Green Life Volunteers

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9.6 / 10 after 23 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings
Program website: www.glvolunteers.com

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I volunteered with Green Life Volunteers in August of 2015. This was my first "solo" travel experience and also my first experience volunteering abroad. I stayed with a lovely host family who only spoke Spanish and cooked me two meals per day. At the time my Spanish was very minimal, but I didn't have much trouble communicating with the host. I do recommend brushing up on your Spanish because I would have liked to gotten to know the family a bit better. I volunteered at the private school in Puerto Jimenez for two weeks with kids that were under 12/13 years old. I loved getting to know the school kids and learning how schools worked in Costa Rica, but I felt a little bit more like a babysitter than a teacher. There were a lot of volunteers there at the time, but I still felt like my time impacted the school. My favorite part of the experience was probably being able to stay with a host family and learning about their culture. Janina was very friendly, but also very busy so I didn't see her much. She called to check in on me a few times and we met for a drink before I left. If you're thinking about traveling abroad, living with a family, or helping out in a local school I would highly recommend Green Life Volunteers. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity and I hope to return soon!

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Posted: April 22, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
6
Value:
9
By: cleo
Age:
21

In Spring 2014, I knew I wanted to go to Costa Rica to volunteer for that summer. I didn't know where to start, and some light research led me to Green Life Volunteers and Janina. I was able to spend 3 months taking care of animals through veterinary work and through animal rescue efforts. The country was beautiful. Every morning I would see macaws outside my house, monkeys were all around, but my favorite dose of wildlife were the crabs on the sandy beaches :) Janina even went above and beyond by arranging fun excursions for when I wasn't working with animals such as hiking waterfalls and dolphin watching. Green Life Volunteers is an honest, trustworthy organization. Their mission is true and good, keeping in mind their volunteers and the country. Janina is inspirational. She has dedicated her life to benefitting the community through animal welfare. I would 100% recommend GLV to any of my friends or anyone who wants to volunteer abroad.

Program:
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Posted: December 16, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
22

I first encountered GLV after searching online for pre-veterinary internships abroad. Even after doing some preliminary research about GLV, I could tell that the organization was a reliable one. When Janina emailed me to let me know of my acceptance into the Veterinary Internship program, she was very welcoming and polite. In the months leading up to my internship, Janina made sure to check in on me frequently, she patiently answered all of my questions, and she very conveniently arranged for important logistics, like placing me with a host family and reserving a hostel for my overnight stay in San Jose. I am very grateful for all of her help early on, especially when we had to make last minute changes due to a flight cancellation! Janina's enthusiastic support and flexible personality marked her from the beginning as a fantastic supervisor and program coordinator.

The internship itself was everything that I could possibly hope for. Getting hands-on veterinary experience is a crucial part of the pre-vet curriculum in the U.S., and I certainly was involved in everything from surgical procedures to reading lab work results to providing routine physical examinations. It's probably worth pointing out that I had two years of observational experience at veterinary clinics prior to this internship, which made my work at the Clinica Veterinaria Tico Pet #2 much easier. It also helped that I have a good grasp of the Spanish language - the veterinarian and his employees speak only minimal Spanish, so I would not recommend this program for someone who has no Spanish language background. That being said, the doctor was extremely patient in helping me expand my medical vocabulary. He taught me how to perform all of the necessary procedures, and he supervised/double-checked everything I did.

I had such a fun time during my GLV internship, that it was really painful for me to leave at the end of the summer. I spent nearly three months in the beautiful small town of Puerto Jimenez, and it was hands down the best time of my life. I met so many great people through Janina and the vet clinic, I had a fabulous time living with my caring host family, and I learned an unbelievable amount about veterinary medicine at work! Thanks Janina, for helping make this such an incredible experience!! I've already decided that once I graduate from vet school, I'm coming back!!

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Posted: August 4, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
20

Janina is a very helpful and passionate program coordinator. Upon my arrival to Puerto Jimenez, she took me around the town and helped me by supplies, even took me for a dip in the ocean with her dogs. I felt as though she treated me like a friend, and that was very nice welcoming day.

The Green Life Volunteers program offers a variety of opportunities to experience life in different parts of the country as well as do work on many different projects, whatever your interests may be.

I chose the organic farming and sea turtle conservation. Life on the farm was incredible, but not for people who are squeamish about insects and animals. However, if you are looking to step out of your comfort zone and live in the heart of nature, be in awe of the beauty that surrounds you every morning and see what it is like to live simply, and with hard work, this is definitely a project you should consider. It was by far my most memorable experience to date. It is also a huge plus that my host mom is an amazing cook! The family is so kind and one of my favorite parts of being there was laying in the hammocks after dinner with everyone and talking, as we listened to the sounds of the insects and frogs in the the laguna.

The sea turtle project was really fun and a great way to meet volunteers from all over the world. Be prepared to walk at least 7 miles on the nightly patrols, along the beach. You should probably be in pretty decent physical condition before considering this project. I lost about 15lbs during my month in costa rica, and it felt great to get so much exercise! You will be served healthy meals and will eat in a family-like atmosphere with the rest of the volunteers. You will have a LOT of downtime to enjoy the beach or read, write, play music, SURF, whatever your interests are. A perfect mix of work & vacation. Keep in mind, that it's best to visit the project during "high" season for turtles. Unfortunately, during my 1 week stay in July, I did not see any turtles. Only a few tracks, with no nests... It's best to go in September- November. However, I do not regret my time at the project, because I met so many amazing people and truly had the time of my life.

I would definitely recommend Green Life volunteers to anyone and plan on returning again to try other projects or maybe the same ones. :)

Thank you, Janina for such a wonderful organization and experience.

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Posted: August 3, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
29

My name is Kaho Leung and I did my graduation internship at Green Life Volunteers. Janina Schan is the owner, a very helpful young woman who has a clear vision on the idea of volunteering. All of her projects are handpicked by herself to see if these projects are really sustainable by giving back to the locals & environment. This triggered me to come to Costa Rica and spend my 7 months here. My job was focused on marketing development of Green Life Volunteers on one hand and on the other hand I was doing my research on target segmentation of the volunteering industry of students volunteering abroad. I worked 5 days a week with Janina on the assignments which could be for example: posting on job platforms, contacting tour operators for a collaboration, making movies of the projects, online content management on the website etcetera. Of course, Janina helped me alot with giving advice and information but there was also free space for my own ideas on certain subjects which I really appreciated because that kept me motivated as well during this time. There was also time for fun things in the weekend for example: watching wildlife, boat tours, surfing, drinking or just having quality time with nice friends on the beach. I would really recommend Green Life Volunteers to volunteer because they have real sustainable projects with the same quality as other volunteering organizations, they are one of the cheapest in Costa Rica and I just wish Green Life Volunteers to grow in having more volunteers for Janina.

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Posted: June 29, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: kaho
Age:
25

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