Volunteer with Children in Costa Rica

Volunteer on childhood development projects, learn Spanish, and explore Costa Rica in your free time.

Durations:  1 - 12 weeks

Program information

Contribute to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals #4, Quality Education by supporting childhood development initiatives in the Central Valley region of Costa Rica. In your free time, take advantage of the myriad of adventure activities that this diverse mountainous l region has to offer, including hiking, volcanoes, botanical gardens and coffee plantations.

undefined 31 May 2022

Included in your program

Make the most of our unique programs with these exclusively curated local adventure and wellness experiences.

Learn to cook Costa Rican food

Visit a Cabécar village

Discover local medicinal plants

Kayak in a hidden lagoon

Hike through a riverbed

Visit a working fruit plantation

Hike through virgin rainforest to a waterfall

White water raft down the Pacuare River

Connect with our alumni
Want to connect with some of our past participants about their adventures? Get in touch with hundreds of friendly ambassadors all over the world who would be more than happy to answer any questions.
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Sophie Bird

11 Aug, 2021
What can I say about my time with GVI? Well for starters in a couple weeks I am away to go back to Costa Rica with GVI to join the teaching internship! Not only am I thankful to GVI for an incredible, unforgettable experience but they offered fantastic support from start to finish and whilst there I fell in love with the country, people and created an extended family with my fellow volunteers and field staff. During my volunteer time I was fortunate enough to see what positive impacts GVI has in the local community and how powerful working together to support long term goals can be. My first time out made me fall in love with teaching and has spurred me on to become a fully qualified primary teacher. Now going back a second time (different location in Costa Rica) I am able to bring my experience and knowledge into the teaching internship and fall in love with the country all over again. GVI go above and beyond to ensure you are fully prepared for going out to location, you are safe and healthy on location, you have a stress free time and most importantly you have an unforgettable experience! I am looking forward to going back (first of many more programme trips with GVI) and seeing where this takes me in the future!

Carla Blackman

11 Oct, 2018
In the summer of 2017 I did the Quepos , Costa Rica Programme. In this Programme you have two options.1) Teaching English 2) Childcare. If you pick the teaching English programme you still get to participate a small bit in childcare and depending on how long you’re doing the programme for you can also have the option of doing both. Two years ago I did an internship teaching English in Thailand and ever since I did that I had a taste for wanting to go abroad again to do it however I wanted to do it volunteering. I did my research and GVI defiantly seemed the most reliable and best on according to reviews etc. I emailed them and they got in contact straight away. A typical day for me when I was doing my programme, well let’s just say the teaching English people had it very very good. Unlike the childcare who had classes from 9am-3pm we only ever had one class at 4pm-6pm Tuesday-Thursday. On Mondays, we all sat down together in the mornings and did lesson planning planning then we went for lunch as a group. The other days when we had classes we would get last minute preparations done and if we had time , we could go to the beach which was 15 minutes walking distance or sometimes even visit Manuel Antionio which was incredible. Fridays we got the do Childcare. My biggest challenge overall was definitely the language barrier. Where I was teaching their first language is Spanish but the majority of my students had very poor English. When I was teaching them, it was a lot more difficult to try and explain certain things. However, we were given the opportunity to take Spanish lessons over there, which of course I did and I have to say made such a big difference. The Staff and Volunteers Couldn’t possibly have been more helpful. Whether they’re new like yourself or have been there a year, everyone tries extremely hard to make sure your time in the programme is as pleasant as possible. I honestly felt comfortable and relaxed within one day of being in the house. GVI has defiantly gained me a lot more confidence as a person as it defiantly does take a lot for a person to do something like that so you defiantly come back feeling a lot more fulfilled about yourself and more appreciative of life in general, therefore I think feeling like that in general can have a huge impact in your life. On the First 2-3 days, I received Orientations and training. I was told everything I needed to know about the country, the people, the culture etc. Then after that they went into huge detail about the students and classes that’ll you’ll be in so that you’re going in with some sort of idea on what to expect. Then on your first day the staff guided me a long and helped make sure that I felt like I was helping out enough. I would obviously highly recommend this to everyone. It’s a great way to not only travel and see the world and experience different cultures but you also get the opportunity to give back to the world and help other people who may or may not have a life as good as yours. In my eyes, I feel that doing this programme you really do have the best of both worlds. Yes you will be out of your comfort zone when your first arrive but its always worth it in the end.

Chloe Hodge

11 Oct, 2018
I can remember my first few weeks on my first project, Teach English in Quepos, CR, and I actually can’t believe that I’m the same person. I was nervous, quiet, self-conscious of my poor Spanish skills, and honestly wondering if I was ‘good’ enough to be where I was. I can’t remember exactly what it was, whether it was the children on project, my fellow volunteers, the GVI staff, the incredibly welcoming local community, or a combination of the lot, but one day I woke up and was exactly where I was supposed to be. I felt the most overwhelming sense of pride whenever one of my students would reiterate something I’d taught them in class. The things that I’d initially struggled with I turned into my strengths on the project: I was avidly creating lesson plans to cater to each of my class’s learning styles, eagerly waiting to get stuck into each new day on project, and the children were MORE than happy to help me with my Spanish skills. Throughout my time in Quepos, I watched all the children grow and develop their skills and personalities in such remarkable ways, and I was immensely humbled to be a small part of that. I left Costa Rica with a heavy heart as, given half a chance, I would have stayed on with the project for as long as I possibly could. I spent the next 4 years daydreaming of my last trip, wondering how the children of El Cocal were, and imagining myself on Manuel Antonio beach with my fellow volunteers after a great day on project. So, when I saw a ‘GVI Alumni Trip’ email ping into my inbox, I jumped at the opportunity and the next thing I knew I was heading to the Teaching and Healthcare project in Gordon’s Bay, Cape Town. The project in Gordon’s Bay was, again, life changing for me. A personal highlight was being able to work with the project’s resident children: singing songs, providing basic healthcare and enjoying sensory activities throughout the day. For the alums, our time on the project ended much too soon, and in fact two of our alumni group have since returned to work on the project long term (something I am admittedly incredibly envious of). We spent our final day as an alumni group exploring the beautiful Cape Peninsula led by a tour guide who looked suspiciously like Chris Pratt with (much to his annoyance) most of this tour being set to the sound of 5 GVI alums belting out the Jurassic Park theme tune. There is something incredible about contributing to these projects, something that sticks and, although I came back to my 9-5 life, I haven’t been able to shake the ever growing drive to do more. GVI offered me the opportunity to meet people I would never have otherwise met, go places I would never have even known about, and to be part of something significant and truly impactful. The team are always incredible, from the point you start thinking about joining a project, to the time you get home and join the GVI alumni community. I cannot wait to get out onto my next project and would highly encourage anyone currently thinking about volunteering abroad to have a chat with the guys at GVI – they’ll take awesome care of you!

Julie Clark

25 Nov, 2013
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.