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Volunteer in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a small and picturesque country located in Central America. It is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the east. It is regarded as one of the most biologically intense places in the world and has grown to become one of the world’s top ecotourism hotspots. It is one of the smallest Latin American countries  and home to around 4 million people. Costa Ricans are known for their warmth,hospitality and peacefulness.
 
Costa Rica attracts more than a million tourists every year with its beautiful beaches, wildlife, forests and mainly for Eco tourism. More than a quarter of land mass has been set aside as protected reserves, the largest in the world. There are many famous National Parks and Forest Reserves throughout Costa Rica.
 
Volunteering Solutions provides Volunteer Programs in the areas of Childcare, Teaching English and Conservation. Our Volunteer placements are located in Heredia , Santa Barbara and Alajuela areas , which are located a short distance away from the capital , San Jose.
 
Heredia is located around 10 kms north of San Jose and is one of the most beautiful provinces in Costa Rica. Known for its verdant coffee plantation covered hills and volcanic national parks , this mountainous region also has dense tropical forests, stunning waterfalls and roaring rivers that make it the ideal destination.
 
While the Childcare and Teaching projects are located in San Jose and the suburbs, the Turtle Conservation project is located in the Pacific coast areas.
 

Costa Rica Volunteer Projects 2014 - 2015

 

Volunteer Childcare Program

Volunteers in the Childcare Program work in child care centers, orphanages,community child care centers, community soup kitchens and day care centers` in an around the capital city of San Jose. Due to a regular and consistent migration of people from nearby poor countries such as Guatemala, there has been an increase in poverty and homeless people. The Orphanages and child care centers support and protect the homeless children and also those who are under fed and malnourished. As a volunteer you will help the local staff in providing love, care and much needed attention to the children. Volunteer work varies from day to day but you would be generally acting as mentors for the children, provide individual love and affection for the children, organize different activities for the children, help the local staff in their work and make suggestions to them for improvement. Volunteers work for 5-6 hrs in a day for 5 days in a week. During the weekends , you will have free time to explore the beautiful area of Heredia as well as San Jose.

Volunteer Teaching English Program

Volunteers in the Teaching English Program teach English to primary and middle school students in schools , community centers as well as orphanages. Learning English is very important for the students with the increase in tourism in the country and emergence of Costa Rica as a popular destination. During the program, volunteers assist the local teachers, plan and conduct their own lessons and teach the kids through play way and other interesting methods so as to make the learning interesting. Volunteers work for 5-6 hours in a day for Monday to Friday 5 days in a week. 

Volunteer Turtle Conservation Program

Volunteers in this program work in beaches along the Pacific Coast as well as the Caribbean coast. As a volunteer, you will work on projects intended to protect turtle nests from human poachers, help manage sustainable egg-harvesting programs, and work in hatcheries to ensure Costa Rica’s turtle population does not become endangered. Volunteer work varies from time to time  but generally includes work includes; working with local staff to harvest eggs, beach cleaning  night patrolling, counting turtles, collecting eggs and to keep them away from predators. Volunteer projects are located around five –six hours from the city of San Jose. All volunteers joining this program should be prepared to do hard manual work and should be in good physical condition. 

Volunteer at a Wildlife & Rescue Center

Wildlife Volunteer Program in Costa Rica with Volunteering SolutionsCosta Rica is home to a rich variety of plants and animals. Even though the country has only about 0.25% of the world's landmass it contains 5% of the world's biodiversity.  Both tropical plant and animal species are abound in Costa Rica.The country is home to more than 200 species of mammals and more than 800 species of birds. Volunteers working in this program mainly work with animal victims of repossession, loss of habitat and accidents from all corners of the country who are brought in by local officials. Many are able to be back to health and released back into their natural habitat. 
The most important requirements for this volunteer program are: Hard working skills, being ecologically sensitive, willing to learn about new cultures and the most important one: enthusiasm. In most of the projects there will be a volunteer coordinator in charge to assign the jobs but you are welcome to help anytime you consider is needed. We appreciate creativity.
 
     - Cleaning animal cages, green area of the stands. They are usually cleaned daily and not difficult or unpleasant.
     - Food preparation for the animals and feeding them under custody.
     - Roads maintenance.
     - Maintenance of paths, infrastructure (New Cages)
     - Cleaning of signs. 
     - Work with mostly endangered species. 
     - Learn how to work with the animals. 
     - Developing special projects 

Volunteers tasks can vary on a daily basis and volunteers need to be flexible and open minded. Volunteers should also be pro active and bring in new initiatives and ideas to the project.

Program Description

Program Requirements

Volunteers must be 17 years or older at the beginning of the program. Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. You should have love for children, plenty of patience and understanding and enthusiasm to make a difference. Volunteers need to have a basic level of Spanish for this program .

Project Location

Childcare & Teaching Program Location: The project placements are located in and around the city of San Jose. Our Volunteer placements are located inHeredia , Santa Barbara and Alajulela region , which are located a short distance away from the capital , San Jose. Most of the volunteer projects are located at within close proximity from the accommodations and volunteers travel by either bus or taxis.

Turtle Conservation Location: The project placements are located in the north Pacific Coast as well as the Caribbean Coast. They are located 5-6 hrs away from San Jose, which is the main base. Volunteer Orientation takes place in San Jose only. The Project will be within a walking distance from the accommodations.

Wildlife & Rescue Center The Wildlife Rescue center project is either located in the north part of the country in San Carlos, Alajuela Province or in Caribbean side in Moin, Limon Province. All volunteers need to arrive in San Jose after they which have their orientation session and then they would depart to the project.

During your Free Time 

Volunteers are free to visit and see places or do shopping during their free time. You can explore the local markets or travel to the beaches which can be visited on the weekends. The country offers unparalleled natural beauty, active volcanoes, rainforests, and a wide range of national parks and eco-tourism. In addition, Costa Rica has over 1,000 miles of gorgeous white-and-black sand beaches.

Start Date & Cost

Volunteers can begin their project placement on any Monday of the month. Volunteers need to arrive one day prior to their program start date.

Costa Rica Program Costs

Volunteering Solutions strives hard to keep costs low and offers one of the most affordable volunteer abroad programs. Compare our prices and services to other organizations and you would be surprised to see the difference.

Program Costs

 
1 Week 2 Weeks 3 Weeks 4 Weeks 5 Weeks 6 Weeks 7 Weeks 8 Weeks Extra Weeks
$500 $720 $940 $1150 $1380 $1640 $1840 $2070 $225
Please Note: -An application fee of $200 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment.
1 Week 2 Weeks 3 Weeks 4 Weeks 5 Weeks 6 Weeks 7 Weeks 8 Weeks Extra Weeks
£350 £504 £658 £805 £966 £1148 £1288 £1449 £158
Please Note: -An application fee of £140 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment.
1 Week 2 Weeks 3 Weeks 4 Weeks 5 Weeks 6 Weeks 7 Weeks 8 Weeks Extra Weeks
€415 €598 €781 €955 €1146 €1362 €1528 €1719 €187
Please Note: -An application fee of €170 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment.

What are you Paying For ?

    • 24 hrs Assistance and support from VS Staff
    • Comprehensive Pre- Departure Information
    • Pickup from San Jose International Airport and transfer to accommodation
    • Orientation on arrival
    • Accommodation 
    • Meals 
    • Internet access at local office

What we provide

Airport Receive/ Transfer: Volunteers are picked up from the San Jose International Airport by the local coordinator or representative. Those volunteers who are arriving overland or are already in Costa Rica will be picked up at a meeting point decided beforehand. 
 
Orientation: All volunteers are given an Orientation beginning on their project start date. Orientation is conducted by the local staff and covers topics such as Costa Rican Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety and Introduction to your project and placement. 
 
Lodging: Volunteers working in Turtle Conservation Project stay in ranger house or volunteer house accommodations close to the project near the beach. Dorm style accommodation is provided where you will be sharing rooms with other volunteers. Upon arrival in Costa Rica, volunteers are provided lodging in a host family accommodation in Heredia or Santa Barbara. After completing the orientation and project introduction on the first days, volunteers join their respective Turtle Conservation Project in either Pacific or Caribbean Coast.
 
Food: Volunteers are provided with three cooked meals a day at the host family house. Local Costa Rican cuisine is a fusion of cuisines from different parts of the world. Common foods are Rice, Vegetables, Beans, Pork , Meat , Chicken etc.
 
Insurance: Volunteers have the option to purchase Travel and Medical Insurance at a nominal extra cost from Volunteering Solutions. To buy insurance from Volunteering Solutions, please click here 
 
In-country travel assistance: Volunteers are assisted by the local staff and coordinators for any kind of assistance they need for their travel arrangements. The local staff and coordinators will be happy to assist you in making travel arrangements to different areas in Costa Rica.
 
In-country support: 24 hours support provided by our local staff. You will be provided with the contact details of the local coordinator and staff who will be contactable 24 hrs once you are in country.
 
Pre-departure information: After we receive full and final payment all participants are provided by a pre-departure information booklet by e-mail which will have all vital information about your program. The Pre Departure Information Booklet provides the complete details of the country, project locations, Visas, Immunizations, Things to Pack list, Accommodations, Contact Information etc.

What's NOT Included ?

    • Airfare 
    • Visa and Visa extension fee 
    • Airport taxes 
    • Local Transportation
    • Any personal expenses 
  • Jeannie Hare and Group (Canada)

    Reviews - Volunteer Childcare Program in Costa-Rica with Volunteering Solutions
    We thoroughly enjoyed our program placement. Had a wonderful time in San Jose. Thanks to VS...... read more
     
What are the Program locations in Costa Rica?

Volunteering Solutions offers programs in Heredia, Alajuela and Santa Barbara (Suburbs of the capital, San Jose).The Turtle Conservation work projects are located in both Pacific and Caribbean coast.

Does Volunteering Solutions help with Visa?

Receiving a tourist visa for tourism purpose is the volunteer's responsibility. Volunteering Solutions strongly recommends all volunteers to apply and get a tourist visa before departing for Costa-Rica, although a visa on arrival could also be obtained by most countries nationals. If needed, Volunteering Solutions do provide with written document which would help volunteers in getting the Visa.

When should I apply for the volunteer programs in Costa Rica?

We are able to offer placements from every Monday of each month year round. Because of the increasing volume of applications, participants are requested to apply in advance to secure their spots.

How long does it take to process my application?

Once you have applied, we will send you details of your placement usually within 7-10 working days.

When do I need to arrive in Costa Rica for my program? What will happen once I arrive in Costa Rica?

All volunteers need to arrive one day before their program start date. Volunteers are picked up from the Juan Santamaría International Airport by the local coordinator or representative. Those volunteers who are arriving overland or are already in Costa Rica will be picked up from the bus station or at a meeting point decided beforehand.

How do I get to the program location?

Your country coordinator will take you to your placement and introduce you to everyone after giving you a basic orientation about the program/city/culture etc.

I want to know more about accommodation arrangements?

We provide you with accommodation from your start date to the end of the program. Accommodation will be provided in a host family or homestay.  You will have your own room, which you might share with another volunteer. You should bring along things like towels and toiletries. Accommodation will be neat, clean and basic.
 
In the Turtle Project, volunteers are provided accommodation in ranger houses on the coast. Accommodation is basic.

Are there any necessary requirements to participate in the Costa Rica-based volunteer programs?

 

The only qualifications are: -
 
-- Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the beginning of the program
-- Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.
-- The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
-- Be in good health.
What immunizations/vaccinations will I need?

We recommend you speak to your doctor before coming. The following are recommended vaccinations: - 

  1. Hepatitis A and B
  2. Typhoid
Are there more expenses once I arrive in Costa Rica?

Your program fee covers you for food, accommodation, airport pick up, Orientation, Pre departure information and in country staff support. You will need to cover yourself for your personal expenses, such as traveling, telephone, internet, shopping, sightseeing etc. Traveling from Bus within Costa Rica is cheap; however, you should carry around $60 - 70 per week for your basic personal expenses, such as water, local transport, phone etc.

Is there phone and internet available on projects?

Yes there is usually a phone at every placement we provide. However you will have to use Internet café’s to use Internet. It is strongly recommended that you carry a mobile phone while traveling to Costa Rica. You can get international roaming or can simply buy a local sim-card from the airport when you arrive.

What hours will I volunteer every day?

Volunteers usually work for 5 to 6 hours a day depending on their program. You will have weekend off so you can go to travel on weekends. However some organizations will need you to work on some Saturdays as well.

Where can I change my money in Costa Rica? Are there ATM’s in Costa Rica?

You can change money in any bank or at the airport by showing your passport. There are ATM's located all around the capital city, San Jose.

Can couples or families join the volunteer program?

Yes, couples and families are welcome to join our programs. We make special provisions for families joining our volunteering programs; we will be able to provide them with program placements and accommodations together.

What will be the food arrangement?

Depending on your host family you will be provided with two or three meals a day. Food is usually vegetarian and a mix of meat and salads.

Do I need to buy health insurance?

Volunteers have the option to purchase Travel and Medical Insurance at a nominal extra cost from Volunteering Solutions. To buy insurance from Volunteering Solutions, please click here

What sorts of clothes are required for Costa Rica?

Lightweight clothing and rainwear is recommended as well as warmer clothing for the evenings (light jacket and/or light sweaters). A pair of walking shoes is highly recommended as well.

Do you recommend any cheap airlines flying into Costa Rica?

For cheap airline flying into Costa Rica, Kindly visit, http://www.kayak.com, http://www.orbitz.com