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

The staffs have given us plenty of projects along with making sure we have time with the kids.

Being in another country with a group of 11 can be very nerve-racking at first, but working through uVolunteer has taken much of that stress away and make everything much easier.

They have to be my favorite part, they are so fun and full of energy and working at the community centre is fun and laid back.

My experience in San Ramon has been nothing short of incredible. The staff is really nice and the work is actually fun! The construction site is a lot more work but it is rewarding to know that you are helping some people who really need you.

My experience with uVolunteer was amazing! Ligia helped a lot by allowing us to have a smooth transition into San Ramon.

Blessed is the life I live back in the States and coming to a foreign country was not an easy task.

All you see is simplicity Pura Vida, truly a way of life. I will never forget the warmth and laughter San Ramon has no doubt thrust upon me. It is very clear that something special is present in these rolling hills of Costa Rica and encircles its beautiful people.

It was a life changing experience to work with the children and see what impact our minor actions had on them.

Volunteering in construction was extremely labor intensive physical work in the hot sun but was immensely rewarding.

We dug a hole for a septic tank, sanded and painted metal rods and other small tasks. Be prepared to get dirty and swear a lot so bring water, sunscreen, a hat and work gloves. 

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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