Costa Rica: Premier Global Volunteering Adventure

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Join Global Volunteers for one to two weeks in a variety of projects in Costa Rica! Couples, families and groups of students, alumni and employees are encouraged to serve together – leading to new perspectives of each other and a shared understanding of the world.

Volunteers help with construction-related activities like repairing, tiling, landscaping, and painting community buildings. Besides physical labor activities, some volunteers are needed to teach conversational English with students of varying ages and abilities.

Minors must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or chaperone. Lodging for volunteers is a small family-owned hotel.

Questions & Answers


based on 7 reviews
  • Impact 9.6
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 7 of 7
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Great family experience in Costa Rica

Aside from immersing ourselves in a Spanish-speaking vocational highschool focused on eco-tourism training; my daughter and I found that the team with other families created new and enlightening relationships as we worked, ate,had fun, and bonded together. Under Maggie's able leadership we became a veritable miniature combined teacher, student, Global volunteer workforce. And I think we surprised ourselves when we thought things were moving along too slowly on our pond cleanup, and garden projects -- all having left Santa Elena proud of our accomplishments and thankful to have met and worked side by side with these friendly and joyful people!

How can this program be improved?
Have appropriate, well-made tools at beginning of program.
Yes, I recommend this program
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An Amazing Adventure

Working with Global Volunteers in Costa Rica was a life changing experience! Not only did I learn so much about a different culture and lifestyle, I learned many different things about myself that I never knew.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would change is having an age minimum. Our group had 3 children that constantly didn't want to work.
Yes, I recommend this program
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An empowering experience for all in Costa Rica

Our group was led by an amazingingly capable woman. We worked at a store managed by local woman who showcased all sorts of unique arts and crafts including clothing art work objects made of wood. Some of us made improvments to the art gallery by painting and rearranging others built a cabinet and others sewed their was something for everyone The staff there was delightful and friendly. We ate our lunch there and helped to prepare it.
During our free time we could go to yoga visit a rain forest a coffee plantation. On the weekend we took a boat ride to a resort community to
See a volcano. We stayed overnight and explored the area. It was an unforgettable experience. I have remained in touch with Nia,our leader, even returning for a brief time to Costa Rica and visiting
with her! I hope to return someday. It as an incredibly rewarding experience.

Yes, I recommend this program
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The best time of my life

As my first volunteer abroad experience, and my first experience with Global Volunteers, I couldn't have asked for a better time. When I traveled to Costa Rica I was 20 years old, and traveling with a friend the same age. We were taken care of from the moment we arrived, and everything was planned out for us. The team leader, Nia, is so incredibly awesome. She was there for us every step of the trip and was always available to help. One of the things that I didn't expect was to grow so close to the other team members. We engaged in activities to understand each other more so we could better work together. The work itself was manual labor, and not very easy at that, but the community was very gracious and the frequent coffee breaks and delicious meals from the women in the community were fantastic. Over the two weeks our team completely re-did the exterior and interior of the health post in Canitas - adding a wheelchair ramp for one of the community members. On the weekends a few of the team members and I traveled to La Fortuna to tour the Arenal Volcano and had a wonderful time. It was such a learning experience, and I would love to go back! The Monteverde region is so unbelievably gorgeous!

My friend and I decided that if we were flying down to Costa Rica that we might as well stay for a while, so we spent an extra two weeks in the southwestern part of the country which was BEAUTIFUL. I would recommend that to everyone.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Personally Rewarding

Loved the outdoors, clean air and Very Green atmosphere. Work was demanding but appreciated. We stayed in a sort of B&B with the host family living in the same building.
Free time we got to go zip lining, visit hot spings, and climbed the volcano if it so inspired you.
Costa Rica is a very clean and hospitable country.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Fulfillment of a Dream

From the time I met my co-volunteer at the airport and then our Country Manager and Team Leader that evening until the day of departure, I felt that every part of my dream to volunteer in Costa Rica had been met. Nia Salas made us feel comfortable in her country and explained in detail what we would be doing in Sta. Elena and the guidelines that Global Volunteers has set up to make the experience enjoyable and safe for all involved. Our accommodations (including dietary requests) were totally perfect...just like being at home. The service project included clearing trails in the Cloud Forest, a little bit of heaven, and then building a storage shed for recycling at the Colegio working with an amazing former student with so much enthusiasm that it was hard to keep our feet on the ground. We were treated with tons of respect and were even invited to watch fresh cheese being made and felt right at home every day we were there. We had our breaky meetings before heading off for the day and enjoyed our meals and quality time together in the evening with lots of free time to enjoy our surroundings. For me it was an amazing experience of community, family, love, fun, hard work with a joyous outcome of helping the lovely areas of Costa Rica and making it possible for the students to learn about recycling and maintaining the earth that we so cherish. I am looking forward to taking other Global Volunteer trips in other parts of the world.

Yes, I recommend this program
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One of My Top Three Vacations Ever

My volunteer program in Costa Rica was one of the three best vacation experiences of my life. The response from the community was incredible -- we ate lunch each day in someone's home and we got to help prepare the meals. All our meals were delicious, varied and well-prepared. Community members even opened their homes to us on Christmas. My fellow volunteers were a delight and even joined me on an early morning birding trip in the cloud forest where we hired two local birders to guide us and point out amazing birds and butterflies. The trip was well-organized in every respect and we were able to complete the project that had been planned.

Yes, I recommend this program


About Global Volunteers

Global Volunteers, a non-profit organization, has been giving short-term volunteers the chance to provide essential services to local people on service programs since 1984 - and trusted by 34,000+ volunteers. Volunteering for one to three weeks under...