Volunteer Work, Child Care
flexible start and end dates, year round
Many children, especially those who live in unstable environments, and suffer physical and/or psychological abuse, are considered to be at risk. Children’s homes give these children a temporary place to live, while their parents undergo counselling or treatment. If the domestic situation cannot be improved, the children are moved to a permanent children’s home and might be given into adoption.
The children’s homes in Costa Rica where we place our volunteers also care for children whose parents suffer from drug or alcohol addictions and are not able to provide the children with a caring and safe home. These temporary homes provide the children with necessary counselling and psychological assistance, as well as health services (doctors, dentists, therapies) in a home-like atmosphere. The children are under the care of wonderful women who, in many cases, work as volunteers as well.
By participating with this volunteer work project, volunteers play an active role in providing a caring and safe environment for children who have suffered the tragedy of not having a (functional) family of their own or having been neglected by their parents. Some of the children’s homes we cooperate with are coordinated by the Costa Rican government authorities and report to PANI (Children Services Welfare Office).
Other homes, however, are privately run by foundations and operate with government support and/or private donations. Volunteer help is urgently needed due to a lack of funding and resources. The children’s homes are often small homes that receive only 10-20 children between the ages of 1 and 9. The houses are run by women who live in the homes to ensure that the children receive around the clock supervision and attention.
We also place volunteers at transitory homes (children’s home) for children between the ages of 0 to 13. This home has a capacity for 120 minors, and children are distributed according to their age in 10 different houses. Each house has a woman in charge of the children, 24 hours a day. The children in these homes are placed there by the Costa Rican government's children and family services office ("PANI").
The children are lovingly cared for during the duration of their stay in these homes. The homes basically serve as foster care until the government decides what the next step will be; return them to their family or look for an adoptive family. The homes provide a safe and secure environment for these children who have been rescued by law from an unsafe living environment.
When working with children, there can be a lot of unforeseen situations and, as a volunteer, you should be spontaneous, tolerant, and creative when carrying out your daily tasks.
Volunteer work in these projects may include but is not limited to the following tasks:
- Organizing games and recreational activities
- Playing sports and outdoor games
- Doing crafts, painting, building small things
- Playing group games or with single children
- Helping out with chores for the day-to-day operation of the centers
- Providing warm and caring attention to the children
- Helping the educators with feeding and washing the children
- Assisting with putting the small children down for naps and monitoring the children while they play, eat, sleep and study
Volunteers are also encouraged to be creative and to bring any of their own personal skills while working with the children. New ideas are always welcome and can be discussed with your in-country volunteer coordinator.
Keep in mind that you will act as a role model for these children, so please be aware of this responsibility.
Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as number of volunteers, season, current needs of the project, as well as self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.
An important aspect of our volunteer work programs in Costa Rica is a nice and safe living environment. Our programs aim to give the volunteers the opportunity to completely immerse themselves in the Costa Rican culture, so that they get the most out of their stay in this amazing country.
We believe that you only get to know a country when you are part of the culture, experiencing the country off the beaten path.
This is why we place our volunteers in Costa Rican homestays. You will have a single room available for you, and two meals per day (breakfast and dinner) are included. Bathrooms and common areas are usually shared. Living in a local household is also a great way to practice your Spanish, and you will improve it every day.
Costa Rica's capital San José located in the heart of this small country. From there, you can reach all of Costa Rica’s attractions in a few hours, some natural beauties like the Irazu volcano and several national parks are even right at the doorstep!
With around 340,000 inhabitants, San José itself is not very large, but due to its role as the capital and its central location, it is the country's economic, political and cultural center. The inhabitants call themselves "Josefinos" and most are descendants of Italian or Spanish immigrants. These influences are reflected in the architecture and cityscape, which seem very Mediterranean.
San José is a pretty town with attractive theaters, museums, art galleries, cultural events – and not at last a lively nightlife. Colorful markets invite you to stroll and shop and on nice places you can relax and watch the hustle and bustle.
As in all of Costa Rica, there are hardly any "real" addresses in the capital - street signs are usually not found, just like house numbers. Addresses are rather descriptions, like: Name of the district, if available, 200m south of the red church, the house with the green door. Or: Fourth house next to the gas station behind the supermarket. Sounds adventurous? But it works!
Spanish at communication level. For optimal preparation for your volunteer work in Costa Rica, we advise you to take a Spanish course before the program starts. This gives you the opportunity to slowly get used to the language, culture and mentality.
Pre-departure and in-country support
Before arrival, our experienced team is at your disposal to support you during the booking process and travel planning. With the booking confirmation you will get our 24-hour emergency number, so that you can reach us around the clock in an emergency, 7 days a week.
In addition to the support from our office, you will be supported by our partner organization on site. Our volunteers have access to our so-called volunteer center. There you will always find a contact person and can surf the Internet for free, take part in cultural activities such as dance and cooking lessons and Spanish conversation workshops.
In the Volunteer Center, the volunteers receive all the information they need about their project and working hours. Our local volunteer coordinators will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
On the first day of volunteering, the volunteers are welcomed in the Volunteer Center and get further program information. They will then be accompanied to their volunteer position and introduced to the project team there.
Costs & Services
Our volunteer project in a Children's Home in Costa Rica includes:
- Single room in Homestay
- Half board
- Airport pick-up in San José
- Professional English-speaking advice
- Translation of your application documents
- Volunteer Work Placement in Costa Rica in Costa Rica
- English-speaking in-country support
- Welcome meeting
- Escort to the volunteer project on the first day
- Handbook Costa Rica
- Intercultural guideline
- 24/7 emergency number
- Information about suitable travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
Application fee: US$ 120
Program fee: US$ 740 (minimum stay 2 weeks)
Each additional week: US$ 210
Additionally, you can book:
Our tips (experience more + see more = save $$)
Is it difficult for you to decide between the many great projects? You want to see and experience as much as possible during your stay in Latin America? Then build your own itinerary - experience more & see more! Our program combination makes it possible!
All our stay abroad programs can be combined with each other: So, you can combine different volunteer projects in the same country or in different countries, or you mix Working Holiday with volunteer work or Farm Stay with Working Holiday ...and so on …
Your creativity knows no limits. The longer your stay abroad in Latin America, the greater the discount you get from South America Inside. Below you can see how much you can save:
Note: Language courses are excluded from this promotion. These discounts can not be combined with other promotions.
If you need assistance in putting together your personal experience abroad, then please contact us. Our experienced staff will help you to set up your tailor-made stay abroad.