This project has been specially designed for those looking to volunteer, but are aged between 15 and 17 years old. Throughout this project, our younger volunteers will have greater supervision, training, and world-class leaders in the field who have been chosen for their mix of relevant experience and ability to mentor and inspire young people.
Travel to Central America and to the endless rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean in Costa Rica. You will join forces with a team of international volunteers and our dedicated in-country field staff in contributing to construction projects, working in the community of Quepos and living in Quepos.
You will become truly immersed in this fascinating country. The tico way of life is relaxed, open and friendly, making it the perfect location to introduce yourself to volunteering and a different country and culture, under the guidance of our qualified and full time staff.
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.
Please note that this program offers durations of 2, 3 or 4 weeks. Please speak to your Country Expert for further information.
Make a difference even over the short term; enjoy deep cultural immersion; relax on stunning Costa Rican beaches; view a range of tropical wildlife in lush rainforests in the Manuel Antonio National Park; enjoy a 4-day adventure trip in and around the exciting town of Turrialba; overall, make a genuine difference on this volunteer trip to Costa Rica.
"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."
What's Not Included
Your adventure begins once you arrive in the tropical paradise of Costa Rica at Juan Santamaria Airport. Travelling to a hostel in San Jose, you will have time to relax from your long flight, take in your new surroundings and get to meet the rest of your group. The next day, will see us transferring to your new home, Manuel Antonio. Upon arrival there will be a brief orientation, including a welcome presentation, the history and background on our projects in the area, a guided tour of the community and conclude with a health and safety briefing.
Over the next couple of days, you will undergo a specific training plan depending on the construction project your group will be working on. Before your group begins work on their project, there will be one last training session involving the materials and tools that will be used during your construction project.
The Work Begins…
Based at one of our local partners, this is where the fun begins and you get to apply everything that you have learnt over the last couple of days! The exact construction work will depend on the needs of the community at the time, but volunteers can typically expect to be involved in some basic maintenance, building and renovation work or painting and brightening up the classrooms with murals or other artwork.
At the end of your project, your final day will see you putting the finishing touches to your project, getting ready to present it to our partners and community members. This will also present a chance for you to meet our other GVI volunteers and learn about the projects they have been working on as well as how your work has contributed to the overall mission and objectives of GVI in Costa Rica.
Adventure Side Trip
Your last week in this coastal paradise, kick starts with an awesome Quepos Water and Forest Adventure Weekend! If you’ve always wanted to learn how to surf, well now is your chance, with a three hour surf lesson in the morning! The rest of the day is yours to spend relaxing on the beautiful beach and taking in the natural beauty of the surrounding area. Sunday will begin with an early start, hiking up through the beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park, to get up close and personal with the diverse wildlife and explore the stunning beaches and forests nestled within.
Prepare yourself for an adrenaline rush!
Your final week in Costa Rica will see you embark on a weeklong adventure side trip! Starting from Quepos we will take the scenic, long journey to central Costa Rica, and settle into accommodation in the quaint town of Turrialba. During your stay you will have the chance to participate in a world class white-water rafting experience.
Our last day in Turrialba, will begin shortly after breakfast, when we arrive at a lush tropical area with exclusive use of a private canoeing park! Here you will experience an unforgettable adrenaline rush as you zip across four canopy cables through the forest, rappel down four waterfalls and gingerly walk across a 132ft long suspension bridge.
On your last day, you will return to San Jose and prepare to say your final goodbyes. Before going to the airport, you will sit down with your group and review your experience, reflect upon the trip and your own individual experiences. After some last minute shopping and one last dinner, you will be dropped off at the airport to make your way home with a camera filled with amazing photos, new friends and a myriad of experiences that will be with you for life.
What's Not Included
As with all GVI volunteer programs, our work is determined in collabouration 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 volunteer will aid in ensuring we can meet our goal and the community’s needs. The building project that will be completed will serve to create more suitable learning environments for the children we support through our educational programs. We are also partnered with world-renowned organisations such as Sea Turtle Conservancy, Panthera and Coastal Jaguar Conservation.
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 embark on both a cultural weekend and a four day adventure side trip of awesomeness to discover all the amazing sights the region has to offer!
Highlights of these trips include white-water rafting, zip lining through the forest, hiking through the renowned Manuel Antonio National Park, and relaxing on the picturesque white beaches lining the Caribbean waters.
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.”