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VOLUNTEER IN COSTA RICA

Bustling city streets, downtown traffic jams, glaring taillights, and palm shaded pedestrian parks. It has to be California, right? No. Miami? Nope. Are you done? Try Costa Rica.

While Costa Rica does closely resemble the more developed world, travel beyond the capital city of San Jose into the true heart of Costa Rica and you will see trace evidence of a country that still has some hurdles to overcome as crumbling pavement, pot holed streets, dilapidated buildings, and tin roof tops in many communities tell another tale, along with a per capita income that is only about one tenth of that of the United States and the UK.

What this nation lacks in present day development, Ticos (Costa Ricans) more than make up for with their ever positive attitudes. Ask any Tico to describe their home and you are likely to be met with an exuberant cheer of, “Pura Vida!” Translated, that means ‘pure life’. Indeed it is!

While it may take some getting used to, Ticos live a relatively laid back lifestyle. Sure, things get done. Just on a slightly different time table. With such a seemingly care free way of life, it is no wonder Costa Rica is known as the happiest place in the world. In fact, not having a daily coffee fix, one of the country’s chief exports, and their traditional side of gallo pinto, are about all we can think of that may stand between Ticos and happiness. At times, you have to wonder who could blame them.

Costa Rica is rich in so many other ways. The country is obscurely tucked away in Central America between Panama and Nicaragua. That in itself makes it exceptional. Whereas most of Central America is notorious for violence and instability, Costa Rica has not had a standing army since 1949.

Flanked by the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica is paradise on earth with pristine sandy beaches, and waters that sparkle and dance underneath a blanket of silvery blue sky. There, in the rainforest encased coastal lands, you can eavesdrop on the exotic and lively chatter of howler monkeys as they swing and leap like acrobats to and fro. Spy three toed sloths cradled high in the canopies or going nowhere fast. See brilliantly colored toucans serenely perched in the distant horizon.

Don’t just take our word. Come to know Costa Rica for yourself by taking part in one of many of AMPED Abroad’s community based projects in and near the town of Atenas, located an hour from San Jose in the heart of Costa Rica’s fertile Central Valley region, where the people are as balmy as the weather for which the area is known.

AMPED volunteers can choose from the following projects:

COMMUNITY CENTER
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
GERIATRIC CARE (ELDERLY)
HEALTHCARE/MEDICINE
ORPHANAGE/DAYCARE
PET RESCUE
SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION
SPECIAL NEEDS
TEACHING ENGLISH
WOMENS COOPERATIVE

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