What is the Family Volunteering: Community Beautification and Development Projects in Costa Rica all about?
Costa Rica still endures relatively high poverty levels, especially in rural areas despite the growing tourism, agriculture and electronic industries. To support this trend and ensure community and environmental work continues to make a difference, you may want to consider volunteering as a family and support a number of projects around this agricultural town.
For families that would like a varied experience, volunteering in Costa Rica allows you to choose one or two projects from four to spend time on. As projects are all located around the area of Atenas, there is flexibility for children to choose their own projects, giving them some level of independence, whilst being safe with the reassurance that they aren’t too far away. Project requests will be accommodated as much as possible, depending on the needs of the projects at the time.
The projects available to choose from are:
– Supporting women’s empowerment at a cooperative
– Assist mothers and children in a nutrition-focused program
– Help clean-up and beautify a National Park
– Renovate and decore local schools
The whole family will be able to get involved in an exciting range of tasks, either as a group or independently, allowing you to get a true feel for Costa Rican community life. This is a rewarding opportunity as you get to know the locals including your homestay family and see the impact that initiatives such as these have on improving quality of life.
Why choose this Community Beautification & Development project?
The city of Atenas itself has a population of around 5,000, many of whom are reliant on the agricultural fruits of the surrounding areas, including coffee plantations. However, with coffee prices at all time lows due to weather impacts, recessions and more, coffee pickers struggle on low wages, and employment is very uncertain.
For this reason, many communities around the city struggle to support their families and the city green spaces and buildings have been neglected slightly. By working on one or more of our projects around the city, you can contribute to creating a better existence for the city’s population. Whether you lend your nutrition knowledge, support a women’s cooperative or work on National Parks and Schools to improve their appearance, you are helping to lift the spirits of those residing there and making a living in the city.
Role of the Community Volunteer
Your time will be split up according to which project or projects you choose. It may be split by days per week, the whole week or mornings and afternoons, depending on what is most suitable for you and the projects. You will be required to spend 4-5 hours per day as a minimum on your placement. Project activities will be finalised before departure, but will typically include, assisting women at the orchid cooperative with potting and planting, working with local mothers to give nutritional education and create realistic meal plans as well as helping with various renovation projects in parks and schools, from painting to cleaning graffitis and more.
What skills do I need to be a Community Volunteer in Costa Rica?
No specific skills are required to participate in this project. Some Spanish would be helpful, but you will receive 6 hours of Spanish tuition alongside your projects. In order to adhere to health and safety rules, children must follow the instructions given by their parents and project staff.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To help lift the spirits of the communities in Atenas
To have an amazing experience as a family
To develop your foreign language skills
Where will I work in Costa Rica?
You will be located in the small and laid-back town of Atenas, 45 minutes outside of San Jose. This picturesque town is made up of many agricultural communities that base their livelihoods on growing coffee, oranges, mangoes, and sugarcane. Costa Rican history, tradition and culture are deeply rooted here, which makes it ideal for understanding your host country. You will further be enriched by your stay with a local family, where you will have private rooms and meals prepared for you. This is will be a great opportunity for both of your families to exchange and be exposed to “la Pura Vida”! Not to mention a chance to sample true home-cooking!
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2+ weeks
- Cost: – 16 and Above: £1477 / $2305
– Children 12-15: £1292 / $2017
– Children under 12: £723 / $1129
– Additional weeks available on request
- Requirements: Minimum Age 7 years old
- Location: Atenas, Costa Rica
- Working hours: Monday –Friday, times vary
- Project availability: All year round
- Arrival day: Saturday. Arrive no later than 13h30 on the Sunday before the project begins.
What is included
- Accommodation: Home-stay accommodation
- Food: 3 meals per day – Breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Pick up and drop off from San Jose Airport
- 6 hours of Spanish tuition
- Training: Pre-departure information pack, on-site orientation and project induction provided
- Support: 24 hour support from on-site coordinator
- 24/7 emergency number for volunteers and families
What is not included
- Police/Government Background Check US and UK citizens processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check – Required for over 16 years of age
- Transport to and from projects on public transport
Easy 4-step application process
Apply online and pay your application fee to apply for your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
Once we’ve received your application, we’ll review your details and be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
Following your interview, we will provide you a placement offer. Once you are ready to confirm your placement and dates, you can pay your confirmation fee to book and secure your space.
When you have confirmed your project dates we'll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.