Tidiane Traore - General Care Projects in Costa Rica
My Care Placement
I spent two months in Costa Rica volunteering with Projects Abroad. It was an exciting experience. I got the chance to stay with a host family for two months. I wouldn’t have wanted to stay with any other family; they were kind and welcomed me with open arms. I was comfortable being in an eclectic environment. The Projects Abroad staff were friendly; they made me feel safe and at home. During my time I worked in two programs; Care and Journalism.
For one month, I worked in a day care centre with children from ages 2 to 4. I played fun games with them and taught English in a way they could understand. I brought many gifts for the kids; such as toys, stuffed animals and books. The children really enjoyed their new toys; they couldn’t stop playing with them. I’ve never taught such sweet kids, I will truly miss them.
I also painted the walls inside the day care with the help of another volunteer. I never had the idea of teaching until I entered the Projects Abroad programme. It helped me think about a different career path.
My Journalism Placement
The second month, I worked at Chanel 36 TV station, or “Canal 36” located in the town called Liberia. It was a memorable experience. I got the chance to work with digital cameras and film the news. I had previous experience working with the camera in New York at the New York Film Academy two years ago; so my memory was refreshed. I was also taught how to edit videos using a program called “Edius”.
I enjoyed editing the most because I could create something out of nothing using the programme. I learned to mix videos together as well as add background music. I also got the chance to go out with the news crew and witness interviews being filmed. It was an exciting observation.
Travelling at the weekend
I met several volunteers from all over the world. The volunteers came from places such as Germany, Belgium, France, Canada, and North America. It was great interacting with people from so many different places. The fact that I speak French benefited me because I was able to speak with people from France and translate for others.
Aside from the town of Liberia, there are plenty of Costa Rican beaches I recommend visiting. Tamarindo Beach is one of the biggest areas for tourism; it also has the best live entertainment and hostels for volunteers. I would also recommend visiting Playa Conchal and Playa Hermosa. Each one has something that makes it special; whether it is the ocean itself or the environment. Therefore, visit as many beaches as you can!
Overall, my experience was life lasting because I can use what I have learned to carry with me throughout my life. I was acquainted with many different volunteers from all over the world who participated in the different projects. I believe going to Costa Rica was the perfect choice. I have matured so much from this experience, I also learned a little more about myself. I hope you future volunteers will enjoy your time in Costa Rica as much as I did!