Volunteer in Costa Rica with Maximo Nivel - Best Rated Projects

Video and Photos

At the volunteer headquarters
At the volunteer headquarters
Holiday Party
Holiday Party
Face Painting at a Daycare
Face Painting at a Daycare
View from my host family’s house
View from my host family’s house
Teaching english
Teaching english
Teaching English
Teaching English
Teaching english
Teaching english
Costa Rica
Costa Rica

About

Costa Rica is known for having progressive environmental and social policies, and Costa Rica is widely considered one of the planet’s most sustainable countries. At the same time, Costa Rica is still a developing country with a low national income and a number of socio-economic issues. This means Costa Rica offers a wide variety of ways to get involved in volunteer abroad projects, contribute to sustainable programs, and provide help to vulnerable populations. There is a lot to do in a country like Costa Rica and international volunteers are needed and welcomed!

Maximo Nivel provides volunteer abroad projects at our institutes in San Jose (capital city) and Manuel Antonio (beach). Projects are also available off-site in Guanacaste (beach), Caribbean (beach), and Monteverde (cloud forest), which are rural areas and offer a more “off-the-grid” experience than San Jose or Manuel Antonio.

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Popular Programs

When you are volunteering with kids in Costa Rica, you are directly impacting the 1 in 5 families that live in poverty. Your day will be focused on helping underprivileged children with homework and fun activities.

When you do this program, you are giving access to a skill that most kids learn in private language centers: speaking English. By volunteering with Maximo Nivel to teach english, you are giving a leg up to under privileged kids.

When you think of Costa Rica, the first thought is usually the incredible beaches, and we are determined to keep it that way. Volunteering in this conservation project helps us keep Costa Rica preserved.

When you volunteer on this project, you will have a high tangible impact on the community by building homes, schools, and community centers. These projects are led by a local foremen and are focused on community development.

Questions & Answers

From my experience plan 2 months earlier is good for volunteer:)

Yes, at least the basics. Try a few classes on online sites like Duolingo and/or a phrase book. It will make your life much easier and minimal communication is required. Don't expect most of the people we interact with to know English, apart the volunteer organization and travel agencies, or at least it was my experience in Costa Rica. And they will appreciate the effort !

Reviews

96%
based on 176 reviews
  • Impact 9.3
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9.4
  • Benefits 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Facilities 10
  • Safety 7
Showing 76 - 90 of 176
Default avatar
Kiana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English in Costa Rica

I volunteered for Maximo Nivel for 4 weeks and I taught English to teenage girls. I have to say that at first I was scared to do this. Living in another country for 4 weeks, knowing little of their language and their culture and having no one there, all seemed scary to me at first. But then you get here and you meet the staff at Maximo Nivel. They are all so friendly and supportive. You meet these people and realize how much support you have here and then all your fears go away. It's not only for your project that they support you, they help you for a lot of other things too. They teach you how to use the bus, where to eat that has good quality and reasonable price, where to explore and how to take the tours to both save money and have fun and all the other things. I mean, I'm a student and I want to have fun but not spend that much money either and Andres, one of the staff, helped me so much to plan trips and trours for very cheap, I'm really grateful for that. I just knew that if anything happens I can count on them. Actually one day I was a little sick and they all helped me so much. Andres would come and check on me every 15 minutes to make sure that I was ok. It was just great to see that I have all this support here.
They also support you so much to make sure that you feel comfortable teaching and you don't have any problems with your project. Steve, Emmy and Daniel always help me on the site so I can make the most out of my teaching experience. Marta always help me and encourage me to make worksheets for my students. You think teaching English is difficult and you cannot do it? Well, yes it is a little challenging, but with all the help you have from these awesome people you can definitely do it. I don't have that much experience teaching English myself but Maximo Nivel made it totally possible for me.
And then you go to the class and you see all these students, so eager to learn and so grateful that you teach them, and your know at that moment that all the time and money you have spent are worth it. You see them learning English and becoming more and more excited and comfortable about English and all of these are so heartwarming. Their enthusiasm is adorable and they are such amazing and kind girls.
I'm truly happy that I decided to do this project with Maximo Nivel and I highly recommend it.

What would you improve about this program?
Before I come to Costa Rica they would not give me that much information about my project and the place I would live in, which made me a little worried because I didn't know what to expect. So I suggest that before the arrival of volunteers give them more details about their stay in Costa Rica so they know what to expect and feel supported from the beginning.
Default avatar
Ahmad
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Facts about Medical volunteering in San Jose

I volunteered in the medical project with Maximo Nivel in San Jose for 2 weeks. Maximo Nivel is a fantastic organization to work with. The staff are great and friendly. The services the agency offers are very helpful and they provide you with all the information and help you could need during your stay in San Jose. Two of the staff members working in Maximo were especially amazing. Marta, who was always super friendly with volunteers and always smiling and socializing with them, and Andres, who was amazing with volunteers. He always tried to help when he could and treated them more like friends than formally as volunteers, which made everyone much more comfortable.
As for the medical project, do not expect to get a lot of hands on work. The amount of practical skills you apply in the project are very limited and not much of a medically learning experience. It is still a learning experience because it is nevertheless a new experience. You´re putting yourself out of your comfort zone and going somewhere new and interacting with new people. However the project itself gets very repetitive because the work is limited and pretty much the same every day. I started to get bored after the first week.
But other than that, the city is greatñ definitely go exploring because that´s where the actual experiences are.
If you stay with a host family, like i did, they are absolutely fantastic. Extremely friendly.
Also, if you can brush up and learn some Spanish before you arrive, it would definitely be worth while so you´re not clueless in public. But they offer spanish courses at Maximo which are also great.

What would you improve about this program?
The medical volunteering project needs to allow volunteers to participate more and actually apply their skills in the area. As a volunteer I did not feel relevant or needed in the project. the project staff should encourage volunteers to do more and allow it and trust in the skills of experienced volunteers. In addition, they should also interact more with the volunteers.
Default avatar
Madan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable Experience: Monteverde Organic Farming Coffee Project

I spent 2.5 weeks volunteering on a local organic coffee plantation in Monteverde. From farm maintenance to planting, roasting and packaging coffee, this programme really makes you understand and appreciate every cup of coffee that we drink each morning! What an amazing and rewarding experience! A new level of appreciation for the local farmers, their families and coffee!

The team at Maximo Nivel, made transitioning from traveller to volunteer a quick and easy process. They were extremely helpful with the comprehensive induction, and were always ready to provide support if/when required throughout the volunteering programme. The organic coffee project is set up with a lot of thought invested into it. The Maximo team and the local farming family, really make you feel immersed in what the local culture has to offer, without making you feel uncomfortable in the new environment.

At the end 2.5 weeks, you are left extremely satisfied with the new set of skills, knowledge, hard work and an appreciation for what local communities endure on a daily basis.

If you love getting your hands dirty and want to explore a new country full of wonderful people and culture, I highly recommend the organic farming programme offered by Maximo Nivel, Costa Rica.

Marta
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Paramedic Volunteer in Costa Rica

It was an amazing experience to have the opportunity to volunteer on the ambulance in Costa Rica. The ambulance in Costa Rica provides a very high level of service to their community. It was amazing to be able to assist the paramedics with calls and learn more about their medical service here. I highly suggest learning as much spanish as you can before you can volunteer for the most efficient communication, but some things are universal like smiles and laughs!

Marta
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English in San Jose

I had a great experience during my time here in San Jose completing the Teaching English project in Coronado. The students were very willing to learn and eager. The support from the Maximo staff was excellent and I felt confident that they could help me whenever I had a question. My house mom made me feel so welome and was super friendly and warm. It was overall wondrful experience! I had a great experience during my time here in San Jose completing the Teaching English project in Coronado. The students were very willing to learn and eager. The support from the Maximo staff was excellent and I felt confident that they could help me whenever I had a question. My house mom made me feel so welome and was super friendly and warm. It was overall wondrful experience!

What would you improve about this program?
Promote the teaching english program so that the students have a sense of consistency.
Default avatar
Brandon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great service, great fun!

Our staff from Maximo Nivel was great! They were available every step of the way to provide assurance, support, and direction without being overbearing. Our host families were a joy to be around, and our accommodations were pleasant. The project was educational and it felt like we made an impact by the end of our week there. In our free time, Monteverde had a lot of exciting activities to offer.

Default avatar
Tori
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Childcare Project

I first committed to staying in Costa Rica for 8 weeks, but I soon realized that wasn't nearly enough time, and I decided to commit for another 3 weeks. However, my time here is now coming to a close, and I still wish I could stay longer. I came to Costa Rica in order to force myself out of my comfort zone, challenge my beliefs and expectations, and grow as a person; I believe I have acieved every single one of those goals. I have made forever friends and had unforgettable experiences- while travelling, with my host family, and in my project.
My experience at the school (my childcare project) was particularly one I will never forget. I cannot thank them enough for all they have taught me about myself and what I want from my future. Each and every child in the school has touched my heart in their own unique and special way, and I can only hope I have somehow touched there's in return.

Default avatar
Chantal
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Working with Children at Hogar Maria Infantil

I had an unforgetable experience working with the children at Hogar Maria Infantil for the months I came to Costa Rica. All of the staff at Maimo Nivel were super supportive and helpful every step of the way. I learnt so much during my time here. Travelling and volunteering is an experience nobody can take away from you, and I am so glad I chose Costa Rica to kick off my travel bug. Many thanks to everyone who made this experience possible.

Default avatar
Becky
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Maximo Nivel Nursing Home Volunteer Project

I spent my time volunteering in Costa Rica at Casa Nazereth and had a great experience! The staff at Maximo Nivel made sure I was prepared once I arrived in Costa Rica, a country I had never visited before to make sure I was comfortable for my week here. They were always very accesible, welcoming, and friendly, I am so thankful I discovered this wonderful organization! The staff at Casa Nazereth were wonderfully welcoming and guided me in helping me to assist the residents with their daily cares and medical needs.

Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Maximo Nivel Nursing Home Volunteer Project

I had a great experience with Maximo Nivel working at Casa Nazareth nursing home in San Jose! Maximo Nivel is very organized and all of their staff are extremely supportive. At Casa Nazareth, I got to work with all of the senior citizens that live there. Even though I really enjoyed helping the nurse and doctor with the residents, the best part for me was getting to know each of the residents and their life story!

Default avatar
Caye
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Impacting the Lives of Students

I volunteered in Manuel Antonio as an English teacher for elementary students and adults. I found it to be a great experience, one that positively touched the lives of young people and encouraged their growth and success. I found the staff of Maximo Nivel to be kind, helpful, and supportive. I enjoyed living with my host family, and the students were absolutely wonderful! I would recommend this program to people who are flexible, creative, down-to-earth, and concerned about others. Bring some school supplies with you ... some patience, and some love... and you will make a lasting difference in the lives of others. And they, in turn, will make a positive difference in your life too!

Default avatar
maria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Everyone needs to experience!!

This program was great. I have never volunteered in another country before and I was very nervous but Maximo made it so easy. When I got here i felt very welcome by all the staff and going to the sea turtle conservation was an experience I will never forgot. We learned so many things about conservation and maintaning the beaches of Costa Rica. I will definitely go back and do this same project again or even branch out and do others. I had a blast with everyone including the staff at the project as well. Everything went above and beyond my expectations.

Default avatar
Julia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Increible

Translation:
Very helpful staff always, always willing to help beyond their objections. Celine always helped me with everything I needed. My project was with children of a church and I loved it, they are all very special. My family here also loved it, it could be like in my house in Brazil. I leave Manuel Antonio wanting to return as early as possible. It is an experience that all people should live.

Original:
Personal muy servicial siempre, siempre dispuestos a ayudar más alla de sus oblicaciones. Celine me ayudó siempre con todo que necesité. Mi proyecto fue con niños de una iglesia y me encantó, son todos muy especiales. Mi familia aqui tambien me encantó, pudo estar como en mi casa de Brasil. Salgo de Manuel Antonio con ganas de regresar más temprano posible. Es una experiencia que todas las personas deberian vivir.

What would you improve about this program?
Para mi fue perfecto
Default avatar
Charles
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

AMAZING EXPERIENCE!!!!!!

This was the first time I had any kind of experience like this. I was looking for an option to both study Spanish and volunteer abroad when I found Maximo Nivel. I was hesitant because I did not know what to expect, especially when arriving in a foreign country where I didn’t know anyone! From start to finish I had an amazing experience. All of the staff from Andy first helping me to understand how the programs worked when I was doing research, to all of the staff in Manuel Antonio who helped me feel at home and were always kind and supportive, particularly Karen, Celine and Mackenzie, and my Spanish teachers Runnia and Patricia. My host family was incredibly kind and hospitable and were always patient and went out of their way to make sure I was safe and comfortable and felt at home. Thank you Maximo Nivel for an experience I will never forget!!!!!!!!

Default avatar
Anne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Manuel Antonio Working with Kids

I loved my project. I loved the kids, being in Qrepos, and my host family. i had a lot of fun and felt safe normally. a few girls were mugged which caused a bit of drama but i took precautions and followed the advice given by maximo and i was good. my host family was awesome. they were all so kind, made good food, took care of me and invited me to cultural activites. the kids at the daycare were so fun and i loved having something to do. i learned to have a good attitude and to have a lot of energy. however, when my projcect switched from afternoon to morning, i was very grateful to have something new and do different things with the kids besides play outside for the majority of the time.

What would you improve about this program?
maybe only put volunteers in the morning at the daycare in imaculada.