I traveled to this farm under the strong review of a friend based on my interest in agricultural work. Intended to stay for over 5 weeks, quickly decided to cut my stay nearly in half. Agricultural work offered was minimal, the food was extremely poor and lacked fruits and vegetables for a considerable amount of time, and the family was absent most of the time and did not communicate well with the volunteers. Rules on working and eating would be changed without notice or discussion with volunteers. Directions and a main plan for our jobs were rarely received. There were several different incidents where the main person running the farm made fun of other volunteers behind their backs, and the majority of the work that we did during my time there was construction work around their house.
Considering other great reviews and the personal recommendation that I was given, my travel partner and I feel as though the experiences shared amongst ourselves and several other volunteers may have been unusual to our visit, however I believe that those intending to travel here should be warned that their Help X and WWOOF pages are not advertised truthfully.
If our expectations had been different, we may have had a better time here. If you're looking for a relaxing time in a rural area that's close to a lot of natural beauty with La Cangreja in the front yard and a beautiful river and waterfall in the back, this may be your place. However, I would not return here again with the intentions to learn about agriculture.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Villas Mastatal was created by Costarrican family hoping to share their livelihood while; allowing others to learn about the culture and community in their small mountain village. Providing a resource for education was also important to the family. Hosting student groups and world travelers allows the family to both teach and learn, enriching the live Villas es all of who visit Mastatal. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Villas Mastatal Costa Rica/Santiago De Puriscal