See what people have to share about their experience in Gandoca
"I couldn’t be more grateful for the experience of making Gandoca my home for a month. I was hoping to learn about permaculture, and learning from locals would make the most sense. I was welcomed by Flori, my host, or as I would say ‘my Costa Rican mom’. As she really made me feel like I was part of her family. Which was a beautiful and big family, with nephews, nieces, grandmother and everybody living nearby. Every morning she had planned for us to either work in the finca (tropical organic farm), make a product (such as chocolate, coconut oil or coconut milk) or visit another farm to learn from with different fruits/veggies. She let me try from every tree and fruit. I felt at home and at ease to have this opportunity. It is a very humbling experience and great to learn some more Spanish too! I would do it all over again. As of today we are even still in contact. Besides the family it was nice to connect with the other volunteers during the afternoons and take a dip in the ocean. Back to basics, back to nature and back to sharing."
"Gandoca is a tiny community, nestled in a beautiful refuge, that will forever hold the largest place in my heart. My experience there was the stuff dreams were made of; it almost felt as if the 4.5% of the world's biodiversity that Costa Rica had to offer was all crammed either side of that famous cobbled road. The families instantly become your own, it's a connection of a lifetime. I was honored to spend my time helping out with two of them. With each family I learned different angles to what I believe are the core Gandocan values; hard work, trust and love. I wouldn't think twice about going back to the peace of mind and "pura vida" lifestyle back in Gandoca, my second home."
Rogelle was one of our first participants in this program (along with Filipa) and she wrote a beautiful report highlighting her experiences.
READ ABOUT HER MONTH IN GANDOCA (pdf)
I believe that moments and new experiences make such an important role in my personal growth. So as I’m walking through this life I want to live in awareness of this world and explore and see as much as I can. I was moved to come to Gandoca by the strong desire of immersing myself into a new culture, traditions and language and also to step out of my comfort zone by flying to a place that is so far from my home. The thing I didn’t know is that it was going to be so much more than that.
It was quite hard for me too process everything while it was happening. We did so many things and helped a lot of families in only 4 weeks. I think that really helped me feel present in the moment. Today I’m writing and it’s the last day of my staying in Gandoca and I can only say I feel so much gratitude and happiness that I came and went through it all. I know that I’m more prepared to deal with adversities, that I believe more in myself than ever and the most important thing: is the love we put into the things we get involved with wise words from Roger that really matters at the end of the day.
I know I will always carry with me that feeling of real implication, true devotion and love, and also everything that I learned for the past month about land, working in the fields , about team work, about seeds, food , plantation and also about never giving up. I want to mention my appreciation and gratitude for every single person of the Gandoca community , especially to the families that let us enter in their lives by showing us their most precious thing : their land . Thank you so much to Roger who was tireless and dedicated from day one. We rely on him for everything and he made me feel safe and supported all the time. I’m so grateful by his knowledge and extreme desire to help the others. That really shows up on the way he taught and guided us.
My appreciation goes also to Rogelle. We formed a really strong team and I feel that it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
I’m going with my heart so full and with the desire of coming back in the future.
Jossi, Moshe, and Shia
Coming to live and volunteer in Gandoca for a month has been a fun, meaningful and transformational experience for myself and my two sons, Moshe, 15 and Shia, 10. It has given us an opportunity to learn about the local culture, to deeply reconnect with nature through our daily work in a local family farm and to have a month-long farm-to-table experience through 3 delicious daily meals cooked by our wonderful hosts. This has been a vacation for us like no other, in the way that it was meaningful and transformational in every way possible.
It was truly an unforgettable experience living and learning from such lovely people that are living in touch and aligned with nature. I have no words for the gestures of hospitality and feel just grateful to have had the time to get closer to both; hosts and mother nature.