Volunteer in Costa Rica with Maximo Nivel - Best Rated Projects

Video and Photos

Face Painting at a Daycare
Face Painting at a Daycare
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
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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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 136 - 150 of 176
Maxine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Pura Vida

I have recently returned from a month in Costa Rica, and I did a split volunteer project: two weeks in Coronado, teaching English and two weeks in Junquillal with the Verdiazul turtle conservation project. The projects could not have been more different, and they could not have been more wonderful. Working with students in San Jose allowed me to live like a local and get a taste of "normal" life. From living in the homestay to getting the bus to the placement, I felt part of the city, and this all added to the adventure. The students and volunteers I met where incredible, and I made friends with whom I still keep in touch. Stage two of my trip was a stark contrast, as I moved from the bustle of city to the tranquility of uncommercial beach life and the work was physical and fun, plus I learned plenty about turtles. Again, I was welcomed by a special group of people who truly care about conservation and preservation. In both places, I felt valued and appreciated. The smoothness of my experience was made possible through the professionalism of the Maximo Nivel team. I felt 100% supported by them. It is an incredible organization of people who work hard to make sure that the volunteers have an amazing experience, through the quality of the projects, home-stays, and social activities they provide. If you are sitting on the fence and wondering if to jump in and volunteer, I say leap: You won't look back :)

What would you improve about this program?
I really don't see much. The orientations help a great deal and the support is excellent.
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Kiana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Thank You Maximo Nivel!

Maximo Nivel provided me with such an amazing experience! I took spanish classes and volunteered with children at a local preschool, both were great! I came here speaking very little spanish and the classes were very helpful. I had the opportunity to stay with one of the most AMAZING host families. As soon as I got to Costa Rica my host mom made me feel at home. She took amazing care of all of us that stayed with her. Costa Rica is such a beautiful place with such great people and I would highly recommend choosing this program!

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Paige
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Los Pollitos

My experience with Los Pollitos was more than I ever could have expected. I began my time here with few expectations and therefore I was blown away with the kindness I was surrounded by. Monica happily invited me into her classroom and I quickly began to help her teach the little ones as well as play everything from la casita (house) to el monstruo (monster). The language barrier can be overwhelming at times, but for those who volunteer in the future never be afraid to jump in. Little people are the best to practice with! I was able to truly contribute unique ideas as the weeks went on as I was able to check in with Monicas lesson plans and coordinate the activities I planned with the weeks theme. This is so important! Come ready to think outside the box, search through pintrest, and find coloring sheets! This project has so much to offer, however, the experience is only what you put in! Have fun and love those little ones lots and lots because I guarentee they will love you!

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Haley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

BEST TRIP EVER

Our second night of arriving in Ostional we got to experience an Arribada. Over 4,500 sea turtles came to lay their eggs on the beach right in front of us. It was the coolest thing I have ever experienced in my life. The support staff was beyond welcoming and friendly. I would do this trip again in a heartbeat. I loved it and will definitely miss it. Above all I will miss all of the amazing people I met during this trip. All though I can barely form a sentence in Spanish everyone was so kind. I would recommened this trip to anyone who has an interest in helping our communitites and seeing beautiful creatures while working! Pura Vida!

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Nicole
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English in La Carpio

Teaching in La Carpio will forever be one of my most memorable experiences. Although the work is very challenging, it is incredibly rewarding. I feel so blessed to have met these incredible students and their families. The amount of appreciation, love and eagerness to learn is a clear depiction of how important this work is. You will have challenging days with your students. However, every day you will experience moments connecting with your students that make it all worthwhile. Your students may not always show it, but your hard work is appreciated and you are loved by them! Teaching in La Carpio is an indescribable experience that will leave you forever grateful for taking on the challenge.

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Christine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English La Carpio

I came to Costa Rica for 6 weeks, alone, so naturally I was a bit nervous, especially considering my Spanish skills are pretty limited. Almost as soon as I got to Maximo though, most of my nerves went away. Everyone was incredibly welcoming and knew exactly what was going on and what I needed to be doing and didn't hesitate to help when I asked. They took me to meet my host family who immediately welcomed me into their home. They took me to Maximo for my orientation and brought me back afterwards so I knew how to get there on my own. My first day at my project, I met for the ESL Crash Course and the project orientation by a Maximo Nivel staff member took me out to the project. They showed me how to get there, introduced me to the family at the home and all the students, helped me figure out how to teach the first day, and showed me the way home. The next day when I went on my own, I felt completely prepared. When you first get to La Carpio, it may seem a bit intimidating as it is a very poor area and near the landfill, but I honestly never felt unsafe while I there. The entire family was incredibly welcoming and I immediately felt like a part of it. They watched out for me and the other volunteers like we had lived with them our entire lives. I honestly felt like I was able to make an impact in their lives, as well as have mine changed for the better. I wish that I could stay longer and I'm honestly leaving a part of my heart at Vuelo.

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Justine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English in La Carpio

I came to Costa Rica for 6 weeks, alone, so naturally I was a bit nervous, especially considering my Spanish skills are pretty limited. Almost as soon as I got to Maximo though, most of my nerves went away. Everyone was incredibly welcoming and knew exactly what was going on and what I needed to be doing and didn't hesitate to help when I asked. They took me to meet my host family who immediately welcomed me into their home. They took me to Maximo for my orientation and brought me back afterwards so I knew how to get there on my own. My first day at my project, I met for the ESL Crash Course and the project orientation by a Maximo Nivel staff member took me out to the project. They showed me how to get there, introduced me to the family at the home and all the students, helped me figure out how to teach the first day, and showed me the way home. The next day when I went on my own, I felt completely prepared. When you first get to La Carpio, it may seem a bit intimidating as it is a very poor area and near the landfill, but I honestly never felt unsafe while I there. The entire family was incredibly welcoming and I immediately felt like a part of it. They watched out for me and the other volunteers like we had lived with them our entire lives. I honestly felt like I was able to make an impact in their lives, as well as have mine changed for the better. I wish that I could stay longer and I'm honestly leaving a part of my heart at Vuelo.

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Petal
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great!

This program was amazing! I'm really glad I had the opportunity to partake in this experience. The volunteering allowed us to have enough time to do something everyday and also feel like we were making an impact and learn some more Spanish. I think this is the best way to visit a new country because you are able to immerse youself in the culture more easily and have a supper system at your exposle.

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Chan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing experience

My two weeks here flew by, and I'm leaving wishing I could have another two weeks. My placement, the support and the entire program was truly remarkable. I worked at Guarderia Bebitas every afternoon providing activities, games and assistance with teeth brushing, hand washing, etc. The staff and the children were a joy to see everyday, and the support I received from Maximo Nivel helped ensure my experience went smoothly. There is a whole community of amazing people here ready to help you immediately with any concerns. Highlights of my time included painting faces, playing Pato Pato Ganso, Simon Dice and much more. Today is my last day and I wish I could do this whole experience all over again!

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Jennie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Childcare project

Me and my friend, through Maximo Nivel, volunteered at Comedor in Alajualita. The staff there were amazing and everyday was a blast. The kids were amazing and always kind to us. We mosly worked with children 0-2. We worked here for 3 hours and tried to use our time teaching them some spanish or english, or even how to walk. The children were always always willing to learn. I recommend volunteering here in Costa Rica, especially the childcare program. Its an experience I will never forget.

What would you improve about this program?
Nada
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Jenna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience

I had a wonderful, unforgettable time! The programs are great, the staff members are supportive and are amazing, the food, the people, all of it was wonderful. My host mama, Marlen, is the sweetest person and was extremely patient with me attempting to speak Spanish. You will not regret your travel to Costa Rica! There are many different volunteer programs along with classes to learn Spanish and sites to see you are sure to have a great time. Pura vida!

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Jiawen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

You should not miss it!!!!

I really enjoied every moment | worked here. My project is childcare on Maximo Nivel from 3/13 to 3/17 in 2017. To be honest, it was hard for me to come a stranger country, especially I cannot speak Spinish. I almost want to give it up. But when I started my program, the first day I saw the kids' smile, I was totally attracted by their smiling. Even it was so hard to communicate with them, I still had great times with them. Just remember, showing love to them and them you will get love back! I promise I will come back with a fluent Spinish!

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Mike
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My review of volunteering in Costa Rica

Great experience! Met a lot of fantastic people and had a lot of fun at the same time. Would definetely do it again if I get the chance and I would recomend it to others. Spent two weeks in Monteverde, and one week in San Jose. You get to meet a lot of people. It really improves your communication skills, as well as makes you open up and fully experience a foreign country. You also have enough time to travel and have a great time with friends you meet here at Maximo and in Costa Rica. Thank you guys.

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Sabrina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English in Costa Rica

Getting involved in a volunteering program is not an easy choice to make for first timers, but the entire team in Maximo Nivel Costa Rica made that choice easy to make and truly worthwhile. During my one week in Costa Rica, the entire team worked together to place me in one of the most rewarding ongoing projects they offer for teaching English to kids and adults in order to make the most out of my short one week stay. They showed support and offered countless resources to help make my experience smoother and their happiness and energy every single day, at every time of day, was hard to not catch and motivate you. I can really speak for the passion that Maximo has for getting everyone involved and helping out anyone in anyway who needs a hand. I enjoyed every single second I spent in Costa Rica, whether it was with my MamáTica, taking an almost two-hour ride to teach these kids, walking around the city, or hanging out with other volunteers. I can guarantee that your time will not be wasted with this amazing team, they will make you feel like you're family and help you get the most out of your experience. After all, its all about that "Pura Vida."

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Codey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Everything I hoped for!

I was a great experience to enjoy the present and thinking about the future with a fresh persective. I feel fortunate that I had the oppourtunity to participate in this program. I would recommend it to anybody who wants to see Costa Rica. The experience of immersing into the culture is very rewarding. Another advantage of the program is having the guidance about where to go and the best way to do things. The local knowlwdge was extremely useful