Green Life Volunteers

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9.4 / 10 after 35 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings
Program website: www.glvolunteers.com

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Once upon a time I was looking for an opportunity to volunteer and install solar energy abroad and learn more about off-grid PV systems. I stumbled across the Green Life Volunteers organization through google searching these kind of opportunities in Latin American countries, and Green Life Volunteers offered a Solar Project at the time that lined up exactly with what i was looking for. This was my first time traveling solo abroad so I wanted to make sure that I chose the correct project. It was easy to pick this project because the information provided on the website was so thorough and the program leader, Janina, was very friendly and answered any questions I had. After meeting Janina for the first time I knew this program was going to be awesome.

The Solar Project Program offered a variety of things throughout the experience. It offered host family placement, transportation from the airport, two days of instruction on battery based off-grid solar systems, a building a solar panel from scratch workshop, installation of an off-grid PV system, an opportunity to help teach a local high school class about renewable energy, as well as free time to enjoy the richness of what costa rica has to offer. This program also provided full cultural immersion, as throughout the entire experience you are living, working and hanging out with real Costa Rican People.

I would definitely recommend this program to folks looking help the less fortunate, and those looking for some experience regarding solar energy. I would love to participate in an experience like this again!

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 14, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9
By: jbstaron8
Age:
25

I volunteered on the Sea Turtle conservation project via Green Life Volunteers and absolutely loved my experience.

I was travelling alone, and was a bit worried about finding my way to the remote location where the Sea Turtle project was. I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Janina, the program coordinator made sure to answer all my questions and send me all the information I needed. During the months previous to my departure, we exchanged many emails and I felt reassured by her quick and informative responses. The location of the project was quite far from my original destination in San José, however there was someone from the project to help me along at every step of the way. Someone picked me up form the airport, I then had someone from the project brief me and answer any additional question I may have and then bring me to the bus station. There was then another person from the project to meet me as I transfered buses...I felt very safe.

The project itself was not exactly as I imagined, but I kept an open mind which I think is a very important thing to do when going to this type of project. The area was indeed very remote as I had been told. It was the leatherback sea turtle nesting season. We did some work during the day- which was kept short as it was so incredibly hot and we mostly worked by night. this is important to know about working with nesting Sea Turtles. You will be up most of the night. You NEED to be in shape. I consider myself someone of great shape and was sometimes out of breath. You patrol in complete darkness (the turtles don't like white light) and walk quite a few kilometres per patrol. The sand is soft and the jungle is full of fallen trees, it's not a simple walk on the beach But you get to appreciate the beauty of Costa Rica at night, clear skies full of shooting stars and fireflies so bright they hurt your eyes and glow in the dark plankton at your feet!

Maybe it's hard work- but there's nothing as exciting and as rewarding as finding a nesting turtle and then making sure that her eggs are safely collected and counted and returned to the hatchery for safe keeping. Poachers are real, and we had some nest stolen while I was at the project and it was absolutely heart breaking. My favorite moment was helping a turtle with a missing back flipper lay her eggs...she couldn't grab on to the edges of her nest so our patrol leader helped us build a sand ledge for her so she could grip on and it worked!

I met so many wonderful people during this project, people who love animals and love travelling. People willing to give their free time to a great cause.

Some advice to appreciate this experience even more. Bring bug spray, a lot of it. You will need to wear it, the mosquitos will bite you. At some point you will realize that there isn't much you can do. They were biting me through my clothes but luckily I had some bite soothing cream. Bring towelettes- sometimes there is no running water and you will be sweaty and dirty. And bring snacks, We received 3 wonderful meals a day, but sometimes as you work nights and it's quite physical work, you do get a little hungry!

I would strongly suggest experiencing this amazing adventure. It will most likely be one of the best moments of your life.

Program:
Location:
Posted: April 26, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9
By: Jamie14
Age:
30

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!

Program:
Location:
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:
Location:
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!!

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

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