I came to Costa Rica in the winter for my first trip by myself and I feel like I couldn't have chosen a better place/program! I participated in the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) program for one month and then I stayed for another two to teach some local adults and in the Cabuya school.
I think the best way to write a review will be to break it into sections, so here I go:
I personally loved the lodge! It's not very hard to adjust to looking at the beach from a hammock, or working/ eating at the big wooden table with the ocean breeze hitting you. (Because the patio is on the backside of the lodge it tends to feel so much cooler than when you are walking on the road to the town).
As for the rooms, they are all fairly basic with cold water showers and indoor plumbing. When I was there all the rooms had mosquito netting on the windows except the one of the rooms upstairs (that may have changed now) but that room did have a net around the bed. There is also Wifi, but it is sometimes unreliable because the electricity tends to go out for a few minutes some nights.
The cleanliness of the Lodge always varied depending on the guests' abilities to clean up after themselves, but usually it wasn't too bad.
There are some cool little pools (as shown in the profile picture) that warm up in the sun and are quite nice as long as you don't mind it feeling like there is carpet under your toes! One night I was in one of the pools and I had the awesome experience of seeing Bioluminescent Algae!
The Lodge is about a ten minute walk from the town which I personally preferred because it can get quite loud at night down there!
I highly recommend this course as it only takes a month and you get a life long certification out of it! Kerri is a great teacher and the course is quite relaxed. You learn an assortment of things such as classroom management, types of learning/teaching styles and lesson planning. After that, you get to teach in front of your peers four times so you can learn what you need to work on and what you are awesome at. If you are worried about not knowing Spanish, it is definitely not an necessity! I have some knowledge of Spanish so I did use it to my advantage, but I met a few people who knew absolutely none and they made marvelous teachers!
I took some Spanish classes for the first couple months and had both Vill and Edgar as teachers. They both have different styles, so you may find one works better for you, but I enjoyed both and learned a lot.
When I first got there I had paid for a few of these which was a good way to spend my time before I met many people. I did the zip-lining, horse back riding, Isla Tortuga and the surfing.
My surf instructor was Mayol, and he is fantastic! He is great at explaining the technical aspects and he is very, very patient (even if you are horrible at it). Haha.
Also, I think it is a very good idea to book the shuttle through Vill and Kerri if you are coming straight from the airport in Alajuela (SJO).
This was such a great life experience and I can't wait to go teach in more places! I really enjoyed teaching small groups of adults who were eager to learn and who became some of my good friends. Teaching in the public school was also very enjoyable but more of a time commitment as far as lesson planning goes as it is harder to think of ways to teach grammar to a big class of kids. But, don't let that scare you away because all the kids are so adorable it makes it all worth it. And bring stickers- they go crazy for stickers!
KERRI AND VILL:
They were so helpful and friendly they made my stay there feel like my home away from home!
So, what I'm trying to get across here is the Lodge is basic but comfortable; the TEFL and other activities are awesome and I highly recommend staying here!