Costa Rica

Volunteering in Costa Rica

Volunteering in Costa Rica

Costa Rica, a country with great biodiversity in flora and fauna. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. With well known provinces and unique characteristics such as:

  • Lemon
  • Puntarenas
  • Guanacaste
  • And its capital San José.

 

It offers a wide variety of activities such as:

  • Tours to natural parks
  • Climbing volcanoes
  • Sea turtle sightings
  • And many experiences
  • surrounded by nature.

 

Due to its very welcoming and friendly people, it is considered one of the happiest countries in Latin America.

Its official language is Spanish. English is also spoken in various parts of the country, commonly in tourist and coastal areas.



It is a country where you can meet nature, meet its people and have that experience you have always wanted as a volunteer. This information that we provide here is general, you will have specific information about each volunteer project in its section, since depending on the program you choose, different conditions, concepts, arrival and cooperation times will be included or excluded.

 

PROGRAMS IN COSTA RICA

voluntariado costa rica animales

Animal care and shelter

We collaborate in the rehabilitation, conservation and reincorporation of the animals to their natural habitat. We achieve this goal with volunteers like you, who decide to travel the world, to support a good cause.

animal shelter costa rica

SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION

Work to protect the different species of sea turtles that nest on the beaches where we work. With the objective of reducing the negative impact created by natural and human factors.

volunteer in costa rica special need kids

Children with functional diversity

Support us in developing the skills of people with special needs such as: Blindness, Deafness, Autism, Asperger's, Down syndrome. Through didactic workshops, music, dance, art and theatre.

voluntariado con niños necesidades especiales

Assistance to the elderly

Every day a grandfather needs us, support the staff of the center in the care of abandoned adults or without families in Costa Rica, who need our support. Your company will be of great motivation and joy.

volunteering in Costa Rica with children

Teaching and childcare

We support the development and personal growth of children and young people, strengthening their social and personal skills in a different, creative and dynamic environment.

volunteer learning english costa rica

English Language Teaching

Helps children and young people to learn a second language and in some cases to improve the level of English in some people in the community.

WHEN CAN YOU COLLABORATE IN VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN COSTA RICA?

Social projects in Costa Rica such as:

  • English language teaching.
  • Support for children with special needs.
  • Teaching and child care.
  • Attention to the elderly.

 

They are open all year round (according to the school period) starting on February 6, ending on December 10, 2019 and you must arrive in the country on a Thursday.

Closed during the holiday period, which is the first and second week of July.

They are also closed for the end of the year, between the third week of November and the second week of February. Except for the teaching and childcare project and the elderly care project, which are only closed on 24, 25, 31 December and the first week of January.

 

Also for Easter, the projects are closed all week (from 14 to 20 April 2019).

  • Rescue and protection of wild animals is open all year round (from January to December).
  • Sea turtle conservation is open from the first week of March until the last day of August.

 

*In each project you have the dates of arrival and start in the country.

ACCOMMODATION WITH HOST FAMILIES

All volunteers who collaborate in social projects such as:

  • English language teaching.
  • Support for children with special needs.
  • Teaching and child care.
  • Attention to the elderly.

 

Live with Costa Rican host families, selected by the local organization.

 

WHAT DOES ACCOMMODATION WITH HOST FAMILIES INCLUDE?

  • Beds, in a room shared with other volunteers.
  • Use of common areas.
  • The 3 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during your stay as a volunteer. 
  • Wifi connection (internet).

 

ACCOMMODATION IN SPACES SET UP FOR VOLUNTEERS WITHIN THE PROJECTS.

  • In both the animal rescue and protection project and the sea turtle conservation project in Costa Rica, you live in the spaces set aside for volunteers, which are found in specific areas of the project.

 

WHAT DOES ACCOMMODATION IN THESE VOLUNTEER SPACES INCLUDE?

  • Beds, in a room shared with other volunteers.
  • Use of common bathrooms.
  • Use of common areas.
  • Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during your volunteer stay.
  • Wifi connection (internet) at specific times, only in the animal rescue and protection project.

Anyone who wishes to be part of a volunteer program in Costa Rica, in most cases, does not need specific training, it is only required:

 

  • Be of legal age.
  • Availability for various jobs and activities.
  • To be a communicative, participative and committed person.
  • To have a good behavior and to be respectful with the people who collaborate and the community.
  • You must be aware of the culture and customs of the country in which you are collaborating.
  • Ability to work in a team.
    You must be able to adapt easily.

 

*You can consult the requirements of each project in their links.

Social volunteer projects in Costa Rica such as: English language teaching, support for children with special needs, teaching and care of children, attention to the elderly, its cost is of:

  • 2 weeks (minimum period) 650€.
  • Each additional week is 170€.

 

Rescue and protection of animals has a cost of:

  • 1 week (minimum period) €495
  • Each additional week 190€

 

Conservation of sea turtles has a cost of:

  • 2 weeks (minimum period) 670€.
  • Each additional week 190€

 

On each page of the project you can see the detail of the cost per week.

 

ARRIVAL AT YOUR DESTINATION

Once at the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in Costa Rica, located 17 kms from downtown San José, you will be picked up by one of the organization’s transporters (taxi), which will have a sign (normal size) with your name on the exit. It will recognize you by the photo that you sent us attached in the extended form.

The taxi driver will take you to the accommodation or directly to the project, according to your chosen program. In case you go to the sea turtle conservation project, the taxi driver will take you to the hostel (data sent in the last mail before traveling) where you will sleep one night and the next day, the transport organized with the hostel (taxi driver) will take you to the bus station and will tell you where to take the bus to get to Batán where a member of the organization will be waiting to take you to the facilities of the project.

Depending on the time of arrival at the facilities of the project, you will be made the orientation of the house, project and activities to do. At that time the coordinator responsible for the project or area where you will be assigned will tell you the rules, regulations and procedures to follow during your volunteering.

 

IMPORTANT FACTS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN ARRIVING IN COSTA RICA
  • If you arrive and pass the immigration controls and do not find the taxi driver, do not move from the airport, you will be picked up. You can also write to the numbers we have provided for consultations.
  • If you do not have local currency (money), you can change upon arrival at the airport, or withdraw from the cashier.
  • If you want to have data to be connected at all times, you can buy a local SIM card (Kolbi, Movistar, Claro) and activate a plan for the time you will be volunteering.

 

CLIMATE

  • The summer season (dry season): Between December and April is where you find the sunniest days with temperatures that reach 31 degrees.
  • Winter season (wet season): It occurs between May and November, where it usually rains more, with temperatures that can vary from 18 degrees to 26 degrees.

CURRENCY

The official currency in Costa Rica is the Colón. Convert it

Example of costs in Costa Rica: (635,528 colones = 1€)

  • A 1500 colones cappuccino coffee (2,37€).
  • A menu of the day, in economic places 4500 colones (7,12€).
  • A bottle of water 760 colones (1,20€).
  • Bus transport 420 colones (€0.66). This may vary depending on the route.

 

You can also use dollars, they tend to accept it in more touristic places. Its value depends on the current exchange rate. If you do not have dollars in your country of origin you can change before coming to your bank or withdraw money by credit card in Costa Rica.

Tip: Try not to bring 50 or 100 dollar bills, you run the risk that in some places you will not be accepted.


FLIGHT

For your volunteer work in Costa Rica, the flight must have as its final destination the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), where you will be picked up and transferred by the taxi driver to the project or accommodation according to the chosen program.

  • You can find flights from 500€ and 700€ approximately (round trip).
  • You can find good flight offers on google flights or skyscaner.

 

CELESTIAL RIVER

rio celeste costa rica voluntariado internacionalRio celeste costa rica international volunteeringUbicado en el cantón Guatuso de Alajuela, dentro del Parque Nacional Volcán Tenorio. Its main attraction is its celestial waters, as its name indicates.

It is a recommendable route, not only because of the color of the water, but also because of its natural environment and the sensation that leaves you totally relaxed.

You must take into account the schedules of income (which are usually from 8:00 to 14:00 hours). At a price of 15€ approximately.

 

THE FORTUNE

paseos en puentes colgantes en Costa RicaHanging bridge rides in Costa RicaIt is a very quiet and easily accessible small town in Costa Rica. It connects with the Arenal Volcano and the Monteverde forest.

It is considered one of the most visited places in Costa Rica. The town has many activities and attractions that you can enjoy in your free time as a volunteer.

Some of these activities are:

  • Visit and swim in La Fortuna Waterfall
  • Rafting
  • Walking
  • Kayak or canoeing tours
  • Canopy
  • Visits to the thermal waters
  • Suspension bridges

 

SANDY NATIONAL PARK

uno de los 5 volcanes activos de Costa Rica.One of the 5 active volcanoes of Costa Rica. Home of two very attractive volcanoes in Costa Rica. Although one is better known, as it bears the name of the Park, Cerro Chato, it is also very picturesque and the view of the landscape is unique.

Within the Arenal National Park area you can also enjoy other attractions such as:

  • Arenal Lake
  • Trekking
  • Suspension bridges
  • Go to the waterfalls
  • Visit the spa

 

PORT OLD

PUERTO VIEJO Si te gustan los deportes acuáticos como el surf, no dejes de ir a playa negra.  Como su nombre lo indica la arena tiene un color oscuro.  Playa Negra también está cerca de otra bella playa que es “Cahuita”.  A sus alrededores podrás encontrar, hoteles, restaurantes y lugares economicos.  También puedes realizar kayak, buceo y snorkel. Hay una carretera junto a la playa, donde pasan buses en horario normal (regular).  Las rutas de autobuses también pasan por lugares como: Bri Bri, Manzanillo, que te lleva a la playa de Punta Uva.  Esta misma ruta también llega a la frontera con Panamá por sixaola. También puedes transportarte en bicicleta, muchos locales ofrecen el servicio.  El coste puede estar entre 6 a 10 dólares por día.If you like water sports like surfing, don’t forget to go to black beach. As its name indicates the sand has a dark color. It is close to another beautiful beach that is “Cahuita”. In its surroundings you will find hotels, restaurants and economic places to spend the day. You can also do it:

  • Kayak
  • Diving
  • Snorkel

 

There is a road next to the beach, where buses pass in normal schedule (regular). The bus routes also pass through places like Bri Bri, Manzanillo, which take you to the beach of Punta Uva. This same route also reaches the Panamanian border by sixaola.

Another alternative to move along these beaches is by bicycle, many locals offer the service. The cost can be between 6 to 10 dollars per day.

 

TORTUGUERO

Located 80 kilometers north of Limon, with beautiful rivers and forests, you also have the chance to witness one of the most beautiful acts of nature as is the nesting of sea turtles.

You can also appreciate the great diversity of birds such as:

  • Parrots
  • Toucans
  • Falcons
  • Other

Costa Rica is considered one of the most developed countries in Latin America, but as in any country in the world there are areas or zones that are not recommended to go for a person who is not from there.

Generally in San Jose you can find people who approach you and between laughter and kindness ask you for something to eat or money, avoid these situations, as it often happens that without realizing you lose something from your purse.

The tourist areas of Costa Rica are generally safe, but we still recommend you to keep in mind the following:

 

  • Let your coordinator know where you will go, in case of an excursion, so that he can warn you about the places.
  • Have your coordinator’s phone number and the address where you are staying for your safety.
  • Avoid giving out information about the house, workplaces and other volunteers for safety.
  • Do not take anyone other than the organization to the volunteer’s home.
  • Recognize and avoid hazardous areas in every place you visit.
  • Travel in austerity in your daily transfers and on your excursions.
  • Avoid attracting attention with very uncovered or expensive clothing (jewelry and accessories).
  • Avoid taking your mobile phone out in public or leaving it on a table somewhere.
  • Try to use the country’s safe transportation services or services such as Uber or safe taxis.
  • Avoid walking alone in the street at night.
    Never put someone you don’t know into an unknown vehicle, or someone you don’t know into yours.
  • Do not drink any drink of which you do not know the origin.

 

  1. From the moment you fill out the registration form for a program in Costa Rica you will keep the place for 7 days.
  2. To confirm your place definitively, you must pay a deposit of 150€ before 7 days, once the deposit is paid, your place will be guaranteed and you will be formally part of the family of volunteers of Adventure Volunteer.
  3. As soon as you pay the program deposit, we will send you an email to confirm that your place is secure where we will provide you with the volunteer guide, your t-shirt, mandatory insurance and the volunteer agreement.
  4. The rest of the payment is made one month before your incorporation to the project.

 

WILL YOU PICK ME UP FROM THE AIRPORT?

Adventure Volunteer with the information we ask you for your flight, organize the pick up at the airport with the local coordinator.

This will take you to the home of the volunteer or the host family, according to the chosen program. Depending on your arrival time and program, on the same day you will be given the orientation of the place, the program and the country.

 

DO I HAVE TO HAVE TRAVEL INSURANCE?

Yes, all volunteers who volunteer with Adventure Volunteer are required to have travel insurance (Medical).

 

WHAT VACCINATIONS ARE REQUIRED TO TRAVEL TO COSTA RICA?

Currently in Costa Rica is not required to have any vaccine, except if you have been in a country that is on the list of risk.

We recommend that all our volunteers consult the Costa Rican Embassy in their country and then their doctor before traveling. However the vaccines that are always recommended are: Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A and B and Typhoid.

 

WHERE CAN I CHANGE MONEY IN COSTA RICA?

You can change money at the airport by showing your passport. Also by credit card at ATMs. Try that the money you bring in dollars are not 50 or 100 bills, in many places do not like to receive them.

 

WILL I HAVE FREE TIME WHILE VOLUNTEERING IN COSTA RICA?

Depending on the volunteer program you choose, you can have afternoons or weekends to get to know the country.

Volunteers usually take weekends to go on excursions and get to know a little more about Costa Rica. The local coordinator will provide you with information on places to visit and reference prices. Also in the volunteer guide we send you, you will find information about places that may be of interest to you.

 

HOW MANY HOURS SHOULD I DEDICATE TO VOLUNTEER WORK?

Volunteers generally work 4 to 6 hours per day, Monday through Friday.

The schedule will depend on the program chosen. Volunteering should also be flexible and comprehensive, as hours and work may vary from program to program.

 

VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCES IN COSTA RICA

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