Volunteer Abroad in Costa Rica: Volunteering Opportunities
Volunteer Abroad in Costa Rica: In 1502, on his fourth and last voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus made the first European landfall in the area. Settlement of Costa Rica began in 1522. For nearly three centuries, Spain administered the region as part of the Captaincy General of Guatemala under a military governor. The Spanish optimistically called the country "Rich Coast." Finding little gold or other valuable minerals in Costa Rica, however, the Spanish turned to agriculture.
Mention Costa Rica and people think paradise. The country's Disney-like cast of creatures -- ranging from howler monkeys to toucans -- is prolific and relatively easy to spot. The waves are prime; the beauty is staggering and the sluggish pace seductive.
Costa Rica, despite being such a tiny nation, draws well over a million visitors every year - and you can see why. The incredibly varied topography means you can cruise a cloud forest one day, climb a volcano the next, and finish passed out on a hot sandy beach.
Costa Rica is a tropical country and experiences only two seasons: wet and dry. The dry season is generally between late December and April; the wet season lasts the rest of the year. The highlands are cold: San Jos and the Central Valley get an 'eternal spring' with lows averaging 15C (60F) and highs averaging 26C (79F). Both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts are pretty much sweltering year-round - get ready for some bad-hair days. Temperatures vary little between seasons; the main influence on temperature is altitude. The humidity at low altitudes can be oppressive.
We offer the following programs in Costa Rica: (1-24 week placements - Optional start date)
Program Length: 1-24 weeks
Program Date: Flexible Start & End Date
Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 8 hour per day
Accommodations: Local home stay or hostal
Meals: Yes, 3 meals a day
Requirements: 18 years , Basic Spanish knowledge, an able body, can-do attitude, self-starter and adventurous nature.
Animal Welfare / Turtle Conservation: Placements are available in wild-life refuge which receives animals that have been in captivity or have been sold illegally by animal traffickers. The main objective of this project is to rehabilitate the animals and reincorporate them back into their natural habitat. Volunteers will feed animals and clean and repair cages. In addition, they will help build new cages and improve existing facilities. Volunteers will ordinarily work about 8- 10 hours per day, depending on the projects they are involved in. Most refuge centers offer on-site shared volunteer accommodation, including meals. These accommodations typically have electricity and running water, and shared bathrooms. Proficiency in Spanish is highly recommended. *2 week minimum suggested.
Indigenous Community: Live and work among the people of a multiethnic indigenous community with members of different ethnicities. The community obtains their income from fishing, agriculture, hunting, and horticulture, combined with handicrafts, communitarian tourism, conservation and reforestation. Volunteers will be involved in a wide range of exciting activities including teaching English at the local school, working at the children's day care center, rain forest restoration projects, horticultural and fish farming projects and infrastructure construction projects including work on a Women's Center. This is a great opportunity to experience the life and culture of the local indigenous people. Volunteers live with a local host family in a shared room; all meals are provided by the host family. Proficiency is Spanish is required, as well as an adventurous spirit. *2 week minimum suggested.
Social/Welfare Service:. Volunteers work at a local children's home which doubles as an orphanage and day care. The children range in age from infancy to 12yrs old, some with mild handicaps. Volunteers assist the local staff with the basic needs such as feeding, bathing and clothing; as well arrange games and day trips with the kids. Teaching English, math, as well as manual labor (sweeping, painting, and gardening) may be involved. Basic/Proficient Spanish is required, as well as a positive, self-starter and flexible attitude.
Education/Teaching: Volunteers can teach, or assist the local teacher with English classes. The kids vary in age and most do not have any proper schooling. By speaking English, new opportunities are available to the children that would otherwise be destined to stay in the cycle of poverty. Volunteers do not need previous teaching experience, although it would be helpful. Basic/Proficient Spanish is required, as well as a positive, flexible and committed attitude. Volunteers will need to create their own lesson plans with the help of the local teachers.
Program Includes: Homestay or local guesthouse or on-site volunteer accommodations at orphanage. Includes three meals a day. Airport (or bus) transfers on arrival and departure. Our local Project Coordinators will provide orientation briefing, city tour, half day Spanish lessons. Introduction and placement in a volunteer work project. *Additional Spanish classes can be arranged for you locally.
The project coordinator is available 24/7 in case of emergency, health-related or otherwise. They can assist in arranging sightseeing excursion before, during or after the volunteer program.
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