Staff Spotlight: Irene Arce

What position do you hold at ISV? What has been your career path so far?

Irene: I work as a tour leader with ISV, and my career path has been really different from what I expected to be since I work with this amazing company. I saw myself working mostly with older people (Most of the people that visits Costa Rica are between their 30's and up), but once I started working here I realize how much I love working with students and now I dedicate most of my time with students of all ages. It even made me decide on getting a second degree on education, something that definitely a few years ago I never thought of doing.

Did you volunteer abroad? If so, where and what inspired you to go?

Irene: So far I've never had the opportunity to volunteer abroad and definitely in my country that´s not an easy thing to do or even find the opportunity to do but it´s something that I have my mind on and that I´m sure one day I will do.

What inspires you most on a daily basis?

Irene: What inspires me the most are the same students that I have in my groups, all the time they seem so happy and proud of all the work they do in here and at the same time so grateful of having such an opportunity. Besides they just fall in love so much of my country and the people, that I totally thanks them for that, that’s the reason why the students are my big inspiration when I'm on tour.

What should volunteers know about Costa Rica when considering it as their next volunteer destination?

Irene: What students most know about Costa Rica is that our weather changes all the time and they have to be prepare to have a sunny morning and then a big electric storm in the afternoon, besides people have to know that Costa Rica is more than forest and animals we are a very rich country culturally speaking and very developed. Another thing to have in mind is to come prepared economically because Costa Rica is NOT a cheap country.

What makes the ISV volunteer programs in Costa Rica so unique and special?

Irene: What makes the ISV volunteer program in Costa Rica so special, I must say that for far the people, students gets so attached with every single of the people involved with the program that I lost track of the number of participants that can´t hold their tears when saying goodbye or just when they see the love and happiness that everybody have to offer them even when economically they don’t have much. The nature is something to highlight as well, I love seeing the faces of the students when they see a sloth crossing the street or the howler monkeys jumping just outside their rooms, is priceless.