I was immediately excited about the opportunity to volunteer in Costa Rica as soon as I spoke to the EVOLC Coordinator about the INA organization and what they provide to young adults seeking better opportunities for themselves and loved ones. I was hesitant, at first, to live with a host family and worried I wouldn't connect with the students or my co-teachers. Although I had some experience training employees, this was my first time teaching in a classroom. My worries quickly disappeared. My host and her family were nothing but very hospitable and kind.
Teaching: I had the pleasure of working with two co-teachers. Both co-teachers worked with me to improve both the academic and social aspect of the classes taught. The rapport built with the students, however, was by far the most rewarding part of the experience. The positive impact you make with the students, community, and colleagues is valued and appreciated. As soon as you notice their efforts improving you become humbled and proud.
There were some communication and scheduling issues with the school throughout my stay in Costa Rica but the EVOLC coordinator was always available to talk and worked with you to find solutions. She kept in touch to make sure things were going smoothly and she also "introduced" me to a couple of people volunteering in the area I was working in - It's always nice to have other volunteers to talk to and share your experiences with, from time to time.
I would recommend this program to anybody willing to open their minds to discover a beautiful country and open their hearts to help develop beautiful minds.