Programme: Volunteer with Children Manuel Antonio Travel to Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast to join this community project volunteering to help disadvantaged children. Volunteers will live in Manuel Antonio, home to the famous Manuel Antonio National Park and beach, and work in the nearby town of Quepos. Focusing on lending assistance to the local school district to make up for a shortage of teachers, volunteers will plan and assist in general education lessons, organize art workshops and games.
While living in Quepos, volunteers will experience an intimate and unfiltered look into the Costa Rican “pura vida” culture while learning Spanish, meeting new people and improving the education available to local children.
This programme runs for 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20 and 24 weeks. Contact us to find out the dates and start planning your adventure!
Room & Board (any housing, food, and transportation included). During your project dates your accommodation and food are included in the project cost. The research station is located in Quepos. Facilities will be more basic than volunteers are accustomed to so will need to travel with an open mind and a willingness to adapt to local conditions.
Accommodation is in shared (mixed sex) dorms (4 or 10 beds) with shared bathroom facilities. There is running water available for washing and cooking, with suitable water for drinking and brushing teeth. Flush toilet facilities are available. There is a laundromat, restaurants and a grocery store a short stroll from the base.
Participants share responsibility for base duties, including cooking, cleaning, and other chores. Food is very basic and mostly vegetarian, with meat rarely available. Breakfast could be porridge or occasionally pancakes, typical lunches and evening meals may include lentils, chicpeas, pasta, beans, or rice, with vegetables. Fresh fruit is provided.
Does the project require any special preparation? All volunteers are encouraged to learn more about local history, culture and customs before travelling. All training will be taught in the field. Volunteers not fluent in Spanish will be required to participate in a minimum of 20 hours of Spanish once in the field. This is an additional cost. Volunteers are required to be fluent in English.
Overview of the tasks and time commitment needed from the participant. This expedition requires a full time commitment. Volunteers will work according to the school week, Monday through Friday with weekends free to relax and explore the surrounding area.
While working volunteers will spend most of their time with children aged 2-16 in the local community, assisting teachers with their classes, and planning and leading small group sessions.
Volunteers should be prepared to participate with other activities such as arts & crafts projects, sports, environmental education or English lessons, giving a fully rounded community immersion.
What specific skills, education, or experience must the participant have? What skills, education, or experience are desirable? Volunteers need not have any specific skills just an enthusiasm and passion for contributing to the project and the local partner objectives. Volunteers need to be physically fit and healthy as they will be hiking long distances daily. As a result of the basic living conditions volunteers need to be flexible and able to work well in teams and people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds.
Volunteers will need to be fluent in English. Spanish is beneficial but not essential.
Health and safety (site specific health and safety information). A change of environment, climate, food and lifestyle often results in minor, and occasionally more serious, illness.
Inclusions/things to do (trips or extra features). Volunteers are welcome to organize side trips for their free time or pre or post their project experience. All associated costs and travel expenses are not included in the project fee and need to be factored into the volunteer's own budget. On weekends and downtime, the region around Manuel Antonio plays host to pristine beach's and hiking trails in the National Park. Volunteers can go on a canopy and zip-lining tour through the treetops of the rainforest; visit the small souvenir shops at the beachfront or cafes along the way and watch the world go by; take surf lessons or surf some of the neighboring breaks in this famous surf destination.
Further afield volunteers can visit the Volcan Arenal and relax in the natural hot springs near by or explore the Osa Peninsula and Corcovado National Park. For the advanced surfer, aim for Pavones, the second longest left break in the world; spot migratory raptor birds in the Talamanca Mountains and visit indigenous villages; go deep sea fishing in the Pacific Ocean; canoe or kayak along the waterways in the local area on organised river tours; visit the Caribbean coast, snorkel and go wildlife watching in Cahuita National Park; go white water rafting on the world famous Pacuare river – rapids classed III to IV; climb Volcan Irazu and visit coffee farms on the way back to San Jose; back in the capital, visit the Gold Museum or the Jade Museum, attend a play in one of the numerous theaters or take in the Latin American vibe with its lively nightlife.
Orientation and Training (supervision and preparation the participant will receive). Staff in the field will provide training on the skills required, but you may benefit from learning more about local history, culture and customs before you travel.
Costs (detailed list of what’s included/not included and per diem estimate). What's included:
Pre-departure support and discounted services
24-hour emergency phone
Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
Long term experienced staff
All necessary project training by experienced staff
All necessary project equipment and materials
24-hour in-country support
Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
What's not included:
Medical and travel insurance
Additional drinks and gratuities
Extra local excursions
International and domestic airport taxes
20 hours of Spanish lessons, essential unless you are already fluent
Additional Information. Field staff advise that you enter the country using a tourist visa. For most nationalities this doesn’t need to be arranged in advance. Check with the immigration authorities of the countries you intend to visit.