I have made three trips to the beautiful country of Costa Rica over the years. My first taste of the country was when I was only a Junior in High School, thus the photos in this collection are not of great quality; here it is more about the story. For my first foray into the country, I traveled with our local Interact Club (Rotary Branch) where I stayed with a family and helped to repair playgrounds in several poor barrios. While It would be easy for me to look back at this 'project' with my adult eyes and critical lens and say that the work we did was probably not that helpful, nor the best use of resources, I also acknowledge that this early experience was quite formative in my life; the relationships that I built, the things that I saw and experienced....they all have played a part in who I am today and the work I have chosen to do.

The second trip to Costa Rica was to visit a dear friend who grew up on the Peninsula de Osa. I spent a month on her family farm, catching and filleting swordfish, butchering pigs, then making pork tamales with the pork and banana leaves, spearing coconuts with a machete and grating the soft flesh with a nail so as to make a birthday cake for my friend, jaguar hunting, boa constrictor dodging...just to name a few.

Thanks to an entrepreneurial spirit, the family farm has been converted to a beautiful hostel perfectly located within 130 acres of wild rainforest between Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park on the Peninsula de Osa. The hostel takes student groups, volunteers, or just the adventure minded. In addition to offering surf and yoga lessons, they will teach you how to fish using local methods, or even how to make your own coconut oil. Volunteer to lend a helping hand and stay for free or come and learn and stay for cheap.