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Costa Rica Volunteer Vacation Photos

Costa Rica volunteer vacation activities vary wildly, depending on what sort of service trip you’ve selected. The Sierra Club, for example, hosts many ecologically-minded service trips across the world. True Nature Education, the program with which my family signed up, adapts each Costa Rica volunteer vacation to the wishes and abilities of each travel group. Our group had several children (including mine), and a couple of grandparents, so no serious lifting types of volunteer activities were scheduled. With all the Costa Rica-happy travelers, though, you can be sure there were plenty of photos taken; barely 10 minutes would go by without the telltale flash from someone’s digital camera.

Rainforest Reforestation Photo (Jennifer Miner)

My kids really worked up a sweat during the rainforest reforestation activity.

We completely enjoyed rainforest reforestation, spending time with a couple of Costa Rica families in the small rural village of San Rafael, and helping to protect a sea turtle hatchery. We had a wonderful experience getting to see Costa Rica on a more personal level than a standard all-inclusive resort would have allowed.

Costa Rica Family Vacation Cultural Activity (Jennifer Miner)

Learning how to make tortillas at a grandmother's birthday party in San Rafael, Costa Rica. Yep, we ate 'em, too!

The Costa Rica culture is so welcoming and friendly, by and large, that it’s really remarkable. After living in busy New York City, and now in bustling Southern California, my family was absolutely delighted to visit the warm homes of a couple of Ticas (“Ticas” are how Costa Ricans refer to themselves). As a parent and travel lover, it warmed my heart to see my kids playing with children in the front yard areas in San Rafael. Anyone who is considering a volunteer vacation in Costa Rica should consider getting to know Ticas better — many service trips to this Central American country focus purely on environmental themes, but cultural immersion is just as enriching.

Costa Rica volunteer vacation activity photo (Jennifer Miner)

After stepping in a pan of paint, it made more sense to spend the rest of the church painting volunteer day in only one shoe.

My children have been talking about their Costa Rica volunteer experiences every day, and this morning another mom at one of my kid’s schools talked about how hearing about the service trip got her thinking that she’d like to treat her own family to a similar trip. Believe me, few things are more rewarding to a travel writer than hearing that!

Costa Rica Tree Frog Photo

My older kid loved seeing the tropical Costa Rica wildlife, but this poor tree frog probably has had better days.

These photos are just a few of the approximately one billion photographs we took in Costa Rica. Not sure I needed to take seventeen photos of the sloth idling on a Cecropia tree, but that’s the pleasure of living in the digital era. The last night of our volunteer vacation in Costa Rica, we were staying in an eco-lodge in Matapalo. As we watched the sun set, we all knew that this wouldn’t be the last time we’d sign up for a service trip. And I decided that it wasn’t even the last sunset we’d ever see in Costa Rica. We’ll return to this beautiful country, and I hope that — if it’s on your bucket list — you’ll make Costa Rica travel plans someday, too.

Costa Rica Sunset on Volunteer Vacation (Jennifer Miner)

Last sunset on the last day of our Costa Rica volunteer vacation.

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16 Responses to “Costa Rica Volunteer Vacation Photos”

  1. 1

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  2. 2

    I just came back from Costa Rica as well, and absolutely loved it! It’s great that you volunteered!
    You can also follow me @explorepangea

  3. 3
    Steve says:

    All right! The photographs you took are great, let’s see some more! how about that sloth in the tree? Never been to anywhere in Central America myself, I would definitely like to go, some day. Costa Rica sounds so good.

  4. 4
    Tiffany says:

    That frog pic is too cute.

  5. 5
    Abbie says:

    I love the pictures of your kids getting to work! If only all parents gave their kids a volunteer experience…

  6. 6
    Dooooglas says:

    Thanks for your help !
    Doug
    Arenal Botanical Garden.

  7. 7
    Costa Rica says:

    Great to see your family getting involved with helping the environment. It is so important to get kids involved when they are young. From all of us here in Costa Rica, Thank you!

  8. 8
    Jim says:

    What a great experience for your family!! And for a good cause, too. I did some anthropological research in Costa Rica and tied in a bit of volunteering, and it was very rewarding. The only part I didn’t like was the bugs!! :)

  9. 9

    All great stuff. May i suggest another top location on the globe. Its the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Uganda. Looking deep into the expressive brown eyes of these gentle giants is surely the most exciting and poignant wildlife encounter that Africa has to offer.

  10. 10
    Guanacaste Real Estate says:

    What a one of a kind family travel. I’m glad to see the kids working together for a cause! Hope more and more families will tie their vacation same as yours, and that would gonna be a whole lot of roller coaster experience! ;)

  11. 11
    Abby says:

    Awww that’s so nice! I’m a sucker for anything Costa Rica-related (I lived there for a year) and am so happy to read about your volunteering.

  12. 12

    Thanks for coming to Costa Rica to volunteer! The Ticos really are warm and friendly and truly care about the environment and education. It’s great that you went beyond the normal vacation to do something for the greater good! :)

  13. 13
    Cailin says:

    Such a fun thing to do with their kids and a great way to allow them to really get to enjoy the country and people that live there :)

  14. 14
    Dina says:

    I admire volunteers! And the frog looks so adorable. Is it that easy to catch?

  15. 15

    [...] locals.  If you want a more up close and personal experience with turtle conservation, there are Costa Rica volunteer vacations that cater to kids and families.  Some 50,000 tourists visit Tortuguero every year to see nesting [...]

  16. 16

    [...] the locals. If you want a more up close and personal experience with turtle conservation, there are Costa Rica volunteer vacations that cater to kids and families. Some 50,000 tourists visit Tortuguero every year to see nesting [...]

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