If you are looking to spend your holidays doing something different and help others through volunteering overseas, why not join Kaya and work on one of 4 projects in Costa Rica that accept 16 and 17-year-olds? If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can join local staff and older volunteers to work in pre-schools, primary schools, childcare centres, a coffee cooperative, a bilingual school a turtle protection project or a veterinarian clinic.
The projects support communities in and around Atenas, and they provide for many a low level of income, which is generated through agricultural activities, such as coffee or orchid growing. The communities rely on drop-in nutrition centres, located next to elementary schools, where children can have a meal and nutritious snacks while their parents work. The parents are often looking to generate extra income, which is why coffee cooperatives have been set up. Children are taken to childcare centres so parents are able to work. In elementary schools, there is often a lack of resources and extra classroom help is always welcomed. There is also a project to protect land turtles, which are often overlooked in favour of sea turtles.
Bring your enthusiasm and willingness to help where needed and support local communities and initiatives in Costa Rica through volunteering in your spare time.
Why choose this project?
Volunteering for 16 and 17 year olds in Costa Rica offers you, as a young person, the ability to share your enthusiasm and energy with the communities of Atenas. Extra pairs of hands are always needed in these poorer communities, and you will be welcomed by all. If you want to develop your Spanish skills, this is a great way to put your language into practice with your homestay family, the project beneficiaries and staff. As a teen, you’re probably looking for ways to improve your CV in order to apply for jobs, internships or university placements. This cultural exchange will certainly help to make you stand out from the crowd!
Role of the volunteer
Your role as a volunteer will vary depending on your project choice. All projects have a range of tasks that you will participate in while working alongside local staff. Here are the choices available to you as a 16 or 17-year-old volunteer:
- Coffee cooperative for men in the community – harvesting in December / January, drying and roasting the coffee beans, office work, watering plants. A very interesting placement.
- Childcare Centre for pre-school children – aged under 5, supporting local childcare workers with games, activities and snack time. A fun placement.
- Primary schools – assist teachers in the preparation of lesson plans and other projects that are needed in the classroom. The kids are really enthusiastic and keen to learn and everyone loves taking part in this project.
- Turtle project – protecting terrestrial turtles and their habitat. This breeding programme is based at a non profit organisation. It also offers hydroponics activities, where the income generated from the sales of plants goes towards the running of the project. A great opportunity to learn about conservation.
- Veterinary clinic project – You can give a hand as this clinic’s staff attend to different domesticated animals.
Tasks vary depending on the time and duration of your placement and the needs of the project.
A basic level of Spanish (Basic User Level A1 of CEFR) is required as you will be living with a local homestay family. This level will also enable you to build relationships with the project staff and beneficiaries. Spanish lessons can be arranged alongside your placement to improve confidence and increase the benefit of from your time here. You should have a positive attitude, a willingness to help out and an interest in working with other people. All volunteers will be asked to attend a telephone interview and obtain parental consent forms for acceptance onto the projects.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To have an adventure
To make international friends
To live and volunteer with friends your own age
You are participating in a programme located in the Atenas community, just outside the bustling city of San Jose. It is a lovely town in the central highlands of Costa Rica, approximately 45 minutes from San Jose. You will experience the deeply rooted Costa Rican history, tradition and culture. Atenas is a charming town with a laid-back atmosphere and plenty of fun activities for you to do at weekends. The friendly demeanour of the locals and fabulous location make this an ideal location for you to enjoy your volunteering in Costa Rica.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2 – 12 weeks
- Cost: £1225/$2144 for 2 weeks
£213/$373 for each week thereafter
- Requirements: Age 16 – 17 (older participants should speak to a Kaya advisor)
- Location: Atenas, Costa Rica
- Project activities: Depending on our project: weeding, planting, harvesting, office work, teaching English, playing with children, class activity preparation
- Working Hours: Monday-Friday; varies depending in the project.
- Project availability: All year round, except for schools, which close in December, January and the first two weeks in July.
- Arrival day: Saturday
What is included
- Accommodation: Single or shared room in a homestay (according to availability)
- Food: 3 Meals per day
- Airport pick up and drop off from San Jose International Airport
- Training: Pre-departure preparation pack, on-site orientation and project induction provided
- 6 hours of language class
- Support: On-site coordinator providing 24 hour support
- Activities: 1 dance class and 1 cookery class are included. Staff help organise evening and weekend activities.
What is not included
- Daily transport between your accommodation and your project
- Additional Spanish lessons can be provided for £100 ($175) for 6 hours.
- Police/Government Background Check- US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies); all other nationalities must provide local police check.
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.
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