Location
Multiple Locations +3
  • Peru
    • Cusco
  • Guatemala
    • Antigua
  • Costa Rica
    • San José
    • Playa Blanca
Length
1 to 52 weeks

Program Details

Language
Spanish
Age Min.
17
Age Max
90
Timeframe
Short Term Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Housing
Apartment Guesthouse Host Family Hostel Hotel
Groups
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)
Travel Type
Budget Family Older Travelers Solo Women

Pricing

Starting Price
645
Price Details
Along with Maximo’s professional program management, multi-lingual team, and great 24/7 support, our volunteer abroad programs include:
-Airport pick-up
-Host family accommodations
-Breakfast and dinner, 7 days/week
-3-4 hours/day volunteer work, Monday-Friday
-Program and safety orientation
-Walking tour
-Official certificate of volunteer service
-Letter of recommendation
-Spanish language tutoring table
-Tandem Conversation Program
-Office-wide WiFi and computer lab
-Salsa dance classes
-Cooking classes
-Free coffee and tea and on-site snack bar
-Campus is open 7 days/week
-Emergency contact number 24/7
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare
Feb 02, 2022
Sep 12, 2023
60 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Maximo Nivel is a locally based organization in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. Partnering with local communities ensures that our volunteers cater to the needs of the residents. Maximize your impact by getting involved in one of our various volunteer projects abroad.

Since 2003, Maximo Nivel has been a leader in educational travel and study abroad. We are a professional, ethical, and hard-working organization that is completely dedicated to the communities we serve while providing an exceptional experience to every participant, student, traveler, and client!

In your volunteer abroad program at Maximo Nivel:
- All-inclusive—shared accommodations, meals, and many extras.
- Field Managers work side-by-side with volunteers to ensure integration at project sites.
- Great home-base facilities, open 7 days/week, including holidays.
- Special add-on programs: Surf School, Scuba Certification, Yoga Certification, and more
- Earn university credit via our School of Record

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

LGBTQIA+ Support

At Maximo Nivel, we deeply value diversity in all its forms. We maintain an open-minded approach, recognizing the significance of varied perspectives, intelligent discourse, and the transformative power of a positive mindset. We warmly welcome and respect individuals from all backgrounds, irrespective of politics, gender, gender identity, age, race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. Whether it’s volunteering, Spanish immersion, TEFL certification, international internships, university courses, or GAP year experiences, members of the LGBTQIA+ community are wholeheartedly invited to participate in our programs.

Impact

Ethical Impact

At Maximo Nivel, we work in close partnership with our local communities in Latin America to ensure that volunteer projects align with genuine local needs, fostering meaningful and relevant impact. We emphasize sustainable initiatives designed for enduring change, rather than short-term interventions. By promoting cultural sensitivity, we facilitate enriching exchanges rooted in mutual respect, and our commitment to local employment further integrates and supports the communities we serve.

Program Highlights

  • New volunteer programs start every Monday year-round
  • All-inclusive—shared accommodations, meals, and many extras
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • No registration or processing fees
  • We bring structure and organization to your volunteer program, and we match you with the best project according to your experience, personal goals and the positive impact you want to have.

Popular Programs

Volunteer with Children in Latin America

Homelessness and poverty left many children in Latin America without access to proper education or loving environment. Maximo Nivel’s childcare projects aspire to change children’s lives by providing caring and nurturing volunteers to work, study, and play with. Our childcare programs are for caring and responsible people who want to improve the lives of underprivileged kids. Attention and care go a long way in the development of young people and your help is needed and appreciated!

Volunteer Teaching English in Latin America

The public education systems in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru don't include quality ESL classes. Speaking English is a life-changing skill for people in developing countries, because the language opens academic and professional opportunities and provides a path out of poverty. Most middle and upper class students learn English at private language centers, which are too expensive for a large part of the population. This creates an unfair gap between those who can and cannot afford lessons.

Construction & Renovation in Latin America

Construction projects in Latin America are the highest impact volunteer programs available, you can literally see and touch the work you do and the impact you make! Central & South America are interesting places to learn about traditional and more modern building methods. Work with adobe, plaster, and bamboo or cement block, drywall, and aluminum. Construction and renovation work benefits developing communities that need help with infrastructure such as housing, schools, and community centers.

Volunteer with Animals & Wildlife in Latin America

Maximo Nivel’s Animal Care programs are available in Guatemala and Peru, where animals are not viewed as family members, nor is there a well-developed culture of animal rights. There is little education or understanding of animals and their needs. Alleys are filled with packs of abandoned dogs and cats who suffer from hunger and health issues. The lack of spaying/neutering means they breed quickly. Exotic species are illegally captured as pets and farm animals are often neglected due to poverty.

Medical & Healthcare Volunteering in Latin America

Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru offer universal healthcare to their citizens and all 3 countries have large nationalized healthcare systems but government funding and bureaucracy along with large rural populations mean that many patients don't have equal access. Hospitals for low income families often lack staff and proper resources keep vulnerable populations healthy. Volunteering in a medical placement truly makes a difference in the lives of hospital professionals and their patients.

Program Reviews

4.82 Rating
based on 44 reviews
  • 5 rating 88.64%
  • 4 rating 9.09%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 2.27%
  • Impact 4.55
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.75
  • Value 4.75
  • Safety 4.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 44 reviews
Default avatar
Della
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

So much fun

Everyday I’m so happy to be at the daycare with the kids, they teach me so much and vice versa. The highlight of my morning is when I get there I get “ambushed” with hugs and good mornings. Honestly they are the most lovable people in the whole world. The staff at los ositos have been very helpful and welcoming. Also the kids love it if you smile at them it makes them feel happy and gives them like extra energy for the day. But honestly working with the kids makes you have to have extra energy..

Pros
  • Amazing staff
  • Everyone tries when it comes to the so-called language barrier
  • So happy
Cons
  • Sometimes it’s hard to get around at first
61 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Stephanie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Healthcare Volunteering Opportunity

I loved every second of this program and truly recommend anyone who is interested in healthcare or medicine to join this experience. The host family made me feel welcome and comfortable, the Maximo Nivel staff were helpful and friendly, and the care facility where I volunteered was happy to have us there and teach us more about their way of medicine. I will definitely do this again and recommend all my fellow healthcare people to join!

Pros
  • Meet new people in your field
  • Explore new places and their culture
  • Gain lifelong experience and memories
Cons
  • If you're not ready to come out of your comfort zone, meet new people and learn more about the culture, I'm not sure this program is for you
64 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
lauren
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing opportunity!

This trip was the opportunity of a lifetime. I wanted a reason to return to Costa Rica and this was the way to go! The Maximo team executed things flawlessly from the airport pickup, to the site visit and showing us how to get to and from our sites, to the amazing Spanish classes. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to give back to an amazing community while getting an amazing cultural experience as well. Make sure to plan on bringing an umbrella, drinking gatorade, and being ready to jump in at your site!

Pros
  • Spanish classes
  • Meaningful work
  • Immersion into the culture
Cons
  • Sharing a bathroom
  • Travel to site each day
  • No shorts at the sites
75 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
AJ
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Cusco Construction Volunteer

The experience was absolutely amazing! We worked construction on a school and the volunteer program was more fun than I could have ever imagined. Marco was our foreman and we felt like we created a true bond with him and the other volunteers we worked with. We took advantage of the activities provided through the volunteer website and could not have more fun. Everything was extremely planned out and we had drivers for each activity which was great and saved us the stress of having to set up those up. Thank you for everything Maximo!

Pros
  • Unique Culture
  • Ease of planning and available activities
  • Food options
Cons
  • Pollution
  • Breathing in dust and other harmful particles
  • Some aspects were a bit commercial, expected though for a tourism city
137 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Victoria
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Medical Program-Guatemala

Cannot wait to come back or to try another location. Next time I will for sure being completing a longer program, a week is just not long enough. This was such an impactful experience and learned so much. Not only did I improve my understanding of the geriatric medical field but I also improved my spanish significantly and my confidence speaking. The most important thing to keep in mind with this program is that you need to be open minded as your placements are somewhat random in the program that you choose. But if you come with an open mind and heart, you will have the absolute best time here. Could not speak more highly of the program.

152 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Nadine
1/5
No, I don't recommend this program

Very Poor Experience

Very disappointed!

I came to Costa Rica for a volunteer program which is managed by the Maximo Nivel group here. My volunteer program consisted of eco agriculture in the Monteverde area specifically in a coffee farm.

When arriving in Costa Rica, the people of Maximo Nivel looked for us at the airport and took us to an orientation in the San Jose offices, everything seemed to be very good until the next day when they did not bother to look for us in the house where they gave us Lodging in San Jose and they told us to take a taxi to the highest level. Later that day before leaving for Monteverde in what we thought would be a private bus from Maximo or at least a bus accompanied by someone who is part of their team, turned out to be a public bus, without company or anyone, they simply left us in the bus stop (in the most dangerous area of ​​San Jose) and they left. This took me by surprise because we paid an extra cost because the location of the project was far and they had to cover the transport costs. Which were only $ 10 bus and $ 12 between 4 people from the Monteverde station to San Luis where the farm is!

Removing the lack of transparency and all the overwhelming complaints we have heard throughout our stay in Costa Rica as volunteers coming from other volunteers in different programs, I would like to share a little more of my reason for disappointment at this moment:
The family with whom we stayed in Monteverde, did not want our presence there, it was remarkable and in more than one opportunity was mentioned.

Maximo Nivel, shows a lot of incompetence by not being close to their volunteers, most of the days we did not have any signal because the family turned off the Wifi and the telephone signal did not reach the farm, on several occasions we had to walk 7Km to the town to contact our families! Thank God nothing happened that was emergency because we would not have done it! No signal or Wifi and the family outside the house!

I do not recommend this project in the least, or anything that has to do with these people. I feel stolen (sadly). If you want to travel to costa rica do it on your own, it will be much cheaper and probably better experience.

192 people found this review helpful.
Response from Maximo Nivel

Thank you for your comments. I am very sorry your experience was not what you expected—this is never what we want for you or anyone who takes part in our programs. I’ve met with our Costa Rica Team, including our Director of International Programs (Marta) and our Field Manager (Emily), to review the points you’ve raised. It’s important to clarify some of the things you describe, so please let me address them one-by-one to be sure you have the answers you need.

You were transported directly from our institute to the bus station by our driver. The bus tickets to Monteverde were pre-purchased and provided to you. The bus transportation was described in detail during your orientation and you were given printed instructions. We send five to eight people to our projects in Monteverde every week and our Field Managers also visit this project site on a regular basis.

We work with two host families in Monteverde and they host our volunteers year-round. We’ve been working with these families and the coffee farm since 2011, and the families and the project very much enjoy hosting our volunteers.

Depending on where you are in Costa Rica, WiFi can be a little spotty, but WiFi normally works quite well in Monteverde. There’d be no reason for the family or the project to disconnect WiFi as it’s a fixed monthly fee for internet service. You’re right that cell phone service is limited in Monteverde, but the host family and the project have very reliable landline phone service 24/7 for any urgent needs.

There is no reason to walk to the town of Santa Elena (10 km / 6.2 miles), as there’s regular taxi service available from the project site. As well, the village where the project is located, has a clinic and a store for food, snacks, drinks, etc. Emergency service is available via doctors at the clinic and there is ambulance service for serious cases.

Our Director of International Programs (Marta) and our Field Manager (Emily) spoke with you directly three times during your 2-week program; and Marta personally conducted your orientation. Emily also offered you a project change in order to maximize your work time on the 24th and 25th of December, but you opted to stay at the coffee farm.

I hope my explanation helps to answer your concerns. Please feel free to contact me directly to discuss your program.

Thank you,

Paula Piazza, Director of Admissions & Client Service

Claudya
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Health care program was amazing!

I absolutely loved being with Maximo nivel in this program, the staff is welcoming and cares about you. You feel the support. My house family was charming and really welcoming. We felt a lot of support and love from them. My project was at Corteza Amarilla, the physio therapist was amazing to invite us into their therapy sessions and finding creative ways to make geriatric patients stay active. As a student studying health science and learning of diseases and patterns of those diseases, I found it quite interesting to see the effects and reality that people have to live with by being affected. It was very emotionally moving and I will never forget all the beautiful souls inside that residence. Pura Vida Costa Rica ! I will most definitely see you again.

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I would suggest is being able to follow different professionals to be able to learn more of different medical perspectives. Also I would love to be able to learn more in depth of the reality of the medical systems in Costa Rica.
178 people found this review helpful.
Tudor
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer Experience from Maximo Nivel

Maximo Nivel provides an excellent opportunity for those who wish to seek relevant real life experience, particularly in the healthcare and medical field. Over the span of a week I was able to get real valuable experience in my medical field of interest (occupational therapy) and along the way I was supported by both Maximo staff and the staff at the project as well. Be prepared to come with an open mind and ready to take initiative in order to get the most out of this experience. For me personally this impacted my life as I was able to receive real experience and that I can apply to my field of interest. It can help me in the future as I now have relevant experience for future employers. In summary this was an invaluable experience and I definitely recommend it to anybody looking to gain great experience and looking to enjoy their time in an educational and social manner.

What would you improve about this program?
Overall the program was fantastic the only very minor thing that could be improved is to receive a little bit more logistic information beforehand, prior to arrival. But other than that it was incredibly well organized and very great.
180 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Hi, great question! We recommend looking at testimonials and reviews from past participants to get a feel for the program experience. This link has tons of info on what to expect during your time abroad and links to user reviews: https://maximonivel.com/volunteers/what-to-expect/.

It's easy to register for our programs! If you are ready to sign up, please fill out the registration form in https://maximonivel.com/registration/. If you have questions about any of the programs, you can contact our Program Advisors using the form in https://maximonivel.com/contact-us/, who will be happy to help! Maximo Nivel is one of the least expensive international program providers, and we...