Join a team of like-minded volunteers on this community project, living in the beautiful coastal area of Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica and working in the nearby town of Quepos, providing English classes to local children and other community members. You may also assist with art, music, physical education, remedial academic assistance and extra-curricular activities.
The town of Quepos is located beside the Manual Antonio National Park and is renowned for its tropical rainforests, stunning beaches and incredible wildlife, making the area a hub for tourism which is why English language skills are such a vital tool for people in the local community.
If you do not speak Spanish, don’t worry! This program provides you with an excellent opportunity to learn a new language and work with children at the same time. If you opt for staying more than 8 weeks, you have an option of doing an extra 80 or 120 hours of Spanish lessons. Speak to your coordinator about arranging 1-on-1 Spanish lessons (extra to the program) that will fully prepare you for life on the program.
Getting to know the children of Quepos – and them getting to know you; becoming part of the community in a stunning and biologically diverse part of Costa Rica; learn how to surf in some of the top surfing waves in the region; witnessing the beautiful wild rainforests, Pacific beaches and local rivers and mountains; living in a peaceful area with a very authentic Costa Rican way of life; witnessing some of the fantastic wildlife of the area such as scarlet macaw, toucan, four types of monkey and more; seeing the direct impact you can make during your stay; practicing your Spanish; taking extra time to explore the wonders of Costa Rica.
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.
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. Contact us for more information
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.
Monday to Friday
You will work from Monday to Friday with the weekends free to explore Costa Rica or just relax with your fellow volunteers.
During the week you will plan and conduct basic lessons and assist other teachers with classes. You may also be involved with other school related activities such as sports, educational reinforcement or local environmental education initiatives, and you should be prepared to immerse yourself in all aspects of the project.
Shared housing usually leads to very tight knit groups. Meals are prepared on a rotational basis and volunteers typically enjoy hanging out together.
Living and working within the community will allow you to learn a lot about the local culture and people. Few travelers get a chance to experience this level of immersion.
If you would prefer to stay in private accommodation while on this project, this location does offer upgrades. Contact us for more information, or mention to your Country Expert who will be able to assist you.
Our goal is to bring more English teachers into the community to reduce the teacher to student ratio, which ultimately allows for more individual attention for each student.
Other goals supported by our community project:
- A shift towards long-term sustainable educational programs
- Local environmental education initiatives
- Support “other” school activities including Music, Sports, Arts and more
Our goal is to provide resources in Quepos which will help address a severe shortage of teachers and other mentors in this community.
How this project makes a difference:
In this region of Costa Rica, much of the local economy is built on tourism. In an effort to better serve the American and European traveler population, being able to speak and write in English is vitally important with the number one request from the local school board for more English teachers.
GVI directly serves this need by bringing native English speakers to the community to teach.
Teaching English to the kids of El Cocal has been a real joy. They are so eager to learn English words! It can be quite a challenge sometimes but it is so rewarding when they run up to you, wanting to show you something new they have learnt in English! Its great seeing how fast they progress!
Assisting in the school teaching English has been a lot of fun. The kids find the way we speak hilarious so it´s funny to hear them copy us! English is really important for any job here in Costa Rica so it´s great to have the opportunity to help them with that.
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 unless already fluent