Adam Bowes, who left Eltham College in 2015, recounts his trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua with Raleigh International this summer. "I undertook a seven week Raleigh expedition to Costa Rica & Nicaragua with over 60 other volunteers from all over the world. The voluntary work was split into two distinct projects, the first in an indigenous community and the second in a national park. La Montana is an isolated rural community of 150 people situated in the North West of Nicaragua, the goal for the project was to provide the inhabitants with clean and accessible drinking water. This was crucial to the development of the community as the only source of water was over 40 minutes away and this was contaminated, so it was far from ideal. After 3 weeks of intense work alongside our host families we managed to; build a filter, dig several kilometers of trenches where we laid pipes and installed taps so that the 150 residents now had clean and accessible water. The second project was in Piedras Blancas National Park in Costa Rica. This work had a two pronged approach, the first element was to clear 6km of trail within the national park and build a new path along it for tourists so that they can access the park and generate income. The second was in the form of education days in the local town to try and raise awareness and promote the national park given that it is such a fantastic resource. After seven weeks in these two wonderful countries and with such wonderful people it was incredibly hard to say goodbye as it was such a phenomenal experience which I could not recommend enough to anyone who is even contemplating something similar. Especially with opportunities like the DS Moss Bursary at school and charities like the Jack Petchey foundation (who fully funded my trip) I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to have a truly life changing trip!"