INLEXCA: Volunteer in Costa Rica

Length
2 to 24 weeks
Housing
Host Family
Age
Min. 18 years
5 travelers saved this program

Hosted by

Integrated Learning Experiences Central America  Profile Picture
INLEXCA
Project Coordinator: Integrated Learning Experiences Central America

About This Program

Costa Rica is well known for its natural beauty, wildlife, and relaxed lifestyle. As a volunteer, you will become part of a team working towards helping country's most vulnerable areas and helping to create better and stronger communities.

Volunteers are placed in projects that match their preference and profile. Asides from working you will be immersed in the local culture, language and placed in caring host family.

Highlights

  • Volunteer in Education, Healthcare, Child Care, Environmental Protection and Wildlife
  • Seek thrills by zip-lining through the rainforest
  • Enjoy Surfing and Scuba Diving on your off-day
  • Explore unique wildlife in the many rainforests Costa Rica has to offer
  • Take a tour of Museo de San Ramon

Most programs are located in San Ramon de Alajuela and neighboring towns. Volunteers can work on projects across a number of areas:

Education -- Volunteers in the English teaching program will help underprivileged kids in Costa Rica have a chance at learning this language.

Health/Medicine -- Work side-by-side with Costa Rican doctors and nurses to treat patients in rural clinics or hospitals.

Child Care -- Work with children in Costa Rica in low-income daycare centers or orphanages.

Environmental Protection and Education -- Work on various projects aimed at preserving the fragile ecosystem in protected areas, parks and foundations.

Wildlife Conservation -- Work in animal rescue centers aimed at helping endangered species. If you like being outdoors and love working with wild animals, the wildlife program is for you!

Construction -- Help build houses for Costa Ricans living in poor conditions.

Women Empowerment -- The women empowerment programs aim to teach low-income and vulnerable women overcome difficult situations and give them tools through education to improve their quality of life for them and their family.

Volunteers work 4-6 hours per day, Monday - Friday and are encouraged to spend weekends, holidays, and time off exploring Costa Rica's nature, culture, and exotic places.

What's Included
  • Airport welcome and private transport to host family upon arrival
  • Transport to language school and volunteer project
  • 24-hour on call support and emergency assistance
  • Walking tour of local community
  • Private room accommodation (shared bathroom) with host family
  • Breakfast and dinner
What's Not Included
  • International/Domestic Flights
  • End of program transportation
  • Mandatory travel and medical insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Lunch
Housing

Accommodation is provided and includes placement with a local host family. You will have a private bedroom with shared bathroom facilities. You will be placed in San Ramon de Alajuela and neighboring towns. Some projects are located in Punta Arenas as well.

Meals

Breakfast and dinner are provided seven days per week. Food differs by region, however, beans, rice, meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables, and tortillas are staples in the Costa Rican diet.

INLEXCA´s mission is to strengthen human resources in Central America through volunteer programs, educational tours and internships. In addition to this, INLEXCA provides opportunities to students, professionals, and interested persons from countries outside the Central American region, to better understand the reality and challenges faced by the countries in the region. We work towards :

-Sustainability in the projects and communities that we work in.
-Programs that promote cultural exchange.
-Safe and affordable programs.
-Strengthening and empowering communities.
-Authentic experiences for our volunteers.
-Facilitating education.

Our office was set up by former Peace Corps staff in Guatemala in 2005, who wanted to provide flexible programs that would allow prospective volunteers to choose how long they wanted to volunteer for and in what area they wanted to focus on.

Video and Photos

Pricing and Availability

Reviews

77%
based on 3 reviews
  • Impact 6.3
  • Support 8
  • Fun 6
  • Value 8.3
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
Default avatar
Charlotte
10/10

My experience

All in all, it was a great experience.
So I just wanna mention some facts that I likes especially or also some I did not like. To help you to improve and to write an honest review.

I especially liked:
- that the coordinator was always there to help
- that there were also other volunteers in my town, it makes the first weeks way easier
- that my boss in my work was openminded for my ideas

what could be improved:
- the job was very different than described in the brochure in Germany
- some more activities together with the coordinator and the volunteers could be organized
- the host family was more like a hotel than a family - they were lovely, but needed the money and I was treated more like in a hotel than like living together with a family.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Ronny
4/10

My time in CR

Last summer after passing my final exams in high-school I decided to go to Costa Rica to learn Spanish and getting to know the Latin Culture.
There are various organizations which offer trips and volunteer-stays in Central America, especially in Costa Rica which is knwon as the saftiest country in this region. The reason I choose to go with Inlex was because there programmes in community developement sounded more interesting to me than caring for children or passing my days in a butterfly-farm.
I had a great time and made some great experiences, I met friendly people all over the country and i achieved an important goal by speaking spanish fluently within six month.
But overall I have to say I am kind of disappointed.Dont get me wrong, I don't want to blame anyone of the people with who I passed half a year. People who always care for you, if you need help, people do the best they can, to provide you a wonderful time. But still I have to say I was kind of bored most of the time. If you are the nature guy, I am sure you will love Costa Rica. The rainforest in the mountains, the dry and hot areas in the north, the carreaben beaches which look exactly like directly from Hollywood - all these are beatiful and impressing places. If you are the social guy who likes to meet many interesting people, who loves a good conversation and needs some cultural input there is good chance to you won't be satisfied. Sometimes I had the feeling Costa Rica lacks of these things. Of course, that is unfair to say because even in half a year I had the chance to see only a small part of Costa Rica, also it is my very subjective point of view on the other hand that is just a resume of the expierence I made. You won't find much indigenoues culture, you won't find that romatic socialist touch you may think of when you hear stories about Latin America. Instead you will feel the big influence of the U.S. (I don't want to say that's bad thing, but maybe not the reason why you take a long journey to Costa Rica), you will probably pass many hours in malls because thats how many Ticos spend their time, many nights in mostly German and American hostels because these are the nicest and cheapest all along the coast... I guess all depends on your expectations so make sure they fit. Honestly I have to admit that there were many others who had a great time and I defenitly don't regret I went to CR but after all the experiences I made would have gone to a bigger city with more social activities and more intellectual-input.

How can this program be improved?
The Inlex staff did their best and always tried to support me, but many times you are on your own. I met a few host-familys and I think many of them would not fulfill the requirements, if there were any requirements, but for me that's okay. I say that because I know from other volunteers that some people expect 24/7 service from the organization-members and their host-family to be their best friends. If you decide to go to another country for some time, there will be difficulties all the time but that is what makes it so exciting. The staff works mostly part-time in the Inlex-office, so you should be able to handle problems on your own. For me that fitted perfectly, but with great respect, everyone should ask yourself, if that is really what he/she wants.
Response from INLEXCA

Thank you for your reviews. However this seems more of a review of the country rather than the program.

We are responsible for the volunteering experience but not for the social factors such as social interactions and what volunteer choose to do in their free time.

Costa Rica is not known for its vas indigenous culture, but rather for its natural resources.If you would to experience more indigenous latin american cultures, I suggest our program in Guatemala where volunteers can expect direct contact with mayan descent communities.

The INLEXCA staff is always there to support and advise you in any important matters all that the volunteers need to do is contact our volunteer coordinator on site.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Lea
9/10

Good experience

I had a great time in Costa Rica. The people and the way of living made it easy for me to feel at ease and i soon started to get closer to the culture and to other people - natives and other volunteers. I made a lot of new friends and discovered the kindness of so many people. The work as such gave me the feeling to be needed in some way, but also to find myself in working with and talking to people, so different in many ways.
I was lucky to be in contact with such nice, helpful and lovely persons and I had the chance to learn to speak and to communicate in my own way (in an other language).
All in all I can say that i don't regret having made this decision to go to Costa Rica and to work with and for INLEX.
I am grateful to all the people who made my stay there as comfortable as i could imagine. The people who were/are in charge of the costa rican program were so kind, nice, helpful and became true friends.

Yes, I recommend

Questions & Answers

About INLEXCA

INLEXCA offers volunteer programs , group volunteering and internships in Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Our programs are customized to the participants to create great cultural experiences.