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

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.

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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

I admit I was a little skeptical about arriving in what I thought was a unsafe city.

On the day of my arrival (which happened to be my birthday!!) I was met by Marianella at the San Jose airport and everything went so smoothly. We were taken by mini-van to the dorm in San Ramon where to my pleasant surprise Marianella had baked me a birthday cake!!

The children are so great, despite their living environments at home, they were tolerable toward the volunteers and they were polite and appreciative to all of the volunteers as well.

I was also given the opportunity to work in construction and aided in the development of a house for a woman and her daughter, mixing, pouring, and leveling cement and working with the local constructors was amazing. Lastly, I was given the opportunity at night to teach English at the University.

Despite the occasional difficulty the service was extremely fun and rewarding.

Our Spanish improved tremendously. We made many new friends. After, we were treated to a lovely tourist trip to Volcan Arenal and Monteverde.

For the volunteering aspect of the trip it was so much fun.

I liked how I got two aspects of the volunteering experience. I was able to help the Project by building a wall in the mornings.

Everywhere we stayed, we experienced a new obstacle.

We had to get a bus out of a hole, we had to sleep on crazy beds in La Fortuna and I got stuck in the middle of a valley while hanging from a cable. At the same time I had a lot of fun. The hot springs were unbelievable, the hanging bridges along with the view of Arenal were breathtaking and zip lining through Montverde was fantastic.

Saying goodbye to the guys on site was sad but it's nice to leave knowing that you're always welcome to come back.

I enjoyed the program immensely I think five weeks was enough for me I learnt a huge amount and taking part with my friends was difficult at times but we will go home with lots of shared stories plus we made lots of new great friends along the way.

We worked some long hours in the heat but seeing the major changes each day was very rewarding.

Also the benefit of construction was that despite the early start you normally get home early which allowed me time to study some Spanish or go to the gym. To finish off I am returning for a week at the community centre which I am very much looking forward to.

Costa Rica is an extremely friendly Country.

From the moment you arrive you will put at ease immediately. Your coordinator's main duty is to ensure that you have a great time. The programs' living conditions are clean, comfortable and very safe.

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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