Volunteer in Costa Rica

Browse 118 Programs
  • About

    Costa Rica is a wonderful destination for both first-time and seasoned travelers. It's home to beautiful beaches, tropical rainforests, and some of the friendliest people on earth, while also being incredibly safe.

    But for those who want to see another side of Costa Rica, volunteering in education, animal rescue, or sea turtle conservancy could be just the way to see Costa Rica from outside the tourist lens. Volunteering in this tropical country offers the experience of a lifetime by immersing you in local culture and customs and learning the true meaning of Pura Vida.

    Photo Credit: Gabi Schiller
  • Project Types

    Costa Rica offers an excellent introduction to Latin America while also providing a diversity of places to visit for a nature lover with a strong democratic tradition. After Costa Rica's civil war, the army was abolished by the president in 1948. While Costa Rica is often considered one of the wealthier countries in the region, there are still numerous development problems such as deforestation, economic and gender inequalities and youth development issues as increasing numbers of undocumented immigrants from Nicaragua and other neighboring countries now call Costa Rica home.

    Environmental Conservation & Working with Wildlife

    While Costa Rica is famous for conserving vast parts of the country as national parks, there is a constant need for volunteers to get involved in their wildlife and conservation efforts. The most popular project in this field is working with the numerous sea turtle conservancy projects on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Volunteers work to protect sea turtle eggs from poachers and environmental threats.

    Other projects involve preserving and researching other areas of Costa Rica's wildlife -- especially in Costa Rica's rainforests.

    Youth Development

    Volunteer with youth development in Costa Rica -- both in San Jose and smaller cities -- by assisting with after-school programs, community centers, and sports coaching. Most projects will require you have a functional level of Spanish in this area.

    Gender Equality

    Unknown to many, sex trade has dramatically increased in Costa Rica. Victims need your help in recovering their lives.

    Teaching English

    Costa Ricans value English as a second language and native teachers are in high demand. Teaching positions vary and no experience is necessary, but previous experience and qualifications are always helpful.

  • Planning Your Trip
    Health and Safety in Costa Rica

    No immunizations are required to go to Costa Rica. It is also safe to drink the water, one of the few Latin American countries where this is the case. Costa Rica is known to be one of the safer countries in Central America but you should never let your guard down, always secure your belongings and be aware of surroundings, especially in bus stations and in markets. Remember, as a foreigner you always stand out.

    Visas

    Costa Rican tourist visas are not required for citizens of the United States for a stay of up to 90 days. For more information visit Visa HQ. All travelers to Costa Rica will have to pay a fee upon exiting.

    Contributed by Eliza Wethey

Showing 116 Programs

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  • Volunteering in Costa Rica with IVHQ
    IVHQ
    Reviewer Verified
    IVHQ's partner organizations in Costa Rica are always looking for great volunteers! Highly affordable programs are available...
    15 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Staff Interviews
    Community Photos
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
    This program has been rated exceedingly supportive by 5+ reviewers.
  • Childcare volunteer with Volunteering Solutions in India
    Volunteering Solutions
    Reviewer Verified
    Volunteer in the welcoming country of Costa Rica with Volunteering Solutions! This beautiful destination is one of the world...
    1 reviews
  • ISV
    Reviewer Verified
    Costa Rica is filled with a colourful array of animals, white beaches, lush rainforests, rivers, volcanoes and smiling...
    116 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Staff Interviews
    Community Photos
  • Global Vision International
    Reviewer Verified
    You can make a difference and volunteer with GVI in Costa Rica! From helping the local wildlife to working with...
    8 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Staff Interviews
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
  • UBELONG Volunteer Abroad Costa Rica
    UBELONG
    Reviewer Verified
    UBELONG offers 1-week to 6-month volunteering opportunities in Cartago. There are over 40 projects in different fields,...
    3 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Community Photos
  • Volunteer at a school in Costa Rica with GVN
    GVN
    Reviewer Verified
    The Global Volunteer Network has opportunities to work in a range of programs in Costa Rica. Volunteers can assist with our...
    2 reviews
  • Volcanoe
    uVolunteer
    Costa Rica is a tropical paradise and 25 percent of the land is dedicated to helping preserve the earth's biodiversity....
    24 reviews
    Community Photos
  • Raleigh
    Live alongside some of the world's most fascinating communities. A Raleigh expedition to Costa Rica and Nicaragua is a...
    3 reviews
    Staff Interviews
    Community Photos
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
  • Amigos de las Americas volunteers at a school in Costa Rica
    Amigos de las Americas
    In Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica, participants spend alternating weeks in national parks doing trail maintenance and...
    13 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    This program has been rated exceedingly supportive by 5+ reviewers.
  • Costa Rica volunteer group with Cross-Cultural Solutions
    Cross-Cultural Solutions
    Reviewer Verified
    Costa Rica is a worldwide leader in ecotourism, recognized for its rich biodiversity--but it's also well known for its warm...
    27 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Staff Interviews
    Community Photos
  • Volunteering with sea turtles.
    Animal Experience International
    100% of the eggs laid by these creatures along the beach would be taken by poachers. Volunteers are needed to patrol the...
    1 reviews
  • International Service Learning
    Costa Rica is a beautiful country filled with tropical jungles and picture perfect beaches. Experience the vivid culture of...
    3 reviews
    Community Photos
  • Central America Lago Atitlan
    Carpe Diem Education
    Reviewer Verified
    This semester intertwines personal growth with adventure, service, and a greater awareness of the global community as you...
    7 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Staff Interviews
    Community Photos
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
    This program has been rated exceedingly supportive by 5+ reviewers.
  • Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
    Reviewer Verified
    FIMRC's Project Alajuelita, located approximately 30 minutes from the capital of San Jose, brings medical care to rural...
    9 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Staff Interviews
    Community Photos
    This program has been rated exceedingly supportive by 5+ reviewers.
  • Maximo Nivel
    Maximo Nivel provides great volunteer programs Costa Rica--programs are available in the capital city of San Jose and on the...
    16 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Community Photos