Construction Project in San Jose

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I came from Canada for a 3 week volunteer project. This was my first time traveling to Costa Rica and my first time traveling alone (even though I'm 47). On my first day, we had orientation where I met others from around the world who were here doing various projects. During orientation I realized that I knew far less Spanish that all the others, but I didn't let that bother me. Obviously the ability to speak Spanish is an asset, but with my basic knowledge, plus help from all my house mates and project crew, I survived just fine. Our construction project was at a daycare center in a relatively low end of town where we built an additional room for the kids. Although I have construction background, the others had never done anything like this and it was fun to work with them and see them learn while they are helping others. The main construction was completed before my time here, but we did tile setting, painting, electrical and we built and installed the doors etc. I found it quite rewarding that we were helping the children, and I could tell that they appreciated our efforts.
The crew at Maximo Nivel were very friendly and helpful and made sure we were on task. The tools and supplies are not equal to what I'm used to back in Canada, but that is part of the local TICO experience. My OCD was constantly challenged but I learned that perfection is over-rated anyways.
Outside of the construction project, Maximo Nivel offered free dance classes on Mondays and free cooking classes on Wednesdays, both of which I enjoyed. Our construction crew and my housemates often had lunch together and did other activities together as well. We did go-kart racing , volcano tours, river rafting, a weekend at Manual Antonio and more. I was surprised how easily I fit in with the "kids", considering I'm older than most, if not all, of the others around me.
My homestay family was great and the accomodations were comfortable (not a 5 star resort, but that's not why we're here).
I'm very happy that I chose to volunteer instead of taking just another vacation. This really helps to see the local culture while making a difference for others.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed
San Jose
San Jose