Immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture when you travel to Quepos and volunteer on a community project helping disadvantaged children. Assist in an educational program focusing on life skills and emotional development as well as conversational English. Take advantage of the myriad of activities that this diverse coastal region has to offer, including surfing, horseback riding, scuba diving and zip lining in your free time.
Travel to Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast to join this community project volunteering to help disadvantaged children. You will live and work in Quepos, a short bus ride from the famous Manuel Antonio National Park and beach, where we work on an extra-curricular program focusing on childhood development, life skills, and conservation education.
Volunteers will be supporting local schools and communities, with a variety of activities depending on the community and local school requirements. Activities include lesson planning, life skills, environmental conservation, arts and crafts, construction, gardening, music, etc.
This programme provides you with an excellent opportunity to learn a new language and work with children at the same time. In the communities where our projects are based, you will be expected to make an effort to speak Spanish in order to communicate. A basic level of Spanish is required to effectively communicate with children and local community members. Speak to your Country Expert about fully preparing you for life on the programme by adding on group/1-on-1 Spanish lessons to your programme cost. We also strongly recommend that you start learning early in order to get the most out of your volunteering experience.
"The kids both within the school and the center can be a challenge to deal with, especially because of the language gap. However, the moments when you and the kids put effort into understanding each other and the concepts, a spark ignites. It is those moments that remind you why working with kids is so rewarding and memorable."
What's Not Included
Using a range of different techniques and activities including arts, music, sports and games you will incorporate English into instruction in order to improve English language skills. This program also has a strong focus on life skills and emotional development for the children and community development in the Quepos community.
Your days will be divided between planning lessons, brain-storming ideas, teaching lessons and leading various activities and community development initiatives and enjoying the local area.
Your accommodation will be shared with other GVI volunteers, like-minded individuals who will share the same desire to help and make a difference. The task of cooking and cleaning is shared among all volunteers and as meals are prepared and taken as a group you will develop strong friendships with your fellow volunteers. The volunteer house is small but comfortable in the centre of the typically Costa Rican town of Quepos.
What's Not Included
How this project makes a difference:
This project was developed in partnership with the local community in Quepos. Due to increased tourism in this region of Costa Rica, knowledge of the English language can significantly improve opportunities for local people. The individual attention you will give children can significantly improve the quality of their education, one of the most powerful tools in fighting poverty. The main aim of this project is to empower the children and ensure they gain basic and advanced skills to improve their quality of life.
What's Not Included
Our long-term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Our Quepos field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Costa Rica!
The volunteer house is located in the centre of the town of Quepos. You are given free time in the evenings after project and during the weekends to enjoy the local area. Quepos is also a fifteen-minute bus ride from the beautiful beach town of Manuel Antonio. During the weekends, you’re free to explore the beautiful surrounding areas.
Some volunteers have even visited the famous areas of La Fortuna or Monte Verde. Our experienced field staff on base are great at giving recommendations on good places to go when you have down time.
Meet Esther, our dynamic base manger at our hub here in Quepos. With a degree in Education of Music from the conservatory of Utrecht, she is the perfect person to oversee our community development programmes. Esther specialised in songwriting in sign language with deaf kids in Bolivia and later she got also specialised in teaching Dutch as a second language and recently she started an online master of Education in Spain.
She loves to travel and going on adventures, from skydiving in France to eating ceviche in Chile, from mount Kenya to a ger (white nomad tent) in the middle of the big nothing of Mongolia. She really likes GVI's view on development programmes and our passion to make this world a better place.
Meet Hector, our Community Field Staff Member in Quepos. He was a GVI marine conservation volunteer before becoming a staff member in Costa Rica, and the fact that GVI works together with local communities, protecting the natural environment and working towards making our world a better place first attracted him to GVI.
Hector studied Sustainable Tourism Development and has experience working with a company doing camps with children with special needs. His role as a community development staff member proves to be rewarding and he is enjoying it thoroughly; “when children smile it makes me feel so happy knowing that I am making a difference.”
Director of Programs
Meet Danny, our Director of Programs. Although he’s based in Playa del Carmen, Danny oversees the development and running of all of our field operations. He started out with GVI as our Country Director in Mexico and quickly became an invaluable part of the team.
Although being Director of Programs is a pretty demanding job, Danny manages to find time to do the other things he loves in-between. He’s an avid photographer and is always training for a triathlon or ironman.
What’s Danny’s favourite aspect of his job? “Starting new projects – we get lots of request for assistance and it’s difficult to decide when funds are limited. The evaluation process and those initial talks with local partners are very interesting. Seeing projects grow from an idea to full programs is very exciting. I also love the relationships you create with local organisations, they become friends and we jointly work to achieve the project aims.”
Cynthia Arochi Zendejas
Costa Rica Country Director
Meet Cynthia, our Country Director in Costa Rica. She started out with GVI as one of our National Scholarship Program participants in 2006 and later became our Programme Coordinator in Mexico. Her skills and enthusiasm just made it too hard to let her get away!
Cynthia is a certified Veterinarian, an EFR Instructor and holds a Master’s degree in International environmental Science. She is also a member of the Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation, chapter Costa Rica.
The most interesting things she’s experienced during life in the field? “Watching the turtles hatching! Also finding jaguar tracks and being able to participate in community tours.” Apart from those, Cynthia also loves arranging and participating in the fun Charity Challenges with volunteers.
What does Cynthia think volunteers bring to the projects? Since our goal is to provide support to local organisations which don’t have the human or economic resources to achieve their conservation or sustainable development objectives, our volunteers play a key role by being the hands needed, or helping to fund raise for those projects.”