Volunteering in Day Care in Costa Rica

As a daycare center volunteer, you will work with babies and children aged up to six years at a local government-sponsored facility in San Ramon. These facilities are subsidized for low-income families, providing educational, supportive and safe settings where children can receive care while their parents are at work.

Program Video

Provide hands-on help by teaching little ones numeracy and literacy skills, helping them learn basic English and enriching their lives as a positive role model. Volunteers assist teachers with lessons and help prepare teaching materials, as well as organize art and craft sessions and plan fun activities.

You are welcome to share any special skills you have that could contribute to the children’s development.

Download our program brochure to find out more about joining the Daycare Center Project in Costa Rica.

Quick facts

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

Your role as a volunteer

Daycare center volunteers have a varied role that includes assisting teachers in the classroom, preparing educational materials, leading English practice and organizing arts and craft activities. You will also assist with reading, writing and math, supervise mealtimes and recess and provide general care for babies and children up to six years of age.

Work schedule

Daycare center volunteers work four days per week, from Monday to Thursday. You’ll spend approximately six hours per day working at your placement.

Journey to work

The daycare centers are within 30 minutes walk from our volunteer dormitory.

Closed dates

The daycare center 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 during the first two weeks of July.

Project Photos

Project Location

Project Reviews & Testimonials

Because of the contact with my host family and the kids at the center (who didn't speak English), I practiced my Spanish.

After meeting other volunteers and some staff-members, we made a tour through San Ramon, so that we would know about the most important things in the town where we stayed.

We lived with a wonderful host family during our stay in San Ramon.

They were caring and considerate and made us feel right at home. It really was a great experience. Costa Rica and all the friendly people, great food, gorgeous beaches, and amazing adventures will sorely be missed.

Whenever I get frustrated or discouraged, one of the kids shows up with and "I love you" card.

Other times they randomly tells me how glad he or she is that I come every day, and I reminded why we are there. The variety keeps us on our toes, we are never bored and we have learned so much from the kids and from our time there.

After settling in, the following Monday I started work at the Child Care Center.

The Tias, the women who ran the center, were very kind and welcoming and in no time, the kids became comfortable with the new volunteers. The kids and I played soccer, active running games, board games, drew in coloring books, and did arts and crafts. I had a great time, became really close to the kids, and looked forward to each new work day.

As for my project, I was working in a daycare center in Piedades Sur, which was about a 35 minute bus ride from San Ramon.

I absolutely loved my project! The children were so adorable and playful, and I learned a lot of Spanish while at the same time teaching them basic English. Hazel, the teacher, was so welcoming and funny, and even invited me over to her house to meet her family and spend time with them.

My first day walking through Bajo Tejares was both shocking and heartbreaking.

I have ever seen such a poor community before, and it devastated me to see people who live with nothing when I have close to everything. However, after working with the children and seeing the bright smiles on their faces as they walk into the center every day eager to work and play, I have realized that regardless of the conditions under which they live they approach life with optimism and positivity, and because they have so little, they have a profound appreciation for everything.

My name is Adrienne, I am a Canadian university student who has spent the past four months living and volunteering in Costa Rica as part of my undergraduate degree.

My first two months in Costa Rica I volunteered at the Cloud Forest school in Monte Verde. The School's curriculum is centered around environmental sustainability, and while there, I worked on a number of sustainability based projects, from maintaining the school's organic vegetable garden, to working in the tree nursery, to helping build a wind turbine for electricity generation for the school.

My time has been the best time of my life, and I do not say that lightly, the people and the places that I've been have been truly incredible.

I came to Volunteer in San Ramon in mid-June 2009. Prior to going to San Ramon I traveled with my family for a week and spent 3 weeks in the language school in San Jose. The language school was arranged for me by uVolunteer. My time there helped me improve my Spanish tremendously and also helped me get accustomed to life in Costa Rica.

We worked with 3 to 4 year olds, which, in my opinion, is the best age group.

They made us feel welcome on our first day and wanted to play with us and sit on our laps almost instantly after learning our names. Although we had to pick up half-dead cockroaches at one point after the place was fumigated, our time at the day care was mostly fun.

The time at the dorm has been an experience in itself.

The staff I was able to spend time with was great and always ready to help. All though there were a few rocky moments, in the end things worked out. Dona Isabel was great, her motherly nature and sweetness made the time away from my family easier to bear.

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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