Volunteer in Costa Rica

Browse Programs

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.


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

Showing 192 results

Costa Rica
IOI : Intercultural Outreach Initiative
The Marine Conservation Volunteer will assist in ongoing sea turtle and ray monitoring projects in the waters and beaches of...
Costa Rica
Iko Poran Volunteer Abroad
Iko Poran offers a wonderful turtle conservation project in a paradisiac Caribbean community. It is an excellent opportunity...
Costa Rica
ISV (International Student Volunteers)
Costa Rica is filled with a colourful array of animals, white beaches, lush rainforests, rivers, volcanoes and smiling commun...
Costa Rica
Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools
Additionally to our Spanish programs we offer unique and well selected volunteer projects around Costa Rica, as a non-profit...
Costa Rica
Intercultura Costa Rica Spanish Schools
Live with a local family while you study in our immersion Spanish & Culture programs, travel around Costa Rica and participat...
Costa Rica
Global Routes
The land of Pura Vida! Join Global Routes for the most immersive Gap program in the field on the Teaching Internship Program...
Costa Rica
Global Volunteers
Global Volunteers' LGBT Volunteer Vocation Program engages lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in meaningful...
Costa Rica
Vida Volunteer
Join Vida in Costa Rica as a volunteer in their field clinics! Programs in Costa Rica are typically 2-weeks in length. Volunt...
Surf For Life
As a Surf For Life volunteer, you will work alongside local community members to build high impact projects, such as schools,...
Proyecto Mosaico e.V.
You can become a part of our work! Share your time, experiences and ideas with our partner projects and their participants. Y...
Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a tropical paradise and 25 percent of the land is dedicated to helping preserve the earth's biodiversity. Costa...
Costa Rica
Global Routes
Global Routes offers summer community service trips for high school students who are looking for adventure travel and communi...
Costa Rica
Animal Experience International
100% of the eggs laid by these creatures along the beach would be taken by poachers. Volunteers are needed to patrol the beac...
Costa Rica
Sea Turtle Conservancy
Go wild with sea turtles! Experience sustainable travel with a splash of conservation by participating in STC's Eco-Volunteer...
Costa Rica
Youth Challenge International
Join Youth Challenge International in Costa Rica on the Youth Discovery program! For more than 17 years, YCI has been working...