Buenos días! Thank you for taking the time to read my story. My name is Caleb. I’m 25, born and raised in Costa Rica. I live near San José with my mother, 6 siblings and our 2 rescue cats. My favourite places to spend time are into the mountains, near the sea or among animals.
For the last 3 years I’ve been passionate about volunteering regarding environmental, animal and human well-being. In 2016 I’ve had the opportunity to join Raleigh. I worked with them in Nicaragua for 3 months where our mission was to educate the local schools/communities. The project focused on: safe access to water and sanitation, entrepreneurship and the development of community resilience, taking as a crosscutting axis the gender approach and the mitigation of climate change. After returning home, I was even more eager to help/contribute than before. I’ve done projects all over the country ever since. I went to Corcovado for 4 months to work with the Corcovado Foundation. Together with other volunteers I did night patrols in search of nests, the relocation of nests in the nursery, the registration of scientific data, the marking of turtles, the exhumations of nests and the liberation of young turtles. Also smaller projects as cleaning beaches by gathering garbage/plastic, helping to clean flooded houses and prevent more damage by building protection, working in Braulio Carrillo National Park, planting trees/seeds in both Nicaragua and Costa Rica,..
Recently I’ve met somebody who has inspired me to take my volunteer work to the next level. She told me about the organisation FRONTEERING. They offer many volunteer opportunities related to wildlife, indigenous people, environment, sustainability and local communities. I have never even thought about this as a possibility before, given I have/had only little knowledge about other countries and their opportunities. FRONTEERING offers a lot of programs all over the world, but the one big thing that’s holding me back is the money.
With the help of my friend -who’s traveled a lot and knows more about the visa opportunities than me- I learned there are countries that welcome foreigners to live and work on their grounds. The only country that allows Ticos is Canada. Lucky for me they have great volunteering opportunities in my fields of interest. Given the costs to join an overseas program are high, this would be the perfect solution to my problem.
My plan/goal is to work for a few months until I have saved enough money to enter an animal-wildlife project in Vancouver where I can help to rehabilitate and rescue wildlife. Over 85% of these orphaned and injured animals have been directly or indirectly impacted by humans. Their mission is to provide humane care to injured, orphaned, sick, and distressed wildlife based on established rehabilitation standards and the animal's natural history. Each animal is treated individually and assessed for eventual release back into the wild. In an attempt to reduce the community’s impact on wildlife, they also aim to educate the public about wildlife, animal welfare, and co-existing with nature.
This program offers a combination of most volunteer work I’ve already done and loved. Needless to say this would be a dream come true. This link will show you more information about this project: http://www.fronteering.com/trip/island-wildlife-care
For the last few months, I’ve been dedicated to prepare myself for this exceptional opportunity. My English has improved remarkably and I’ve been looking for ways to earn some extra money. Unfortunately the wages in Costa Rica are low. I’m also helping to support my family, so my piggy bank is only growing slowly.
I am proud of what I have achieved and don’t like to ask for help. However, the Canadian ‘pool’ for applicants to an IEC has opened and I am very eager to grab my chance. The money I need for the visa is already covered, but paying for the flight and the ‘safety money’ Canada requires to survive the first few weeks is not.
I’m hoping I have been able to convey my passion to you and I would be very grateful for your support. Even if it’s just a small amount, for me it would -literally- mean the world.