Costa Rica Global Volunteer

By Jan, Costa Rica Global Volunteer.

Quote of the Day:

If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.


Reflections on our two weeks at Colegio Tecnico Profesional de Santa Elena, Costa Rica:

Thinking about our last day as well as the two weeks at Colegio and Santa Elena, so many impressions cross my mind, that I found they can best be expressed using several generalizations: what I remember seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling.


  • Lush, thick, green vegetation in dense forests
  • Pink clouds and rainbows in the cloud mist that rolls across the hills

Rainbows - Costa Rica Global Volunteer

  • Nicoya Gulf in the distance
  • Flora: heliconias, orchids, bromeliads, palm trees, strangler figs, ferns
  • Fauna: birds asleep on trees at night, leaf cutter ants in armies of action, morpho butterflies, agoutis, coatis
  • Transformation from a jumble of materials and trash to a renovated toolshed/greenhouse/classroom
  • Students and teachers brushing their teeth at the outdoor sinks in the corridors
  • The industriousness and teamwork of students to learn and help each other
  • The efforts of teachers to use a variety of approaches to teach English
  • The guarded gate for entry to and exit from the school for both students and teachers


  • Awakening to the sounds of birds
  • Winds at night
  • Chopping sounds of breakfast and dinner being prepared
  • Laughter and talking among the students

Students and Costa Rica Global Volunteer

  • Growing ability to distinguish the various sounds of Spanish
  • Maggie’s laugh


  • The tantalizing smells of coffee and breakfast and then garlic and dinner smells from Tatiana’s cooking before mealtimes
  • Paint fumes at Colegio
  • Scented toilet paper at Mar Inn
  • El Trapiche coffee shop at lunch time
  • The freshness of air when the clouds of mist come over us


  • The comfort of a peaceful, relaxed pace of our volunteer life with our cohesive team
  • Thankfulness for the opportunity to live in a small town in Costa Rica, a community with no street addresses
  • Appreciation for an experience to talk and laugh with students and teachers, to share it with new American friends, and to be led by the capable, affable Maggie
  • The wonder of the natural environment of the Monteverde region
  • The wistfulness of knowing we’re at the end of this journey

Pura Vida Pictures:

Interested in becoming a Costa Rica Global Volunteer. Learn more here.

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