Chicago Teens Share Their Thoughts on Volunteering in Costa Rica

Chicago Teens Share Their Thoughts on Volunteering in Costa Rica

For the fourth consecutive year Greenheart Travel has offered our Environmental Service Learning Scholarship. The program sends Chicago-area youth to Costa Rica for a service immersion experience at Greenheart Travel’s Animal Rescue and Eco-Reserve Volunteer Project. Each year brings new experiences to Chicago teens. Below a few of the scholarship recipients share a glimpse into their experience this past July.

Volunteering by Hector
“When I first arrived in Costa Rica I was a bit worried about the work we would be doing. However, after the first day of working I was looking forward to the days ahead. Knowing that I was doing work that directly helped animals made me very happy. For example, one day we built an animal cage, and we also put the wire on it. Although it may seem like it was hard work, it really wasn’t. We had a group system where we divided up the work and still we had time to enjoy ourselves.”

Kevin's excursions in Costa Rica

Excursions by Kevin
“With hard work at the project came fun excursions. We were first treated to white-water rafting. After being split up into two rafts, boys and girls were set for the water. After numerous falls, rocks, and funny moments, we stopped halfway for a cliff jump and a snack. The next day we headed for the famous city of La Fortuna.  We started the day with zip lining through the canopy forest. After lunch and roaming around the tourist town, we arrived at some Hot Springs. It was a nice way to relax after a long hike on the Arenal Volcano. The hike included a breathtaking view of the lake. Following more work we had a chance to visit a waterfall. Everyone had a great time; some of us diving and swimming. The excursions were a great part of our service trip to Costa Rica.”

My Host Mother by Neftaly
“I was able to share the same host mom as the other two girls on the trip Nancy and Tia. My host mom was Dona Maria. She was such a sweet woman and amazing cook. I always looked forward to her food and stories. I got to meet her daughter and grandchildren. She also took us to visit one of the nearby cities. It wasn’t until towards the end of the trip that I learned about the hardships she had to go through in her life I am glad to have spent two week in the home of such a kind and strong individual.”

host family

Neftaly, Nancy, Dona Maria, Tia

A Funny Moment by Tietl
“During our water rafting trip we took a short lunch break and I think it was by a farm because cows came out of nowhere and started to eat our food. We had to try to scare and push them away!”

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