Raleigh Costa Rica - February to April 2022

Impact: 5
Support: 4
Fun: 4
Value: 5
Safety: 5

For my gap year before university, I spent 10 weeks volunteering with Raleigh International in Costa Rica from February to April 2022. I didn’t have many expectations before heading out, only that I would be doing a community project, environmental project and a trek. Within 3 days of arriving, I felt really settled and had made friends I’d felt I’d known be years. First, I did the indigenous community project which I absolutely loved. We were so isolated, with no service and connection to the outer world which I loved! It was easy to connect as a group and mix in with the children. We helped repair a turmite-infested building, build a guard house, and then we taught some classes to the children about the environment, English and maths. We also did a few sports days which was really fun, and being able to speak Spanish, I could communicate with the children (who’s second language was Spanish too). We did an action day, in which we taught the community about the importance about keeping the water source clean, and then took part in a football match! The locals gave us a few Cabecar lessons (their language) and taught us about their culture, which was such a privilege! For my second project, I volunteered in a national park. We helped clear the paths of leaves and rocks, dig holes for new fence posts and make a new hot spring. It was a lot harder work, and we often only found out what we were doing that morning which could be frustrating. However, we were camping within a national park, where nobody else could stay and woke up to monkeys in the trees above us, and surrounded by amazing wildlife. It was honestly an amazing experience. Finally, I took part on a 19 day trek. It was a challenging experience, but one I can say that is very doable! We bonded so well as a group, and were always so supportive of each other. The VM’s and Field Base team helped us with any issues we had and made sure to cater for what we needed and when, even if it wasn’t the plan, which really helped when some of our team were ill. The views we had, and the towns we passed through was such an amazing experience, and one I would love to do again! I would so recommend Raleigh to anybody. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, where you make likeminded best friends which you will keep for the rest of your life.

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