I wrote over a year ago about a Costa Rica adventure, traversing the country from one side to the other. I also wrote how prohibitively expensive it would be to do it.
With no real expectation to ever be able to do it, it’s been on my mind’s back-burner, alert to any opportunities to make it happen.
Which is why an opportunity advertised in Escape the City caught my eye: Communications Officer in Costa Rica. I’m a Corporate Communications Manager by trade, and find myself drawn to various aspects of comms, PR and marketing even when I’m not being paid for it.
So I checked it out.
If you’re a keen writer, volunteer to write blogs about sustainable development in rural communities and environments.
That could be me. I’m writing a blog right here, right now, for no money — and writing for an NGO about rural communities and environments would be helping make the world a better place.
It would also be fulfilling my purpose as the Flat Foot Adventurer: to have adventures, write about them, inspiring and educating people in the process.
I applied. Got a reply fairly quickly asking me to write a sample blog post. Some research and elbow grease later, I submitted the blog post and waited.
Just when I thought I was going to get a Sorry, no I got a reply saying how impressed they were with my post, and how impact focused it was. Instead of a thanks, but no thanks, I got an invitation to interview.
The interview went well, even if you include me getting off-topic and discussing how if you are bitten by a venomous snake you shouldn’t try and catch it to bring it to the hospital with you. And how Perth is one of the most remote cities on the planet.
I got offered the opportunity. I paid the deposit. I provided references. I’m going to Costa Rica for three months at the end of 2019.
Short of raising a small fortune to cover the cost of the expedition, plus funding flights to Costa Rica — and a whole galaxy of minute things to sort out when you are gallivanting around the jungles of central America — this is really happening.
In the autumn of 2019, I join the Raleigh Expedition in Nicaragua & Costa Rica, as a volunteer communications officer.
Volunteers from diverse backgrounds and all over the world join Raleigh expeditions in different countries. On this particular trip, I will be working with rural communities in the very heart of Nicaragua and remote areas of Costa Rica.
As part of working to protect one of the most bio-diverse places on the planet, projects on the expedition will involve working with local people on water and sanitation initiatives to bring clean water to rural communities, as well as helping construct school buildings for indigenous communities.
One of Raleigh’s core values is creating impact together. Passionate about change, Raleigh ensure that positive results are meaningful, long-lasting and far reaching.
When local communities and young people work side by side to create positive change, it empowers them. This can only achieved this by connecting with motivated people – supporters, project partners, communities, and volunteers. Everyone gets involved because they believe in young people and communities working together to create lasting change.
Plus it has added extra complications — like fundraising, and going for a longer period of time.
So why do it at all? Because an adventure is better if you can help change the world in the process.