbed and then ascend again. And that again and again.

At one point, one of us broke down by dehydration. He refused to drink water before (we had chlorine to drink every water in emergency case). He wasn't able to move or even speak at the end. So we put him into the hammock to rest, waking him up each hour to force him to drink water. The other two tried to make it back but failed in finding the paths. They told us horror stories about the riverbeds in the dark. Imagine you shine in a riverbed, and hundreds of spider eyes are blinking at you ;-)

The next day we met by coincidence on a river sandbank and enjoyed the bathing and refreshing in the river. After three hours we made it back to civilization. Everybody of us drank two 100 Plus (an electrolyte drink from Asia) and walked back on the longest suspension bridge way of the world. It was an unforgettable experience which I will never forget in my life. Talking serious, we should have taken a guide...

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Working for Planet One World changed a lot in my life. First of all, I can really see the change. For myself and everybody which stayed there. Costa Rica and Planet One World are magical; I really fell in love with this place. Since I started in Online Communication, I am getting a lot of trust and responsibilities. Working for Ken and his project is kind of floating in memories. Writing the website texts or cutting videos are always connected to my own incredible experiences I made during my internship.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Well, there are a lot of beautiful stories from ex-volunteers. The latest good one you can read on your own. A school class from the sailing classroom where at our project and did a jungle trip.

The best story before that was of a volunteer who finished the night walking tour with Ken and Adolfo. He was so flashed by all these animals and in general by being in the jungle at night. But the best thing after arriving back at the farm was the starry sky. He told me that they even saw the milky way and that it was the most impressive bright sky of his life.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

So far, we are just offering this one, which is actually three programs in one. So you have the farm work with animals, plants, sustainable installations and so on. The second part of the program is the wildlife refuge in which you can do the ranger training, watching animals during day and night tours and doing scientific studies. At least you support the BriBri indigenous community as well, as you are doing a lot of nice tours in their reserve.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I think it the personal contact with the volunteers and the sincerity of the project. We really want to give everybody a vast knowledge of everything (nature, indigenous culture, etc.). Further, all volunteers are thrilled about the weekly tour, and, of course, they like it to have their free time on the weekends down at the beach. Sleeping down there at the simple beach house of Planet One World is a huge advantage.

I was pretty proud of our team last week. Planet One World is now on its way to becoming an NGO in the next year.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Success for us means fulfilling our vision of protecting wildlife and the tropical coastal rainforest, as well as the education of everybody, which is part of our vision for a certain time. The biggest factor for us is the team at Planet One World. Each day they get up to teach, to excite and to inspire young people for nature conservancy, indigenous culture and a sustainable lifestyle. Transporting Planet One World's vision with this enthusiasm and all the included fun activities in this program is our way to enthusiastic volunteers. If we reach this goal, we see ourselves as successful!