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'What A Way To Spend My Gap  Year'

When I arrived at Camp Osita I didn’t know what to expect, however I found another set of friends (some for life) and another family.

The staff here are just incredible, they’re so professional when they need to be, but they’re all such good, fun people. The knowledge they possess is incredible, and their passion for the work that they are doing is equally so. On the other hand, they are so kind and helpful in any situation. Some of them have become some of my best friends on camp! Something I didn’t expect before I came here.

The volunteers that I have encountered have come from all around the world, and the range of personalities that have gathered in one place is quite astonishing, especially when you consider that everyone seemed to get along amazingly! I haven’t encountered any ‘bad eggs’, if you will. The passion to learn and to help conserve the environment around them is beyond admirable. There is space for everyone no matter their interests. There are those who have or who will go on to do degrees in the area of the environment, biology, zoology etc. and then there are those, like myself, who are here to do something different. Everyone is accommodated for here.

The work that is carried out is so interesting and fun, and what a place to do it in! Costa Rica is a beautiful place, and Carate is an especially beautiful area of it. The range of surveys that one can do is great; from the excavation of turtle nests to bird surveys, all of it is so fun, and you really feel like you are making a real difference.

Outside of the surveys there are a great range of activities offered. One of my favourites was kayaking through the mangroves of Puerto Jimenez, where there is a great chance of seeing any crocodiles, caimans, monkeys and more. I also did a one day tour of Corcovado National Park which is very near camp, and saw things I might never see again. Notably the great Bard’s Tapir! I cannot even begin to describe my excitement at that moment.

All in all, I have no regrets in deciding to come here. The amount of fun I have had is off the scale, and although I came here as a complete environmental newbie, I’m about to leave with quite a passion for it. Thank you to everyone involved in my experience here. What a way to spend my gap year.

By Alex - Costa Rica Volunteer

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