Volunteer in Healthcare in San Jose, Costa Rica

Are you interested in or have experience in the field of medicine? Do you want to use those specialized skills and interests for the betterment of underprivileged Costa Rican’s health and quality of life? Global Crossroad has an excellent volunteering in healthcare opportunity in San Jose, Costa Rica.

  • Volunteer abroad in healthcare in San Jose, Costa Rica, for a low starting price of only $435
  • Gain valuable experience alongside medical professionals and like-minded volunteers
  • Embark on a learning and eye-opening journey to a vibrant and beautiful country in Central America
  • Safe and esteemed volunteer at a medical clinic opportunity in Costa Rica since 2003


Costa Rica’s government provides universal healthcare to its citizens, however some areas still have limited access and not enough resources and staff. If you’re passionate about accessible healthcare for all people, making community impact, and helping vulnerable populations, a medical volunteer project in Costa Rica is a great place to begin.

Global Crossroad’s Medical Specialist leads volunteers at assisted living facilities for HIV patients, homes for the elderly, and rehabilitation centers. We also provide limited volunteer placements at our ambulance project. Volunteers shadow medical professionals and help provide general check-ups, take blood pressure and other vital signs, organize patient records, and prepare materials and equipment. Volunteer groups can also get involved in medical campaigns providing medical services, distributing supplies, and teaching good hygiene in underprivileged communities.


Healthcare projects in Costa Rica usually focus on the elderly and special needs populations. Volunteers work with general patient care, physical therapy, and provide other support and assistance as needed. Working with these often stigmatized populations improves their overall care, and gives emotional encouragement and companionship where it’s needed most . Volunteer tasks include assisting during mealtimes, conversation-talk therapy, exercise workshops, arts and crafts activities, as well as sorting and distributing medicine.

The most important qualities our healthcare volunteers possess are compassion, understanding, and kindness. Being “different” or “disabled” is never easy in any society and as a volunteer, you can help show these amazing people how truly special they are.

Role of Volunteer

When volunteering overseas in healthcare in San Jose, Costa Rica, you will be placed in clinics or hospitals. You will assist with general check-ups and examinations of patients, as well as help with emergency patient triage and possibly participate in home-visits in rural areas to help with vaccinations and/or to care for patients who have become immobilized. Depending on your level of Spanish fluency and the expertise you demonstrate, the clinics will let you work as independently as possible.

Various projects you can choose to work include:

  • Work in a Private Laboratory dealing with tests for detection of diseases and infections
  • Work with Mentally disable
  • In retirement home – you will require basic Spanish to volunteer in the home
  • Dental practice
  • Private Ambulance Service
  • Red Cross – volunteers will also have opportunity to teach English to local staff and administer first aid
  • Public Daycare – mostly with children and only 1-2 of work per day. You can combine this with other project
  • Ministry Health projects – include dengue project and recycling project

Medical volunteers will shadow local doctors and learn mostly from observation. Due to inherent risk involved and medical regulations, volunteers cannot treat patients or become involved in surgery during the project.

Skills and Qualifications Needed

To participate in the volunteer in healthcare program in San Jose, Costa Rica, you should have medical training. If you cannot speak Spanish, we recommend enrolling in our Spanish Language Studies program.
Trained medical volunteers require certification or proof of experience in a medical field, such as a medical student ID, EMT or paramedic certification, or nursing or physician's credentials. Due to the health risks involved, volunteers who are not properly trained in healthcare cannot support this project in a hand-on manner; only through observation.
Non-credentialed volunteers will be placed in an urban hospital or clinic and often work with children who have mental or physical disabilities. Volunteers will generally help feed, bathe, and play with the children; and may be asked to assist in physical therapy.

Dates and Prices

Dates: Volunteer in Costa Rica

All volunteer programs in Costa Rica start every Monday of each month. However, if there is travel constrains, you can start any project on any day.

Prices: Volunteer in Costa Rica

Global Crossroad is committed to offering the most affordable and highest quality volunteering programs in Costa Rica. We strive to keep our costs low. The humanitarian side of the business is our passion.

Global Crossroad's volunteer program in Costa Rica application and registration fee cost US $299. The application fee covers the cost of advertising, program promotion, and office expenses (rent, utilities, and staff salaries in USA office).

In addition to the application fee, you are required to pay a weekly program fee. You will pay your weekly fee directly to the country coordinator, who in turn will allocate it to your host family, project and other in-country support we offer to our volunteers. This way, the fees that you pay will benefit those who rightfully deserve them, and not for company profit.

  Duration   Medical Project Fees
  1 Week   $435
  2 Weeks   $710
  3 Weeks   $985
  4 Weeks   $1,195
  5 Weeks   $1,380
  6 Weeks   $1,565
  7 Weeks   $1,750
  8 Weeks   $1,935
  9 Weeks   $2,120
  10 Weeks   $2,305
  11 Weeks   $2,490
  12 Weeks   $2,675
  • Comprehensive Traveler Insurance $3.49/day (for all locations)

How your fee is allocated?


Program fees cover:
  • Housing in shared rooms
  • Breakfast and dinner (2 meals) 7 days/week.
  • Airport pick-up
  • Orientation
  • Project management
  • Weekly salsa lessons
  • Free Tandem Conversation Program.
Program fees exclude:
  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer

The volunteering in healthcare project in Costa Rica fees will cover expenses from the first day of the program (usually the first or third Monday of the month) to the last day. If you arrive before the first day of the program or you decide you stay beyond your program’s last day, you will be responsible for the additional expenses, which would typically be around $30 a day for room and meals at a hostel.

Most Frequently Asked Questions:Volunteer in Healthcare in San Jose, Costa Rica


  • When should I apply for a volunteering overseas in Costa Rica program?
  • What does the usual daily program look like for this volunteering overseas in healthcare in San Jose, Costa Rica project?
  • Where are the volunteers going to live while volunteering in healthcare in San Jose, Costa Rica? What are the commuting options?
  • Can I apply for this volunteer abroad in healthcare in San Jose, Costa Rica project all year long?
  • Are there any details volunteers should know about before applying?