Volunteering in Planet Costa Rica7 min read
For the rest of our stay in Costa Rica, we signed up to volunteer at Planet Costa Rica through Workaway platform. This Vegan Farmstay is not just only a farm but also Animal Rescue and Sanctuary for injured and abandoned animals. Go for it if you are travelling at a low cost and you are happy to use your specific skills in exchange for food and accommodation. Some places require long term stay but in this case, our host agreed for two weeks. Planet Costa Rica is a great way to get up close and personal with authentic part of Costa Rica – no tourists go to this area.
WHERE IS PLANET COSTA RICA AND HOW TO GET THERE
The farm is located on the central part of Costa Rica in Cartago Province, roughly 1,5 hours drive from San Jose. The climate here is less hot as you are at an elevation of more than 1000 meters above the sea level. We got detailed information from our hosts how to get to the farm. After taking the first bus from San Jose to Cartago we changed for another one towards Tucurrique. The bus driver knew the farm very well so we just had to ask him to drop us right next to gates.
TWO WEEKS AT THE FARM
We were greeted by Alan and a few more volunteers who were currently staying on the farm. Alan showed us around and explained briefly how the things work. Our daily routine consisted of waking up at 5.30 am, letting chickens and the goat out, walking dogs, preparing food for them and other animals, cleaning the pig’s shelter, watering plants and then preparing breakfast for ourselves and other volunteers. After that, we had some weekly projects like fixing the fence or clearing pathways using a machete. We usually divided tasks between small groups so we could be done by lunchtime.
In our free time, we would take dogs for hikes, brush horse Palomo, wash pigs or simply lay in the hammocks and pet our absolute favourite Raja – one of the rescued dogs.
We had a variety of fresh fruits provided for breakfast together with oats and lots of other toppings. Having plenty of ingredients to choose from we had vegan food fiestas every single day. Together with Adam and Mimi – a lovely couple who was staying on the farm for 3 months – we were preparing insanely good meals. Another good thing about the farm – there was no wifi! We really enjoyed two weeks without social media. These kind of breaks are essential and surely you can find better connection spending quality time with animals!
Another thing we had a fruit truck passing by every day. By paying 1,5$ (~1,2£) for 3 kilograms of mangoes we felt spoilt forever. We also got to try a fruit we never heard about before. Maybe you know what Pejibaye is? Because we only discovered while travelling it’s a palm tree fruit native to the tropical forests of Central and South Americas. When cooked it tastes like a sweet potato but ten times better!
ESSENTIALS AND WHAT TO PACK IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING VOLUNTEERING IN COSTA RICA
- Light, waterproof jacket and trousers,
- Waterproof boots or hiking shoes
- Long sleeve shirt and long pants,
- Bug spray,
- Torch, work gloves,
- Hat, sunscreen,
- Microfibre towel,
- Reusable water bottle
- Interesting book for afternoon reads!