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.

Travel Grants Available for a Limited Time!

Ready to work as an English teacher abroad? Register today for our award winning TEFL Certification in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru and apply for a special travel grant.

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 121 - 135 of 176
Default avatar
Rupal
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GREAT EXPERIENCE

Overwhelmed by the great experience offered by Maximo Nivel.
I met a lot of people from different backgrounds and cultures. The experience is definitely very culturally rewarding.
The host family is really warm and takes care of all your needs, demands and dietary requirements like being a vegetarian.
The homestay is very cozy and comfortable.
The program orientation was really comprehensive and detailed which made me feel like home in a little time.
The day care I worked at was amazing. The staff was cooperative and encouraging. The children was very manageable and playful. They are wonderful to work with. Little things like playing with bubbles and coloring minions could keep them entertained for hours. Their smiles can make anyone's day. Thus, I highly recommend Childcare program offered by Maximo Nivel in Costa Rica.

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

Be prepared

I loved my time in Costa Rica! It was an amazing way to immerse myself in a new culture, while helping others and building friendships. However, I would say the main thing that was a struggle for me was there was a lot I wasn't prepared for. Definitely do your research about the language, transportation, social thing, etc.
But overall, don't be afraid to jump into the deep end. This was one of the best learning experiences of my life! Happy trails :))

What would you improve about this program?
More info given at the beginning . For example, you don't have to be completely fluent in Spanish to volunteer for certain programs.
Default avatar
Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

La Carpio Construction

This program had a huge impact on me personally. From the beginning to the end, I felt very satisfied with the work we were doing and seeing our progress unfold. By the end of my stay, I felt so comfortable working, using the equipment, and making decisions. Our construction foreman, Danilo, was very helpful and knowledgable, as well as very goofy and fun to be around. The commute to La Carpio was a little longer than anticipated, but it was absolutely worth it. It was a joy to see Amparo, Franklin, Andy, and their two dogs, Bakito and Toti, each day. They made us feel so welcomed in their home. During my last few days, I wished I could just stay longer and keep working until the project was completed! I would love to return someday soon.

What would you improve about this program?
More volunteers! The work would go much faster and more easily with more hands on deck.
Default avatar
Michelle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English

This was an amazing experience. I traveled to Costa Rica on a solo mission for personal growth reasons and am leaving with so much more than that. This was a very humbling experience and you really feel the impact you are making with the families you work with. The support from the staff is also wonderful. I know that my experience here will stay with me for the rest of my life. You see just how much the families appreciate what you do for them. You are teaching them skills for a better life, and that is immeasurable. I loved it!

Diego
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience!!

This experience was unique because not only was the volunteer project a lot of fun, but you immediately get immersed with the culture. The kids we worked with, regardless of the language barrier, were always happy to see the volunteers. Before you know it you become attached. It's something you'll always remember. The staff also does a great job on making sure you adapt well to the culture and how to get around town. They are always more than happy to help.

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

Volunteered Teaching English

The past two weeks I travelled solo to Costa Rica To teach English. Along the way Maximo Nivel was there to make my experience more then perfect. I ended up working with adults (17-40) teaching English. The students were awesome. They were so eager to learn and I could tell I was really making an impact on there life by volunteering a couple hours a day to help them learn English. Maximo was also were helpful along the way in were to go to set up travel plans, recommending great local spots and how to get around the county. I also meet so many new people from all over the world. I ended up becoming friends with some. I give Maximo Nivel a 10 out of 10 if traveling along for first time I would recommend signing up for there volunteer program.

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

Ostional Turtle Conservation

The experience was amazing and is perfect for the ones who love nature and also enjoys to have contact with different cultures. The house family was great and i felt like one of the family and they were very collaborative and very fun. The people that were working in the project were great and they helped and teached me a lot. It was great being feel part of the project and they trusted me and let me collaborate a lot. It was an amazing experience to see the turtles in the "Arribada", is like a phenomenon of the nature. I reccomend a lot this experience, because i believe i will remember it forever.

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

Ostional Turtle Conservation

This was such an amazing experience. I stayed with a host family and at first I was a little nervous that it might be awkward at all but they are the most accomodating, warm and loving family that made me feel right at home. My spanish is not very good but I got very close to the family and consider them my 2nd family. We even went to Arenal together on my last weekend. The staff at the turtle reservation is awesome as well and made the experience super fun- it didn't even feel like work. Working with the turtles is an amazing experience and it makes the hours fly by. I highly recommend this project and each hand is necessary for it's success! It is a life-changing experience and one I will remember forever

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

Divino Nino(Child Care)

This was honestly one of my most enjoyable travel experiences, especially as a solo traveler. The orientation and the guidance from the Maximo Nivel Staff was very helpful and informative. They make sure you know exactly where to go and what to do for your project and stop by onsite sometimes to check how things are going. Buses are very affordable and the staff will show you exactly which ones to take, as well as provide you with a sheet that guides you step by step to the location. It's also easy to meet up with your project group beforehand to commute together. All of the Maximo Nivel staff are very friendly. As for the project itself, everything was very organized and enjoyable. The kids and the staff onsite are very friendly. They welcome you with open arms and are very happy to see visitors coming to help out. Come with an open heart and mind to the Costa Rican people and culture to make your impact and experience as rewarding as possible.

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

My Experience as a Volunteer with Maximo Nivel in Costa Rica

Traveling to another country can be challenging especially when you don't speak a foreign language, but Maximo Nivel made that fear go away.

The program is well organized and from my first day to my departure, I felt at home. Volunteering is so rewarding and fulfilling.

When next you feel like helping mankind or make a difference, just contact Maximo Nivel and you won't regret it.

Thanks team!

What would you improve about this program?
The program is well organized, and cheap, I don't have any recommendations rather they should keep up the good work, and publicize the program more on social media.
Default avatar
Tessa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience!

I had the opportunity to teach English during my two week stay in Costa Rica and it was amazing. The staff at Maximo are all hardworking and caring (and even make an effort to get to know everyone personally). Any time I needed assistance or had a question, the Maximo team was there to assist me. The experience that I had at Maximo was unlike any other and I encourage anyone who wants to teach or travel abroad to go through Maximo Nivel. It was an experience of a lifetime and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

What would you improve about this program?
I cannot think of any improvements. If you go into the program with a positive attitude and an open mind, you will have the time of your life!
Default avatar
Yonnie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English in La Carpio

I am 16 years old and was able to volunteer with my older sister in La Carpio, Costa Rica for a week. Together alongside a couple other volunteers, my sister and I taught English in a familys home. This family opens up their home to the local children and adults who want to learn English from the Maximo Volunteers for as long as 4 hours every week day. I have never met a more welcoming group of people during this trip. The family and children in La Carpio were so kind, and even though they deal with new volunteers almost every week, they show up everyday dedicated to learning. The Maximo staff were all extremely helpful, and kept things entertaining with salsa class and Spanish lessons. And lastly, all the other volunteers who came from different parts of the world were all so friendly, and i'm happy to have met them. Costa Rica itself was so beautiful and the weather was always perfect - rain for 2 hours and sunshine a breezy the rest of the day. I do believe that only being there a week was not long enough, however any kind of contribution is helpful. My sister and I are planning to organize a fundraiser within our school to help the families in La Carpio because we would like to do more. If you are debating on volunteering in CR or not, I say do it. Even if its for a short time, and you might think you wont impact these families lives, they will for sure impact yours.

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

costa rica vuela la carpios

I did not know what to expect when I signed up to volunteer to teach english in costa rica. I did know that Maximo Nivel/ IVHQ was a reputable organization since my daughter used them to spend a month in S. Africa,Capetown. The program where i worked was extremely needy. The students and adults are motivated and eager to learn English. The conditions are challenging but work to improve the program is constant and I was able to witness electricity being installed in our upstairs "classroom" which was AMAZING! >The children are wonderful and bright and loving. Despite many obstacles and significant poverty this group has so much hope for a better future. I would especially encourage RETIRED TEACHERS to travel to Costa Rica and teach English at the project Vuela! It was not the easiest thing I have ever done, but it was certainly one of the most rewardling experiences of my life! Take a chance like I did. You can make a difference. You will be so glad you did! PURA VIDA

What would you improve about this program?
This program is a work in progress and improvements are happening daily!
Amanda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

From USA to CR for 3 AMAZING weeks

Volunteering in a foreign country in any capacity is extremely rewarding, but my experience in Costa Rica has been beyond that. My 3- week stay here was tremendous. I worked as an English teacher and that experience helped me grow as a professional and it opened my eyes to the lives and cultures of those living in this unique country. None of this would have been possible without the incredible staff at Maximo Nivel. From day one the entire team was supportive and helpful and they made the headquarters a home away from home. I felt like I had everything I needed at all times and I have made friendships that I know will last a lifetime. I cannot imagine a more gratifying experience, nor a better organization to experience it with. Muchas gracias, Maximo!

What would you improve about this program?
I cannot suggest any improvements to the organization at this time, but based on the interactions with other volunteers that I have had, I must recommend that volunteers keep their minds open and be ready to live the Pura Vida life when they are here. The only negative experiences I have witnessed have resulted from volunteers having unrealistic expectations and not keeping an open mind.
Default avatar
Adam
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English for 6 weeks

The program I was assigned was the farthest away from Máximo's location. However, the trip was worth it. Everyday, I spent 2 hours teaching English to a bunch of adults. These adults will go on and eventually apply for jobs that were originally out of reach. This will greatly help them while living in La Carpio. I also took Spanish classes that greatly improved speaking ability. This experience was life-changing for me and especially my students.