Let me start by saying that I saved money for all my years at university to volunteer and it was all for nothing. Don't use your hard earned savings on this company! I have volunteered with another company and it was so much better!
I have lived in rural areas with very basic living and limited resources such as no electricity and have washed and bathed in rivers many times. I am not a newcomer to living like this, I am not a girly girl and I actually enjoy this natural pure simple kind of living very much.
Now, during all of these programs there were instances where I felt unsafe. Unsafe for my wellbeing and unsafe for my belongings.
In Guatemala I was followed by a man for a period of time (not exactly sure how long but he had some info on me) and he confronted me and would not let me leave for about an hour while he cornered me. I am not stupid and tried several techniques to leave. He made me very uncomfortable, asked me to go on dates with him several times and kissed my neck to my disgust. I shot him down at every point as well! Get the hint! While I and some friends walked in the streets we were verbally attacked by several people calling us 'fucking gringos' -telling us to return home. It should be noted I left Guate earlier than expected and changed to go to Costa which was not my original plan ( that's how bad it was, I don't even want to get started on the unsafe and unsanitary work environment).
I love Costa Rica and I hope to one day live there, I really do. I love the people, I love the heat PURA VIDA! On this program I had done a similar volunteer before close by. I enjoyed the program until the leading lady returned and that's where everything changed including the atmosphere and the way leaders behaved. She was the devil and I wasn't even introduced! I received a really bad concussion during my time there and she refused to show sympathy or take note of this. I continued patrol and work with headaches, blurred vision and confused speech until I contacted the head office to relay my unhappiness. I wanted to work but sometimes I wasn't feeling well obviously. Also during this time I missed a patrol, the leading lady was very upset with this and destroyed me publically during lunch, laughing in my face and threatening me that I will have to do more work.
Then came Peru. The best way to describe this is shithole. The man in our homestay smoked weed with volunteers and everyone was casual with drugs. I went to the jungle in buttfuck nowhere, 6 to 11 hours from anything. (6-11 hours because of possible and probable landslides and rain and mud and animals and breakdowns etc). Let it be know that the drive to the jungle can kill you, I feared for my life in all honesty. I'm serious. Once in the jungle I learnt that we had no leader. Our previous leader was just fired for inappropriate sexual behavior towards volunteers. I was in the jungle with a bunch of city kids and no leader. This guy's girlfriend was our chef who refused to show up sometimes as she was mad at volunteers for 'seducing' her boyfriend. The walks were dangerous, the bugs were worse, the shelter was open, the river where we bathed and washed our clothes was raging and there was no one of any competence to speak of. I was sick physically for real and sick of the situation. I left after two weeks. On my arrival back to the city no one seemed interested to transfer me or speak about my experience. I was later sexually assaulted and then robbed in two different incidents. I booked my flight back to my home country the second I had access to internet. Did I mention my phone got fucked ON THE WAY to the jungle and I had no phone for 3 weeks (not that it helps in the buttfuck jungle because there is no signal but still).
In conclusion I would like to say my experience in Costa was by far the best. I would go back and hopefully the leading lady has calmed down. The experience is a good one and the people are awesome. Maybe with a different company though.