Volunteer Programs in Costa Rica

COSI’s volunteer abroad programs give you the opportunity to live in Costa Rica, make an impact working with local communities and social projects, and really integrate with the local culture while building and improving your Spanish language skills. All of our volunteer abroad programs are offered in conjunction with our sister organization Maximo Nivel.

Volunteer Opportunities in Costa Rica

Volunteer Opportunities in Costa Rica

Our volunteer placements are offered in the capital city of San Jose, on the beach in Manuel Antonio, and in other coastal and rainforest destinations throughout Costa Rica. With most of our volunteer abroad programs, you study Spanish and volunteer at the same time.

The volunteer abroad program includes airport pick-up, a shared room with a host family, and 2 meals per day (breakfast and dinner). Volunteers are given a full orientation about the area, their project, and safety before heading out to their volunteer placement with a Field Manager from Maximo Nivel.
Most participants in our volunteer abroad program spend 3 to 4 hours per day working at the volunteer project and then 2 to 4 hours per day studying Spanish at the COSI institute.

COSI and Maximo Nivel offer all volunteer abroad participants:

–    Orientation, walking tour, and safety presentation
–    Official Program Certificate
–    Letter of recommendation
–    Open 7 days a week, including holidays
–    24/7 Emergency contact numbers
–    Free access to high-speed Internet and computers
–    Free office-wide WiFi
–    Free Salsa lessons
–    Free Tandem Conversation Program (practice your Spanish)
–    Free Spanish language tutoring
–    Free coffee and tea at our on-site snack bar

Volunteer Program Options

Volunteer Orphanage/Childcare Costa RicaVolunteer in Costa Rica working with kids at community centers and special living facilities.

All of our childcare projects work with severely underprivileged children. These children require a lot of care and attention and the professional project staff always needs help. Volunteers assist with organizing social activities, sports, hygiene, cleaning, and helping the children with their school work.

Availability: All year

Location: San Jose and Manuel Antonio Beach

Program Commitment: 1 week minimum

Requirements: At least 17 years of age | Flexible and ready to help out | Willing to do various tasks | Physically healthy | Hard working ad ready to do anything | Spanish language skills are not required.

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Volunteer Teaching English in Costa RicaTeaching usually takes place in small community centers and schools. Students at these projects come from low income families and cannot afford to study English at a private institute. These projects focus on teaching children of all ages who come to learn English and participate in education and cultural activities. Volunteers should be ready to go beyond just teaching English and provide support for other activities at the site as well.

Availability: All year

Location: San Jose and Manuel Antonio Beach

Program Commitment: 1 week minimum

Requirements: At least 17 years of age | Native English speaker or qualified through Maximo Nivel’s English Diagnostic test | Flexible and ready to do anything | Creative and resourceful | Hard working and able to work independently or as part of a team | Spanish language skills are not required.

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volunteer construction projects Costa RicaMake real impact as a volunteer in Costa Rica building classrooms, community centers, and clinics.

Construction projects include renovation work such as painting, plastering and repairs, as well as full construction working including carpentry, masonry, laying tile, mixing cement, welding, and plumbing.  All construction projects are led and organized by Maximo Nivel’s professional construction foreman who determines the work program. Construction projects are high impact programs where you can see and truly appreciate the work you’ve done!

Availability: All year

Location: San Jose

Program Commitment: 1 week minimum

Requirements:  At least 17 years of age | Flexible and willing to do various tasks based on project needs | Healthy, physically fit, and prepared to do manual labor | Spanish language skills are not required

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Volunteer Medical Campaign Costa RicaMedical volunteers in Costa Rica work in “Pre-Med” or “Medical” projects led by Maximo Nivel’s on-staff Medical Specialist and other healthcare professionals.

Based on your medical experience, education level, and Spanish language skills, volunteers are placed at assisted living facilities for patients who are elderly, disabled, or HIV positive; there are also limited placements available at hospitals, clinics, and on medical campaigns. Volunteer work may include shadowing a nurse, doctor, therapist, or other medical professional, assisting with consultations, triage, taking vitals, preparing materials and equipment, assisting during mealtimes, and overall general patient care.

Availability: All year

Location: San Jose

Program Commitment: 1 week minimum

Requirements:  At least 18 years of age | Professional, friendly, and flexible |Willing to do various tasks based on season and project needs | Hard working, ready to do anything | Spanish language skills are not required | Proof of academics and/or professional training is required | Volunteers must bring scrubs, stethoscope, and closed-toed shoes

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Volunteer Sea Turtle Conservation Costa RicaVolunteer abroad with endangered sea turtles on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Costa Rica!

Conservation volunteers provide support to biologists, biology interns, and other local project staff who are involved in managing turtle nesting grounds. Working in turtle conservation is hard work—volunteers take part in beach patrols, tagging turtles, cleaning nests, working in hatcheries, counting eggs and turtles, and cleaning up the beach area. These are high impact conservation and community service programs!

Availability: All year

Location: Pacific and Caribbean coasts

Program Commitment: 2 week minimum

Requirements:  At least 17 years of age | Flexible and ready to help out | Willing to do various tasks based on season and project needs | Healthy and physically prepared to live in a rural area| Hard working, ready to do anything | Responsible, mature, and safety minded | Spanish language skills are not required | Note that alcohol is strictly prohibited at conservation sites.

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animal-care-volunteer-Costa-RicaAnimal care volunteers in Costa Rica work at shelters for abandoned animals.

Volunteers help provide daily care, grooming, exercise, and may assist with medical treatment. You should be ready to bathe, brush and walk the animals, provide basic obedience training, and clean cages. Volunteers may also lead education programs, help with fundraising events, or assist with spay/neuter programs.

Availability: All year

Location: San Jose area

Program Commitment: 2 week minimum

Requirements: At least 17 years of age | Flexible and willing to do various tasks based on season and project needs | Be healthy and physically prepared to do manual labor | Hard working, ready to do anything | Spanish language skills are not required.

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Volunteer Eco-Agriculture Costa RicaVolunteer abroad working with eco-agriculture projects in the beautiful mountains of Costa Rica.

Volunteers work with coffee-farming communities high in the cloud forests of Costa Rica. You provide support to the families in all aspects of the coffee growing process, including planting and working in the nursery, coffee-picking in the fields, roasting of beans, and packaging of the final product. You may also be involved with local reforestation efforts. High season for coffee harvesting is from December until early February, but there is lots of work to do year round.

Availability: All year

Location: Monteverde

Program Commitment: 1 week minimum

Requirements: At least 17 years of age | Flexible and willing to do various tasks based on season and project needs | Be healthy and physically prepared to do manual labor | Hard working, ready to do anything | Spanish language skills are not required.

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Volunteer Program Fees

Location 1 Week 2 Weeks 3 Weeks 4 Weeks Extra Week
San Jose $650 $950 $1,235 $1,440 $165
Manuel Antonio $675 $995 $1,335 $1,625 $185

Medical, construction, and conservation placements require a $65 per week surcharge to San Jose prices.

Register Today!