Hi everyone! My name is Jessie and, as many of you know, I have always had a passion for animals and the lifestyle that they can provide; I grew up working with horses which in turn influenced my decision to go to school for veterinary technology to become a veterinary technician. I recently graduated as a veterinary technician and I am putting my skills to use at an equine hospital in Littleton, Colorado.
Throughout my college career, I made traveling to Central America a priority. Since I can remember, I have carried with me an incredible interest in the Spanish speaking cultures. I’ve been to Mexico multiple times, Panama, Costa Rica, and, on my latest trip, Nicaragua. My trip to Nicaragua was unlike any of my previous trips to Mexico and Central America. Last August, after scrambling for an opportunity to go back to Central America, I was told about a volunteer trip that was right down my alley, veterinary medicine. I spent 17 days in Nicaragua, 10 of which was a veterinary clinic to provide vaccinations and de-wormers to the rural communities on the Caribbean coast. It rained every day, hard, we slept on the floors of church’s, and school houses, we dedicated every waking moment to providing medicine and education to the town’s people and their animals. We were up between 5:30 and 6:00 every day and done around 7p.m every night, it was hard work! I couldn’t have been happier. I had already known I loved the culture, but to see the gratitude on their faces and to have their thank-you’s translated by our Nicaraguan veterinarians moved me more than I could have ever expected. It was there that I truly developed my passion for volunteer work; I knew this would not be my last trip.
Since then, I have finished my schooling as a veterinary technician and I have a goal of continuing on with my education to receive my bachelor’s degree in either Marine Biology or Wildlife Conservation. Recently I have come across an incredible opportunity to feed all of my passions which will also help me achieve my future goals. I have plans to spend 6 months in Costa Rica aiding in the conservation of endangered Olive Ridley and Leatherback Sea Turtles through an organization called Global Volunteer Network. In the past few years there has been a major decline in the sea turtle population due to eggs being overharvested, hunted for their leather and meat, over-development of beach communities, over-fishing, pollution and poaching. Sea turtles are incredibly important to the ecology of both marine life and health of the beaches themselves. My tasks in these coast line communities will be to assist biologists in monitoring the beaches, the hatcheries, participating in nightly patrols, and educating and assisting the locals in their conservation efforts.
The nature of volunteer work with non-profit organizations means that, not only will I not be monetarily paid for my time, I am also expected to pay to participate in the program. The long duration of the program and the great need for supplies and support by the sea turtle conservation organization and myself adds up, so I am hoping to raise money through fundraising efforts. All donations will go towards my participation in the program which includes room and board, daily meals, transportation to and from the work site, and supplies for the conservation efforts, as well as my travel expenses to and from Costa Rica and additional expenses I will incur during my time abroad.
Your support and generosity mean so much to me. If you’d like to know more about the program, you may read about it here and if you have any questions for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected].