Costa Rica

Frontier

My daughter went to Costa Rica with Frontier in June 2017. This organisation is awful and I would not recommend them to any student wanting to volunteer abroad. The project they offered on their website was not delivered and what's more they had no intention of delivering it as it did not exist. The substitute offered in Costa Rica was an inferior project to that paid for and all they did was make excuses. While out in Costa Rica they withdrew the project from their website, claiming it was misleading. They have no representatives in Costa Rica and their reply to emails was very slow. The Costa Rica Learning Academy CRLA was brilliant and I would advise people to go through them directly and cut out Frontier completely. My daughter had a brilliant time but it was down to the school and the people she met, nothing to do with Frontier. They are only interested in taking your money. Great if everything goes according to plan, but once you have an issue they are totally unhelpful.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Oct 20, 2017
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Costa Rican Adventures

My daughter went to Costa Rica with Frontier in June 2017. This organisation is awful and I would not recommend them to any student wanting to volunteer abroad. The project they offered on their website was not delivered and what's more they had no intention of delivering as it did not exist. The substitute offered in Costa Rica was an inferior project to that paid for, and all they did was make excuses. While out in Costa Rica they withdrew the project from their website, claiming it was misleading. They have no representatives in Costa Rica and their reply to emails is very slow. The Costa Rica Learning Academy CRLA was brilliant and I would advise people to go through them directly and cut out Frontier completely. My daughter had a brilliant time but it was down to the school and the people she met nothing to do with Frontier. They are only interested in taking your money. Great if everything goes according to plan but once you have an issue they are not interested and totally unhelpful.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Oct 20, 2017
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

This was one of the best experiences of my entire life. It helped with both my growth as a person, a leader, and as a friend. Growing up I always wanted to travel and see the world and even help in out in my own way. Global Leadership Adventures made all of these things possible. From the second I touched down in San José to the second I left I felt welcomed, included, and important for the first time in a long time. We did so much community service that could change a lot of the townspeople's lives for a long time. While I was there, my group helped out at a local tree nursery, we built a scale model of a baby humpback whale completely out of plastic water bottle and we even did a couple of beach cleanups in the local marine park. That's not all we did while in Costa Rica. We also went on a bunch of adventures. We went zip lining, surfing, hiking, and we even took a day trip to Corcovado national park on the Osa Peninsula. I would definitely recommend either this or any trip that GLA has to offer. The mentors were so helpful at every activity, they were definitely a big part of why my trip was so enjoyable. The food was amazing and our home base was so beautiful. Every aspect of my trip was incredible and I fully recommend trying a service trip abroad. I know for a fact I will be going on another one very soon.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Oct 16, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

My trip to Costa Rica was truly an amazing experience. The staff were exceptional and I always felt safe. I did the 14 day animal rescue program so I was able to work with a lot of the strays from Costa Rica at a local no kill shelter. As much as we helped the dogs and their living conditions, we also had lots of fun! The staff and students made all of the service hours fly by. We were also able to experience a variety of other fun activities like zip lining, hot springs, seeing the waterfalls, coffee tours, and touring San Jose. Those are just some of the awesome things we were able to do. We also learned a lot of interesting facts about the Costa Rican community. The bonds you create with the students and staff are incredible and I can't wait to go back next summer! This trip has made me look at everything in a different way and it truly made me a better person. I recommend Global Leadership Adventures for any teenager who wants to be the change in the world, and wants to have lots of fun!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Oct 16, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Voluntary Projects Overseas

I was a volunteer for one month in Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica. Every day I got the chance to see so many different animals not only in trails but in base too, such as birds, monkeys, crocodiles, coatis, baby turtles, whales, snakes, sloths and tapir. The days passed I was more amazed by the biodiversity of the Park. I will never forget how it felt to sleep listening to the ocean and the rainforest at the same time.
Maybe my stay there was a little unusual because of the Hurricane Otto. It was several weeks of rain. The park closed and the entire country was in red emergency so every night we had to turn on the generator to watch the news and see the direction of the winds. Because of the hurricane, we had to stay most of the time in the base, it was too dangerous to walk in the forest with that much rain and wind.
One of the most interest things of that period, it was to watch a vulture hatching a plastic ball thinking it was a egg. We tried to show him it was not an egg but every day the vulture was there taking care of his imaginary baby. It was incredible to watch the persistence, because he was there even with the strong wind and the heavy rain.
For sure I will never forget what I passed during my stay in Corcovado National Park. This park has so many biodiversity, I never saw something like that. The rangers are so committed to protect that area and the guides know a lot about the life there! I learned so much about animals, about the forest and about life. It was incredible to be surrounded by nature and had that experience!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Aug 28, 2017
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

My kids and I went to Atenas, Costa Rica to volunteer at the organic coffee farm, El Toledo. The program was a good value compared to others we found and the experience in Costa Rica was priceless. We felt we provided valuable assistance to the farmer and his farm and these types of programs offer an opportunity to directly see positive results. The host family was wonderful and we feel like we made lifelong friends in a short time. There was a bit of confusion over the fees as we have our own insurance and the transportation cost was not necessary for our situation. However, the coordinators worked with us and we were not charged unnecessarily. The only critique I have is, I would like to see the host families who do the most support making this type of program possible, receive more compensation and benefit from the fees. This would increase the program's credibility and further the cause of global good.
Overall, I would recommend the program to those who can't spend a fortune but want to volunteer abroad and make a difference in the world and in their lives.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Aug 17, 2017
Overall:
8
Support:
7
Value:
9

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

The pre medical program I was part of in Costa Rica was an awesome experience. I was lucky enough to volunteer at a hospital where I would help care for the babies or kids whose parents could not always be with them.
There are not enough nurses to care for all of the kids and the parents need to eat or sleep at some point and that is where the rest of the volunteers and I come in. We would help take care of the children. This could be as simple as sitting there and letting them play, or helping feed them. What was amazing to see was how happy many of the kids are even though they are in the hospital. Just playing with them for a few minutes is enough to see a big smile, which was great. It was so rewarding. Also, the family I was staying with was amazing.
Alice was the greatest cook, and she was so welcoming. She helped to show me around my first day in the country and was such a great help until my last day in Costa Rica. The weekends were also a great time to explore the country of Costa Rica. I was lucky enough to explore the Arenal area through zip lining and a trip to the hot springs. It is definitely something that everyone should do. Honestly, this program has been a blast and great in every area.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Aug 16, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

RCDP International Volunteer Abroad

I did medical volunteering in Puntarenas. At first, It was not what I expected. The communication and clarity about the program before it started wasn't completely correct and some items weren't clear. Despite that, I had a great experience. The people in the clinic where I volunteered were so nice and I got to see interesting procedures. The clinic is very well provided and the people are well-off, so don't expect an underdeveloped area. The volunteerhouse and food are very nice. Although I think they're could've been smoother communication about activities etc. However, I really liked Costa Rica and I had a great experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Jul 15, 2017
Overall:
7
Support:
5
Value:
6

Global Crossroad

I enjoyed my project teaching English, but I think there could've been more communication and clarity about the program before it started. Some information wasn't clear and other items overlapped. For example, there was much confusion and miscommunication about the Spanish classes offered. What was written in the paper versus what was received was not what was expected at all and that was unfortunate. However, I had an overall amazing experience with my project and I found it to be very rewarding as well as educational for myself.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Jul 15, 2017
Overall:
6
Support:
4
Value:
5

Global Crossroad

After many days of research to find a reasonably priced volunteer abroad program, I stumbled upon global crossroads. The reviews that people left were both reasonable and unreasonable. The reviews all said that they are a company that rip people off but I was not aware of how much they rip people off. I decided to go through this company because it looked like the cheapest company to go through, but in the end I might as well have gone through any other company that was just a expensive. They sent me an invoice of about $3,000 which at that time I figured was a bit much for one month but they told me everything was paid for and that after this I wouldn't have to spend another dime. This company is so disorganized because they sent me this invoice 2 times because I had to call them to adjust it. When they claimed they sent me the right invoice I sent my cashiers check to them. I ended up overnighting the check because it was way too much money to not keep track of. So the next day I look at fed ex and they tell me that the address is undeliverable. As soon as I saw that I called global crossroads and they told me that they put the wrong address on the invoice. For a company that claims years of experience, they didn't have their things together. At this point I am furious because that's three thousand dollars just floating around. Thank goodness there was a guy on the team that I went to everything for, his name was Casey and I was notified later that he quit. I have no doubt it was because he worked for a horrible company. Casey told me he was going to take time out of his day to go and pick it up at the FedEx office for me and call me when he picks it up. I stayed with the company because Casey was so helpful and once I sent that check there was no going back. After I sent the check I got an invoice from the person they work with in Costa Rica with a bill for housing. At this point I am so unbelievably confused because when I spoke with global crossroads they told me that a host family was no longer an option for volunteers because they only had a volunteer house. So when I sent the 3 thousand dollars I expected my housing to be paid for because to my understanding there weren't any host families. So when I saw the invoice from her I called global crossroads and asked them to break the bill down for me and once I asked for that they told me that I didn't have to pay for the housing bill she sent me. Still till this day not exactly sure what I actually paid for with them. Casey decided to honor my word and call their connection and said that they won't charge me for the housing. That meant though that most likely their connecting person in Costa Rica most likely didn't get any money for Global crossroads mistakes. So with all that said, to those who are thinking about going through global crossroads please please be very careful when paying them. They are so disorganized and you need to stay on top of everything they do. If you want and honest and reliable company I wouldn't go through this organization. I wouldn't go through them ever again, I learned my lesson.

On the other hand Costa Rica is absolutely amazing and beyond beautiful. The girl that actually manages HIBISCUS TRAVEL (their connection in Costa Rica). Had us in a beautiful beach house with a pool and an amazing cook. Once I got to Costa Rica my experience was unforgettable. I would highly recommend volunteering abroad just not through frontal crossroads I would go through the local volunteer program.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Jul 3, 2017
Overall:
2
Support:
2
Value:
1

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