Volunteering in Costa Rica
Country with great biodiversity in flora and fauna. Costa Rica is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Among its best known provinces are Limón, Puntarenas and its capital San. Its official language is Spanish. English is also spoken in various parts of the country, most commonly in tourist and coastal areas.
Costa Rica offers a wide variety of activities, tours to natural parks, ascents to volcanoes and more experiences surrounded by nature. Due to its very welcoming and friendly people, it is considered one of the happiest countries in Latin America.
This is general information, you will have specific information of each project in its section, since according to the program, different concepts will be included or excluded and they will have arrival and cooperation timetables.
PROGRAMS IN COSTA RICA
They need us more every day. Support to the staff of the center in the care of abandoned adults or without families, who need our attention and support. Give them love, affection and companionship.
Support in centres for the care of children and young people outside school hours. These programmes offer the possibility of helping them in their personal development and growth by providing them with social and personal skills in a relaxed environment. It's your time!
You can participate all year round in the following volunteer programs in Costa Rica:
- Care and protection of wild animals
- English Language Teaching
- Support for children with special needs
- Child Care Network
- Attention to the elderly
March to August in the following volunteer programs:
- Conservation of sea turtles and maintenance of ecological orchard, since it is period of nesting of the turtles. During the other months the work is concentrated in the ecological orchard.
Usually the volunteers work between 4 to 6 hours a day approximately. On weekends the volunteers are free to visit the country and go on excursions.
Days of arrival
For the teaching programs in San Ramon and surroundings you must arrive at your destination on Thursdays between 8:00 and 19:00, if you arrive before the time is recommended to sleep close to the airport.
Depending on the volunteer program you participate in in Costa Rica, accommodation may be in:
- Family Houses
- Houses or areas in the same projects
As is the case with volunteers who participate in the Shelter and Animal Care and Sea Turtle Conservation and Ecological Garden Maintenance program, they stay in the houses that are located in the project areas.
All volunteers who collaborate in the social programs are housed in the homes of Costa Rican families.
For both housing options, volunteers are available:
- Shared rooms with bathrooms
- Common Areas
- Meals during your stay as a volunteer
If you want to join us, no specific training is necessary in most cases, it is only required:
- Be of legal age to participate in volunteer programs with Adventure Volunteer.
- Availability for various jobs.
- To be a communicative, participative and committed person.
- Have a good behavior and be respectful with the people who collaborate and the community.
- You must be aware of the culture and customs of the country you are collaborating with.
- Ability to work in a team.
In the specific case of social programs in Costa Rica, the volunteer must provide the following additional information:
- One passport-size photo
- Copy of passport information sheet
- Criminal record sheet (police check)
In the case of social volunteer programs in Costa Rica such as childcare, language teaching, care for the elderly and support for children with functional diversity have a cost from 645 € from 2 weeks.
For programs of conservation and protection of animals costs from 2 weeks from 630 €.
WHAT IS INCLUDED ?
- Airport pick-up
- Accommodation in the volunteer’s home
- Meals during the performance of your volunteer work
- Orientation and induction to the program and country
- 24/7 support from the Adventure Volunteer team
- Monitoring and evaluation of the program
- Certificate of participation
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
- Flight to Costa Rica
- Entrance fee to Costa Rica 10$ (approximately 10€)
- Internal transportation or excursions
- Return to the airport on the last day
- Trips inside or outside the country
- It is mandatory to have a Travel Medical Insurance
ARRIVAL AT YOUR DESTINATION
We will pick you up from the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), located in the Central Valley, where you will be met by the responsible coordinator, who will take you to the home of the volunteer or the family, depending on the chosen program.
First you will have an orientation day during which we will tell you the basic rules of the house of the volunteer or family and the place where it is located. In addition to the explanation of the program to develop according to time of year.
You will have a room that you will share with other volunteers. You will have access to all common areas. In the sea turtle conservation program, being a turtle arrival area far from civilization, the WIFI connection is not available, you can connect to 3G data with sim kolbi card on the beach to be able to have constant communication with family and friends. In some houses you will have wifi connection or in the center where we developed the program.
Depending on where you stay, the breakfast schedule varies. In the sea turtle conservation program, breakfast is self-service, from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Lunch and dinner are served at the volunteer’s home and are local foods such as rice, beans, salads, meats, pasta, vegetables, fish. (We also have food options for vegetarians and vegans). For the other houses, you will be informed of the time of meals on the day of your orientation.
The summer season in Costa Rica is between December and April (dry season). It is where the sunniest days with temperatures that reach 31 degrees. Between May and November is the wet season (winter) where it usually rains more, with temperatures that can vary from 18 degrees to 26 degrees.
The official currency is the Colón. In your volunteer trip you will be able to use both colonists and dollars. Their value depends on the current exchange rate. If you do not have dollars in your country of origin, you can exchange them before coming to your bank or withdraw money by credit card in Costa Rica. It is not advisable to change at the airport, you lose money.
Tip: Try not to bring 50 or 100 dollar bills, you run the risk that in some places you do not accept them.
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 transferred to the location of the program according to the organization and information given by the coordinator.
Flights cost between 500 and 700 euros approximately (round trip).
80 kilometers north of Limón, there are beautiful rivers and forests and you can also see amazing endangered sea turtles such as the green turtle and the leatherback turtle.
There is also a great diversity of birds and you can see the following species of animals: parrots, toucans, hawks, iguanas and crocodiles.
SANDY VOLCANO AND THE SANDY NATIONAL PARK
You can relax with the natural hot springs. They are the result of underground water courses and the magma of the Arenal Volcano, one of the 5 active volcanoes of Costa Rica. While enjoying this beauty of nature you can appreciate the nature that surrounds you.
If you like water sports like surfing, don’t miss the black beach. As its name indicates the sand has a dark color. Playa Negra is also close to another beautiful beach that is “Cahuita”. In its surroundings you will find hotels, restaurants and economic places. You can also kayak, dive and snorkel.
There is a road next to the beach, where buses run at normal (regular) times. The bus routes also pass through places like Bri Bri, Manzanillo, which takes you to the beach of Punta Uva. This same route also reaches the Panamanian border by sixaola.
You can also transport yourself by bicycle, many locals offer the service. The cost can be between 6 to 10 dollars per day.
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 family according to the chosen program. You will then be given an 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 you consult the Costa Rican Embassy in your country and then your 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 bills of 50 or 100, 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 the country a little more. The local coordinator will provide you with information about places you can visit and reference prices.
How many hours should I devote 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.
- From the moment you fill out the registration form for a program in Costa Rica your place is reserved for 7 days.
- To confirm your place definitively, you must pay a deposit of 150€ within 7 days, once paid the deposit, your place will be guaranteed and you will be formally part of the Adventure Volunteer family.
- As soon as you pay the program deposit, we will send you an email to confirm that your place is safe. After that, you will receive another email with more additional information on the website, to explain absolutely everything you need to know to prepare your trip correctly. The rest of the payment is made one month before your incorporation to the project.