Exploring Costa Rica – Combining Spanish classes and different Volunteer Projects the Amistad Institute attracts young people from all over the world
Exhausted and at the same time excited a group of young adults arrive at the international airport in Alajuela, San Jose. Eva Boge, a 20 year old from Germany arrived a little over five weeks ago. “So far I’m absolutely content about my stay in Costa Rica!” she says, “I already spent four weeks in Heredia taking Spanish lessons and this week I started my Volunteer project in a Kindergarten in Barva.”
Like her, more and more young people from all over the world like to spend some time abroad after their graduation and currently Costa Rica is becoming a more and more a designated destination.
One amazing opportunity to spend some time in the country is offered by the Amistad Institute. Located on two beautiful campuses, one in Heredia and a new one in Esterillos Beach, 15 minutes from Jaco, Costa Rica, it gives young people not only the chance to learn Spanish but also to choose between a variety of different volunteering projects and even internships afterwards.
“The Spanish courses I took the past weeks were really interesting and we all learned a lot. Classes were mostly small and movies or even a trip to town made learning become fun and efficient at the same time”, tells Eva, who went to the Campus in Heredia.
Additionally staying with host families deepens the language skills even more and “after about three weeks in Heredia you are honestly getting able to communicate in Spanish”, says Franz Wilhelm, also from Germany. He and many others did not have any Spanish skills before they came to Costa Rica but that changed rapidly. Apart from family life students are also given the chance to get to know the culture in Costa Rica by Amistad, offering Cooking and Food classes as well as dance classes to all students.
“When I started my project I already knew I would like it.”, says Eva, “I’m here for my third day now, playing, drawing and of course looking after the kids the whole day and even if I have to work independently a lot and being the only adult can get really tiring, I still like what I do.”
Apart from the many projects with children, the Institute also offers a wildlife projects close to La Fortuna, Turtle projects in Samara and Limon and many more opportunities throughout the whole country.
On the weekends most of the young people travel to the Coast or visit the beautiful volcanos of Costa Rica. “Hiking in through the rainforest in Monteverde, we felt like real backpackers”, says Eva “but actually what I liked best so far was our trip to Isla Tortuga last weekend. I have never seen a beach as beautiful and stunning as that before”.
Finishing the day in a popular bar close to Santa Barbara, volunteers and Ticos exchange their experiences they have had in the country so far. Seeing their excitement and high spirits it’s for sure: a trip to Costa Rica is definitely worth it and a gorgeous opportunity to live one’s personal adventure in life!