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Volunteer in Costa Rica

Free volunteer work

PUERTO VIEJO

El puente - help children with computer skills Help with serving healthy meals

 

Are you looking to volunteer in Costa Rica but you don’t want to pay a fee? Look for more information below. Or email us with any questions you might have.

El Puente

Location Just outside Puerto Viejo: 10 minutes by bike or 20 minutes walking distance from the school. You can also take a bus that passes by the program.
Volunteer in Costa Rica at el puente description Centre for the Indian community around Puerto Viejo. Most of the Indian children that visit El Puente  have learning disabilities. At the centre you can help them with their homework (math is often the most problematic), teach them English or help them use a computer. Adults you can help to read and write in Spanish. Most of the adults are illiterate.
When Every Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 a until 2 pm and on Saturdays from 12 noon to 3 pm.
Time commitment 1 week, all help is welcome here.
Details There are about seven large families that come to the program on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday to get a meal. In case medical care is needed the program will provide. They also give school supplies (like uniforms) so the children are able to go to school. Note: these children are very shy; they usually need some time to get to know you. The visitors of the centre vary in age between 3 months and 93 years old.

Daycare centre  

Location In Puerto Viejo (Playa Negra) 5 minutes by bike, 10 minute walking distance.
Volunteer in Costa Rica at the daycare centre description Help out with all types of activities. The children are between one and a half and six years of age. It is a very fun, stimulation environment. At this moment there are 18 children, most of the time there are two volunteers working there.
When Daily (Mon-Fri) from 8 am to 12 noon.
Time commitment Minimum three months.
Details Intermediate Spanish level

The Ara project

Green ara

Location Manzanillo.
Volunteer in Costa Rica at the Ara project description Big green parrots, Ara macaws, are re-introduced to this part of the Caribbean of Costa Rica. Look for more information about this great project at the website of the Ara Project. Accommodation is available at the project for $300 a month. Kitchen is available for volunteers, volunteers usually cook together.
When Five days a week. It’s possible to work on the weekends.
Time commitment Minimum of 4 weeks.
Details Spanish is not necessary but will make the work easier.

After school care, El Yue

Location In Carbon, 45 minutes by bike, or 15 minutes by bus followed by a 20 minute walk.
Volunteer at El Yue description Children from problematic families, mostly single-parent families some with problems with alcohol and /or drugs. The children are cared for after school from Monday to Friday from 14.00 to 17.00 and will be kept busy in a fun and educational way. They are elementary school age, at the moment there are 16 girls aged 7 to 12 years. The following classes are given: English, sewing, recycling, cooking classes. In addition, the children receive the attention they do not get at home. Volunteers can help to give lessons to the children and also work in the (vegetable) garden or help in a reforestation project nearby or perform maintenance work on the buildings. There usually is not much money for the work required. Therefore, a donation for the purchase of paint or brushes is appreciated or maybe deemed necessary. Simply put: maintenance should be carried out on the premises but there is no money …. Two pictures of recycling projects by the children: large waste containers made of plastic bottles collected by children and a painted flower vase made from a plastic bottle.

Afvalbakken van gerecyclede flesjes Bloemenvaas El Yue

When Monday to Friday from 2 pm to 5 pm.
Time commitment 1 week.
Details It helps if you can speak Spanish.
Acommodation You can also stay at a host family in Carbon. $30 a day and an excellent opportunity to practice your Spanish.

 

Jaguar Rescue Centre

Oops, this is a project that is not free….I am still including it because it is such a great project if you want to work with animals!

Volunteer work at Jaguar rescue centre near Puerto Viejo

Location Playa Chiquita, 20 minutes by bike from the school in Puerto Viejo.
Volunteer in Costa Rica at the Jaguar rescue centre description A centre for the care of sick, wounded, mistreated or abandoned animals. The centre houses monkeys, sloths, raccoon’s, kinkajous, toucans, and different types of feline like the margay and jaguarundi, as well as snakes and other reptiles. The purpose of this program is to release the animals back into the jungle. The program has 50 acres of primary jungle: La Ceiba. On average there are 20 volunteers at the project. Take a look at Jaguar Rescue Center  and also click on ‘photos’. The volunteer work is from 7.30 am until 3:30 pm. You work with different types of animals. You clean the cages, feed them and play with them. The young healthy monkeys go to the forest at 9 am; they have to be taken there. This way they will get used to their natural habitat and can meet the monkeys in the wild so as adults they will be accepted into the group of wild monkeys. Occasionally you will also do chores like ‘laundry’ and maintenance of the garden. For your last week you will spend six days and nights in La Ceiba. You will sleep at the premises of the project in La Ceiba in a shared room, breakfast is included. You will be very well supported in this project, but keep in mind that you are expected to work hard. This is not a program where you only pet the animals all day.
When All year round. The first Monday you have to be present at 11 am and you will get the introduction tour  followed by information about the work. The work starts on Tuesday.
Time commitment and cost
Minimum 4 weeks. The rescue center asks for a donation of $350 regardless of the number of weeks you will be volunteering. Half this amount is due when you apply to volunteer via their website and the other half no later than two months before starting the volunteer work. Please have a look at their website to be aware of all the latest requirements for their volunteers.
Details Medical  You need to have medical insurance and a negative tuberculosis test.
Accommodation You can stay with other volunteers at a house about 20 minutes walking distance from the program. There is WI-FI internet, washing machine, daily housekeeping, terrace and kitchen. Costs: $13 per night for a bed in a dorm with 4 people or $18 for a private room with shared bath. The volunteers cook together. It is convenient to have a bicycle but not necessary, there are buses 4 times a day. If you want to go out at night you can take a taxi to the village for about $4, of course you will usually go out with a group and so you can share those costs.
Registration: via the website of the rescue center. Payment is directly to them, not to SLT.

TURRIALBA

Escuela primaria

Location Turrialba
Volunteer in Costa Rica at the escuela primaria description Elementary school that hardly gets any subsidies from the government and therefore receives all the volunteers with open arms. Elementary school that hardly gets any subsidies from the government and therefore receives all the volunteers with open arms.
When Every weekday in the afternoon after your Spanish course until 4:30 pm. You can also help out for just an afternoon if you wish.
Spanish Level For helping the children with their English ‘beginner plus’ is sufficient, for helping them with other subjects you will need an intermediate level of Spanish.
Note The school is closed from the 1st of July unit the 15th of July and from the 15th of December until the 15th of January.

Orphanage

Location Turrialba
Volunteer in Costa Rica at orphanage description Shelter for orphans or children that have been abandoned or mistreated. The age of the children varies between 0 and 13 years old. The work varies from helping them with their homework, feeding the babies and the little children, playing with the children.
When The program is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You can work here starting two days a week. Minimum time commitment is one month.
Spanish Level Intermediate.
Note Dress code properly dressed!

Retirement home

Location  Turrialba near the school.
Volunteer in Costa Rica at the retirement home description This retirement home lacks specialized personal like physical therapists and occupational therapists. Give treatments that will benefit the elderly.
When Whenever you want.
Spanish level Intermediate.

C.A.T.I.E

Location Turrialba walking distance from the school.
Volunteer in Costa Rica at C.A.T.I.E.  description A centre for research and education in tropical forestry. They also keep cows. Work in the green houses,  the seed-bank or the milk factory: water the plants, count the seeds, weigh the calves, simple administrative tasks.
When Daily in the afternoons.
Spanish level No specific level of Spanish needed.

Perez Zeledon

Ecological farm ‘La Gran Vista’

Location The farm is located near San Isidrio De El General in the south west of Costa Rica. About a 3 hour bus ride from San Jose.
Description La Gran Vista is a self-sustaining model -farm where environmentally friendly, sustainable, organic agriculture is practiced. The work: feeding the animals, planting seeds, soil conservation, maintenance of medicinal plants, operating and production of organic fertilizer, harvesting crops, maintenance and construction of buildings, fences and wells. The project is not free. You sleep and eat in the project and pay $45 per day. You sleep in a dorm (men and women separately) and get 3 simple Costarican meals a day. Yes, the program makes money on the volunteers staying there, but it’s a great chance to learn about tropical ecological agriculture.
When The program is open all year.
Spanish Level Mid level, take one month of Spanish if you are a beginner.
Note Take a look at their website: La Gran Vista: http://www.lagranvista.com/

We have more information about this program, just send us an email and we will send it to you!

There are even more programs where you can volunteer in Costa Rica. In Turrialba there are two programs where you can work with handicapped children, a museum and a library. If you are interested in these programs let us know and we will send you more information.

We do not only offer programs to volunteer in Costa Rica, but also in other countries of Central and South America. Go back to the homepage to find out more about our Spanish Courses, free volunteer work, and travel with or without Spanish courses.

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