Travel to Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast to join this community project volunteering to help disadvantaged children. You will live in Manuel Antonio, home to the famous Manuel Antonio National Park and beach, and work in the nearby town of Quepos, focusing on lending assistance to the local school district to make up for a shortage of teachers. Volunteers will plan and assist in general education lessons, organize art workshops and games.
Working in the local community will give you an intimate and unfiltered look at Costa Rican culture. You will improve your Spanish, make friends and gain new perspectives, all while contributing to improve the education available to local students.
Costa Rica is a land rich in both culture and physical beauty, this is a chance to live and work in paradise doing something that makes a big positive difference. Opportunities exist for white water rafting, surfing, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, surfing, rainforest canopy tours, diving or snorkelling and visiting idyllic tropical beaches and rainforests.
Please note, this program offers durations up to 24 weeks. Speak to your Country Expert for more details of extending your stay in-country
We are always looking for enthusiastic and dedicated people to join our team. This program offers qualifying and high-performing volunteers the chance to stay on the program for a longer duration on a GVI Scholarship free of charge and as part of the staff team in the field. If you would like to work towards a field career and make the very most of your time abroad, you might want to work towards a place on a GVI Scholarship. Successful scholars may find themselves offered full time employment with GVI, and many of our current staff have come through this route. Contact us for more information!
Please note, the awarding of scholarships is at the sole discretion of GVI and may be offered immediately after the completion of your program or at a later date.
GVI is real volunteering
Our projects are constantly evolving according to the needs on the ground at any given time. All the information displayed here will give you an overall feel for the project, but you should be prepared for any changes in the field when you travel. An evolving project means that we can constantly meet the needs and requirements of our partners, who dictate the work that we do. The way it should be.
Your schedule follows the school week, working from Monday to Friday with the weekends free to relax, and explore Costa Rica.
During the week, most of your time will be spent working with students (aged 2-16) in community centers. You will plan and conduct basic lessons and activities in the community center, while also perhaps assisting other teachers with their classes. Apart from running the programs at the center, you should also expect to help out with other school activities such as English classes, arts and crafts projects, environmental education projects, sports or the school’s sustainable garden project, giving you the opportunity for full community immersion.
You will share your housing with other GVI volunteers, like-minded people who share your passion to help children and make a difference. Meals are made as a group and volunteers often travel and explore together, allowing you to create long lasting friendships.
GVI’s goals for our primary school project in Quepos focus on the following:
- Establish long-term sustainable educational programs
- Educate the local community to care for the environment
- Establish other school activities to encourage students to finish their primary and secondary education including Music, Sports, Arts, English and more.
- Ensure basic student needs are met so they can pursue enrollment
Our goal is to provide resources to the community with which we work in Quepos. These resources will help address a severe shortage of teachers and other mentors for this community.
How this project makes a difference:
In partnership with the local community in Quepos, Costa Rica, this program was established to help reduce teacher to student ratios and help provide additional support to keep students engaged.
GVI Volunteers continue to help provide assistance to the community through after school programs, sports, English classes and more.
Playing with the kinder kids is soooo much fun. They are so cute. Doing arts and crafts with them can get really messy but they love doing it! Their little smiles are so contagious so it’s such a pleasure to be around them.
The children are so cute and so energetic. Sometimes they don’t pay attention and would rather play with you than study, but that´s a part of the challenge. By making play time educational the kids get the best of both.
Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program.
Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our Manuel Antonio field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Costa Rica!
Optional Side Trips
On weekends and downtime, the region around Manuel Antonio is excellent to keep yourself as busy or relaxed as possible! See the pristine beaches and hike the trails of the National Park to discover the diverse wildlife the region has to offer, including four types of monkey; go on a canopy and zip-lining tour through the treetops of the rainforest; visit the souvenir shops at the beachfront or cafes along the way and watch the world go by; take surf lessons or surf some of the neighbouring breaks in this famous surf destination.
Further Travelling Opportunities
Costa Rica is an amazing country with an abundance of travel opportunities further afield with the following just a snapshot of the many possibilities!
Admire the world famous and active Volcan Arenal at a distance, and relax in the natural hot springs; explore the Osa Peninsula and Corcovado National Park; for the advanced surfer, aim for Pavones, the second longest left break in the world; spot migratory raptor birds in the Talamanca Mountains and visit indigenous villages; go deep sea fishing in the Pacific Ocean; canoe or kayak along the waterways in the local area on organised river tours; visit the Caribbean coast, snorkel and go wildlife watching in Cahuita National Park; go white water rafting on the world famous Pacuare river – rapids classed III to IV; climb Volcan Irazu and visit coffee farms on the way back to San Jose; back in the capital, visit the Gold Museum or the Jade Museum, attend a play in one of the numerous theatres or take in the Latin American vibe with its lively nightlife.
Build Your Program
- Pre-departure support and discounted services
- 24-hour emergency phone
- Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
- Arrival orientation
- Long term experienced staff
- Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
- All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
- Welcome meeting
- Location orientation
- All necessary project training by experienced staff
- All necessary project equipment and materials
- 24-hour in-country support
What's Not Included
- Medical and travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Personal kit
- Additional drinks and gratuities
- Extra local excursions
- International and domestic airport taxes
- 20 hours of Spanish lessons, essential unless you are already fluent