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Volunteering in Costa Rica [Cortes]!

Have you been dreaming of Volunteering in Costa Rica and doing your part make a difference while traveling the world? Do the beautiful rainforests and beaches of Costa Rica sound like your idea of paradise?

There’s no shortage of reasons to visit Costa Rica. The friendly and welcoming locals have been named some of the happiest people in the world, and it’s easy to see why. Lush, green rainforests and mountains are filled with a diverse array of plant and animal life unlike anywhere else. From adventure sports to beaches to volcanos, Costa Rica has it all!

Sadly, Costa Rica is not without its problems. A third of its people live in poverty, lack access to many basic necessities, and live in dilapidated homes in substandard conditions. The wildlife of Costa Rica faces its own issues, under threat from the illegal pet trade, loss of habitat, and the dangers of being hit by cars or electrocuted on power lines.

Whether your volunteer abroad dream involves teaching English, rescuing wildlife, studying veterinary medicine, helping kids in need, practicing sustainable farming, learning more about healthcare, or rebuilding poor communities, Global Crossroad has an impactful Costa Rica volunteer program you can really make a difference.

Team up with Global Crossroad and volunteer in Cortes, Costa Rica!

Volunteering in Costa Rica: Programs

Global Crossroad offers a variety of exciting wildlife volunteer projects in Costa Rica that will help you really make a difference with wildlife in need. Keep reading to find the perfect project for you!

If you have a passion for education, this is the project for you. You’ll gain valuable experience teaching in a classroom setting and help children in need at the same time. You’ll be teaching English to younger students in a local school to help them gain the skills they need in their future careers.

To be an English teacher volunteer in Costa Rica, you do not required to have teaching credentials. However, you must have a true passion for education and getting your students excited about learning. You will need to be at least 18, and fluent in the English language. Native speakers are preferred. Spanish is not required but will be extremely helpful to communicate with your students.

Help open doors and opportunities for Cosa Ricans with your love of the English language! Visit the project page for complete information.

Sadly, there are many disadvantaged children in Costa Rica that desperately need your help. This project helps provide care for children seized from unfit homes by child protective services, orphans, and kids from low-income families in affordable childcare centers that provide supervision while their parents work to better their situation.

The main qualifications you’ll need to join are a big heart and a commitment to helping kids in need. You’ll need patience, kindness, and a positive attitude, as many of the kids come from traumatic backgrounds and may exhibit difficult behavior at times. As a Costa Rica childcare volunteer, you’ll become a caregiver, a friend, and a positive role model for disadvantaged children who need your help.

Fulfill your love and passion for children and make a difference for those most in need. Visit the project page for complete information.

Volunteers planning to pursue a career in the healthcare field can gain valuable experience in local hospitals and clinics through this exciting, educational, internship style program. Shadow an experienced medical professional who will generously show you the ropes of daily life in the medical world.

Costa Rica medical volunteers must present a valid medical student id, or certificate of degree from an accredited healthcare institution. You’ll need a basic understanding of the Spanish language. You should be passionate about medicine, and eager to build new skills and learn a lot.

Do you want to gain medical experience while improving the lives of entire communities through your passion for healthcare? Visit the project page complete information.

If you’re pursuing a career in veterinary medicine, this is an amazing opportunity to gain hands-on experience working in the field! Global Crossroad offers two exciting internships in veterinary medicine, one at a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center, and the other at a dog and cat rescue helping adopt out pets and running castration and vaccine clinics.

You will need animal care experience, and a background in college level coursework. Speaking Spanish is not required but is helpful. You should love animals and be eager to learn. Veterinary medicine interns will build valuable skills, get hands-on experience, and advance your future career.

Visit the project page for complete information.

If you’re passionate about sustainable practices and ready to get your hands dirty for a good cause, consider this program that takes place on an organic coffee farm. Costa Rica is known the world over for its delicious coffee, and this program is developing sustainable models to lessen the impact the industry has on the natural environment. 

The only qualifications you’ll need to join are to be 18 years of age or older, and excited to dig your hands into the dirt implementing the many sustainable farming practices you will learn at this unique project. Costa Rica coffee farm volunteers will learn and implement sustainable practices like crop rotation, planting native species to maintain the natural ecosystem, raising livestock without hormones or antibiotics, etc.

Do you want to do your part in protecting the environment and advancing sustainable agriculture? Visit the project page for complete information.

Do you have a fascination with indigenous tribes and want to help preserve their ancient way of life? Would you like to travel to the rainforests of Costa Rica and meet the original people who made their home there?

You don’t need any skills to join this Costa Rica volunteer opportunity. However, you will need to be 18 and able to speak basic level of Spanish language. When you join this volunteer program in Costa Rica, you’ll be helping a tribe preserve their heritage by promoting cultural tourism which helps sustain their traditional way of life.

Immerse yourself in one of the most unique cultures in the world and help preserve their way of life for the future! Visit the project page for complete information.

In addition to the above projects, we also offer family Volunteering, alternative spring break, high school volunteering, college/university volunteering and many other programs. Contact Global Crossroad for further information.

Volunteering in Costa Rica: 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.

Fees: 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   All Projects Ciudad Cortes (Includes 10 hours Group Spanish)   Medical/Health Projects Ciudad Cortes   Orphanage Project (Puntarenas)
  1 Week $260 $360 $260
  2 Weeks $445 $545 $445
  3 Weeks $630 $730 $630
  4 Weeks $815 $915 $815
  5 Weeks $1000 $1125 $1000
  6 Weeks $1185 $1310 $1185
  7 Weeks $1370 $1495 $1370
  8 Weeks $1555 $1680 $1555
  9 Weeks $1740 $1890 $1740
  10 Weeks $1925 $2075 $1925
  11 Weeks $2110 $2260 $2110
  12 Weeks $2295 $2445 $2295

Mandatory comprehensive travel insurance $3.49 a day »
How your fee is allocated?

Program fees cover:
  • Airport Pick up and transfer
  • Housing(Host family)
  • Breakfast and Dinner (2 Meals) Per day
  • Orientation
  • Project management
  • Local Support
Program fees exclude:
  • Lunch
  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer

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

When you join our Costa Rica volunteer program, you don’t need to worry about a thing when it comes to housing and food. Your volunteer fee will include safe, tidy, and comfortable housing, along with three healthy local meals served to you each day.

You will stay with a welcoming host family, a truly enriching experience. These locals are carefully chosen, live in safe neighborhoods, and are experienced in hosting volunteers. They will be excited to share their fascinating culture with you. Practice your Spanish and be included in local customs and traditions!

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will consist of local ingredients and traditional cuisine choices for Costa Rica, where the primary staples are rice and beans. Vegetarian diets are fine, however, we are not able to provide for other dietary restrictions. Food and drinks outside of mealtimes are your responsibility. Often restaurants and shops are nearby your project.

Learn more about your accommodation and meal in Costa Rica.

Free Time Options

Most of our Costa Rica volunteering programs will have you volunteering about 5 hours each day, Monday- Friday. That leaves the rest of your day, and every single weekend free to explore the exciting and tropical destination of Costa Rica!

You’re in luck, because our programs will put you on the beautiful southern pacific coast, home to miles of unspoiled coastline, funky little towns, endless hours of adventure and recreation, lush rainforest, amazing wildlife, and a spectacular marine park where you can spot whales, dolphins, and sea turtles.

Learn more about your free time and weekend travel options in Costa Rica.

Safety and Field Support

Your safety is our biggest priority here at Global Crossroad. You can rest easy knowing we have gone out of our way to ensure you are secure and having a great time while traveling abroad and making a difference. From airport pickup to carefully vetted projects, we’ve got you covered. You’ll also have the full support of our in-country team.

Learn more about Global Crossroad’s safety and in-country support.

Volunteering in Costa Rica: FAQs

Do you have questions about airports, visas, and vaccines? Keep reading for all the answers you need:  

You will fly into Juan Santamaria International Airport. Depending on your Cortes, Costa Rica volunteer project selection, airport pickup may or may not be included. If not, this can be arranged on your behalf for a reasonable fee. Provide your flight details and keep Global Crossroad up to date with any changes or delays so adjustments can be made for you.

You’ll need a tourist visa to volunteering in Costa Rica, but you may be eligible get your visa stamp on arrival at the airport in San Jose. You can get up to 90 days, but if wish to stay longer, you’ll need to cross the border and leave the country for a short time before re-entering, as visa extensions are not possible. Read more about Costa Rican visas here:

Protect your health while you travel. Make an appointment with your doctor at least a few weeks in advance of your volunteer trip in order to get up to date on your vaccines. The CDC suggests routine vaccinations, along with Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Wildlife volunteers may want to consider getting vaccinated for Rabies.

For more readings
Health and Safety

Contact Global Crossroad today to start planning your Volunteering in Costa Rica!

Page updated: 15th October, 2019