Where exactly is it? San Ramon, Costa Rica
Minimum stay: Two weeks, however at least four weeks is recommended to really immerse yourself in the projects.
What exactly will I be doing? Participants will have a wide range of opportunities ranging from working
in orphanages, community centers, and schools. At each site they will be asked to interact with the children by organizing games and activities. Other activities include reading and teaching English. Depending on your level of Spanish you can even tutor them in their school subjects.
There is never enough help to go around at these sites which is why help is so important. The children have a safe place to go but do not have the stimulation and positive role models to look up to. The staff at these centers are focused on the primary needs of the children and often don’t have time to be with the children. The role of the participant is to provide the children companionship and support to help them through this tough time in their lives.
The sites receive children from the poorest neighborhoods of San Ramon and from Social Services when a child has to removed from their family due to drug/alcohol abuse and other social problems.
- Being a positive influence for children in need of support and attention
- Sharing your culture and pastimes with children
- Exploring Costa Rica
- Learning just as much Spanish and culture from the locals and children as they learn from you
- Opportunities to make many local and international friends
This is a great opportunity to work on your Spanish and to get to know the locals well. The children range in age from two to fifteen years old and come from difficult family situations. Their care-givers are overwhelmed and underfunded making their job ever more stressful. Your help is greatly appreciated whether teaching the children English, helping them with their homework, or playing games with them. Make a difference by being a role model and a positive influence in their lives.
Start dates are on Mondays year round except during Christmas and New Years. Participants should plan on arriving in Costa Rica on a Sunday.
There is a local hostel where the participants stay. Here they can stay in a shared dorm room and have daily breakfast and lunch and weekly laundry service. There is also the option of staying with a local family if requested.
Ages 14 and up (ages 14-17 must be accompanied by an adult). Participants 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. They will be required to create a work plan outlining the different games and activities they will be doing with the children.
Spanish is not required but the more the participants know the more enjoyment they will get from the experience. There is the option to take classes before and/or during the project.
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.
o Give support and companionship to children
o Help staff with daily tasks when asked
o Develop and implement fun activities for children
o Project placement: Follow-up, assistance throughout the placement
o Pre departure manual
o Donation to the project (this forms an important part of the contributions for projects)
o In country orientation
o Airport pick up and drop off
o Assistance 24/7 from local staff
Flights, visas (if necessary), passports, and insurance are not included however we are able to help in arranging flight and insurance. Proof of international medical insurance is required to participate on projects and criminal background check is advised so that you may be able to participate in as many projects as possible.
– Spanish lessons before and/or during your placement