Programme: Childhood Development Cartago When you assist with the care of infants and children in Costa Rica, you’ll find that there are a lot of children who’ve been abused, neglected, or abandoned. Our partner organizations are often the only places where these children can receive shelter and food. As a volunteer, you'll join our partners in providing much needed care and love.
Programme: Global Health Cartago Costa Rica’s healthcare system is universal, yet large gaps in public health education and access to basic services remain a challenge. Through outreach, education, and care, you will provide much-needed support to vulnerable children and adults in low-income communities. In addition you will be spearheading multiple public health projects in Costa Rica including vision screening for children, oral health campaigns and the promotion of hygiene in schools.
This programme runs for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 weeks. Contact us to find out the 2017 dates and start planning your adventure!
Room & Board (any housing, food, and transportation included) Volunteers will live in the beautiful Costa Rica Home-Base, a safe and comfortable family home in the welcoming community of Cartago. The Home-Base provides plenty of common areas to engage with fellow volunteers, private spaces for relaxation and reflection, and shared bedrooms with between 2 and 6 volunteers per room. A full in-country staff, led by an experienced Country Director, provide support and guidance to volunteers and are available 24/7. Healthy and delicious meals are included, and prepared by the cooks, along with unlimited safe drinking water. Ground transportation to and from the airport, the volunteer work assignment, and all Cultural & Learning Activities is included and provided by our staff drivers in our vehicles.
Does the project require any special preparation? All volunteers are prepared by a Program Specialist, who is also an alumni. Preparation includes individual and group phone calls and emails and the online portal to complete paperwork and learn about the culture, history, and effective volunteering.
Overview of the tasks and time commitment needed from the participant. All volunteers can choose their length of stay in a program, for between 1 and 12 weeks. Volunteer work takes place each weekday morning for 4-5 hours, and Cultural & Learning Activities are provided most afternoons. These activities provide unique insights into the local community and culture, and include language lessons, reflection sessions, excursions to local points of interest, guest speakers, cooking lessons, and dance classes, among others. Volunteers have free time available most evenings and all weekends to explore the local community and country.
What specific skills, education, or experience must the participant have? What skills, education, or experience are desirable? Volunteer work assignments are arranged to provide meaningful and impactful experiences for volunteers with a wide range of skills, and each volunteer will be individually matched with a work assignment based on their skills and interests. We believe that all volunteers have something to contribute to their work assignments, and no specific skills are required.
Health and safety (site specific health and safety information). We take the safety of our volunteers seriously - it's our #1 priority. Our programming was built with your safety in mind - from the 30-point vehicle inspections conducted each day, to the local of our Home-Base and volunteer work assignments, to the attention to detail you'll see throughout our programs to ensure that you are safe and comfortable. Our in-country cooks are trained on safe food preparation, as well as preparing food for a wide range of dietary restrictions, preferences, and food allergies. All volunteers are provided with comprehensive travel medical and emergency evacuation insurance, and we've developed relationships with local hospitals and healthcare facilities for any healthcare needs. Additionally, our in-country staff is there to support you throughout your experience, and provide you with valuable guidance on your safety. You'll see our commitment to safety in every aspect of our program.
Inclusions/things to do (trips or extra features) Costa Rica volunteers will find themselves in a friendly and historical community with an exciting history and a wide range of Cultural & Learning Activities to keep them engaged. In Costa Rica, volunteers might find themselves visiting a coffee plantation, learning about the history of this former Costa Rican capital city, or cooking some delicious cuisine. Some of the most common weekend destinations (not included in the program fee) include a visit to beautiful local beaches or zip lining through the rainforest. Our full in-country staff are always on hand to provide tips and ideas to keep every day exciting and adventurous.
Orientation and Training (supervision and preparation the participant will receive) Following a comprehensive training with your Program Specialist (online and through phone/email), volunteers are provided with a full orientation upon arrival in-country. This orientation, led by the Country Director and in-country staff, includes guidance on effective volunteering for your work assignment, a crash language lesson, a guided tour of the local community, important health and safety information, and an introduction to the Home-Base, your supportive in-country staff, and your fellow volunteers. Our orientation doesn't end with just one day, however; the in-country staff are on hand throughout your experience and provide structured and unstructured reflection sessions throughout your time.
Costs (detailed list of what’s included/not included and per diem estimate) The program fee is comprehensive, providing you with a robust, well-rounded experience where you can truly make an impact, while having the experience of a lifetime. The program fee includes:
Accommodations in the Home-Base
Full, 24/7 support by an expert in-country staff of local nationals
A volunteer work assignment customized to your skills and interests
Unique and informative Cultural & Learning Activities
All meals, prepared by our in-country cooks
Unlimited safe drinking water
Ground transportation, to and from your volunteer work assignment, Cultural & Learning Activities, and the airport
Comprehensive travel medical and emergency evacuation insurance
Volunteers will be responsible for providing their own airfare, and for covering any weekend excursions (if selected) and personal expenses. For most volunteers, we recommend budgeting $50/week in addition to weekend trips.
Logistics. Volunteers will be guided through the preparation process by a dedicated Program Specialist, who's also an alumnus. Volunteers will arrange their own airport transportation to arrive at the airport in San Jose, Costa Rica on the volunteer start date, and will be welcomed by the in-country staff and transported to the Home-Base to start the volunteer experience. Volunteers should plan to depart on the end date of their program, which is the last Saturday of the experience.
Additional Information Your in-country experience will be led by the experienced Country Director, Jose Hernandez. Through his work with the University of Costa Rica’s International Programs department, the Foreign Service Foundation for Peace and Democracy, the United Nations Conference on the Environment, and the Close-Up Foundation in Washington, D.C., Jose brings with him extensive experience in the field of international development. Born and raised in Costa Rica, Jose is deeply involved in his community and especially committed to eliminating child abuse. A lifelong learner, Jose speaks fluent Spanish, English, and Portuguese, is currently studying International Relations and Diplomacy, and has set his sights on moonlighting as a DJ so he can make people dance.