Deciding to volunteer for six months in Costa Rica through the EVOLC program was the best decision I've ever made.
Teaching: Although I had my TEFOL certificate, I didn't have any formal teaching experience when I arrived in Liberia, Costa Rica. However, with some very helpful training and tips from my EVOLC coordinator and "learning by doing" I quickly learned how to be a teacher. My students made it easy to learn: they were excited, engaged and motivated. Ticos in general have wonderful/friendly/funny personalities and all of my students also became my friends. I also felt like I was providing a needed service. For better or worse, many jobs require applicants to speak from 50-80% English so there is definitely pressure for locals to perfect their English skills.
Housing/Living: I LOVED my host family. They were warm and welcoming and wanted me to feel like a member of the family, which I did. When we'd go somewhere, my host mom would actually introduce me to people as her daughter :) The house was clean and cute, and the food was AMAZING! All of my meals were prepared at home, and it was all so good that I usually didn't want to eat out. Again, because Ticos are so friendly, it didn't take long for me to feel like a local.
EVOLC: From reading the other reviews on here, it sounds like EVOLC has come a long way since it's inception. While it's still a relatively "young" program, I didn't have any problems with the program and got more support than I even expected. (In other words, all my expectations were met or exceeded). The current program coordinator is amazing and she's doing a lot to perfect and grow the program. That being said, I think anyone interested in teaching/living abroad should come with a sense of adventure and a "go with the flow" attitude. After all, you're working with efforts between EVOLC, a local partner and the Tico culture, which doesn't tend to run as quickly or efficiently as things in the States!
Again, I had a wonderful experience teaching in Costa Rica. I was an English teacher during the week and a tourist on the weekends. It was the best six months ever!