Volunteer in Costa Rica with Maximo Nivel - Best Rated Projects

Video and Photos

View from my host family’s house
View from my host family’s house
At the volunteer headquarters
At the volunteer headquarters
Holiday Party
Holiday Party
Face Painting at a Daycare
Face Painting at a Daycare
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

Working with Kids in Costa Rica

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.

Teaching English in Costa Rica

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.

Conservation projects in Costa Rica

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.

Construction projects in Costa Rica

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 91 - 105 of 176
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Marlina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Casa Nazareth Medical Project Costa Rica

Volunteering with Maximo Nivel in Costa Rica was a once in a lifetime oppurtunity. I was lucky enough to be placed in Casa Nazareth and volunteer with the elderly. This experience was rewarding because you get to build relationships with the residents and staff at the facility. I did a one week project at Casa Nazareth and our duties included, but not limited to, checking vital signs, assisting with wound care, assist with feeds, physical therapy, arts and crafts, having conversations and so much more than that is creating special bonds with each and everyone there! Through Maximo Nivel I got placed in an amazing home stay with a great family, including a dog! The family was so welcoming and made me feel right at home. The staff at Maximo Nivel was there throughout the whole process for any help we needed and even checked in with us the whole week at our project to see if I needed anything or needed help with anything. The general orientation and individual project orientation explained everything in detail and made me feel comfortable in a foreign country. I came to Costa Rica not knowing what to expect from this experience but now I'm leaving sad because I am part of a family with Maximo Nivel, not only with the staff but with the other volunteers, I have built life long relationships with everyone including staff, home stay family, the residents and staff at Casa Nazareth and the other volunteers! Thank you Maximo Nivel! I am highly recommending your organization!

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

Manuel Antonio Working with Kids

Maximo Nivel's program in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica was one of the best experiences I have had. My homestay was fantastic and I truly felt that I became part of the family. The office staff is very helpful and very friendly, and my Spanish classes were fantastic. I worked at a daycare with children ages 0-6, and had a wonderful experience. The children are so sweet and become hard to say goodbye to each day. Also, there are copious activities set up by Maximo Nivel that are a great way to meet other program participants. The only regret I have is not being here long enough - the time went by too quickly!

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

Maximo Nivel is worth it!

I spent a total of 6 months with Maximo in San Jose Costa Rica. From the first day I arrived I felt welcomed into the Maximo community. All of the staff members were very friendly and knowledable. Throughout my time here the staff has been nothing but kind and helpful. THey were willing to help me with everything from restaurant recomendaciones to travel tips to doctor appointments. It was great to have the constant support of the Maximo Nivel team during my time here. When they asked me how I was and if I liked my classes and my project, it was evident that they genuinely cared about how I was doing and wanted to ensure my wellbeing and happiness. ALthough one does have to pay for this prpogram, it is much less expensive than some other volunteer programs and I beleive the cost is worth what you get in return. I would recomend Maximo Nivel to anyonr looking to do volunteer work in Costa Rica, Guatemala, or Peru.

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Katheyrn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

12 weeks. 3 projects. A life changing experience!

I have chose to do three projects in Costa Rica through Maximo Nivel. I did construction and renovation in San Jose, eco agriculture in Monteverde and turtle conservation program in Junquillal. The hardest part about writing this review is that i know im about to head home and leave this beautiful country and its people behind. All of the projects were absolutly amazing! from the host families, making new friends with the locals and the volunteers to the very helpful and friendly staff members of Maximo Nivel. If you are looking to volunteer in a safe country, where the people make you feel like you are home and where your time and effort will be truly needed and appreciate it, this is definitely the place and the organization. I will forever be grateful and lucky that I got to experience all these adventures and challenges that were so rewarding!

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Rubylea
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Can't wait to come back again!

Costa Rica is such a beautiful place with such kind, welcoming people. Volunteering through Maximo Nivel immediately eased all my worries about travelling solo! The team at the San Pedro headquarters provided a comprehensive orientation of all the do's and don'ts while here and provided all the support you need. Emmy is super knowledgable and helped me settle in immediately! Going through Maximo was a great way to meet people with their social events while contributing to the community and having an authentic Costa Rican experience. Special shout out to Steve and Andres, they were always so acommodating and happy to help with any issues i had. I could not recommend Maximo enough! I can't wait to visit again.

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Erica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rewarding & Impactful Experience in Costa Rica - Maximo Nivel

My time in Costa Rica has been one, if not the most, life-changing and impactful experiences of my life. The program sets to up to challenge yourself in a new community with interesting people from all over the world. Each day you have enough structure and freedom to have a fulfilling experience. Living with a host family provided such valuable insight into the culture here in San Jose, Costa Rica. At the home you are able to practice Spanish, learn the family values and cultural norms as well as get an authentic look at the community and day to day life. I would do this program again without question and recommend it to anyone. While I was here as a volunteer, I feel like I was the one who gained the most value. Everyone has been so welcoming and I could not have imagined a better time. If you are looking for a new opportunity to grow as a person, come to Costa Rica. You will not regret it.

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Anita
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable Experience Teaching English

I spent 2 weeks teaching English with the project Vuela. It was one of the most rewarding and eye opening experiences of my life so far. It was definitely not what I was expecting, but I wouldn´t have had it any other way! The staff at Maximo were unbelievably helpful and made sure we were always supported in every way. They would greet us everyday with a smile on their faces which made our experience so welcoming. By the end of the 2 weeks, we felt like locals. Teaching the kids was an honour and when they remembered the things you taught them, it brings you so much joy! You create such a strong bond with the kids and the staff that you will never forget!

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Janki
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English in San Jose

I was very nervous about embarking on this journey, visiting a new non english speaking country and being thrown into an environment out of my comfort zone. I am so pleased with the experience I have had. My home stay family was lovely and welcoming and I always felt very much at home.
Teaching the children English was challenging but very rewarding and I feel as though I have gained so much confidence from the experience. The children are so lovely and it was so difficult to say goodbye.

What would you improve about this program?
I feel it would be helpful for new volunteers to have more information about what to expect and what is expeced of them coming into the program.
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Katrina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

2 Weeks as a nurse in San Jose

It was such an incredible experience! I took part in the Healthcare project and absolutely loved it. I came to Costa Rica only having studied my first year of nursing and yet was able to partake in everything. The experience is without a doubt worth it. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
As for Maximo Nivel, the assistance all the students received was outstanding. They help you with every aspect of your travels and hold 'event nights' wher eyou can practise salsa and learn to cook typical Costa Rican dishes. Definitely well worth it and I would recommend it to anybody who is ready for a lifechanging experience.

What would you improve about this program?
More classes!! The salsa and cooking class were amazing, having more events or social nights would top it off even more.
Kai
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Program

I volunteered in Costa Rica and had a wonderful time sightseeing the country and working with kids, would definitely recommend to anyone looking for volunteer abroad opportunities. I didn't speak any spanish but the volunteerHQ staff were super helpful in getting me around and I was still able to help out a lot at the daycare I was volunteering at. I also got to spend the weekend traveling to Manuel Antonio and the beach was beautiful.

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Nela
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Childcare in Sonrisas

Such a life-changing experience! I loved going to my project and spending time with the cute children, it always made my day and I feel like that with time it got better so I would definitely recommend coming for longer than two weeks (I did it for 8 weeks). My homestay was amazing, they made me feel like a part of their family and I already miss them.
This experience allows you not only to see a new culture but to live it. I cannot stress how much I’d recommend everyone to do this at least once in their life. I feel like I’ve learned so much and feel more grateful for what I have now. I got out of my comfort zone a lot and learned a new language- the more Spanish you know the more you’ll benefit from your experience.
Also, Maximo Nivel was great, I felt supported all the time.

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David
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Holiday Experience

Having only a week to volunteer before my second semester started back up, I chose to do the holiday experience. We participated in beautification projects in some of the most underprivileged areas, worked and played with children in different orphanages and day cares, and visited a home for the elderly. It was a great way to get a taste of some of the programs that maximo provides. I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent on projects, and although my Spanish is limited, I feel that I really connected with some of the kids. It is quite humbling to see the real side of the country, and even more uplifting to get involved, experience it, and help first hand. I wish I had another week or two to spend with Maximo in Costa Rica. I developed friendships with other volunteers, was able to go on excursions and out at night, and developed a love for the country as well. Maximo Nivel was extremely accommodating, my homestay was very pleasant, and I felt safe yet able to explore the entire time. The staff at Maximo were incredibly enthusiastic (a quality that radiated to other volunteers) and made me look forward to getting started on my project every day.

What would you improve about this program?
I feel as if the time spent volunteering each day could be lengthened, possibly by working on multiple projects in one day or coming back to the same one after a lunch break. 3-4 hours a Day was a good amount, but I would have been pleased with a few more hours of volunteering.
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Elissa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English

After finishing a lesson, a mother of one of the students came up to me and the other teacher and gave us both big hugs and said thank you. On the last day of teaching, my students made us lunch and celebrated the progress they made throughout the two weeks. The semester of Spanish knowledge I have and would use to communicate just made people smile and say, "que linda" and help me work through the sentence. The people of Costa Rica are so kind and caring. The students I had the pleasure to work with value the time you put in and give it back to you by putting in lots of effort. The staff at Maximo Nivel were so supportive and amazing. They are so welcoming and they really care about the volunteers and the projects which they are affiliated with. Safety is important to them and they play an active role in your volunteer experience by accompanying you sometimes to the volunteer placement. They embody Pura Vida.

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Michelle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica Experience

My experience in Costa Rica was amazing. I was here for two weeks and I volunteered at a special needs care project. This project was at Casa Esperanza and there are adults who live here who have great personalities. They all love playing BINGO and coloring but they also love your company and talking to you. I felt I made an impact on them but they made an even bigger impact on me. It is a fun project to do and a project I would recommend to anyone. You learn that even though they have special needs they are human just like us and they love company!

What would you improve about this program?
N/A
Default avatar
Danielle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

UNREAL

I am going to try my absolute best to formulate sentences about how unreal this experience was but i genuinley dont know if theres even words to describe it. Everything about this program from the maximo nivel staff, to my host family, to my placement and all of the friends i made on this trip, have been nothing shy of amazing. the maximo nivel staff was crazy inviting and is there for you for support in any situation. Im can to volunteer to make an impact and be part of a greater change but in all honesty, although don get me wrong i definitely am confident in the impact i made during my time here, i feel like i got just as much out of this program as i gave which is an amazing feeling. i would recommend this program to any single person whos intrested in traveling with a purpose. and if the language barrier is a concern, dont worry to much about it, i had 0 background in spanish whatsoever and had no problem, other than the slight inonvience, but was able to pick up many phrases and words fast. hope some of you get to experience this program, it truly is unreal.