Alumni Spotlight: Bethany Jurgs, Costa Rica

by on Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Alumni Spotlight highlights the achievements and stories of ISV alumni and Student Representatives. This weekly feature showcases these participants and their life-changing experience from around the world. ISV knows that volunteers make a difference, and is pleased to recognize the achievements of these outstanding university students!

This week’s Alumni Spotlight is on:

Beth and a baby Black sea turtle after it was cleared of infection, before it was released on Ostional Beach on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Photo taken by: Melissa Foss

Bethany Jurgs
Flinders University
Costa Rica 2012

Describe your volunteer project:

I went to Ostional Beach, off the Pacific coast, for sea turtle conservation. The three species of turtles we worked with were Leatherback, Black and Olive Ridley. The project required us to do five-hour beach patrolling from 7pm-12am or 12am-5am. When we weren’t patrolling, we were on hatchery shifts that were six hours throughout the entire day. We were also involved in beach cleanups that required us to walk to a certain area of the beach and pick up as much rubbish that would fit into a garbage bag for each pair of people.

Beth's Spanish class and teacher in Heredia on their excursion to the park.

What was the most memorable moment of your ISV Program?

The most memorable moment for me was going for a swim on the beach at our project site after an intense day of work. A few minutes into our swim we were called back to the station where some of the leaders had brought back some baby Black sea turtles that needed some treatment from infections. Once they were treated, we were able to hold them and examine them before releasing them into the ocean. Just seeing them crawl over the sand and finally reaching the water was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. I felt like the work we were doing was actually able to help these tiny little creatures live.

Beth and her Host family's son, Arron, on their last night together on Project in Ostional Beach (Playa Ostional). Photo taken by: Ben Bastion

What was the funniest story of your ISV Program?

There were lots of funny stories on my ISV trip but one was a few friends and I having our salsa lessons and then that night going to a Latino bar to show off our dance moves. We got there and there were older couples on the front of the dance floor showing off some amazing moves so we joined in. Most of us, however, weren’t the best salsa dancers so we began teaching the locals some dance moves of our own, some of which were the lawnmower, the shopping trolley and the sprinkler.

What was your favorite thing about your host country?

The Reggae vibe and the beautiful scenery. Costa Rica had some of the most amazing beaches I’ve ever seen—and I’m from Australia! The rainforest areas were also amazing with some of the coolest wildlife.

“I would definitely recommend travelling with ISV to everyone who has a passion for making a difference and who wants to see different parts of the world. ISV really immerses you in the culture of the country you travel to. I barely knew anything about Costa Rica before the trip and now I can speak some Spanish and I have travelled to pretty much every corner of Costa Rica.”
-Bethany Jurgs

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: