Ann-Christin as a volunteer at a primary school

Volunteer Work

Education and Teaching / Costa Rica

April 2017

(cortesy translation from German)

Since I am studying English and Spanish as a teacher and I have already studied both languages for one semester abroad, I wanted to try something completely different. So I used my last semester break to not only get to know a new country and a new culture, but above all to give back to society.

The school project in Sámara (Guanacaste, Costa Rica) was one hundred percent what I imagined, because it would also give me practical experience for my future job as a teacher. In Sámara I then lived with another volunteer (Hannes) for 6 weeks in a host family. Our house was right on the beautiful beach, which made it very easy for me to get used to it. Every morning Hannes and I then cycled to the Buena Vista de Sámara primary school. The school was really very small because there were only 5 pupils and one teacher (Ingrid). To my great joy we were able to carry out a lot of tasks and also some teaching units independently and thus could relieve Ingrid. Since all 5 children were taught in one class, but they belonged to three different grades (1st-3rd), the three of us were able to deal with them much more intensively. My main duties included providing support and teaching units in English, Spanish, mathematics and natural sciences.

I was also able to help Ingrid a lot with administrative tasks, such as creating work materials. In addition, I was independently committed to making the school more beautiful. Hannes and I repainted the school stairs together with the children. During the breaks I played a lot with the children or painted and tinkered with them. Since you were with the children all day, they got close to us very quickly. And I got on very well with Ingrid. Although I had to cycle to school for about 35 minutes every day, I was looking forward to learning and playing with the children every day. The lunch together at 11 a.m. also made me feel comfortable so quickly.

At around 2 p.m. Hannes and I were mostly back in Sámara and could spend the afternoon on the beach. Sámara offers more than just a beautiful beach. In the evening there are many small bars where people dance and the language school also offers many leisure activities. That's how I made many friends. The weekends were then ideal for a little exploration of Costa Rica. So I drove e.g. a weekend to Río Celeste.

Looking back, I can only say that I am overjoyed to have taken part in this project. Because to see how much fun it was for the children to learn and play with me and to feel their joy about a new, colorful school building, showed me that my whole effort was more than worth it and I definitely would like to join another voluntary project to also make other children happy. In addition, Costa Rica is an incredibly beautiful country and I can only recommend everyone to go there… hopefully as a volunteer!

Finally, I would also like to thank South America Inside for the great organization. I was very kindly and professionally advised at all times.

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