Spend an entire week contributing to a range of projects in the Quepos community of Costa Rica. Jump into construction projects, educational support, and sports development initiatives. In your free time explore the stunning biodiversity of the region and the vibrant culture of Latin America.
Choose to turn your spring break into a truly unforgettable experience, by diving into a week far more involved than any holiday. Spend your time contributing to community development projects that are dependent on the needs of the community at the time.
You will work in the community of Quepos, a coastal community based at the entrance to Manuel Antonio National park. Days may be spent refurbishing furniture for local community centers, teaching English to students in after school programs, or painting classrooms to create more inviting environments.
In addition to contributing to a diverse range of projects you will also get ample time to explore the culture and surrounding area of Costa Rica. A place of surf waves, biodiverse jungles, and a general relaxed and friendly way of life.
Balanced between volunteer work, adventure activities, and cultural excursions. This trip is an excellent opportunity to experience everything a Latin American adventure should be, but one that also benefits the local community.
Making a connection with the local community that is often hard to accomplish over a shorter period of time.
Live in and explore a typical Costa Rican town; one that is close to exciting adventure activities, but also isolated from the typical tourist route.
View a range of diverse wildlife; howler monkeys, toucans, and sloths in nearby Manuel Antonio National Park
"The holistic approach of our programs in Quepos allows us to contribute to the education of the children where and when our work is needed the most. "
These updates cover all programs in this location
Manuel Antonio Video
On July 11th, 2016, I arrived in Quepos for the second time. I felt less nervous, more prepared and definitely excited. This is my second year volunteering here in Quepos; I spent four weeks in June 2015 with GVI, also on the teaching English program. After my time with GVI last year I studied accounting at the University of Kentucky and decided business wasn’t for me (who knew?) and that I wanted to teach English as a Second Language. I finished my first semester and then moved back to Cincinnati and got my TEFL certification while working full time. I decided in January to return to GVI Quepos and apply what I would learn in my TEFL course.
The program will begin in San Jose, Costa Rica’s centrally located capital city. First up will be meeting with the group and going through a comprehensive introduction which will include; an introduction to the various GVI projects that are running in Costa Rica, a briefing of some of the particular community development issues that the area faces, and a welcome to the intricacies of Costa Rican culture.
The group will then be transported to the town of Quepos, which is about three hours away from San Jose, and will jump straight into the various volunteer projects. Day to day involvement will be completely dependent on the needs of the community at the time and previous projects that need added attention.
Volunteers will help to develop both the infrastructure and the quality of educational offerings in order to bring a better quality of life to local disadvantaged youth. Most work will revolve around construction, renovation, developing the community gardening projects, or helping with preparations for local community events. There may also be involvement with English teaching and running various after school activities in the community.
Of course time will also be spent exploring and enjoying the pacific coast of Costa Rica. Side projects will be planned for both your evening and weekends as well as a variety of different cultural activities. These will be based on the interests of the group and may include; dance classes, cooking classes, surf lessons, or explorations into the surrounding jungle!
What's Not Included
As with all GVI volunteer programs, our work is determined in collaboration with community members and will focus on current local needs. Your primary focus will be on assisting on a building or maintenance project.
How this project makes a difference
Your presence as a spring break volunteer will aid in ensuring that the community of Quepos is progressing towards their personal goals while simultaneously contributing to overall worldwide sustainable development goals. All construction projects will contribute towards creating safer and more suitable community centres to ensure better opportunities for the future of Costa Rica’s youth.
What's Not Included
Although this trip follows a structured itinerary, don’t think you won’t be seeing and doing some amazing things! You’ll get to see some of the amazing sights the region has to offer!
Meet Esther, our dynamic base manger at our hub here in Quepos. With a degree in Education of Music from the conservatory of Utrecht, she is the perfect person to oversee our community development programmes. Esther specialised in songwriting in sign language with deaf kids in Bolivia and later she got also specialised in teaching Dutch as a second language and recently she started an online master of Education in Spain.
She loves to travel and going on adventures, from skydiving in France to eating ceviche in Chile, from mount Kenya to a ger (white nomad tent) in the middle of the big nothing of Mongolia. She really likes GVI's view on development programmes and our passion to make this world a better place.
Meet Hector, our Community Field Staff Member in Quepos. He was a GVI marine conservation volunteer before becoming a staff member in Costa Rica, and the fact that GVI works together with local communities, protecting the natural environment and working towards making our world a better place first attracted him to GVI.
Hector studied Sustainable Tourism Development and has experience working with a company doing camps with children with special needs. His role as a community development staff member proves to be rewarding and he is enjoying it thoroughly; “when children smile it makes me feel so happy knowing that I am making a difference.”
Director of Programs
Meet Danny, our Director of Programs. Although he’s based in Playa del Carmen, Danny oversees the development and running of all of our field operations. He started out with GVI as our Country Director in Mexico and quickly became an invaluable part of the team.
Although being Director of Programs is a pretty demanding job, Danny manages to find time to do the other things he loves in-between. He’s an avid photographer and is always training for a triathlon or ironman.
What’s Danny’s favourite aspect of his job? “Starting new projects – we get lots of request for assistance and it’s difficult to decide when funds are limited. The evaluation process and those initial talks with local partners are very interesting. Seeing projects grow from an idea to full programs is very exciting. I also love the relationships you create with local organisations, they become friends and we jointly work to achieve the project aims.”
Cynthia Arochi Zendejas
Costa Rica Country Director
Meet Cynthia, our Country Director in Costa Rica. She started out with GVI as one of our National Scholarship Program participants in 2006 and later became our Programme Coordinator in Mexico. Her skills and enthusiasm just made it too hard to let her get away!
Cynthia is a certified Veterinarian, an EFR Instructor and holds a Master’s degree in International environmental Science. She is also a member of the Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation, chapter Costa Rica.
The most interesting things she’s experienced during life in the field? “Watching the turtles hatching! Also finding jaguar tracks and being able to participate in community tours.” Apart from those, Cynthia also loves arranging and participating in the fun Charity Challenges with volunteers.
What does Cynthia think volunteers bring to the projects? Since our goal is to provide support to local organisations which don’t have the human or economic resources to achieve their conservation or sustainable development objectives, our volunteers play a key role by being the hands needed, or helping to fund raise for those projects.”