Drift Away Eco-Lodge Cultural Exchange Program

April 17, 2021 By News Comments Off

Drift Away Eco-Lodge invites volunteers from all over the world to visit our little part of Costa Rica and join our hotel team for a few weeks. We hope it fosters positive cultural exchanges between local residents and people from other international backgrounds. When working and living together we can share our skills and learn from each other! Plus, we hope that when our visitors leave, they spread the word about how beautiful Costa Rica is and how welcoming the people are. This is a story from our new friends from France, Thomas and Melanie:

Arriving at Drift Away Eco-Lodge in Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica

“Wow!”

This is the first word we said when we arrived at this wonderful eco-lodge for the first time. We are Melanie and Thomas, a French couple traveling the world and we were very lucky to be volunteers at Drift Away Eco-Lodge for five weeks in February and March 2021.

This is our fourth volunteer experience since the beginning of our adventures in September 2020. We like staying and helping in places such as hostels, family homes, and farms. We love new experiences, meeting new people, immersing ourselves in a new atmosphere… and have great memories at the end.

“Drift Away Eco-Lodge has everything guests need”

We knew very early that we would be happy at the lodge: it has everything guests need while on vacation. The swimming pool and its fountain surrounded by a luxurious garden full of tropical trees and flowers is the perfect place to rest. The lodge even has a yoga room and games room, free to use by everyone. 

If that were not enough, we lived in a clean apartment, just the two of us. Even more importantly, we received a very kind and warm welcome from our hosts Paul and Lisa, as well as from all the employees. After more than a month at the lodge, we can say this hotel has a perfect team.

Our work

During our time there, we had two main missions: helping at reception for me, and social media for Thomas (help to promote the hotel on Facebook and Instagram). Thomas was in charge of sharing pictures and uploading posts on both platforms.

At the reception, some days were very calm while others were more intense. After several days of training, I helped the team with reception shifts and was assigned with all reception tasks, such as welcoming guests in Spanish, English, or French, answering phone calls or messages, or serving drinks at the bar. 

I really liked to interact with guests. We were also asked to help with small garden and maintenance tasks and organizing a community cleanup with the employees.

Our play

We had plenty of time to enjoy the area when we were not working. The lodge is perfectly located, and the closest beach Playa Lagartillo is less than a 5-minute walk. This is a small, calm, and beautiful beach perfect for swimming, or just enjoying sunsets after work. This beach is not busy at all and it’s easy to relax, and sometimes you have the beach just for yourself!

The lodge offers free surfboard hires and Thomas tried surfing for the first time in Playa Avellanas, which is another beach close to the hotel (20 min walk), with waves that are perfect for beginners.

While walking to the beach there was always a chance to observe animals in the dry forest, such as very colorful birds, iguanas, and howler monkeys who live in the neighborhood.

Since September 2020, Thomas and Melanie have been volunteering at places such as hostels, family homes, and farms.

Life in a remote area

As the place is a bit remote, we bought food from truck vendors that delivered to the lodge every week. They sold fresh bread, fruits, vegetables, and farm-fresh eggs. We could also try surrounding restaurants on several occasions. One night we visited the Playa Negra Night Market and we also visited the nearby tourist center of Tamarindo during one of our days off.

Finally, needless to say, we could enjoy all the hotel facilities like the swimming pool whenever we wanted. In fact, we quickly understood the definition of Pura Vida.

We left the place with our heads full of memories, and will certainly miss this tiny part of paradise in Costa Rica!

**Note: Drift Away Eco-Lodge accepts volunteer applications solely through the Workaway.com website.