“It’s the middle of the night, and it’s time for hatchery duty!”

Written by: Madeline Klaver

If I was the protagonist of some sort of weird, hyper realistic novel, I can safely say that it would not be of the action-adventure genre. It wouldn’t be fantasy or science fiction, or romance or mystery. My life is really not novel-writing material, not because I don’t do interesting things sometimes, but because I am definitely not the kind of person who ends up as a protagonist.

As I am a giant nerd, reading is one of my favourite pastimes. I like to read about people going on crazy journeys, exploring the wilderness, discovering new things and not showering for weeks, probably. But even through all of that excitement, I never see myself as one of those protagonists. I’d most likely be the bookish side-character, or the childhood friend that stays back home.

 That’s why it was a little strange that, when I learned about YCI’s Costa Rica project, I was completely hooked. Environmentalism is my weakness, I suppose, and to be fair I’ve always wanted to try my hand at some genuine fieldwork. And sea turtles are some of the coolest animals on the planet. Aside from all that, I’d just spent two years learning about Spanish culture and the Spanish language in school. I couldn’t sign myself up fast enough.

 And that’s how I found myself on a plane to San Jose on December 26th. I had never travelled alone, or much out of Canada, and I had to be coached every step of the way by a pleasant southern stewardess who kept calling me “sweetheart”. Getting off the plane into San Jose was kind of like jumping into the deep end of a pool. After some confusion, I miraculously managed to find my bag and make it outside into a hoard of people trying to get me to take their specific taxi. I walked slowly, and just kind of glanced around blankly until, mercifully, I was found by Berny, our project leader with RJI.

I remember the taxi ride to the hostel really vividly. San Jose was a blur of colours, narrow sidewalks, and Spanish advertisements. I hungrily took in all of the sights, and arrived at the hostel before I knew it.

There, I was greeted by my group. Everyone was in a sort of giddy pre-adventure mood. We had some quick conversation before turning in for what would be the first of many shortened nights’ sleeps.

We piled into a taxi at 3 AM the next morning, then a bus, then another, dustier bus, then a pickup truck, and then arrived at camp at Playa Caletas. We were greeted by an overenthusiastic puppy (who turned out to be quite the kleptomaniac, but that’s another story), and a group of people who were also working on the project. We did a quick tour of the camp, then unpacked for our two-week stay.

 On that very first night, we had a nest of hatchlings to release before dinner. It was so amazing, getting to pick up these tiny squirmy babies and help them find their way safely to the ocean. They were really funny little things. You put them in the bucket and they beat each other down like “RELEASE ME FROM THIS PLASTIC PRISON.” And then you put them on the sand and it’s “Wait, hold up, what is this? Where is this? How do flippers work again? I am going to sit here for at least a full minute.”

Eventually they do get on their way, though, and it’s a really pretty sight.

turtle tracks  Life at camp was very structured and well-put-together, so I was quickly able to  settle into rhythm with the other people working there. That being said, I was really  far out of my comfort zone (remember, not a protagonist here), and I had some  trouble learning how to live outside of my regular routine. The shower was two  buckets of well water, on a raised tile platform. If you’re strategic about time of day,  you might not even have an audience of eight million hermit crabs. The bathroom is  always full of hermit crabs, though. And always smells kind of like… well, a bathroom  in a rustic camp on the beach. It was a big challenge for me to cope without running  water and electricity and clean feet, but I had gone to Costa Rica expecting to  challenge myself, and I focussed on the turtles and the experience instead.

As I adjusted to my surroundings, I had an incredible support network of wonderful people from all around the world. The people in my group were really nice to me, and helped me out when I needed it. I shared stories with people from England, Germany, Costa Rica and all over the United States and Canada. Learning about all of their cultures was really interesting, and one of my favourite memories of my time at camp was New Years’ Eve, when we participated in traditions from everyone’s homes.

At the stroke of midnight, all of us jumped off of logs (into a good new year), ate twelve grapes, hugged everyone, sang “auld lang sine”, then ran around camp with backpacks to guarantee future travels. All the while we talked and laughed and enjoyed the beautiful place we were all sharing.

For reference, here is a panorama of the camp and its structures:

Panorama of camp

And, right across from that is the vast blue ocean:

ocean

You can also see a rift in the space-time continuum to the right. Or I’m just bad at taking panoramas. Nah, it’s the first thing.

As for the typical structure of our days, it usually went something like this:

1: Breakfast. I was delighted to discover that sacrificing refrigeration didn’t mean sacrificing milk. I had my sleepy, stare-into-space-and-contemplate-life-over-a-bowl-of-cereal every morning, just like at home. Now with at least 200% more iguanas!

2: Morning routine, including bucket showers, teeth brushing with no running water, and shaking out your clothes because scorpions are a horrifying possibility. (Actually, though, there weren’t that many bugs. Hooray for the dry season!) (Well, technically every bug at camp just flocked to Steph, one of the people in our group.) (Moral of the story: bring Steph) (I’m sorry Steph, if you’re reading this.)

3: It’s definitely better to get chores done earlier in the day. All of the chores are arranged into a handy little chart, and you just find your name and then begin. Chores ranged from everyday things like cooking meals and washing dishes (made more challenging by lack of running water and electricity), to things such as washing the bags used to collect eggs, or burning the toilet paper from the bathroom. I learned how to use a lighter, which is a skill I somehow avoided picking up until this trip. I would die in about five seconds in any intense survival situation.

4: If the whole group had some free time, we could do some exploring! The walk into town was a bit too long (two and a half hours), so we only went there if someone could drive us. However, there was a beach just an hour away that was really beautiful and didn’t have waves that could possibly murder you in the cold blood, like at our beach. We also got to explore Playa Caletas a little bit. There are lots of tide pools with really cool ocean life in them, and there’s also a river down at the end of the beach with some spectacular birds to see. I also collected a lot of rocks on these expeditions. I added them to the collection I started when I was four and thought I finished when I was six.

5: I really have to applaud everyone who ever cooked lunch and dinner. People were able to get really creative with the few foods we had, and everything was delicious. Dinner was usually eaten by the light of a headlamp, as it gets dark really fast when you only have one overhead light to speak of. As a side note: with a headlamp, racoons just look like a pair of glowing eyes. That was an experience.

6: Night time is when the real work began. Turtles prefer to operate by cloak of night, like tiny shelled ninjas or something. Our duties at night were split into two main jobs: patrol and hatchery duty.

7: Good morning traveller, it’s 2 AM! Time for a patrol of the beach. I would meet a few others in the kitchen and then sleepily set off North or South in search of turtle tracks. The stars are really beautiful away from civilization, and the sound of the ocean is something I really miss walking alongside. Either using moonlight or red headlamp light, we walked and searched for tracks and talked a bit amongst ourselves. I myself saw four adult turtles during my three weeks, and we found a whole lot more nests. If a nest was found, we would dig it up, and if a turtle was found, we got to sit and watch her for a while.  Adult turtles are the kind of beauty that takes your breath away. They seem to carry the wisdom of the world with them, and the first time I saw one I felt some sort of life-changing feeling wash over me. I saw three in one night, and even got to catch the eggs for one as she laid them. They were warm and kind of squishy and covered in slime. It was awesome. The fourth turtle I saw was a freak turtle that decided to come up during the day, right near our camp.

I will call her Gloria. Gloria the turtle.

Gloria the turtle  8: Annnnd yes, that is the sound of your alarm. It’s the middle of the night, and it’s time for  hatchery duty! The hatchery is a tented area arranged into squares like so:

Hatchery

A section is marked by an orange tag when there are  eggs in it, and when it’s almost time for the eggs to  hatch, a green fence is put around the nest to  prevent  the turtles from escaping everywhere. Lying  in the  hammock and looking at the stars from the  hatchery is  one of the most peaceful feelings ever. That is, until I’d hear a noise from outside and became hyper-aware of the impending threat of predators. I didn’t actually see any predators, though, in any of my hatchery shifts. I did, however, have a nest of turtles hatch on me.

When turtles first hatch, they just kind of hang out above the sand, looking really displeased with the world. I thought it would take a bit of time for them to really start moving around, but it was only about a minute until I had 70 scrambling babies on my hands, and had to quickly put them into a bucket. Not today, friends. Not today.

My time at Playa Caletas was a life-changing experience. I will never forget the things I learned, about nature and about myself, and I will never forget the people who helped me along the way.

Easing myself back into civilisation was even weirder than trying to get a hold of life at camp. Suddenly my feet were clean, and I had light during night-time, and dear lord, that 15 degree Celsius weather in San Jose was like a death sentence. I felt really weird going into my room on my first night back. There were way too many colours. Like, posters-taking-up-all-my-wall-space amount of colours. My eyes were confused, if that makes any sense. It has also remained steadily around –20 degrees Celsius for the past week. I wear a lot of big sweaters.

I’ve told the story of my trip many times since I got home. People always seem to be really happy for me, saying how proud they are or how jealous they are, or just expressing how much they love turtles. Maybe I’ll never quite be the protagonist of an adventure novel, but my travels are definitely interesting enough to impress those around me, and stick with me forever. If my life is a book, it’s probably still really boring to read. I mean, I just spent like an hour typing. I’m getting off-track. If my life is a book, this trip was a really exciting chapter. I’m looking forward to what the next page will bring.

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My first volunteer trip!

Written by: Stephanie Ann Juganaden, YCI volunteer in Costa Rica

I have spent the best 2 weeks of my life (so far) with the best group of people possible. We were 5 chosen for the project and came from various parts of Canada. Maddie, Kate, and Tom came from Ontario. Jess is from Nova Scotia and I am from Quebec. I believe that it was destiny that brought us together in this beautiful part of the world. Costa Rica’s landscape tops all of the other places I’ve been to so far. The whole country is simply gorgeous. Everywhere I looked, there was always something remarkable to engrave into my brain. Whenever I will feel sad, I can just close my eyes and imagine Playa Caletas and the beautiful sand and the crashing of the waves along with the stars and the moon shining your path at night. If I were asked to pick my happy place, it would have been in one of those hammocks we had at camp overlooking the ocean.

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Obviously, we were in awe with the beauty that resides in Costa Rica but we still kept our feet anchored to the ground in order to do what we were here to do: Turtle Conservation. We’ve visited one of Pretoma’s installments at Playa Caletas home of the Olive Ridley sea turtles. The protected beach covered 5km from the north to the south end and was separated by 50 posts every 100m. At night, our job was to patrol the beach in two groups: North and South. We left during low tide to ensure enough space for the turtles to walk up the beach and nest and for us to not get sucked into the ocean. I was very fortunate to have seen two turtles and to have released hatchlings on my first night. I also understood that the racoons are notorious for eating freshly nested turtle eggs. We have to protect the survival of these animals and  the best way we can do it is by collecting the eggs and placing them into our hatchery. The hatchery is a small space at the northern part of the camp grounds that houses all the nests that have been collected throughout patrol. Once we collect eggs, we bring them back to the camp and dig a light bulb-shaped hole into the ground (like a nesting turtle) and leave the eggs to incubate for 45 days. Throughout our stay, we’ve released more than 1300 baby turtles into the ocean! They are so adorable!

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Throughout the day, we each had our own chores revolving around the cleanliness of the camp. We either had to cook, wash dishes, wash the patrol egg bags, sweep the cabinas, clean the toilet and shower, throw away the trash and compost, get water from the well, and burn the paper (in Costa Rica, they do not flush toilet paper into the toilet bowls, they burn the contents instead). At night, usually after supper, we would have either Hatchery duty or Night Patrol. These would alternate every day. For night patrol, we would be split up into two groups and would walk along the north or the south side in search for turtle tracks. We were lucky to have had the moon to shine our way and we did not need a headlamp to spot the turtle tracks. You can spot an Olive Ridley track based on the asymmetrical markings in the sand.

At first I thought they were bike tracks or tire tracks but we soon learned that whenever we see one of those, a turtle should not be too far away! Throughout my stay, I saw approximately 10 turtles and 4 of them on our last day for patrolling. Once we spot the turtle, we would let her find her spot to nest and would wait for 20 eggs to drop before collecting the rest. At this stage, she is in a trance and cannot feel or hear anything going on around her. These are perfect moments for predators such as poachers and racoons to attack her. Instead, we tagged her and saw her going back safely into the water and her babies were safe with us. On our way back, we stop by the hatchery to place the turtle eggs for incubation. The day following patrol, we had hatchery duty which was a 3 hour shift from 6pm-5am. I really liked the 3-5am shift because you can see the sunrise and you can also go out for census at 5:30am to see if some of the nests that we could not find were predated (destroyed by the racoons or other animals.)

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What I loved the most about this project is that we got to work together as a team and each person contributed their passion for the turtle conservation project. Everyone was lively and we all looked out for each other. Most of us have faced our fears. I for one have never been camping in my life and I am terrified of bugs, but not anymore! I enjoyed the escape from our rushed/constantly “on-the-go” lifestyle here at home. My biggest stress was making sure I don’t step on one of thousands of hermit crabs on the beach or cooking for 14 people with the remaining batch of produce, before receiving our next order. Also, this experience has taught me that we take running water for granted back home. We were there during the dry season and it did not rain once! The well quickly dried up and we had to use drinking water to clean ourselves or to wash the dishes!

I am thankful to have met these beautiful souls along the way and I don’t think that my experience would have been the same without them. I would recommend this project to anyone who wants to get outside of their comfort zone and wants to explore Costa Rica. Note that Playa Caletas is a minimum of 1.5h walk from the campsite to the town of San Francisco de Coyote. There is also a gorgeous path through the mountain from Playa Caletas to Playa Coyote. You also have to stop by La Veranera (a restaurant by the beach) for a refreshing drink and generous amounts of food. The locals are great and you get to practice your Spanish skills. Thank you to the YCI group, Berny, the people from Turtle Trax and Pretoma, RJI and YCI for making this one of the best trips of my life.

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Marie Chasse’ Fundraising Tips For Preparing Volunteers

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How has your fundraising experience been so far? How have you felt throughout this journey?

It’s definitely been a challenge. By going door-to-door, I’ve faced a lot of rejection, but I’m also determined. In 5 hours I raised $150, which I think is pretty good.

I also held a bake sale in the lobby of the building I work in. The bake sale was definitely a good learning experience in terms of planning and in learning what sells well and what doesn’t. I was fortunate that I had someone help me with baking, which is another recommendation of mine. If you’re going to do a bake sale, make sure you have a helping hand. Overall, the bake sale was a good start given that I raised $312 for one day.

If you could offer 4 tips to preparing volunteers or to those who are interested in going on a YCI project, but are intimidated by the fundraising target, what would you say?

1. You can’t be intimidated. I was hesitant to do door-to-door, but it really helped me to learn how best to convey what YCI does. Being fully informed of the organization made me sound professional and in turn, people were more trusting of me and wanted to donate.

2. Think strategically about whether you can host one big event or do a couple of small-scale soliciting activities. There are pros and cons to both. For instance, with a big event you may fundraise more by having a company in your community sponsor your event, but large-scale events can be overwhelming and a bit out of your control. So in taking this into consideration and also considering your time availability, a series of small-scale initiatives may be more effective.

3. Remind yourself of your main purpose of volunteering with YCI. Frequent check-ins with yourself will help you remain focused on the larger goal. For me, I know I’m looking forward to doing what I can to strengthen youth and communities abroad. So, I remind myself of this to keep focused on reaching my fundraising target.

4. Ask your family and friends to donate! This can be great practice for when you eventually solicit donations from other community members and it helps you to learn what content is most effective in gaining donations. For example, with family and friends, I emphasized that volunteering with YCI will have an impact on my career development.

Going forward with your fundraising, what do you plan on doing?

I am going to continue with going door-to-door for 5 hours every weekend or every other weekend. In addition, I am going to have two more bake sales and encourage my family and friends to garner donations from their coworkers.

– Marie-France Chasse, Preparing Youth Ambassador Volunteer for Costa Rica

Alumni Update: Costa Rica – Sheriff Wiredu

“Slow down everyone. You’re moving too fast” – Jack Johnson.
This quotation exemplifies the atmosphere in Costa Rica. Upon arriving in Costa Rica, the 5 human senses come alive; the 5 senses consists of sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. Let me take you on a short journey to Acosta Palmichal, where these 5 senses go on an adventure so grand that it is easy to forget that you are volunteering!

Sight

2012/11/17 Costa Rica

Beautiful sunset view

I was immediately amazed at the beauty of Costa Rica; throughout the entire drive to Palmichal the picturesque mountains appearing in the distance and the extension of branches from trees leaning over the highway created a feeling of driving into something that was grand beyond human recognition. The Mountain View left me stunned as I witnessed the development in the area mixed with the amount of green landscape; it was a wondrous sight like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The coffee plantations up the side of the mountain and the lime trees growing near the road, mixed in with different fruits, all demonstrate the versatility of the soil in the area.

Once arriving at our location, it was absolutely spectacular to know there was fresh lime right at my doorstep! And the different species of birds in the area was astonishing; from eagles, toucans and even hummingbirds. Meeting the members of ADESSARU (English translation: Association for the sustainable development of the rural San Jose) gave me an insight to the area, but what made the area even more enjoyable were the smiling faces of the people as I greeted them.

Sound

Palmichal3

Mini waterfall

One of the first things I noticed was the sound of the rushing river; it creates a peaceful sound throughout the day and night. It exemplifies the saying around here “tranquillo”, meaning relax and take your time. During the day you hear motorcycles going up the mountains and cars carrying people to work in the coffee plantations up high in the mountain. Striking up a conversation is as simple as saying hello or inviting someone to have coffee. Enjoying coffee together is the simplest way to get to know the person you are talking to, for it is a sign of welcome and friendship. The chatter of the young children and adults echoing in the distance mixed in with tranquility of the area during the day created a very welcoming work environment.

2012/11/23 Costa Rica

At least these don’t make much noise!

The birds singing in the background, the sounds of crickets and other bugs communicating to each other showed the activity that happens during the day up in the trees. At night it is a different story, the area comes to life. The howling of the dogs in the area breaks the smooth tranquility of the area… at least on the first day. After that the first night the barking of the dogs mixed in with the smooth rush of the river was the equivalent of a lullaby sang by the most magnificent and soothing voice in the world. Insomnia? Never heard of it.

Taste

Before arriving in Palmichal, I was warned about the abundance of rice and beans that would make up my diet here. However it wasn’t mentioned that cilantro would add flavour to many of the foods that are prepared in the area. In our household another major part of our diet was pancakes as a side dish to go with anything else that was cooked. It was a unanimous decision to add pancakes or to make an excuse to add them to our meals!

2012/11/24 Costa Rica

Fresh fish!

There is a trout restaurant here where you get to fish for the trout and then it is cooked using traditional ingredients right over the fire; it is incredible! One of the people we became quite familiar with was Vivian who was in charge of the ADESSARU lodge. She showed us how to cook some of the local dishes with flair. She showed us different ways to cook certain types of meat such as chicken and beef and different types of desserts. It always left you wanting more.

The production of coffee is an important part of the monetary income in the area. Drinking coffee is also just as important as any other activity in the area. Since I’m not a coffee drinker I wouldn’t know how great it tastes, but I’ve been told that the coffee here is incredible. Sergio, a new friend of mine, once told me “great coffee never needs milk or sugar”.

Palmichal

Some people who were heavily involved in my volunteer experience and helped make my stay that much more incredible: Sergio, Vivian, Don Hernan, and Christian

 Smell

The amount of cooking in the area fills the air with the aroma of sweet fragrances that makes one hungry even minutes after just eating. The smell of coffee being made in the morning, midday and the evening fills the air with its aroma. The flowers in the area have a very distinct sweet smell that once you walk by, you have to stop yourself to smell the flowers. The lime trees provide a sweet scent inviting you to pick some to incorporate in your food or drink. The smell of the jungle invites you to explore deeper into the area. There is a flower, la Reina de la Noche (Queen of the Night) that emits a beautiful smell when you walk by it, but only at night. I cannot explain the smell very well, but it is worth it to stop and take in the aroma as they leave a pleasant smell in the area during the night.

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Touch

Working on projects allows you to feel your surroundings, such as the trees and plants. Certain plants have a rough feel at the top, while on the bottom it is very smooth. Deep in the jungle there is a certain plant by the name of Ortiga, that has a worse reputation than poison ivy; the slightest touch causes awful pain and itchiness. Luckily those that come across it cut it down and place it out of harm’s way.

A warm hearty handshake to begin the day, a hug to announce your arrival and the high fives that the group gives each other once a job has been finished. A simple human interaction that makes volunteering such a wonderful experience, that no matter the language barrier it is a simple way of insuring that you are now friends. “Slow down everyone, you’re moving too fast”, enjoy the simple things that life has to offer.

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Slow down and enjoy the beauty of the day

– Sheriff Wiredu, Youth Discovery Volunteer, Costa Rica 2012

If you are interested in volunteering in Costa Rica in the upcoming year, check out our 4-week program leaving next February. For information on all our overseas placements, check out our Program Calendar.

The World is Your Oyster: How my path began in Costa Rica!

The world is your oyster took on new meaning for Lisa during her time in Costa Rica.

In July of 2007, I found myself covered in red dirt, equipped with large rubber boots, a bandana and a shovel, digging a ditch on a volcano in Costa Rica. I was there with Youth Challenge International (YCI) for a five-week project. Little did I know, this experience was going to have a profound impact on my life.

Like most students, after graduating from university with a bachelor’s degree, I had very little idea of what I was going to do next. I wasn’t quite ready to hit the work force permanently but I also wasn’t ready to hang out at home all summer. Several hours of surfing the Internet for ideas finally led to the discovery of volunteer projects abroad then ultimately, Youth Challenge International. Before I knew it, I was in Costa Rica along with a group of 11 amazing people, from all over Canada and with diverse backgrounds. Our task was to physically build an aqueduct that would be providing potable water for 25 nearby communities. It didn’t take me very long to recognize that I had discovered my passion. I had realized that doing development work was something I felt I ought to do.

Prior to my experience in Costa Rica, I had completed a degree in Global Political Economy where we had studied several poverty issues from different countries around the world. I had traveled in the past and had caught a glimpse of poverty here and there, though I had never actually been to a developing country or seen it first hand. What I quickly noticed upon my arrival in Costa Rica was that no textbook would ever come close to teaching me what I would learn abroad.

During that time, the most important thing I had come to understand was that I actually had a bigger role in all of this. With education and learning, whether in a classroom, or in any every day setting, comes a responsibility. I was beginning to understand that I not only had a responsibility to share what I had learned, but I also had the privilege and opportunity of doing something more with that knowledge. Simply stated, in Costa Rica I shared knowledge that I had learned at home in university, and when I returned home I applied new qualities and capabilities to my daily life from lessons learned with a fond appreciation of my time in Costa Rica. The skills I developed, such as adaptability, respect for other cultures, and a newfound type of patience I acquired abroad have become so valuable and continue to be applicable to many other situations.

These experiences prompted me to return to university to study International Development and Conflict Resolution in order to get at the heart of development abroad. In turn, that has since inspired me to participate in three other projects in Africa, for periods ranging between three weeks to nine months. I can’t dispute that my education was pivotal and reinforced my experiences abroad, however, that experience itself essentially landed me a consulting position on a project for which I had recently volunteered. Additionally, I have just been hired for a project with the United Nations where I was told that my experience abroad was the determining factor in obtaining the position. In the next few months, I will embark on yet more adventures, once again in Africa and for the first time, in Asia.

It can be difficult to explain the value of doing development work abroad to someone who has never been. Some things are certain: there will be challenging times, it will often be exhausting and highly taxing, and you might commit a number of cultural faux pas.  There will probably be an adjustment period, and you might be a little scared at times (or even a lot!). However, you will also meet new people, have once in a lifetime opportunities, and have the chance to experience other cultures first hand. You will gain new skills that will make you more employable, and you might discover a few things about yourself. Perhaps most importantly, you will have the opportunity to make positive changes in people’s lives that will impact a community.

What I appreciated most about YCI – the organization that introduced me to working abroad – was that they conduct and participate in ethically sound development work. Not only did this fuel my passion for humanitarian work, knowing that it can be difficult or even controversial at times, but it showed me that working abroad can be a very positive, life changing experience for all those involved.

Why not turn your overseas travels into a more profound and meaningful learning experience where you can impact the lives of individuals or a community in need? It is not only an incredible opportunity to be fully embedded in a foreign culture and meet new people but also to spend your weekends living on the edge by going rafting on the Nile, trekking with mountain gorillas, or kissing a giraffe.

Standing on Volcan Arenal five years ago – soaking wet from the rain, exhausted and dirty though satisfied after a hard days work, admiring the view of lush rain forests – I was only beginning to understand that what they say is true: the world is your oyster.

-Lisa Gaudry, Youth Ambassador, Costa Rica 2007

YCI is currently recruiting for two projects in Costa Rica. If you only have two weeks to spare of the winter break, check out this project departing December 26th: http://bit.ly/YCICostaRica2wk. Two weeks to short for you? Check out our Program Calendar for a full list of upcoming projects in Costa Rica

YCI Has 10 Scholarships Available for October Projects!

We have exciting news! There has never been a better time to volunteer for the first time and fall for a new place.

YCI is pleased to announce we are offering 10 Scholarships for our October Projects! We are looking to award 10 exceptional youth (18 – 35) with either a $1,700 scholarship towards participation in our 8-week volunteer placement in Tanzania or a $1,000 scholarship towards participation in our 4-week volunteer placement in Costa Rica. The scholarships are intended to provide young leaders with the opportunity to turn positive civic involvement into global action.

Eligibility criteria:

• Applicants must be between 18 and 35 years of age
• Applicants must be applying for one of YCI’s autumn programs
• Only first-time applicants, currently not already registered on a program, will be considered
• Scholarships must be used towards the Tanzania or the Costa Rica program

For more information on applying for the Tanzania or Costa Rica Scholarships, click HERE. Scholarships will be awarded to suitable candidates on a rolling basis, so don’t delay!

Apply Today!