Volunteer Spotlight

"Habitat is changing lives in a meaningful way, creating communities, and giving volunteers a unique opportunity to be immersed in a different culture while showing God's love."

Name: John Collman

Age: 19

Where are you from? Ann Arbor , MI

Dates of work with Habitat for Humanity Costa Rica: February 7th - April 29th

Affiliate(s) that you worked with: Esparza, Nicoya, Monteverde

How did you hear about Habitat Costa Rica? I heard about Habitat Costa Rica through my good friends who were coming down for the special event at the end of March, and they invited me to come along. I had a lot of time on my hands, so I figured I would just come down as soon as I could and work as a long as I could.

Why did you choose to get involved? Well, I am taking a year off between high school and college, and volunteering, traveling, and serving wherever the Lord leads me. So, when this opportunity came up, I took it. Besides, who passes up going to Costa Rica?

What kind of work were you doing? I immediately became a construction grunt, and the foremen were most willing to teach me the techniques of masonry. After a while, I was given authority to give orders to other grunts. : Then when the brigades would come, I had even more to do, as I was the only person that spoke both English and Spanish. So, I got to order around a bunch of tired gringos. The coolest thing I learned how to do was repello, which is basically stucco.

What did you like most about your experience? Definitely the people. I am a people person, and Ticos are really nice people. I had so much fun just living with the families I stayed with. I have standing invitations from all the families I stayed with to come back anytime, for any amount of time. Obviously, for as long as I've been here, my Spanish ability has improved dramatically, and that has been really neat. It was also neat to learn masonry skills, as I am a carpenter.

How was your homestay experience? I love kids, so I had a ton of fun playing with the family's kids. (They call me the human jungle gym) But since I speak a good bit of Spanish, (and one learns very fast with kids, as it is necessary), I was also able to converse with the parents as well, and we had lots of really meaningful conversations about all manner of things. I really had a cool experience.