I recently found some old photos that I took in Costa Rica back in 2005 that I wanted to share. When I was single I used to spend more time doing less self serving things because I had more time on my hands and I had some altruistic influences in my life as well.
One of the more fun volunteer programs that I participated in was for volunteers who wanted to help preserve sea turtle nesting sites in a small village called Parismina, located in Eastern Costa Rica. As many folks are aware, sea turtle numbers have been dwindling for years because of poaching, over fishing and other factors. The people of Parismina, Costa Rica started a volunteer program in 2001 that allows people to come from all over the world and help preserve turtle habitat.
What was special about my experience in Parismina was getting to live with a local family for 3 weeks. I ate the same delicious, home-cooked Costa Rican dishes they ate, walked the same paths that they did and played marbles with their children (playing marbles on the dirt paths is big with the kids). In the end I really felt like I had made a difference, albeit a small one and I felt lucky to have been a part of such a great program. And I made some great friends in the process.
I included some photos of some baby sea turtles that were emerging from their nests on the beach in the early morning hours. The babies usually make a run for the surf in the middle of the night or before dawn, braving unbelievably daunting odds against survival. It was amazing and spiritual to witness this age old ceremony first hand. I will be forever changed from many of my experiences in Costa Rica.