My 16 year old daughter and I just returned from the Costa Rica – Family Volunteer Vacation. Discover Corps put together an experience which far exceeded my highest expectations. The pre-trip communications were helpful and I had a personal contact I could call or email as often as needed to get last minute information. I was well prepared with clothing and essentials thanks to their attention to pre-trip planning.
The trip was a blend of special experiences (including a meal and sugar cane pressing lesson with a family, a school with adorable children giving us a performance and getting to know about us and sharing about themselves, and a wildlife rescue center), along with tours from outstanding outfits in different areas of the country. There were also a few stops at top-notch vacation spots (hot springs and National Park beaches). The Discover Corps outfit had personal connections with the locals we spent time with, allowing us to enjoy a casual, comfortable time learning about the country and giving back to the people in various ways.
The two guides we had provided us with outstanding guidance and support. They were wonderful and fun people with unending knowledge of Costa Rica, which they would share spontaneously or if we had questions. They also knew spots where we would bump into wildlife along our route or good stops for photos or food. The restaurants they chose were locally owned and the food was always amazingly fresh and proudly presented. They were clearly professionally trained (always keeping a mindful eye on us, but often staying back a bit allowing us to take in our experience). We developed a warm connection with both guides.
The accommodations we stayed at ranged from rustic to wonderfully unique to a ‘good old staple’ Best Western. We felt the places we stayed were well suited to the type of experience we were pursuing.
I cannot say enough good things about the Discover Corps staff and the volunteer vacation experience they put together.