Animal Rescue Service perfect for animal lovers or people thinking of going into a field with animals

Growth: 5
Support: 5
Fun: 5
Housing: 5
Safety: 5

Where to begin! I'll start on pre-departure. Travel for Teens has been excellent in aiding people complete their paperwork/sign ups for trips including me. I had many questions and they helped me fully comprehend what I needed in order to make my trip happen. They are also very prepared and have everything covered for a minor that is traveling alone outside their state/country. I was unable to complete my payment by the deadline but because I was communicating with the awesome understanding staff I was able to pay off my balance after the deadline free of charge. Before your trip, information about the other teens in your group will be emailed to you. One of the people in mine emailed us and got our Instagrams so we got to connect before our trip. During the trip they also use the "Whatsapp" app for communication between your group. I actually really loved the people on my trip because we had good chemistry and rarely had problems, our trip leaders were literally THE BEST and if we had anything at all to tell them they were very supportive and expressed how this trip was for us and if they could do anything to make it better they were there to listen and help. We called them our temporary mom and dad but we really were like a family by the end of the trip. A couple times during the trip we had complications with arrivals and activities but they were solved and made up for. Many people might see the price of the trip and get disencouraged like I once did. After experiencing one I'm proud to confidently say it's worth it 100%. The costs covered the living space, activities, volunteering, travel(other than flying) and food. The reason I included volunteering was because at the Jaguar Rescue Center they take their work very seriously and require you to pay in order to be able to volunteer for them to guarantee only the most reliable people to help them, plus all the profit they make goes back into the center and the animals. I went on the Costa Rica Animal Rescue Service and it was an amazing experience that many don't get to do. Especially people under 18. The "Jaguar Rescue Center" only takes volunteers over the age of 18 but have exceptions for this one unique trip that only Travel for Teens offers. On my trip we collected a total of 80 hours of volunteer rain or shine and let me tell you it was no easy job. Like I said the staff take it really seriously so you have to be dedicated to pushing through hard labor in order to care for these animals. At the center there were insects, snakes, birds, monkeys, otters, rats, felines, sloths, deers, turtles, a porcupine (my favorite) and an alligator but they take in any animal brought or found. On our first day we had a tour and for the next three weeks on the weekdays we were working. During my time volunteering there I cleaned the enclosures of sloths, monkeys, horses, rats, macaws and a porcupine top to bottom and replaced their "enrichment" (trees, branches, leaves, flowers;etc). To get enrichment we were supplied with machetes and had access to the jungle to collect it. I also painted parts of wood that they needed to update the center. I did laundry, dishes, cleaned the pathway for the classic tour and on my last 2 days went all the way and collected ocean water for a sea turtle by myself from the beach to the center which was 700 feet one way so 1,400 feet there and back and went back and forth a good 5-7 times carrying a barrel filled with water. On a volunteer day we would have to be up and ready by 6 am for breakfast in order start our work by 7. We would work for 6 hours then have lunch at 1. The rest of the day we would choose between relaxing at our hotel while others ventured out into the "town" just to explore or to buy stuff or we would go to the beach. For weekends we would have fun activities planned. We went ziplining that ended with an educational tour on the jungle and animals inside of it, surfing, went to a chocolate museum where we took a tour and made chocolate, visited a native tribe (Bribri) where they educated us on their sovereignty and made us lunch while we got to make more chocolate and even hot chocolate, white water rafting and horseback riding. Unfortunately our day trip to Panama Dolphin Bay was canceled due to covid and restrictions at the border but everyone was reimbursed. Since me and another girl on the trip were vegan we had limited options but our trip leaders were good at making sure to accomodate for our needs, same went for my severe allergies to nuts and bees. The place we stayed was lowkey and perfect walking distance to the beach and venders. We all had separate rooms adjacent to one another with roommates. Cleaned daily. Each one had 2 little rocking chairs outside of each room and towards the back had a small pool. Leaving was so sad because no one wanted to leave but departures were very easy and we had no complications at the airport. For parents during the trip the trip leaders email them daily about a summary of the day and what's next along with uploading photos taken with a canon on waldo (photo viewing site). Next year in late January I will be going to NYC to visit people from my trip! Overall I would rate my trip a 10/10!!!! I can't wait for my next one.

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