S-Trip! Destination: Viva Costa Rica, Liberia, Costa Rica
This past July, we had the unique opportunity of visiting the Monkey Park Foundation, a not-for-profit animal rehabilitation centre located in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. With a growing number of immigrants to this region, increases in housing development and industry have threatened the lives of many animals who are all attempting to adapt to their new environments. The Monkey Park provides a safe and experienced environment for these species to behave as they would in their natural habitats, preparing them for their eventual release back into the wild.
On July 7th, 93 of our S-Trip! travelers left the resort for the day to volunteer at the Monkey Park and to help positively impact the local environment. Students had the opportunity to plant trees throughout the park and prepare food for animals. One of the highlights for our students was that they were able to complete an entire walking pathway of hand-painted rocks throughout the park. They felt really accomplished, knowing that as a team they were able to pull this off. For some students, this was the first time they had ever seen monkeys. They really loved this aspect of the volunteer excursion, because they had the chance to learn a lot about each of the monkey species and why they were at the Monkey Park. The day wrapped up with a Q&A session between S-Trip! staff and Monkey Park staff, so students could further learn about their impact as volunteers.
It was a very educational day for all of the students who took a break from resort life to get out and make an impact. The students’ eagerness to learn and help out where they could was what impressed me the most. As Allison Marlowe from Nora Henderson Secondary School said, “the best part about today was knowing we made a difference; hearing about their struggle at Monkey Park and knowing we helped”. Learn more about the Monkey Park Foundation at monkeyparkfoundation.org.
Written by Gabrielle Berardi, the on-site Volunteer Coordinator for Liberia.