Volunteer in Costa Rica

Does Costa Rica spark your interest? Would you like to travel affordably while experiencing personal growth and adventure? Do this and much more when you volunteer in Costa Rica.

There are so many reasons to visit Costa Rica: Its happy and welcoming people; the forests with their abundant wildlife and and plants; extreme adventure activities, including world-class white-water rafting; spectacular beaches; diverse and fascinating wildlife; delicious food; and exciting volcanoes.

Despite being known as “the happiest country in the world,” Costa Rica still struggles with poverty. Thirty percent of the population lives in poverty, mostly in rural areas, and the number living in extreme poverty has increased in the recent past. Wealth inequality correlates with lack of education: Those in rural areas have less access to adequate education and diminished access to better jobs as a result.

Today, Costa Rica needs volunteers more than ever.

You can help when you volunteer abroad in Costa Rica. Volunteer in orphanages and social welfare projects, teach English, work with special-needs children, provide health care assistance, work in a medical clinic, intern or volunteer in physical therapy or veterinary care, or support community development. You can also join one of several wildlife conservation efforts.

Explore Costa Rica's wonders and expand a child's world by imparting hope and knowledge when you volunteer abroad in Costa Rica.

Contact us today to start your volunteer work in Costa Rica and revolutionize lives!

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.

  • Click here for Puntarenas/Cortes Fees
  • Click here for San Jose Fees
  • Click here for Turtle Conservation Program Fees
  • Click here for Wildlife Conservation Program

How your fee is allocated?

The volunteering overseas in Costa Rica program fees will cover expenses that will begin on the first day of the program (usually the first or third Monday of the month) to the last day of the program. 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.

Accommodations and Meals: Volunteer in Costa Rica

While volunteering in Costa Rica, Global Crossroad's weekly fees include management of volunteers' meal plans and accommodations throughout projects and travel options. Three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) will be provided and will consist of local ingredients and feature traditional cuisine choices for Costa Rica. Our meal program can accommodate vegetarian needs; however, we are not able to provide for other dietary restrictions. Food and drinks outside of mealtimes are the volunteer's responsibility. In most cases, there are restaurants and markets nearby the homes in which our volunteers stay.

In our volunteer programs in Costa Rica, we normally place our volunteers with a host family. Volunteers usually have a single bedroom, but may occasionally share a room with another volunteer of the same gender. Our host families are chosen carefully and are esteemed community members, who have experience in the realm of hosting international travelers. Host family residences are in comfortable, clean and safe neighborhoods and rooms are simply furnished and tidy. Staying with a host family can offer the support system a volunteer will crave during their program and it is a great way to learn about a host country's culture and customs. Most volunteers who have stayed with a host family note that their stay truly enriched their entire experience abroad.

Specific details regarding accommodations, food and contact details for our local coordinator will be provided in personalized volunteer placement documentation prior to arrival for your volunteering work in Costa Rica.

Free Time Options: Volunteer in Costarica

During the program volunteers will have plenty of free time in the evenings and on weekends. While Global Crossroad does not specifically arrange activities during a volunteer's free time from their volunteering work in Costa Rica, our local staff can provide free advice, travel tips and assistance in making suitable travel arrangements in Costa Rica. You will have the chance to immerse yourself in a new culture and explore Costa Rica., making this an experience which is both educational and a time for personal growth.

Puntarenas is situated on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. Whether you like fantastic natural views, history, relaxing on beaches, eating out in restaurants or adventure tours Puntarenas has it all. This popular Costa Rican city has miles of beautiful coastlines, making it a hot spot for surfers. It also features a wide variety of protected nature preserves and tiny islands perfect for a day trip adventure. One of the most common foods there is ceviche, fresh seafood marinated in citrus juices, and this can be found at numerous local restaurants. The province of Guanacaste is located in the northwest region of the country. There are pristine beaches, surf breaks for days, and beautiful dry forests to be explored. The Santa Rose National Park is a very special place that is most easily accessed by boat.

San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica, and it is situated in the Central Valley. Several volunteer programs in Costa Rica are located here. Whether you like fantastic natural views, history, restaurants or adventure tours San Jose has it all. This popular city is the largest in Costa Rica and it a wide variety of museums and parks and plazas that feature green recreational areas, lakes, picturesque gazebos and numerous types of flora and fauna. San Jose's main tourist draw is its renowned theatres that have European-inspired architecture and numerous musical, artistic and cultural activities and shows. Annual festivals and events in the heart of San Jose also draw large crowds throughout the year. Volunteers will have the choice between staying with well-screen local host families or in apartment-style rooms. Both are located close to all of San Jose's main areas.

Costa Rica is a nature lovers paradise. There are so many wonderful outdoor activities, like zip lining, rafting, and volcano hiking, as well as countless vibrant cultural experience to be had! You will have plenty of time during your Costa Rica volunteer experience to engage in many memorable and fun free time activities.

Things to do

Activities & Adventures

Top things to do in Costa Rica

What to do

Safety and Field Support

Our number #1 priority is the safety of our volunteers. Global Crossroad is a leading volunteer organization serving thousands of volunteers. We pride ourselves on providing the safest, highest quality, and most professional programs to our volunteers since 2003. Our dedicated team works closely from start to finish with each volunteer (and parents/guardians) to ensure a successful, satisfactory, and safe volunteering experience.

Below is a list of our safety and field support features that will demonstrate the level of support and safety each of you will receive while volunteering abroad.

1. Country Coordinator and Field Staff :

In each country, where we operate, we have a very strong and dedicated team of country coordinators and local staff members to support and take care of you. All of our country coordinators and field staff are highly experienced and responsible individuals. They have been running volunteer abroad program for many years. They have served thousands of volunteers, so they understand your needs and know how to run safe, rewarding, and meaningful volunteer abroad program for you.

Our In-country staff is responsible for a number of things. Below are some of the main services that they will provide:

  • Airport pick-up and transfer to host family or work site
  • Management of room and food in host family/hostel
  • Orientation of local country, culture, host family, safety, and related issues
  • Introduction to your host family and project staff
  • Periodic follow up visits or calls (1-2 week intervals) to ensure everything is going smoothly
  • Advice for solving any issues, problems, or concerns
2. Airport Greeting

We are dedicated to keeping you save and comfortable from your point of your arrival until your point of departure. We will always receive our volunteers at the airport and transfer them safely. Depending upon the country in which you choose to volunteer, our coordinator, local staff, or a professional transfer company employee will greet you at the airport.

3. Orientation and safety discussion

Regardless of where you join the Global Crossroad volunteer program, our program starts with an in depth discussion on safety, history, cultural people, religion, life, and do’s and don’ts. Depending upon the country, these orientation programs range from a few hours to three days. During orientation, we explain the different aspect of safety and general guidelines to help keep yourself safe while volunteering abroad.

4. Safe Host Family and Accommodation

While volunteering abroad, the majority of the time you will reside with a local host family, hostel, or similar accommodation. We always carefully select the host families and other forms of accommodations to make sure that you will be safe and comfortable. In all destinations, we have selected host families who are socially respected and responsible. Most of our host families have hosted international volunteers before, so they completely understand your needs. Your host family will always take care of you and keep you safe.

Similarly, all of our volunteer houses and hostels are located in very safe locations. These hostels are always guarded by security guards or supervised by the local staff very frequently to make sure that you are safe and secure. Also you will be staying with other volunteers from all over the world. You will never be alone.

5. Comprehensive Insurance and Evacuation Plan

While volunteering abroad, you will be covered by international insurance. This protects you in case something unforeseen happens. It is mandatory that all volunteers obtain a travel insurance policy when volunteering abroad. Global Crossroad offers one of the most comprehensive insurance packages from a third party. Our insurance policy provides excellent protection in the event that a health-related issue occurs, an accident, or other unpredictable incidences.

6. Placement with Other Volunteers

Global Crossroad is happy to place you with other volunteers (depending on availability) if this is something that would make you feel safer.

Any international travel requires caution and awareness; volunteering abroad is no exception. We suggest that all volunteers consult their own government advisory office before making the decision to participate in any overseas volunteering opportunities. International travel presents risks, especially with the modern day threat of international terrorism.

The U.S. State Department issues travel warnings and advisories in many countries for American travelers. These travel advisories and warnings frequently change, as situations in each country transform.

These links provide valuable travel information:

It is also wise to consult the Center for Disease Control for health related information and issues that might come up during your time volunteering abroad. Check out www.cdc.gov for possible health risks. One must also keep in mind that the sanitary conditions in developing countries are likely very different from those in your home country. It is also strongly advised that you do not drink the tap water and do not eat food from street vendors.

Most Frequently Asked Questions: Volunteer in Costa Rica



  • What are the visa procedures?


  • Who manages the volunteer in Costa Rica projects?
  • What are the daily schedules while volunteering in Costa Rica?
  • Where are volunteering opportunities in China located?
  • Where are volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica located?
  • What is the language spoken in Costa Rica?
  • When are volunteer in Costa Rica projects available?
  • How long can I volunteer abroad in Costa Rica?


  • Who will arrange my flight to Costa Rica?
  • At which airport should I arrive?
  • If my assignment begins on Monday, when should I arrive in Costa Rica?
  • Will someone pick me from the airport? If so, how will I know who they are and where they are?
  • What should I do if my flight is delayed?
  • How can I get to my accommodations from the airport, if I did not connect with Global Crossroad's local representative in the airport?
  • What do I need prior to departure from my home country?
  • If I want to arrive earlier than when my assignment begins, where do I stay and who will organize the accommodations?
  • When should I depart from Costa Rica?
  • From which airport shall I depart?
  • Who will bring me to the airport for my departure?


  • Who will arrange my accommodations and what are they?
  • Are singles rooms available?
  • If I arrive with my friend, or girlfriend/boyfriend, can we stay together?
  • Will there be other foreign volunteers/interns at my placement?
  • What are the bathroom facilities like?
  • What are the laundry arrangements?
  • Can I use appliances if I bring them from my home country?
  • What are the local cuisines? Who manages my meals?
  • Can you accommodate special diets?
  • Is the running tap water safe for drink?
  • Are there hot and cold-water facilities available?
  • Will bottled water be provided?


  • How safe is Costa Rica?
  • What are the principle health risks in Costa Rica?
  • Is the food safe if I buy it from a street vendor?
  • What are the sanitary conditions in Costa Rica?


  • Are ATMs easily available? If yes, which debit and credit cards are accepted?
  • What is the local currency, and how do I know the exchange rate?
  • Where should I exchange my money?
  • How much money should I bring with me for my volunteer opportunity in Costa Rica?
  • Is it safe to carry cash with me?


  • How do I contact with Global Crossroad's local coordinator?
  • How do I contact my family and friends once I arrive in Costa Rica?
  • How can my family members contact me?
  • Can I bring my telephone from my home country?


  • Is there a special dress code that I should follow while volunteering in Costa Rica?
  • What should I know about religious conduct in Costa Rica?
  • How do I respect the people of Costa Rica?


  • What is weather like in Costa Rica?
  • Average Daily Temperature
  • Average Daily Temperature
  • Official Holidays in Costa Rica
  • What about tipping in Costa Rica?
  • Materials to Bring When Volunteering Overseas in Costa Rica

NOTE: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is generic information and should not be used as a definitive travel guide. Travel information and situations abroad change constantly. Participants should consult Global Crossroad or travel advisors to verify this information.

Coming Soon

Ken Jones

Costa Rica National Coordinator
Costa Rica National Coordinator

Ken is a dual-citizen of Peru and the U.S and is a resident of Costa Rica . Born and raised in upstate New York and southern Louisiana , Ken has made Latin America his home for the last 5 years. He speaks English and Spanish fluently, and has more than 15 years of experience living and working in various parts of the world - including Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa . Ken has a Masters Degree in Organizational Development and an MBA in International Business and is a certified English teacher.

Ken loves Latin America and is always looking for ways to provide opportunities for cultural exchange and volunteer projects to benefit the children and the people of the region. He has a keen interest in international development and believes deeply in the 'volunteer experience' and its positive effects on both the volunteer and the hostcountry.

Ken and his staff anxiously await your arrival and look forward to working with you to ensure a great volunteer experience.

Coming Soon

Coming Soon