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This week, our updates come from two volunteers: Zoe and Scarlett!

“During our first few days in Discover AMIGOS Costa Rica, we spent hours walking on the beach, went on hikes, hunted for fallen coconuts, did service projects and practiced our Spanish. We also played card games, told jokes, walked in the rain, talked about our lives, and began to build incredible friendships. In the last few days, I’ve gotten to know everyone so well. I know I can go to anyone for advice or just to have a good laugh. And the best part is that it’s only been six days. I can’t wait to see what happens next!”

“The first half of our AMIGOS adventure was spent at Hacienda Bar, a nature refuge that protects the flora and fauna of the South Pacific Coast. There, we participated in volunteer work and activities that not only benefited Hacienda Bar, but allowed us to learn about and experience the beauty of Costa Rica.

One of the activities we participated in was a trash pick-up on the beach. We learned that trash pick-ups are not only to maintain the cleanliness and beauty of the beach, but also to protect sea life, especially the turtles who often mistake trash for food.

The next day we split into three groups to continue our work in the beach area. The first group picked up trash as we had done the day before, while the second and third groups worked on two new activities.

The first dug trenches in the sand of the turtle hatcheries. While that was tiring work, we learned that turning over the sand helps prevent the growth of bacteria that could harm future baby turtles.

The last job was collecting and burying old, fallen coconuts. This entailed finding the coconuts in the bushes and trees near the beach and depositing them in a hole dug in the beach. Fallen coconuts and coconut shells are breeding ground for mosquitoes that can carry diseases such as dengue and Zika. By disposing of them, we helped make the beach area safer for animals and humans.

In between these activities and others, informative briefing sessions, we enjoyed free time and played games. The free time was spent talking, playing frisbee, playing cards, and games that ranged from name games to ‘route Olympics.’ These times helped the twenty-three of us get to know each other better and form friendships. The briefing sessions taught us more about Costa Rican culture and most importantly prepared us for our community stays and projects during the next part of our trip.”

April Hearne
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