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

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I was quite nervous because I haven't done something like this before, first time flying alone, first time far away from home But Alicia and Ligia did a great job on answering all of my questions, no matter how strange , no matter how many times I asked They made me feel very safe and assured me everything is going to be alright and that I should worry

Throughout that time, I helped to construct a new home for a well-deserved family - who I was lucky enough to meet.

The work was physically hard but it was the exact opposite of sitting in an office and exactly what I was after. It would've been helpful if my Spanish was a little better than it is however the guys on site are so helpful and it wasn't too difficult to pick things up after the first day

At the start I was doing a lot of digging and mixing of cement which was cool to see how they did everything by hand here.

As the two weeks of construction came to the end I was doing more noticeable jobs such as hammering the roof in, hammering through the brick wall for the electricity outlets and many little jobs that were fun and different. It was really good to experience the construction in Costa Rica and an awesome feeling to know your helping someone in need!

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 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.

Everyone is a contributing factor, San Ramon is a great place to experience the Costa Rican Culture but ultimately my favorite part has been my service to the community.

Coming to Costa Rica I had expectations as well as thoughts as to what the experience would consist of. I was curious as well as concerned about the uVolunteer house, the community, food, as well as the service.

It is so much fun working with the children and developing relationships with them.

I have so many pictures of them, but mostly of Greivin because he stole my camera and took so many pictures! He is a little cutie.

Working at the community center, and the construction site have helped me and my volunteer group in many ways.

Seeing the families that are a part of this community and knowing we are helping create a better life for them has been a rewarding experience. Aside from the volunteer work the accommodations have been excellent too.

The weekends were a lot of fun and I saw so many beautiful places and wildlife.

The accommodations at the dorm are amazing and great food is prepared every day by Dona Isa. One thing I would suggest is to help out Ligia and Nohelia in the English Classes where they are teaching locals English during the week.

Ligia, my program co-ordinator, worked very closely with me while I was in Costa Rica.

She would usually come one day a week to my work location to take pictures and help out with building. During our weekly meeting, she would always inquire about my project, my housing and how I was getting along with other volunteers. Also she would help me set up any travel plans I had for the weekend; suggesting accommodations, calling tour companies and often getting me a better price on excursions.

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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