What is the minimum stay? 2 weeks
Where exactly is it? San Ramon, Costa Rica
What exactly will I be doing? Participating in community construction projects from building houses to making repair to existing homes and community buildings.
Costa Rica, as a developing country struggles to provide it’s communities with adequate housing and community buildings. Due to the amount of rain and seismic activity, repairs have to be made quite often to existing structures as well.
- Working in conjunction with locals on construction projects to better the community
- Sharing your culture and language with local Costa Ricans
- Exploring Costa Rica
- Three day weekends!
- Opportunities to make local and international friends
You will be working with local communities on a construction projects or making repairs to existing structures. Costa Rica has a system where low income families can qualify for grants to help them with costs of construction. The grants are not enough though and the families often have to take out loans to complete the project. This is where volunteer labor is greatly needed to decrease the amount of money they have to borrow. Volunteers often work hand in hand with the beneficiary family as they prefer to hire as little help as possible in order to keep costs down. Besides homes families and communities can also solicit grants to repair / remodel existing structures.
Start dates are on Mondays year round, except during Christmas, New Years and Holy week. Volunteers should arrive to Costa Rica on a Sunday.
There is a local hostel where the volunteers stay. Here they can stay in a shared dorm room and are provided breakfast, lunch and weekly laundry service. There is also the option of staying with a local family if the volunteer would like.
Note: Sometimes depending on the location of the project, lodging may only be available with host families.
Ages 18 and up. Volunteer must come with the right attitude and enthusiasm for their work. They need to be open and outgoing in order to get the most out of their experience.
Basic Spanish is required. On the construction site the only language spoken is Spanish. There is the option to take classes before and sometimes during your volunteer placement to get your Spanish up to par.
When can I apply?
Placements are available throughout the year, however there may be a limited number available depending on the time of year. It is advised to apply at least a couple months in advance to ensure availability.
Tasks as a volunteer:
o Assist foreman or project leader in construction tasks. Specific tasks depend on experience and abilities and foreman will assure you are only doing activities that are safe and appropriate for your skills.
o Set masonry blocks, mix/pour concrete.
o Dig septic tank, footings, drainage ditch. Paint walls.
o Volunteer placement: Follow-up, assistance throughout the placement
o In country orientation
o Airport pick up and drop off
o Assistance 24/7 from local staff
Flights, visas (if necessary), vaccines, passports, and travel medical insurance (required) are not included. We are able to help in arranging flight and insurance.
– Spanish lessons before and/or during your placement