Green Life Volunteers

Not Verified What's this?
9.6 / 10 after 23 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings
Program website: www.glvolunteers.com

Submit a review

I have spent four months in Costa Rica and got to know five different volunteer jobs. My longest stay was with the organisation GreenLifeVolunteers. I have worked six weeks in the Dog & Cat Rescue Project and this time was literally the very best time I have had in Costa Rica! I loved the project work with the animals and I have had the best supervisor, Janina. She was always there for me and gave me the best support I could get, not like a boss but like a friend. I loved to live with my host family, it just felt like home and for me living with a native family was the best way to house. Due to my other experiences with volunteer organisations, I really can say that GreenLifeVolunteers is a very good opportunity to do some volunteer work abroad. They do not have exaggerated fees like some other organisations and the money you spend really goes to your accommodation. If I ever get the chance to go back to Costa Rica once again, my first stop is defenitely going to be this place and I would recommend a stay with GreenLifeVolunteers to everyone who is interested in volunteering abroad!

Program:
Location:
Posted: June 26, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
19

I did my graduation internship at Green Life Volunteers in Costa Rica. Green Life Volunteers is a very nice non-profit volunteer organization. Green Life Volunteers is offering diverse volunteer projects to the volunteers with cheaper cost.The owner is Janina Shan, she is a very nice person she always trying to help volunteers when they get some problems. She helped me a lot during my internship as well. For example, she helped me to find volunteers for the interview of my own research. She arranged accommodation for me during my internship in Costa Rica. I visited some volunteer projects which was very nice experience.

Program:
Location:
Posted: June 23, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9
By: Guanhao
Age:
28

Green Life Volunteers has only strengthened my desire to travel and explore different cultures. There’s a big difference between volunteering in your home country and doing so abroad. You experience so much more by living in a way that’s new to you. Well, at least I did.

If you want a full, week by week play of my time in Costa Rica with Green Life Volunteers you can just go to the site and check out the blog. Because all of that is there, I’ll try to keep this post as brief as I can.

The decision to go to Costa Rica, despite my parent’s barely-hidden disapproval, was the best I've made in years. People constantly ask me how it was and I always find trouble adequately answering the question. Does “It was the one of the best experiences of my life” sound too forward? In all honesty, that's no exaggeration. No other period in my life have I grown so much as an individual. It’s one thing to head off on your own for college, but an utterly different thing to head to a Spanish-speaking country with little internet, no friends, and no knowledge of where you’re going.

I can understand why my parents had doubts about this trip. But I know that they could see how happy I was there and how much more independent and able I am now as a result. Most of my friends stayed home and worked in a typical office, doing basic intern duties. I, on the other hand, explored a foreign country, became more proficient in another language, made friends from across the world, made a difference, and learned more about myself than I would have stuck at home.

Keep in mind that on the blog postings I didn't even mention all of the great experiences I had. I didn't talk about the travelling I was able to do in throughout the country, or the pure bliss of living in a small rural beach town. I didn't talk about all of the friends I made (both locals and international volunteers), nor did I mention all of the animals we helped. If I could show you some before-and-after photos of the dogs and cats, how their personalities changed, how their physical bodies improved, you would be able to understand the impact made.

Janina, Green Life’s creator and supervisor, is just the best. She personally supervises all of the volunteers from Puerto Jimenez, where she lives. When you join a GLV program, you’re not just sent off into the unknown by yourself. Janina will usually check in on volunteers during their stay. If you’re in Puerto Jimenez, like I was, you never have to worry about being alone in a foreign country. She’s always available when you need her and does everything she can to make sure you feel comfortable. In all honesty, that’s the difference between GLV and other volunteer abroad programs. Because GLV is small, Janina personally knows and has tested out all of the volunteer opportunities and is able to watch out for every volunteer.

The only advice I can give is that you should just do it. If you've been thinking about doing something unique for more than a few months, go ahead and take a leap of faith. Save up, plan it out, and go ahead. Life is short, and people keep forgetting just how little time you really have to experience it.

Program:
Location:
Posted: November 19, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: ABrown
Age:
19

I would absolutely recommend Green Life Volunteers as a program to anyone looking to have a deeper and more fulfilled experience when traveling to Costa Rica. Janina Schan went above and beyond to help me get ready and feel comfortable for my trip and was a constant support during my time in Puerto Jimenez.
I decided to volunteer teaching elementary school, and though it was not always easy it was an extremely rewarding experience. I had the opportunity to help the kids speaking both Spanish and English, improving my Spanish at the same time, and loved the community of the private school I taught in. I would arrive at the school a bit before 8:00 AM and stayed until 12:00 teaching in the first and second grade classroom in a series of lessons taught in either Spanish or English. I went to my homestay for lunch and returned to school at 1:00 PM to stay until 3:00 helping organize their library. The teachers are all incredibly unique and come from all walks of life. They were so welcoming and I enjoyed getting to know them as well as the children they taught.
My homestay was perfectly located with the school, grocery store, and main street only a few minutes away. I stayed with a lovely couple and their grandson, and the grandmother never failed to cook great meals. Staying with a host family is a great experience and gave me the opportunity to practice my Spanish even more, and allowed me to feel much more personally connected to the place I was visiting. The family was very respectful of my privacy and personal space and always made sure I was comfortable. I definitely had a fair share of free time, so if you plan on traveling by yourself make sure you're ok with being alone! Coming off of a busy year at first it was hard for me to handle so much time to relax, but it was a very welcome change of pace. I got to spend time with Janina and other volunteers she knew which was lovely, and I also spent a decent amount of my free time alone. It was no problem to me, just bear in mind if you're planning on doing this program alone just bring a couple good books if you find you need help passing some of the down time.
Janina was an incredible help from the moment I contacted her with my interest in Green Life. After I met her in person and realized the incredibly busy life she leads with her various projects I couldn't figure out how she managed to give me and all of her other volunteers such amazing individual attention and help. She works incredibly hard accomplishing amazing things with her organization and always seems full of even more innovative ideas, but she is also a wonderfully laid back person. She even helped add some flexibility to my schedule so that I had the opportunity to help out with one of her other projects at the local vet one day, and gave me the heads up about joining a hiking trip to Corcovado National Park. Both were wonderful experiences and I would not have been able to do either without Janina's help and suggestions. Janina has created a program that is wonderful. Staying in Puerto Jimenez on the Osa Peninsula was such a beautiful experience and made me feel like I was really getting a taste of the real Costa Rica and not some tourist version of it. Though Green Life I was able to travel to Costa Rica by myself and volunteer at an extremely fair price thanks to Janina, who feels strongly about paying as little as possible when traveling to volunteer. She finds wonderful host families who will benefit the most from the extra money they receive by hosting a volunteer and offers projects for her volunteers that are of undeniable importance to the town.
In all, I had a wonderful experience with Green Life Volunteers. For my first time truly traveling alone and my first time in Costa Rica I managed to fit in an incredible array of different experiences into only two weeks and I highly recommend this program to anyone interested.

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 1, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: kteller
Age:
19

I immediately felt welcomed by GLV, after my first email was answered within hours. This first impression proved right. From when I first began planning my trip to my last days in Costa Rica, I could count on Janina's help and flexibility to make my stay enjoyable. She gave me plenty of tips for activities off the job, and was always just a phone call away if I encountered difficulties or was confused. The Tica family I stayed with was also extremely nice.
I was one of the first volunteers at the new dog and cat rescue project in Puerto Jimenez, so there was a lot administrative / set up work to do, on top of taking care of the animals that were being housed at the time. I also got to assist at local spay and neuter clinics, which was a unique experience for me, since I'm not a vet.
It was my first time volunteering abroad, something I'd always wanted to do, but that I had been weary of due to the high fees charged by the big organizations. I definitely felt needed at the project and was able to contribute to it in a meaningful way. And just like I had hoped for, I was able to do some short trips on my days off. I headed to Arenal/Monteverde for my last days in Costa Rica, and I must say I much preferred the Osa. I felt it was much more authentic and the nature is stunning!

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 10, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: SaraMKM
Age:

Pages