Animal Welfare / Costa Rica
(cortesy translation from German)
I came to Costa Rica for the first time in my life and I can only recommend it. The country offers a lot of nature and a very diverse animal kingdom. The people do not own much but they would share everything with you. There are neighborhoods that you should evade but that is just like in any other city in the world. The food is something that you have to get used to, you simply have to like rice and beans.
I booked my whole travel through the webpage of South America Inside and I would recommend it to everyone. Although everything was set up by e-mail, my whole stay was completely problem-free and I felt safe the whole time, from arriving to the airport until travelling back home.
About my volunteer stay: I booked two weeks in the Animal Rescue Center (CR-WN100). The friendly driver Isabel picked me up at the airport and drove me directly to my host family in San José. The host family was so lovely, warm and friendly! I had my own room and bathroom. The house itself was inhabited by an older couple, the mothers of the host mom and another volunteer. My host mom drove me to the Spanish school the next day where I received more details about my stay.
Here, I also received a warm welcome and later support through my whole stay. My host family picked me up again and drove me home. The next day, Isabel drove me directly to the camp. You have to pay for this extra service, but it is totally worth it!
Once I reached the camp, I was thrown in at the deep end and hat to do a lot of tasks autonomously. Now, I think it was very positive for me. There were 20 volunteers when I began my stay in the project. There was somebody from every nationality and culture, yet we all worked very well together.
Some of the tasks in the camp were: cleaning the enclosures, preparing food, feeding the animals and taking care of them, repairing the venue of the camp and the enclosures. Some animals received extra treatment and volunteers who had longer stays could also help out in the animal clinic.
You should not expect the camp to be a luxurious hotel. Food and lodging were quite basic, simply because of the circumstances.
About the animals: there were two kinds of sloths, many different kinds of monkeys and parrots, dogs, cats, hedgehogs, coatis, pigs, ducks, goats, chicken and fish. All these animals have survived a cruel past and they need 100 % attention. At the same time, the center is not a petting zoo. You must never stroke or cuddle these animals and you should be aware of that.
The two weeks passed so fast! On my last day, Isabel picked me up again and drove me to the airport. The camp has such a positive energy! I can only recommend it and I will definitely come back one day.