After all the drama of Montezuma and San Jose, our next stop was the relaxed town of Manuel Antonio. This is a little, semi-touristy town on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. This is the town where I spent a month last summer, volunteering for the organisation GVI and I was thrilled to be able to come back.
Our first few days were spent lazing around on some of the beaches in the area, watching incredible sunsets from our hostel and fighting off a jellyfish (that one was just me).
One evening I went into the neighbouring town of Quepos to visit the host family I stayed with for the first week of my trip last year. It was lovely to see them again and I’m pretty sure they remembered who I am! I was also able to communicate so much more with them this year as well after so much Spanish practice in Honduras. I was invited to stay for dinner and Olga’s food is just as delicious as I remembered.
The project I worked on last year was in a school called Roncador and while GVI no longer work there I was given the opportunity to meet with the Country Director and visit the project they are focusing on this year, El Cocal. I’m afraid I don’t have many pictures to show from the visit – I was far too busy asking hundreds of questions!
Calum and Tom came with me and we were shown around the community centre where GVI work and where the majority of their programmes are run in El Cocal. Their work is so incredible, ranging from English lessons to daycare to after school clubs. It’s exactly the kind of thing I want to do with the rest of my life and who knows, I may even end up doing it in Manuel Antonio.
I enjoyed my time in Manuel Antonio just as much as last time, visiting old haunts and imagining coming back here the next time and the next and the next. This was our last stop and the perfect way for me to remember Costa Rica… At least until I’m back!