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Costa Rica - Expectations vs.  Reality


My last week at Camp Osita is about to reach its end and I can’t believe I’m about to return to a world where howler monkeys won’t wake me up at 5AM every morning. It has made me think of the expectations I had prior to coming here and what it has actually been like.

1. Camp

Expectation: That camp would be very basic and far away from other houses and people.

: Whilst camp is in no doubt in a remote location, in the middle of the rainforest, it’s part of the village of Carate. I would find it impossible to pinpoint where the ‘centre’ of the village is, because it is simply too small and scattered – but there is a little convenience shop nearby as well as a church and a school. Camp is certainly not luxurious, but there is solar power, so you can charge your devices during the day, and there is running water for the toilets and showers.

2. Weather

Too hot to do anything.

At least during my time here the heat has not been too bad and most surveys are carried out in the early morning or in the night – as it is both the best time to spot animals as well as a much more comfortable temperature to walk around in.

3. Weekends

I really didn’t know what to expect!

The staff makes excellent plans for the weekend, with different options of activities such as kayaking, horseback riding and dolphin watching. This usually requires that you go into town, Puerto Jiménez, and stay there for a night, which is great fun.


4. Staff

Again, I didn’t know what to expect, I think I thought there wouldn’t be that many but that was all.

There are currently seven staff members at Camp Osita, including Laura, the Project Manager and Emma, the Principal Investigator. What has really surprised me (I don’t know why!) is the amount of knowledge each and every one of them has, it’s absolutely incredible and you will learn a lot from them! They are also all absolutely lovely people.

5. Friends

That most people would be 18-20 years old.

As a slightly older volunteer (24 years old) I expected most of the other volunteers to be between ages 18-20. As it turns out however during the seven weeks that I have been here I have met volunteers between 17 and 54 years old! What I have also learnt is that age really is just a number and I have found such joy in making friends across all different ages!

By Hedda Börjesson - Media and Journalism Intern

Frontier runs conservation, community developmentteaching and adventure travel projects in over 50 countries worldwide - so join us and explore the world!

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