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Overview

Be a volunteer for the amazing '2 Weeks Special Voluntour' in Costa Rica and experience the best that the 'Land of Ticos' has in store for you! Perfect for students looking for an experiential learning journey, as well as for backpackers and travelers who are keen on making a difference while exploring Costa Rica - this program would definitely be the best option for one and all.

Work at a community kitchen and help to prepare food, clean the place, wash dishes and share with the children and adults who go to this NGO to maybe have their only meal at the day. As a responsible traveler, engage yourself in beach cleaning work and protect the environment. Other than that, there will be ample time to explore and pump your adrenaline while looping through the canopy and soaking in the freshness!

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Program Requirements

Volunteers must be 17 years or older at the time of joining the project. You need to have an open mind and a flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference. Participants must be fit and healthy at the time of joining the program and should be prepared to work outdoors and get their hands dirty. Participants in the program should have a keen interest and love for environment conservation work as well as for working with children. Participants should have no criminal convictions and should provide a clean criminal background check report.

Itinerary

Day 1 Sunday: San José airport picks up and transfers to Volunteers’ House & Hostel to unpack and rest. 

Day 2 Monday: -Brief orientation, starting at Jesús Soup Kitchen Project and Walking Santa Bárbara City Tour in the afternoon.

Days 3 – 6: Barrio Jesús Soup Kitchen.  
Our Social projects seek to contribute to the development of the poorest families in our population, principally in poor rural areas and marginalized urban areas in order for them to attain integral human development, which translates into better living conditions in harmony with nature. Volunteers will be working in Barrio Jesús Soup Kitchen by helping to prepare food, clean the place, wash dishes and share with the children and adults which go to this NGO to maybe have their only meal at the day.  During this first week, you will be helping four hours daily from Monday to Friday. You will provide care, love, and attention for these children and parents as well as assisting staff at the projects. 

Days 9 – 13: Jacó Beach Environmental Program.  

  • Cleaning the beach and Recycling Campaign every Monday and Wednesday morning.
  • Volunteers will pick up garbage all along the beach and place it in special garbage containers. Please keep in mind that because of the ultraviolet rays you can’t spend the four hours working at the beach. Volunteers will separate and recycle the garbage they collected from the beach.  
  • Reforestation Program every Tuesday and Thursday morning.
  • Volunteers will look for, pick up and place in the “greenhouse” beach almond trees which are the main food for the Big Scarlet Macaws.
  • Helping community every Friday morning. Optional and if you didn't work 5 hours a day Monday to Thursday.
  • Volunteers will work in different projects at the community, such as painting murals, working in the playground or the soccer field, working in the local community buildings, etc.                                                                       

Day 14 Saturday: Goodbye Costa Rica.
You can spend your last day saying goodbye to Costa Rica and shopping or continues traveling around the country. This is your last morning at the Volunteers’ House & Hostel.

Weekend Tours

Day 7 Saturday: Poás Volcano Tour: As we ascend the mountain, we will see coffee plantations as well as fern, flower and strawberry farms along the way, creating a beautiful array of colors and visuals.

There is a noticeable change in temperature and vegetation, preparing us for the pleasure of the exuberant cloud forest of the Poas Volcano.
The Poás Volcano is an active 2,708-metre (8,885 ft) stratovolcano. The crater of the volcano is over a mile across and 1050 feet deep.  It has erupted 40 times since 1828, including April 2017.

At the Volcano, we will have time to enjoy the impressive main crater with its sulfur fumaroles, and hike on a trail to the beautiful Botos Lagoon as we learn about the different ecosystems in the park. Enjoy your day at the Worlds’ Biggest Active Geyser. 

Day 8 Sunday: Canopy Adventure Barva Volcano. Zip-lining in the morning and transfer to Jacó Beach in the late afternoon.
Our trip begins with an early pick up 8 am approx. at your place. From there you will be transported to our Operation Center in San Jose de la Montana, Heredia. After registering and using the restrooms, our guides will be gearing you up for the adventure with a professional climbing harness, pulley, leather gloves, and helmet. Once the gear is in place we will jump back in our transportation to do a short (1/2 mile) drive up the hill. During this last drive, we will be able to learn about the cypress plantation and the way that it is managed.
 
Once we get to the top of the hill our guides will be conducting a “safety talk” where all the doubts about how to properly use the gear, the right position to ride on the cables and the way the broken system works will be explained. On this adventure, all you have to do is enjoy the ride.
 
After the safety talk, we will be walking into the primary forest. As we make our way to the first platform we will stop along the way to learn more about the cloud forest. At the end of this nature hike, we will find ourselves at the foot of a staircase that will take us to the top of the forest, climbing along a gigantic oak tree. Once we get to the first platform we will start using gravity to travel.

Volunteer Work Schedule

  • Duration: 2 weeks 
  • Arrival: Sunday
  • Project: Intercultural & Ecological Projects
  • Working Days: Monday – Friday – 5 days a week, 4-6 hours in a day
  • Weekends: Travel / Sightseeing included in Cost

 

Living

Being an International Organization, we try to make sure that our volunteers are given the kind of comfort and flexibility they seek. In terms of airport pick up, stay, local travel or work and even city tour, we help our volunteers and facilitate everything for them.

Airport 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.

Accommodation

As a volunteer for the ‘2-week Special Program’, volunteers work in two different cities, Heredia in the first and Jacó in the second. Jaco is about a 100 kilometers from Heredia and all volunteers will be transferred after the first week accordingly. Accommodated in a volunteer house in both these cities, both the houses are laced with all basic amenities such as attached bathrooms, electricity, running water, clean linens amongst others. The rooms are shared on a same-sex basis and each room accommodates 4 people on bunk beds with separate storage space for each bed.

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.

Meals

Meals for the project will be provided twice a day at the volunteer house. Often, volunteers pitch in to prepare meals together which becomes a great bonding activity for all the volunteers at the house.

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. Visit these things you can do in your leisure time.

Program Cost

Please Note: -An application fee of $199 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment)

What are you Paying for?

  • Pickup from the airport
  • Orientation & Walking Santa Bárbara City Tour
  • Placements in the Volunteering Projects
  • Accommodations at Volunteers’ Houses in Santa Bárbara & Jacó, including two meals a day (Breakfast and lunch)
  • Tours to Poás Volcano and Zip-lining
  • Participation’s Certificate if desired
  •  
  • Certificate Of Completion (Upon Request)

What's NOT included?

  • Flights
  • Local transportation 
  • Towel & Toiletries
  • Insurance
  • Dinners
  • Pocket Money
  • Transportation back to the airport but we can help you to organize it

Program Dates

Months 2021 2022
January 0317 0216
February 0721 0620
March 0721 0620
April 0418 0317
May 0216 0115
June 0620 0519
July 0418 0317
August 0115 0721
September 0519 0418
October 0317 0216
November 0721 0620
December 05 0418

Available Filling Fast Not Available Past Date

 

 

FAQ's

FAQ's Application and Program Details
It is advised to apply for the projects once the volunteering/ traveling dates are decided as there are limited spots available. The application fee is valid for one full year and can be sent earlier than the desired period of volunteering, for timely confirmation of the seat. As soon as you decide the travel dates, we suggest you to apply for the program and hold your spot. We abide by the first come first serve policy.
Usually, it takes around 10-12 working days for the application to be processed and placement to be confirmed. After we review your CV and documents, your booking is confirmed and the booking confirmation is updated in your My Account and you can view the information in your account. The application acceptance depends on the availability of seats in the project as well as the eligibility criteria of the program (age, skills and experience etc.).
Below are the necessary requirements to participate in the Costa Rica volunteer projects:
Volunteers must be 17 years or older for Teaching, Childcare, and Spanish Immersion at the beginning of the program. For all other programs, you need to be 18 years or older.
Volunteers joining the medical volunteer project must be either Pre-Medical, Medical or Nursing student or possess other qualifications related to medical and nursing field. Medical professionals such as doctors and nurses are also welcome to join 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.
The participant must be in good health.
Knowledge of Spanish (basic to intermediate) is necessary for all the programs.
Yes, you are welcome to take part in Costa Rica Volunteer Programs as part of a group. We welcome families, friends, high school students, college/university and corporate groups to volunteer together in the Costa Rica volunteer programs.
Yes, most definitely you can, as we believe that every participant brings something new to the project. If you do not have previous experience, we offer you the opportunity to have a great start with us. We make international volunteering easy – not only are our Volunteer Abroad opportunities rooted in offering you extensive support, but they are also very affordable.
Yes, we will provide you with the Certificate after successful completion of your program. The certificate is provided on request.
All volunteers have to arrive one day before their program start date. You can view your arrival dates here. Volunteers are picked up from the Juan Santamaria Airport by the local coordinator or representative and taken to the respective host family accommodations. On the next day, i.e. Monday, there will be an orientation session which will cover the program highlights and provide you details about the city. You will get to know about the local culture, marketplaces, ATMs, internet cafes and where to shop for your daily essentials. On Monday, volunteers would also be required to take a Spanish test to assess their Spanish knowledge.

To add to the project experience, you can also join the Spanish Immersion Week which gives you a crash course in Spanish and even tests your current Spanish skills which would help you in volunteering, and you would also get a chance to experience Costa Rican culture, learn cooking and Latino dancing before beginning the program. 

Note: Host accommodation is located in suburbs of San Jose in the Heredia and Santa Barbara areas, along with your projects placements. 
The Childcare, Teaching and the Medical Healthcare projects are located near San Jose, primarily in the areas of Heredia and Santa Barbara. 

The Turtle Conservation project is located in the Pacific and the Caribbean coasts.

The Wildlife and Rescue Center project is located across different locations mainly in Alajuela Province and the Central Pacific Region. 
 
Flights and Visa
Participants (most nationalities) require a Tourist Visa to travel to Costa Rica. Travelers from most countries can get a 90-day permit stamped on their passport on arrival.We advise you to check with your nearest Costa Rican embassy as well. 
Juan Santamaría International Airport is well connected with direct flights coming in from different destinations in the US and South America. For volunteers coming from North America, following Airlines are recommended:
US Airways 
Delta

For those flying in from Europe, direct flights are available, and the recommended airlines are:
Condor
Iberia
Health and Safety
Costa Rica is a tourist friendly and safe destination. Volunteering Solutions is very particular about the safety of its international volunteers. We have stringent selection criteria for host family accommodation. You will be given safety precautions and instructions by the local coordinator team during the orientation as well as in your Pre-departure handbook after you become an enrolled participant. Apart from that, we advise volunteers to consult their in-country coordinators before embarking on a weekend trip or going on a night out.
All participants are recommended to consult their physician or travel doctor before traveling to Costa Rica. To view the general list of vaccinations recommended for your travel to Costa Rica, click here.
Yes, for all participants, it is mandatory to have a valid travel medical insurance for their trip. Volunteers have the option to purchase Travel and Medical Insurance at a nominal extra cost from Volunteering Solutions.  To provide the best option to our participants, we offer comprehensive insurance coverage in collaboration with a leading insurance provider. 

If you already have a valid Travel and Medical insurance, you can email us a copy of the same. It is also advised to bring along the Insurance documents during your trip.
Connect with Past Volunteers
We encourage volunteers to get in touch with former Volunteering Solutions Costa Rica program participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page or Facebook Group to communicate with other participants.


To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit ?the Meet a Volunteer section on our website.
Accommodation and Living
Volunteers working in Turtle Conservation Project stay in ranger house, host family 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 (same gender basis). 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. 

For all other projects, volunteers will be staying with host families. More details about the host families would be provided after you apply for the program. Volunteers would be provided meals 3 times a day. 

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.
Unfortunately, the entire volunteering experience is as much about volunteering on your project, as it is about the cross-cultural exchange and community building. A lot of that happens through the accommodation that we have set up, where one can enjoy by being with like-minded people. Additionally, for safety reasons, all volunteers must live in the allotted accommodation.
Yes, however, you must inform us in advance and also mention about any dietary requirement in your application form. 
Depending on your project placement, you will get evenings and the weekends free to travel and explore the place. In the evenings, volunteers usually get together and go out for social gatherings, eat out or just relax at the volunteer house. Weekends are free for the volunteers and you can go for short weekend trips. There’s actually so much to do in Costa Rica. Visit Nicoya Peninsula, Arenal Volcano, Corcovado National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Tabacón Hot Springs, San José, Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, Tortuguero National Park and much more. 
The local coordinators will be happy to help you with more information.
Your program fee does not cover your personal expenses. You will need to provide for yourself your personal expenses, such as bottled water, local transport, telephone, shopping, sightseeing etc. However, you should carry around $70-$80 per week for your basic personal expenses. This amount can vary and you would need a higher amount if you choose to go on weekend trips out of town.
Volunteers usually work for 4 to 6 hours a day depending on their program. You will have weekends off so you can travel on weekends. However, volunteers need to be flexible, open-minded and understand that work requirements can change as well on certain occasions.
You can change money upon your arrival at Juan Santamaria Airport or from the bank. There is a good network of ATMs as well.

Other Programs in Costa Rica

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