Costa Rica’s renowned biodiversity, laid-back culture, and breathtaking landscapes make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Latin America. Costa Rica is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity, while occupying only 0.25% of the world’s landmass. The Costa Rican people have a well-deserved reputation for being friendly, fun-loving, and welcoming to foreigners.
Despite its natural beauty and wonderful people, Costa Rica experiences problems affecting many Latin American countries. Many nonprofit organizations working to improve conditions in local Costa Rican communities lack funding and volunteer support. With eco-tourism ranking as Costa Rica’s main industry, education and environmental conservation are essential to ensuring a bright future for the Costa Rican people.
Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older, though exceptions to this age requirement may be made on a case-by-case basis. Successful volunteers are hardworking, flexible, and open to truly immersing themselves in Costa Rican culture.
World Endeavors volunteers live in Atenas, a small, relatively prosperous farming town in the central highlands of Costa Rica where coffee, sugarcane, and fruit are grown. Life here revolves around family and community, and the nightlife consists mostly of family gatherings, barbecues, and shared meals. Local residents can often be found browsing the colorful farmer’s market for fresh produce, enjoying a cup of local coffee at a café, or strolling in the park at the center of the city. Atenas is renowned for its climate, which keeps the city warm in the daytime and cool at night. Public pools and hiking trails make Atenas an appealing destination for those who wish to spend time outdoors, and the town’s location, less than an hour from the capital of San José and the international airport, makes it easily accessible for arriving volunteers.
“This is a once in a life time opportunity, really very few people get to immerse themselves in another culture like this. Eat new foods, dance new dances, embrace Tico time, greet everyone with a kiss, get to know your families, your coworkers, the kids, and you’ll have such a fulfilling experience. Time flies so enjoy every minute!”
- Kari, Volunteer in Costa Rica
Volunteers in Costa Rica will live and work in the city of Atenas, located on the western edge of the fertile Central Valley, where they can help communities in need.
World Endeavors volunteers in Costa Rica can contribute to the following projects:
World Endeavors Childcare Assistance volunteer program helps Costa Rican children to overcome challenges and build a positive future. Minimum duration of 4 weeks
*Please note there is an additional fee for some Childcare Assistance projects. Contact World Endeavors for more details.
World Endeavors Community Development volunteers in Costa Rica work to strengthen their host community by addressing some of its most pressing needs and sharing their skills and compassion with the people they meet.
Volunteers may help teachers prepare and present lessons, tutor students to supplement class work, and provide one-on-one homework assistance.
World Endeavors Eldercare volunteers help in care facilities and other locations including senior centers, spending time with residents and assisting staff.
Volunteers work with nonprofit organizations on a variety of initiatives that focus on conservation and sustainable development.
World Endeavors volunteers in health education help to increase public knowledge about diseases and their prevention.
World Endeavors Healthcare volunteers in Costa Rica may work with a clinic that provides emergency services and routine medical care, a teaching clinic outside of Atenas, or a local retirement center, to name a few possibilities. Opportunities to gain experience in Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy are also available.
*Please note there is an additional fee for some Healthcare projects. Contact World Endeavors for details.
World Endeavors Special Education volunteers in Costa Rica make a difference in the lives of children and adults with mental disabilities.
World Endeavors Sustainable Agriculture volunteers in Costa Rica help at a local, award-winning coffee cooperative located in one of the most beautiful mountain regions of Central America.
Teaching volunteers often begin their volunteer placements as classroom assistants in English classes, helping local teachers with lessons and assisting students with assignments.
World Endeavors Wildlife Conservation volunteers assist with a variety of projects including sea turtle and land turtle conservation projects.
*Please note there is an additional fee for Wildlife Conservation projects. Contact World Endeavors for details.
World Endeavors Women’s Development volunteers in Costa Rica work with a local women’s cooperative to raise and sell orchids.
Volunteers stay with host families, where they share space, build relationships, practice language, and learn about traditional culture, food, home rituals, and customs. Host families are welcoming and friendly, usually middle class, and hand-picked by the World Endeavors team to ensure that placements provide a safe and positive environment for the volunteer. Housing accommodations are modest, safe, and clean, but may differ from Western norms in terms of space or amenities.
The World Endeavors Volunteer in Costa Rica program is flexible in duration and can be tailored to last between 2 to 12 weeks. If you have the time, we recommend a stay of at least 4 weeks. Admissions are rolling, and World Endeavors volunteers can choose when they would like to start their program. Due to holidays, traditional vacation schedules, and seasonal work availability, there might be better times than others to volunteer at a specific location or in a specific project.
When you are ready to start planning your volunteer trip to Costa Rica, contact us. Our experienced advisors will help you sort through any timing considerations unique to your destination or your volunteer project.
Please wait until after you are accepted into the program and you have received the confirmed arrival and departure dates before you book your flight.
*Please note there is an additional fee for projects outside Atenas, including Wildlife Conversation and some Healthcare projects. Contact World Endeavors for details.
|Program Name||First Week||Each Additional Week|
|Volunteer In Costa Rica||$1,390||$450|
- Program Advisor: dedicated, experienced, and accessible for one-on-one guidance
- Volunteer program placement: individualized for your goals and experience
- Flexible durations from 2 to 12 weeks with year-round start dates
- Academic credit facilitation
- Local Onsite Coordinator with 24/7 availability; pre and post arrival orientation
- Personalized Program Success Plan with ongoing support
- Re-entry Handbook: to help you reflect on and integrate your experience abroad into your daily life and future career, deal with reverse culture shock, stay connected to the culture of your host country, and get involved in future service and travel opportunities
- Spanish language instruction 2 weeks for programs 4 weeks or longer
- Airport reception, pick-up, and drop-off
- Home stay accommodations with 3 meals per day included
- Comprehensive travel medical insurance
- Travel visa guidance and support
- Advice on how to get a local phone number
- Cultural activities (cooking class; dance class)
- 24/7 Emergency Travel Assistance
- Travel protection
- Discounts: to stores, restaurants, and entertainment located near your home and/or university!
OTHER BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS
- Round-trip transportation to Costa Rica
- Visa expenses
- Optional trips and excursions
- Daily transportation
- Personal expenses
Congratulations on your decision to embark on a life-changing experience abroad! We look forward to working with you to make your trip a memorable, meaningful one.
For most applicants, the first step is to contact a World Endeavors advisor. Our advisors are available to answer questions and offer guidance along the way. With our help, you may be surprised at how easily your dream of going abroad can become a reality.
Enrollment in the World Endeavors program begins formally with an application. We can accommodate applications received 12 weeks prior to the intended start date up to a year in advance. Due to visa requirements and other processes involved in coordinating international programs, participants are encouraged to submit their applications as far in advance as possible. If your intended start date is less than 12 weeks away, contact World Endeavors for more information.