Volunteer Work, Child Care, Education / Teaching
flexible start and end dates, year round (project closed the last 2 weeks of December)
In many low-income Costa Rican families, both parents need to work full-time in order to provide enough income for their family. Day care centers offer care and education for children, while their parents are at work. These centers reach out to several hundreds of children from surrounding areas. The kids come from various backgrounds, ranging from extreme poverty to middle class homes. Parents pay for this service based on their financial situation.
Typically, the children are between the ages of 6 months to 12 years old. This program keeps kids off the street, away from drugs, alcohol, gangs, and prostitution. In the day care centers, the children are provided with care, education, snacks, and meals. Some of the care centers are part of different government programs that seek to emphasize topics, such as education and nutrition, which is often an area of concern in low-income or poverty-stricken families and among single parents.
All our program places are Day Care Centers are in and around San José, the capital of Costa Rica, and can be reached by public bus or are even within walking distance from our homestays. The centers have very different sizes and focuses. Some of them only care for a handful of children, while others for several hundreds of children.
The children are assigned to different groups. This is to make sure that they are attended to according to their ages, needs, and stages of personal development. The children are provided with classes (similar to kindergarten), first level primary school, recreational activities, and meals. Some centers also offer sessions with a psychologist who then works with the children individually or in groups.
When working with children, there can be a lot of unforeseen situations, so volunteers should be spontaneous, tolerant, and creative when employing their daily tasks. Keep in mind that you will set an example for the children, so please be aware of this responsibility.
Volunteer work tasks in these projects may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Organizing games and recreational activities
- Playing sports and outdoor games
- Doing handicrafts, painting, and building little things
- Playing group or one-on-one games with the children
- Helping out with chores for the day-to-day operation of the centers
- Providing a 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
- Monitoring and supervising the children while they play, eat, sleep, and study
Volunteers are also encouraged to be creative and bring any of their own personal skills when they work with the children. New ideas are always welcome and can be discussed with your in-country volunteer coordinator.
In some centers, especially for pre-school children, tasks may also include:
- Teaching arts and crafts or other classes
- Teaching very basic English language skills
- Preparing extra materials for the lessons
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 Costa Rican culture so that they get the most out of their stay in this amazing country.
We believe that you only really get to know a country when you are part of the society and experience 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 are usually shared. Living in a local household is also a great way to practice your Spanish and 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 Day Care Center 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
- 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$ 150
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.