project review

4 weeks not enough

Review submitted by Louis Court & Rory Dormer
Review date 17 Jun 2018

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Having spent the last few weeks volunteering as teachers in Puerto Jiminez we already feel completely at home, so at home in fact Louis has chosen to return to Puerto Jiminez and carry on teaching on a permanent basis.

When I first arrived I had all the usual worries; Will my homestay be nice? And will I be able to cope with teaching for four weeks? However once I arrived, my host family welcomed me as one of their own and the teachers eased us into life at the school.

We are usually woken by the scarlet macaws at about 7:30am and head to the kitchen for a ‘tico’ breakfast and local coffee. Then we grab our bikes and cycle to the school where we assist in the classrooms and general day to day activities. At midday, we head to the  community centre where our "parents" bring us a homemade lunch. Here we make ourselves available for an hour or more to give a free English lesson to anyone in the local community who wants it. This is probably our favourite part of the day because there is no curriculum so we have to assess the level of the students and adapt our lessons accordingly. Once a week we also go to the state nursery to teach numbers and letters to the children. From 3 pm onwards the day is ours to go for a coffee, head to the beach, or go caiman spotting.

As far as nightlife is concerned in Jiminez, there are many bars and restaurants to visit, our personal favourites are a Mexican Bar and another chiringuito on the beach. 

One of the best characteristics of Jiminez is the close-knit community feel. Within a couple of weeks, locals were greeting us in the street and we were offered discounts in a few bars, restaurants and shops once they had established that we were volunteers.

We couldn’t have hoped for a better teaching placement and there is always someone to contact if we ever have a problem. A big thank you  to all the teachers and the Frontier staff for making our stay in Puerto Jiminez thoroughly enjoyable.

Read more about our Costa Rica Teaching & Beaches Project