Ellie’s Volunteering with Sail Carribean

This summer I went to camp at Sail Caribbean in the British Virgin Islands. I was lucky enough to see, touch, and tag green turtles multiple times. Tagging turtles keeps track of their population and their migrations. After a hurricane in the BVI they were worried the population would decrease, but the tags from before the storm showed that thankfully the storm did not have a huge effect on the population. I also cleaned 3 beaches, where we picked up trash and plastic. We also hosted an event with another organization that brought together a local community with water sports and beach games. My boat organized and worked with kids there.

Ellie’s Experience in Costa Rica

Over the summer I was lucky enough to attend a 2 week Overland field studies trip to Costa Rica. The most memorable part of our trip was the volunteer work we did.  While we were in Costa Rica we visited the beautiful cloud forests of Monteverde, Arenal, the Limon province and La Carpio and San Jose. In Monteverde we spent 3 days volunteering at a sustainable coffee farm working to promote healthy farm practices with an organization called Life Monteverde. We planted trees, and dug terraces (a technique used on mountainous farms to build flat platforms perfect for growing coffee!). In Arenal we worked at a wildlife refuge called Proyecto Asis that took care of animals confiscated from smugglers at customs. There we helped prepare and feed the animals and make toys for the monkeys.  In Limon we hiked to an indeginous community where we planted lots and lots of trees and chopped wood. The next day we helped repaint parts of the Baja Del Tigre school. Lastly we stayed in San Jose and traveled to La Carpio, an impoverished immigrant neighborhood where we helped build a house and taught the children English with the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation. Overall completing 21 hours of service in 2 weeks. Volunteering in La Carpio had a huge impact on me. I’d never been exposed to the amount of poverty we saw there. We learned of one woman’s story who was escaping an abusive husband in Guatemala. She had no money because he wouldn’t let her get a job, so she ended up living in a one room house with a leaky tin roof and 20 other people. And the children there experienced immense troubles at home. It made me realize that the problems in my life are nothing compared to the problems other people are experiencing every day.