Volunteering in Building and Construction in Costa Rica

Getting on the property ladder is but a distant dream for more than a million Costa Ricans who live in poverty. Through the uVolunteer Building and Construction Project, however, you can help low-income families make their dream of home ownership a reality. uVolunteer partners with two foundations in Costa Rica that provide loans to disadvantaged families. You will join the local underserved construction teams to help build homes for local disadvantaged residents in San Ramon.

Program Video

Building and construction volunteers provide hands-on help, clearing land, digging foundations, plastering and laying bricks and roof tiles, as well as maintaining community buildings and schools already in existence.

You don’t need any official qualifications to help out with the project – as long as you are physically fit and willing to work hard, you are welcome to join the project and land a much-needed helping hand.

Download our program information brochure to find out more about volunteering in building and construction in Costa Rica.

Quick facts

  • Program: Volunteer Costa Rica
  • Location: San Ramon
  • Minimum Duration: 2 weekw
  • Language Requirement: Basic Spanish
  • Airport Pick-up: Yes, for $75
  • Travel Insurance Not included
  • Suitable for Groups: No
  • Region: Alajuela
  • Project Site: Various Sites
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Accommodation: Dorm Home
  • Meals: 2 Meals Daily
  • Start Dates: Every Other Friday
  • Suitable for Families: Yes

Your role as a volunteer

As a building and construction volunteer in Costa Rica, you will provide additional labor resources for disadvantaged families building their own homes. Working in rural areas of San Ramon, you will clear building sites, dig foundations, lay bricks and roof tiles, plaster, paint and mix cement. Volunteers also help out with routine maintenance of community buildings and schools.

Tasks may include:

  • Clearing land for the build site
  • Laying bricks and mixing cement
  • Fixing dilapidated buildings
  • Loading and unloading supplies

Work schedule

Building and construction volunteers work four days per week, from Monday to Thursday. Working hours usually work from 8 am until 3 pm, although this is subject to change – especially during the rainy season.

Journey to work

The construction project sites are based in and around the town and rural areas of San Ramon. Depending on the site where you are placed, you may be able to walk to the project, or you may have to take a short bus ride no longer than 30 minutes to the project site.

Closed dates

This project is closed during the fourth week of December and the first week of January, as well as for a week preceding Easter Sunday.

Project Photos

Project Location

Project Reviews & Testimonials

One day we drove about ten minutes up the road to a forty foot bridge and jumped off of it with Terry.

which left me feeling healthy and mentally enlightened by the end of my three week stay. Everything from planting trees to building terraces to milking cows was so new and exciting that (even though we had to wake up at 6 A.M) I looked forward to work everyday.

Each day on the farm, I did something I had never done before.

We grew very tight with the brothers, and they took us around to amazing spots we would have never seen. We hiked to waterfalls, drove to a bridge and jumped off, crossed a river to ride horses, just things that I had never been exposed to. The food was magnificent: 3 heaping meals per day of delicious fresh Costa Rican food.

While it was hard work, it was also in a beautiful landscape and fun atmosphere that I looked forward to going to each day of my stay.

San Ramon was also a great location to be based from, as the weather in the valley was always pleasant, the city was easy to navigate, generally seemed very safe, and it is fairly centrally located so you can travel to many different places in decent time, especially given the inexpensive bus system.

W

hat more can I say than this has been the trip of a lifetime!

I actually left the day before we were going to put the floors down but I asked to have a picture of the house when it is finished.

I have learned so much while being down here. I appreciate everything I have been given so much more. I was able to meet the family who is moving into the house, they were so grateful and really made it for me with all the hard work I put in.

I had feelings of loneliness for my family, but the people at the farm made me feel like part of their family.

One day was pretty hot, but in the afternoon I walked to a nearby creek and sat in one of the cool water pools, relaxing. Other work included painting, digging and hauling dirt, building steps and hauling wood. I worked fairly hard, but that's because I enjoyed it.

Our volunteer experience in Costa Rica was nothing short of amazing.

They made the experience that much more enjoyable. Volunteering, dorm-life, living in San Ramon and traveling made the perfect combination for this trip.

I also had the opportunity to help an older lady that was learning English, interacting with her was also a completely different experience with the kids.

What an amazing week this has been; twelve representatives from my university came to volunteer in Costa Rica for our spring break, upon arriving to Costa Rica, Nella greeted and took us to our dorm, known as the "gringo casa". Orientation went smoothly and we got a wonderful tour of the city.

From the pre-arrival information to being picked up at the airport to seeing and becoming acclimated with San Ramon, we were treated as family.

Dona Isabel, the house mother, made us great authentic food while Nella welcomed us with open arms. Andres sawn my apprehension about leading a group of students in an unknown country and instantly eased my uncertainty and provided more than would ever be expected.

.

Although the construction of building the new school houses is hard work, it's nice knowing that it is something that the kids and many kids to come will have forever The kids themselves are the coolest kids I've ever met I don't know how they can wear such beautiful smiles when they are living in such povertyYou can see the hope in their eyes, and that is what motivated to me to work so hard throughout the week

Costa Rica Information Brochure

If you are interested in joining the program in Costa Rica, you should download and read our destination guide.

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