It is sometimes difficult to put into words, or capture a photographic image which fully and truly capture “being there” – you know, that moment in time or a shared experience which defies anything able to capture it, except vivid emotion and stirring of the inner spirit.
We can never capture in a video or photograph the true sense of heat & cold, humidity or aridness, or the smell of a place. You just had to be there to know it.
Those senses, and that synergy with the natural world and the peoples that are at peace with it, resonate within us, and are stirred, especially & uniquely, by everything that is, Costa Rica.
Pura Vida! literally means “pure life”, and is an idioma used by ticos (Costa Ricans) to greet each other. It represents the nation’s love of peace and nature and an easy-going life-view.
Pura Vida is something you will take away with you after a program with EDventure International in Costa Rica; and it will stay with you far longer than you can imagine – it is life-changing, it is, a life FORCE.
What does it mean to teach in Costa Rica? It means an opportunity.Learning is a large part of your volunteer experience, and the Costa Rican classrooms are brimming with laughing, energetic children eager for you to teach them. The beautiful thing about working with school children in Costa Rica is how much you will learn from them. The person-to-person engagement in these classrooms teaches more than can sometimes be learnt from a textbook.Many volunteer teaching opportunities will be teaching English, but other areas of classroom or student based teaching can be enjoyed. Costa Rica is rich with wildlife conservation programs that seek to educate both local schools and visiting travelers about why the various species, such as the sloth, or the sea turtles, need protection and how their habitat can be preserved.The environment is precious, and the brilliantly coloured mccaws, scaly reptiles, and screeching monkeys are just a few of the species that rely on your care of the rich bio-diversity that is Costa Rica’s natural beauty.
The conservation projects in Costa Rica require great responsibility from their volunteers. It takes commitment, keen interest, and a little bit of sweat and dirt. To be a part of any conservation effort means more than feeding turtles, or chopping fruit for the monkeys, or handling marsupials or sloths – although there will be plenty of this.The projects here also need your help to work as a team alongside professionals and “ticos”, by building and repairing shelters, keeping the cages clean, or painting signs in the animal parks. Sometimes there is a need for bamboo fencing to be built. There are trees to be planted in the Banana Plantations, and some gardening in the orchards, but afterwards you can enjoy a chat and a fresca de frutas, cold and sweet, with the locals in the leafy shade.
Costa Rica boasts a vast array of exotic species. Unfortunately because of hunting, illegal pet trade, loss of habitat, or accidents, many of these species need refuge. Some stay and live at the refuge, and others can be nursed back to health and released back into the wild.For endangered species, such as sea turtles or iguanas, wildlife shelters operate breeding programs to help sustain their numbers, and then release them into their natural habitats.As a volunteer, you will receive guidance from the shelter trainers who will explain to you how to provide nutrition to the animals by chopping fruit to feed them, how to handle each animal properly with care, and any aspects of your volunteer experience that will help make it a positive and memorable one.The wildlife centers are typically small, which means you will have lots of time to handle the animals, such as baby monkeys, reptiles and tropical birds. It will be noisy, and probably a little smelly, and you might get scratched accidently by a clingy sloth, but the contact you have with these animals, and the opportunity to help them and learn about their environment is incredible.Every day, in some way, you will get to protect part of the eco-system in Costa Rica by caring for these amazing animals. When was the last time you did that?
This is about more than learning to speak Spanish, or handling snakes, or building shelters. It’s about more than eating rice and beans in one form or another for most of your meals.It’s about challenging yourself. Can you live in a foreign country with foreign customs and a diet you are unaccustomed to? Can you meet other volunteers from places in the world you have never been to, and realize you have many things in common?This is what the EDventure International programs are about. In Costa Rica, a country so vibrant with life and sun, and diverse populations of animals and trees, and locals so warm and friendly, the possibilities and ways in which to push your own boundaries are seemingly infinite. You have to ask yourself what it is that you’ve never done before.Where is your boundary? Do you want to see the other side?
Costa Rica boasts beautiful topography, from pristine beaches to cloud forests, and all teaming with fascinating wildlife. The climate is tropical, hot and sometimes very wet, but the locals don’t mind this, and take an easy-going outlook to life. They sit back and enjoy the view. Sometimes with fresh ceviche, sometimes with a cold, fruity drink, or sometimes from a hammock in the shade.There is more to Costa Rica than just admiring the scenery. Immerse yourself. Explore the coasts or jungles, taste locally grown produce sold in nearby markets, or salsa dance the night away.
Let the EDventure begin . .