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Costa Rica is famous for ecotourism as it has many protected areas and a high biodiversity in spite of its small size. If spending short holidays in Costa Rica is not enough for you, why not joining one of the many volunteer programs present in the country. Whether you are interested in environmental volunteering or social volunteering, there is a program for you. The programs are in the different locations of the country so you might be able to do the program in the location you prefer. An opportunity to make a difference while you discover one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Projects & Locations:
The type of projects you can choose from are:
The programmes are located in different areas of Costa Rica but mainly in Arenal, Monteverde, Sarapiquí, the Caribbean and Peninsula de Osa. If you tell us the type of program that interests you, we will let you know the areas that you can choose.
Requirements for volunteers:
– Minimum age of 18 years.
– For some programs it might be necessary you have a specific level of Spanish.
– Have an interest in the project area, and some knowledge and/or experience is an advantage.
– Good physical conditions and good state of health for programs that are in remote areas and with basic living conditions.
You will have some days of induction or training at the beginning of the program.
Volunteer tasks at the project:
– Nature conservation: Plants inventories, reforestations, paths maintenance, ecological studies… If you have related qualifications you can do an internship and work as research assistant for a longer period of time.
– Fauna protection: You can participate in a turtle project by assisting in the nightly beach patrols. There are projects about other animal species where you can participate. Another possibility is to work in a wildlife rescue centre where you can look after injured and orphaned animals.
– Ecotourism: Some eco-lodges in Costa Rica offer volunteer positions to work in the daily activities of the business, from reception to maintenance. You could also assist guides in some tours or even guide yourself if you have the necessary qualification and experience.
– Environmental education: Some organisations run environmental education activities at schools and local communities.
– Teaching: Some organisations place volunteers in school to teach English or assist the teachers with their classes. You can also participate in after-school activities for the children.
– Local communities: You can spend some time at a rural community and work with them in different areas: education, farming, women, health, etc. Some of these communities are indigenous which will give you the opportunity to learn about the original cultures of Costa Rica.
The conditions vary depending on the program and it is impossible for us to describe them here as there are many programs. The number of hours you would work range from 4 to 8, depending on the program. You will generally have two days off per week. The accommodation is usually at a volunteer house or homestay with a local family. Meals are usually provided but in some programs you will have a kitchen that you can use and you will have to cook your own meals or together with the other volunteers. Some organisations provide leisure activities for the volunteers while in other programs you will have to find things to do in your spare time. However, you will be recommended and advised about the tourist visits you can do in the area. In some of the programs they might offer optional Spanish classes if you are interested and some cultural activities.
There is a registration fee of £100 for all the programs, although some programs might have a higher fee. Then prices vary depending on the program you wish you join. In most of them you will have to pay for your accommodation and meals which is an average of $10-15. However, some programs can offer free stays for long-term or experienced volunteers. Please, let us know the program that interest you and we will inform you about the price. We could also provide you with a list of programs with description, price and contact details, and then you can contact everyone individually.
All year round but some programs might request that you start at a specific day of the week.
Currency: Colon (€1 corresponds to about 653 Crc).
Climate: Tropical. Average temperature of 22°C. From December to April, the weather is dry and May to November corresponds to the rain season.
Documentation: Passport only (for less than 3 months, no visa is requested).
Health: Typhoid vaccine is recommended.
Eco-travel directory with tours, stays and volunteer programs that follow the guidelines of sustainable and responsible travel.