Listen to this! In 2014, I went on a service trip to Costa Rica with my high school and let me tell you, that was the BEST trip I have ever been on! The minute I heard about this trip, I knew that I wanted to go.
We left the day after school ended. We were 14 girls with 2 teachers. The first thing we did when we got there is that we hiked to the top of a volcano (quite exhausting!), which was such a super cool experience. The volcano actually ended up having a mini eruption two days after we had been there so thank goodness we went when we did!
As part of the service, we volunteered at two different local schools. The kids were so incredibly happy to see us, which I found so heart-whelming. When I got off the bus, two kids ran to take my hands and brought me inside the school. The children performed 3 dances that they had prepared for us and we then helped them paint the school. At the second school, we played with the kids and we taught them how to speak English. It was a great experience and the kids were so appreciative!
Another service we provided was when we went to an animal shelter to clean and paint the animal cages and build sidewalks for them to walk on. These animal rescue places take animals that have gotten hurt and they nurse them until they feel better, which was so touching to me since I love animals!
For our final volunteer work, we went to an orphanage, which was so sad and touching. In the day care, there were 20 babies in 10 cribs which were actually play pens. Sadly, there were also only 2 teachers and 4 nannies for 95 kids! The entire orphanage is run off of volunteers and they never take a day off. It was truly an amazing encounter and it really touched my heart. We played with the kids and made them very happy!
We also did some really fun activities like kayaking in the second biggest lake in the world, zip lining, and horseback riding on the beach. Such a beautiful and fun experience!
It is three years later now, and this is still by far the best trip I have ever been on. It was such an unreal experience that even after 3 years I’m still having trouble believing that I actually went. I highly encourage you to do this if you ever get the chance! Trust me, you won’t regret it!