Volunteering in Costa Rica

Volunteering in Costa Rica

Volunteer Programs in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country where you can meet nature, get to know its people and have that experience you’ve always wanted through volunteering.

We collaborate in 6 volunteer programs in Costa Rica , each one focused on covering a need. Your collaboration in any of these projects is of great help in the protection of abused animals, in the conservation of sea turtles or in the teaching and care of children, young people and the elderly.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


REQUIREMENTS FOR VOLUNTEERING IN COSTA RICA

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.


WHERE WILL I BE DURING MY VOLUNTEER WORK?

The projects are developed in the country of Costa Rica.

  • Animals will sleep in Puntarenas where the project is located.
  • To collaborate in the projects of education, care and support of the elderly, you will stay in San Ramon with host families and close to where the projects are located.
  • Tortugas, will be on the same beach where the project is developed, therefore for this program you will have to spend the night in Costa Rica city the day you arrive.

WHEN CAN YOU COLLABORATE ON VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN COSTA RICA?

Social projects volunteer 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.

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 CONSIDER 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.

VACCINE

To enter Costa Rica, at the moment there is no compulsory vaccination. Also if you come from a country where yellow fever is present, you will be asked for a vaccination card to verify that you have this vaccine.

VISA TO ENTER COSTA RICA

Not all people who travel to Costa Rica need to present a visa, it will depend on your nationality.

Spaniards do not require a visa for a maximum stay of 90 days, but if you need the following documentation:

  • Valid passport
  • Round trip tickets

SECURITY IN COSTA RICA

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.

ACCOMMODATION IN HOST FAMILIES

All volunteers who collaborate in social projects such as:

  • English language teaching.
  • Support to children with special needs.
  • Teaching and caring for children.
  • Attention to the elderly.
  • Living with Costa Rican host families, selected by the local organization.

WHAT DOES HOMESTAY 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).

ANIMAL PROJECT HOUSING

The volunteers who are part of the Animal Rescue and Protection Volunteer Project live in designated spaces within the project facilities.

WHAT DOES THE ACCOMMODATION INCLUDE?

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

TURTLE PROJECT ACCOMMODATION

If you go to the turtle project, you stay in the house that is available for volunteers at the project facilities (beach).

WHAT DOES YOUR TURTLE PROJECT ACCOMMODATION INCLUDE?

  • A bunk bed in a room shared with other volunteers.
  • Use of the common areas.
  • The 3 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during your volunteer work.

The contribution in some volunteer projects in Costa Rica for a period of 14 days is 650€ and with the tax deduction you will only pay 355€

WEEKSANIMALSTURTLESSOCIAL PROJECTS
1495€
2670€670€650€
3860€860€820€
Additional190€190€170€

You will be able to deduct approximately 45% of the total economic contribution to the program by means of the tax certificate that we will give you.

WHAT ARE YOU PAYING FOR?

  • Welcome at the airport and transfer to the accommodation.
  • Accommodation during your stay as a volunteer.
  • Meals during your volunteer work (see each program).
  • 24/7 support from the Adventure Volunteer team.
  • Follow-up and evaluation of the program.
  • Orientation and induction to the program.
  • Certificate of weeks spent volunteering.
  • NGO receipt for your program fee.
  • Guidance, advice and management in the choice of the program.
  • Volunteer T-shirt.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?

  • Flight to Costa Rica.
  • Return to the airport on the last day.
  • Visa if required.
  • Vaccinations, if required.
  • Internal transportation or excursions.
  • Travel in or out of the country.
  • Travel medical insurance (mandatory).
  • Drinks, diets or special meals.
  • Bottled water.

We remind you that the value of the donation can be deducted from your full income tax liability, up to a limit of 10% of the taxable base.

  • Donations up to 150 :(donation equal to or less than 150), the deduction will be 80%
  • Donations over 150 euros: (donation over 150 ?), will be 35% and 40% if made for more than 3 years in a row of the same value or more to the same association.

NOTE: There is a deduction from the IRPF for donations made to non-profit organisations under Law 49/2002, of 23 December. established in Articles 68.3, 69.1 IRPF Law and 69.2 Regulations. Royal Decree-Law 17/2020 of 5 May. (refunds are made in the year following payment). As a donation, the 150 euros initially contributed are not refundable.

HOW TO BOOK?

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.

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.

TOURIST SITES

CELESTIAL RIVER

Rio 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.

rio celeste costa rica voluntariado internacional

THE FORTUNE

Hanging 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 
paseos en puentes colgantes en Costa Rica

SANDY NATIONAL PARK

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

If you like water sports like surfing, don’t miss out on Playa Negra. As its name suggests, the sand is a dark color. It’s near another beautiful beach which is “Cahuita”. Nearby you can find hotels, restaurants and cheap places to spend the day. You can also make:

  • 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.

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.

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

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 in Costa Rica 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.

Precious experience

I did my first international volunteering and it was a very nice experience, helping the children at school. I received a lot of love from the children and learned a lot about Costa Rican culture.
They have a great human quality and I think they live with a higher quality of life than we do, they are happy with the little they have and share it with others.
Ariadna
Teaching project

Pura vida!

I went to Costa Rica expecting to be able to take care of animals totally different from those I was used to, but I came back with much more: friends, memories of a lot of places, anecdotes to bore you with, and the feeling that I had contributed to something truly worthwhile.

If you’re thinking of going, stop thinking about it and sign up, because you won’t regret it.

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