Volunteering in Community Education in Costa Rica

Volunteer in our Community Education project and help improve the quality of education for disadvantaged children in rural Costa Rica. Students in areas like Alajuela province struggle to attain the same standard of teaching as their peers in wealthier urban areas. With your help, young students can receive the education they need to build skills for a brighter future.

Working at a dedicated center in San Ramon, volunteers support children who attend the daycare facility in the morning and the after-school club and community center in the afternoon. You will help young students develop their reading skills, assist them with homework, and interact with children through fun activities. Volunteers also deliver workshops that showcase any special skills they have.

Program Video

Many of the children who attend the center come from low-income backgrounds and have illiterate parents, so the project has a strong focus on improving literacy. Center staff are bilingual but most of the children speak little or no English – an intermediate level of Spanish is helpful.

Download our program brochure to find out more about our Costa Rica Community Education Project.

Quick facts

  • Program: Volunteer Costa Rica
  • Location: San Ramon
  • Minimum Duration: 4 Weeks
  • Language Requirement: Int. Spanish
  • Airport Pick-up: Yes, for $75
  • Travel Insurance:Β  Not included
  • Suitable for Groups: Yes
  • Region: Alajuela
  • Project Site: Community Center
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Accommodation: DormΒ  Home
  • Meals: 2 Meals Daily
  • Start Dates: Every Other Friday
  • Suitable for Families: Yes

Your role as a volunteer

Community education volunteers in Costa Rica care for babies and children up to 16 years old at a daycare facility, after-school club and community center in San Ramon. You will teach young students how to read, help out with homework, supervise children using the play areas, organize fun activities and play sports with students.

Work schedule

Community education volunteers work four days per week, from Monday to Thursday. Your working hours will be from 9 am until 5 pm, with lunch between 12 pm and 1 pm.

Journey to work

The community education center is a 30-minute walk from our volunteer dormitory.

Closed dates

This project is closed from the second week of December until the second week of January, and for one week preceding Easter Sunday. There is also a mid-term break for the first two weeks of July.

Project Photos

Project Location

Project Reviews & Testimonials

Despite suffering minor "culture shock" I soon felt at home and very comfortable.

Everyone being so friendly and welcoming around me definitely helped. I haven't yet had the time to even miss home, which is a shock!My favorite thing about Samara is the compactness of the town and the feel of a close-knit community. You soon get to know and be familiar with a lot of the locals, which helped my a great deal with settling in.

We then went ziplining the next day and I like to remember that experience as 'Ziplining from Death' For the first two weeks, I helped out various teachers, but found my niche working with the 4-year olds.

I mainly helped the teacher do activities with them, such as coloring and painting, and meals (making sure they would eat and cleaning up a bit after them). The classrooms had few students, but I think it really helped having another individual watch after the kids. For the rest of my time at the school, I started working with another teacher who had 7-year olds. They were a lot of fun and started calling me Ninas, which I thought was absolutely adorable. During my time at the school, I got to know the other teachers and the techniques they used with their students. I was really impressed by them because they did their best to accomodate students who ranged from having autism to those who were deaf.

San Ramon is a beautiful place surrounded by rolling hills, full of friendly people.

The Costa Ricans have a saying that they use religiously. You will hear it used as a greeting, a goodbye just a general conversation filler. The phrase is "pura vida", it means "pure life" and it describes how the ticos live. They eat good food, take time to make conversation and accept strangers as family.

I

asked my seventy-five year old mom on the second day of being here what the secret was to a happy long-life! The tias and children take care of each other, and the kids actually love to help with chores!

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.

My experience here with uVolunteer has been absolutely fantastic.

From the very beginning the staff helped me adjust to the culture of Costa Rica quickly and from the get go I have felt welcomed.

I came to Costa Rica hardly knowing any Spanish and taking the classes could not have been a better idea.

They are the most supportive, caring people that I've ever met and they actually tailor the lessons to your specific needs. My family stay was great and that experience with the classes gave me a huge jumpstart on the language that has been invaluable.

Prior to the volunteer trip to Costa rica, I was anxious, nervous, and having many doubts.

Thinking back, and now having completed the trip, I'm not sure why I worried so much. Prior to the volunteer trip to costa rica, i was anxious, nervous, and having many doubts. Thinking back, and now having completed the trip, I'm not sure why I worried so much.

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.

The first day all the volunteers went on a tour of the neighborhood and it was a huge reality check when we saw some of the kids living situations.

Compared to their behavior at the center it was pretty unbelievable. All of the kids were so happy and loving that it seemed like they all had healthy home lives. Seeing their expressions when I would give them a hug or push them on the swings was priceless.

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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