Volunteering @ Room2Board Hostel and Surf School in Costa Rica

DONE BY: Elise Atkinson | Milton Academy '16 | Colby College '21

HOW OPPORTUNITY WAS FOUND: Family friends 

LENGTH: 3 months 

LOCATION: Jaco, Costa Rica 

FUN: ★★★★★

PERSONAL GROWTH: ★★★★★

DAY-TO-DAY LIFE:

  • 6:00am: wake up with the sun, surf, go for a run on the beach, have breakfast 
  • Anywhere between 6:30am ~ 9:30pm: 6 hours of work 
  • After shift: free time after work to do whatever. Lots of naps in hammocks.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK/ACTIVITIES DONE: 

Attend to guests at the front desk, go hiking, travel around Costa Rica on days off, learn to surf, go out (great night life!)

IN EXCHANGE OF 24 HOURS OF WORK/WEEK, PROVIDES:

  • Accommodation (shared with 5 others), coed room (most ppl aged 24~26)
  • Free breakfast every day, and other meals 50% off
  • Free surfing board and bike rental

TOP TIPS: 

  1. Pack light (bring a backpack you can bring on hikes, as well as a water bottle.)
  2. Sun screen is expensive there, so buy it before and bring it with you!
  3. Don’t pay too much attention to Carolina’s angry fits; don’t take them personally
  4. Don’t worry about changing your money!!!! Everyone accepts USD here

BEST WAY TO CONTACT THIS PLACE, IF INTERESTED:

  • Susan Shonk (volunteer coordinator of the hostel): susan_shonk@room2board.com
  • Check out: www.room2board.com

MOST MEANINGFUL LESSON TAKEN AWAY: 

This might sound cheesy, but I’ve come to redefine my definition of success through this experience. By meeting many other travelers, I’ve realized that you can find happiness in life through genuine relationships and doing things you really enjoy, rather than pursuing what society perceives as prestigious jobs. You don’t need to go to a good college and do all that stuff. I can be a surf bum and it can be a great time.

Jiyoung Jeong