The Trip That Forever Changed Me

The Trip That Forever Changed Me

By Kanika Patel

Hello, my name is Kanika Patel and over the past summer I was a part of the Pura Vida Costa Rica service trip.

This trip truly was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had the chance to be a part of and I couldn’t have asked for a better nine days in Costa Rica. I was immersed in the amazing culture, ate a lot of delicious food, met some of the best people that I later got closer to over the span of the trip, and felt the major reward of giving back to the community.

Most of our days were spent doing some type of service which I thought was the most rewarding part of this experience. We were able to start building a shed for the park ranger’s tools, a community center, and an area where students can get together for graduations and assemblies.

While working I witnessed the kind people of Costa Rica who performed small acts of kindness throughout our days, for example while we were out working in the community center a guy that lived across the street came over and gave us a bunch of plantains from his yard. Similarly, after working at the school the head principal stepped out to talk to us and really explain why she appreciated what we were doing. These small but meaningful acts were what made me fall in love with the country even more.

As well as the people in this country, the people that made up the trip made this experience so much better than it already was. I quickly became close friends with some of the other people on the trip, laughing over conversations at dinner like we’ve known each other for five years instead of just five days or singing and dancing at our nightly karaoke nights. Our team leaders Luci and Chez were also so fun and made the trip what it was, one of the best times I’ve had.

On the days we weren’t doing service we were either ziplining or white water rafting. Although I’ve been ziplining before in Costa Rica I have never seen such breathtaking views as I did here as we were speeding over miles and miles of trees. On the other hand I had never been rafting before but my group and raft leader made me feel comfortable and able to enjoy the exciting drops, splashes, and nature around us such as the monkeys, iguanas, and the birds.

The last day of this trip came by too fast but altogether this Costa Rica service trip is a memory I will never be able to forget.


All images provided by Kanika.

Read more alumni stories.