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uVolunteer – Making your Dream to Volunteer Abroad a Reality
uVolunteer is a specialist in providing volunteer working vacations in Costa Rica, Ghana and Thailand. We are experts in these 3 countries and offer the best value for money. Why not leave your mark on the countries you visit!
Working Holidays, Adventures and Cultural Exchange.Write a review
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My name is Beth Carter, I am a 21 year old film student from Brisbane, Australia. I have always loved traveling and only recently discovered volunteer tourism. I decided to take part in the turtle conservation project through uVolunteer as I not only wanted to visit Costa Rica but also wanted to take part in a worthy cause. I have had friends and family volunteer with different animal conservation projects and it inspired me to work with the turtles. I chose this organization as not only was it affordable but it also suited my limited time range over Christmas and New Year. From the initial stages of applying through to the very end of my project I have always had so much help and guidance from the staff of the organization. I felt comfortable sending through e-mails and asking numerous questions, this was because I was always responded to with prompt and polite feedback. Particularly when I was having difficulties within my first week of volunteering. I was helped immediately and made to feel very comfortable. After that I was able to enjoy my remaining few weeks of volunteering, all the while knowing the organization had my best interest at heart. From the moment I arrived in Costa Rica I was greeted by a lovely staff member who made me feel very comfortable in the country, despite me not knowing any English. She provided me with helpful information as well as teaching me about the Costa Rican culture. When I arrived at my location I was greeted by another friendly member who drove me to the project, it was another example of the friendly and helpful uVolunteer team. After the long bus trek back from Samara I was taken back to the dorm and made to feel comfortable once more. I will definitely recommend this project to friends and family back home.
I couldn't help but to feel nervous and excited whilst waiting for my passport to be stamped at San Jose airport. I soon saw Gabi once I walked out with a huge smile and an also huge sign that said avic, my portal to an amazing experience I had yet to experience.
The small town of San Ramon has an amazing beauty to it, small houses, beautiful church, warm people and big hearts. I soon managed my way around it after a brief introduction with Gabi and could not wait for my first day at the project.
I was escorted by Eric to my project through a bus ride and a small half hour hike up hill to a village up in the mountains of San Miguel area. I soon met Felipe, the dad and Maria Auxiliadora, the mom when I was hypnotized by the energy and beauty of Abril their soon to be 6 year old daughter.
I would have never hoped to find a better family. We rapidly connected and got comfortable with each other as the days went by. I was eager to help and for some reason enjoy digging trenches hahaha so I was in my own little world. After two weeks with them I learned about their situation, the reason behind they applied for this government funded house, the story behind their young lives, organized a birthday party for Abril, stayed for dinner couple days, helped taking their goats out to the field and fed their chickens...
I have again grounded my feet and broken a little piece of my heart to be forever kept here in Costa Rica with them. I have felt like a family member, laughed and cried with them. Have suffered through sun, wind and rain in the construction site and learned how simple it is to be happy.
Aside from the project I really enjoyed the weekends In the country, I visited many sites and met the most beautiful and charming people, I had loads of fun along the way and made a very good friend for life whom I met in the dorm when I arrived, Carmen.
ecesitaba saber que es eso tan mágico y esa sinceridad incondicional que los niños te ofrecen, y por supuesto trabajar con los más necesitados
Ahí es donde entra la labor del equipo de Nat, Director de una organización sin ánimo de lucro donde su pasión es ayudar allí donde se necesite, es muy satisfactorio formar parte de sus proyectos tan bonitos.
El hogar de los voluntarios se respira un ambiente muy agradable, Erik y Gabi, organizadores muestran y te orientan para lo que necesites,
La gente genial, y en la casa muy bien equipada que ofrece muchas posibilidades, como internet, televisión digital, nevera, agua caliente, y muchas cosas más que te invitan a sentirte como en casa
Mi destino para ejercer de voluntario será el cecude un kínder (guardería pública para niños marginales) donde cuidándolos y jugando con ellos te ensenan más a ti, que tú a ellos le puedas ofrecer, y eso que ningún niño supera los 6 años
De todo lo vivido hasta ahora puedo decir que lo gratificante es que 22 niños te canten junto a la cocinera la conserje, directora y la dos educadoras el cumpleaños feliz a lo guardería Costa Riquense, sin querer me salieron dos lagrimas porque ese recibimiento no tiene palabras, otro día más con ellos y ya me estaban llamando profe Sergi!!
Recomiendo a todo el mundo que realice algo parecido, es muy gratificante, está claro para ayudar no hace falta recorrerse medio mundo, pero sí que creo que si recorres medio mundo es mejor que antes de viajar tipo turista , hacer algo que compartas y ayudes a los demás.
No sé el tiempo que me he pasado aquí porque 15 dias es como haber vivido toda una vida, nunca olvidare a San Ramon, el kínder y por supuesto al maravilloso equipo de Avic ,
Puedo decir que me voy con la batería cargada 100%para reflexionar y valorar lo aquí vivido y no dudo de volver a realizar otro proyecto de la mano de Nat.
Un abrazo fuerte y espero poder haber compartido este viaje contigo a través de este relato
This summer, my friends and I wanted to do something different and at the same time, something that would give back.
Upon arriving in San Jose, we were all a little bit nervous. The three of us has flown in together from Atlanta and it was our first time travelling alone, without school or family. Once we had landed and got our bags, we tried to exchange some money into colones. A couple of people from uVolunteer picked us up and we finally got to San Ramon after a few hours, where we stayed one night.
Early the next morning (around 5), we woke up and got ready to go to Samara, where our project was taking place. We had to take a bus, which got us to Samara in 5 hours. The drive was surprisingly pleasant as we saw a lot of Costa Rica's beautiful mountains on the way. When we got there, we were picked up by a taxi that drove us up a dirt path and to a river. At the river, we were told we had to cross, taking our suitcases with us. We waited at the river for a while, where we were met by Roy, the project manager. When we got to the camp, the people were awesome; very friendly and welcoming. The beach in front of the camp was beautiful; the ocean was so blue and the scenery was just amazing. We were introduced to our room downstairs (as the upstairs dorm was full) and we settled in. The room itself was small and dark, but within a few days it felt homely. We were shown around the camp; the hatchery, the kitchen, the eating area, the bathroom, the shower, the compost pit, the campfire area, the clothes line, the bookshelf and the other dorm.
Working with the turtles was amazing as we learnt so many new things about the different types and what to do in different situations. I hope our working there helped the organization with their goal in the conservation of turtles. Overall, it was a great experience working with the turtles and meeting all the different people. I wish we stayed there longer, but who knows - we might go back one day!
My experiences with uVolunteer were great. From the first minute I was in Africa I enjoyed it. I was teaching at a school. The children were really nice and I loved to teach there.
My arrival and pick up was good. All the things I did here were so amazing. My family here were so great and I would love to see them again. The house where I stayed is really good and the people are so nice and took really good care of me. The project had just started so they don't have yet a lot of material. I did what I can and hopefully the children enjoyed it. I also hope that in the future there will be more material for them and a good organized schedule. I enjoyed it there so much.
On one Tuesday they had: our day. I didn't know what the meaning of it was, but it was a nice day. The children brought food with them and the children were really happy. I experienced so many different things here! And all the people there are nice. I was very quickly used to the way of living there, and I liked it so much. Kokrobite is a real nice place. It's a so different than the Netherlands but now I'm used to the way of living there.
I have seen a lot in Ghana. I traveled to Cape Coast and Kumasi and other places. I had a great time.
It is definitely a life time experience. When somebody is hesitating to come to Africa for holiday or better for volunteering, the only thing I can say: just do it! You will never feel regret, I'm sure.
Before arriving in costa rica I was very nervous and even though I was given a great amount of helpful information I couldn't help but be a little bit apprehensive.
Once I arrived it became clear that I was definitely not alone and help would be there for me all along whenever I needed it. The first weekend I became very familiar with the town and costa ricans themselves and their 'pura vida' lifestyle.
I was lucky enough to go zip lining the second day I arrived and it was an experience I know I will never forget! I was very excited to start working and going to bajo tijares the first day was a bit of a culture shock for me and it really impacted me because I was never familiar with people living like that.
The children were so loving and kind I could tell that they really enjoyed me being there. Over the course of the first week it was tough to connect with a few of the kids.
Some never even connected with me at all, but the ones that did really opened up and were so happy and bright despite their situations.
Some of them reminded me of my own younger cousins and I know I will never forget about them. I'm so thankful that uVolunteer gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in the costa rican culture and be able to meet some amazing kids.
I hope that I made a positive impact on them because they definitely had a positive impact on me.