International CALUE Service Break: Wrap Up

We SERVED, We LEARNED, We TRAVELED!

Sea Turtle Conservation Project:

We have wrapped up our FIRST INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CALUE SERVICE BREAK! We could not have picked a better country (Costa Rica) and group of people to work with ACI (Interculturalidad & Servicio Voluntario) , Verdiazul, and United Planet. These groups were essential for us having an outstanding trip and they went above and beyond!

To name drop a few:

Mauricio: 

Six CALUE Service Breakers give a guns up with Mauricio, the Director of ACI-Costa Rica.

Left to right: Jesus, Taylor, Ahalee, Mauricio, Kennadee, Alyssa, Jerylme.

Director of ACI, welcomed our group with open arms the minute we stepped off the plane. Mauricio’s orientation, the first 2 days, were extremely beneficial to our understanding of Costa Rica, the culture, geography, and environment!

Kat, ACI volunteer, who was a long-term volunteer from England, was so sweet and really gave our students a better understanding of options they have for volunteering long-term abroad!

Valerie: 

Six CALUE Service Breaks participants along side Co-founder and Director of Verdiazul.

Left to right: Jerylme, Valerie, Ahalee, Jesus, Kennadee, Taylor, Alyssa.

the co-founder and Director of Verdiazul, was so passionate about her work. She is a biologist who fell in love with Sea Turtles! She helped start the organization 11 years ago and it was amazing to see how excited she would get when we found a nest or released the baby turtles.

Joselyn Jimenez: 

Joselyn, an employee of Verdiazul, gives a local girl a piggy back ride.

Joselyn

a full time employee at Verdiazul, was the hardest working individual. She led patrols, directed people where they were supposed to be, and had a love for her job that was hard not to notice. She made the experience so exciting just by allowing us to see how much she loved her job!

Dan, another full time employee, and Bran, a long-term volunteer from England, were leaders in the organization who took us on night patrols and answered any of our questions. They were both amazing!

Pictured right is Bran, a volunteer from Verdiazul.

Right: Bran

Dan, a employee of Veridazul, holds a baby turtle on the beach while giving volunteers instructions on how to handle the turtles.

Dan

My next 2 awesome individuals who were there from the very beginning as well; but were also there for the duration of our 10 day experience:

Older: 

Ahalee, CALUE Service Breaks participant, sits in a hammock, while Older, our Costa Rica bus driver, stands while taking a picture.

Ahalee in hammock, and Older leaning in for a picture.

was the best bus driver, he not only helped us constantly get from A to B but also loved teaching us Spanish and making jokes when we tried! He took us to impromptu grocery store runs for ice cream and even drove us to a better part of the beach on our beach afternoon so we didn’t have to walk. He was full of information about Costa Rica and always had a smile!

Germàn: 

Jerylme, CALUE staff member, and Germàn, Costa Rican guide pose for picture.

Left: Jerylme Right: Germàn

our in-country guide, went above and beyond to make our experience special. He was full of information on all things Costa Rica, but also random things such as, where do hamburgers come from; the history of Marco Polo, and many others! He participated in everything and always made sure everyone was taken care of! From sunburns, bugs, scrapes, scratches, blisters, to many many questions about Costa Rica he had the answers! We loved getting to see how passionate he was about his country!

The Sea Turtle Conservation Project at Verdiazul did an amazing job in giving us an understanding of why what they are doing is important. It was a consensus in our group that they did a great job of making everything we were learning come full circle. From the information about the country’s culture, economy, politics, environment, and conservation we were able to tie all those things into what we were doing. Night patrols, hatchery work, beach clean ups, and reforestation all played a huge role in the conservation, education, and rehabilitation of Sea Turtles. Even the importance that the organization placed on getting the backing of the local community, Junquillal, and changing culture showed through the everyday activities.

I hope this CALUE Service Break group was INSPIRED to see the full circle of our actions in the environment. I hope they were INSPIRED to continue their goal of becoming active citizens, both locally and globally! I hope they are INSPIRED to reach out to all communities, and realize that even the most minute of actions can make a difference.

-PURA VIDA-

Baby turtle on the beach in front of a Costa Rican flag hat.

Junquillal, Costa Rica

 

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