Volunteer in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is a wonderful destination for both first-time and seasoned travelers. It's home to beautiful beaches, tropical rainforests, and some of the friendliest people on earth, while also being incredibly safe.

But for those who want to see another side of Costa Rica, volunteering in education, animal rescue, or sea turtle conservancy could be just the way to see Costa Rica from outside the tourist lens. Volunteering in this tropical country offers the experience of a lifetime by immersing you in local culture and customs and learning the true meaning of Pura Vida.

Photo Credit: Gabi Schiller

Costa Rica offers an excellent introduction to Latin America while also providing a diversity of places to visit for a nature lover with a strong democratic tradition. After Costa Rica's civil war, the army was abolished by the president in 1948. While Costa Rica is often considered one of the wealthier countries in the region, there are still numerous development problems such as deforestation, economic and gender inequalities and youth development issues as increasing numbers of undocumented immigrants from Nicaragua and other neighboring countries now call Costa Rica home.

Environmental Conservation & Working with Wildlife

While Costa Rica is famous for conserving vast parts of the country as national parks, there is a constant need for volunteers to get involved in their wildlife and conservation efforts. The most popular project in this field is working with the numerous sea turtle conservancy projects on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Volunteers work to protect sea turtle eggs from poachers and environmental threats.

Other projects involve preserving and researching other areas of Costa Rica's wildlife -- especially in Costa Rica's rainforests.

Youth Development

Volunteer with youth development in Costa Rica -- both in San Jose and smaller cities -- by assisting with after-school programs, community centers, and sports coaching. Most projects will require you have a functional level of Spanish in this area.

Gender Equality

Unknown to many, sex trade has dramatically increased in Costa Rica. Victims need your help in recovering their lives.

Teaching English

Costa Ricans value English as a second language and native teachers are in high demand. Teaching positions vary and no experience is necessary, but previous experience and qualifications are always helpful.

Health and Safety in Costa Rica

No immunizations are required to go to Costa Rica. It is also safe to drink the water, one of the few Latin American countries where this is the case. Costa Rica is known to be one of the safer countries in Central America but you should never let your guard down, always secure your belongings and be aware of surroundings, especially in bus stations and in markets. Remember, as a foreigner you always stand out.

Visas

Costa Rican tourist visas are not required for citizens of the United States for a stay of up to 90 days. For more information visit Visa HQ. All travelers to Costa Rica will have to pay a fee upon exiting.

Contributed by Eliza Wethey

Programs

Displaying 16 - 30 of 190
South Africa
GoEco
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Bamboo
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Plan My Gap Year
PMGY offer a wide range of safe, meaningful, affordable teaching volunteer projects from 1-week to 6-months in Bali, Cambodia...
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Greenheart Travel
Based on a private ecological reserve in the rainforests of northern Costa Rica, this Eco-Reserve and Animal Rescue Center...
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Amigos de las Americas
AMIGOS is running two projects in Costa Rica for summer 2018. Perez Zeledón (4 weeks): participants spend half their time in...
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Bamboo
Bamboo offers a variety of construction projects in five different countries. Working on this type of project allows the...
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Plan My Gap Year
PMGY offer a wide range of safe, meaningful, affordable childcare volunteer projects from 1-week to 6-months in Bali,...
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Global Works
Are you a high school student looking for volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica? Global Works has a variety of options for...
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Love Volunteers
Do you love nature? Want to help protect the bio-diversity or our amazing planet? This program is for you! Our Environmental...
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Outward Bound Costa Rica
Experience an unforgettable adventure with fellow Girl Scouts from across the United States! Our four GSUSA Destinations...
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Volunteering in the medical field is your chance to make a huge difference in people's lives. Bamboo offers medical related...
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Plan My Gap Year
PMGY offers 1-week to 3-month volunteering opportunities local suburb of Coronado just outside the capital city of San Jose....
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Love Volunteers
Through our partner in Costa Rica, Love Volunteer is seeking volunteers to help local communities. Opportunities are...
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Global Works
Global Works Custom Group programs offer travel experiences for an existing group. These groups may choose their destination,...
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Raleigh International
A Raleigh expedition to Nicaragua and Costa Rica is a unique opportunity to experience incredible cultures and help tackle...