Volunteer in Costa Rica

Volunteer in Costa Rica with INLEX and join a dedicated team of international volunteers making a positive impact in various fields. Alternatively, you can intern as well if you have experience in the chosen program or related field.

Why volunteer in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is widely known as a destination of great biodiversity, great beaches, warm culture, and stunning natural wonders. By joining our volunteer program in Costa Rica or internship program you will be able to experience Costa Rica in a very different and authentic way, immersing yourself in the “tico”(Costa Rican) way of life.
You will be working alongside other international volunteers and interns, making a positive impact in needed areas of Costa Rica. There are many fields to choose from including education, construction, medical programs and more. If you don’t find what you are looking for, get in touch with us as new opportunities are always becoming available.

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Why intern in Costa Rica?

Working since 2005, INLEX has created a wide network of opportunities for internships in Costa Rican organization and companies. Internships are available in different fields and some require previous knowledge, see below what we have available.

What is the difference between volunteering or interning ?

Program information at glance

Most of our programs are located in San Ramon de Alajuela and neighboring towns.
Wildlife programs are located on the pacific coast and central rain forest regions.

Pickups are available from 8 am-10:30 pm on specified dates.

Can’t make it these dates?

Let us know, we are flexible!

2020:

May

3, 17,31

June

7, 14,21,28

July

5, 12, 19, 26

August

9,16,30

September

6, 20

October

4, 18

November

8, 22,29

December

6, 13

2021:

Month

Costa Rica

January

10, 24,31

February

7, 21, 28

March

7, 14, 21

April

4, 11, 18, 25

May

2, 16, 23, 30

June

6, 13, 20, 27

July

4, 11, 18, 25

August

1, 8, 22, 29

September

5, 12, 19, 26

October

3, 17, 24, 31

November

7, 14, 21

December

5, 12

We don’t expect volunteers or interns to be experts in Spanish, but we expect them to be able to communicate in their projects.
If you don’t know Spanish, don’t worry! We offer intensive Spanish classes before your program.
Interns are expected to have a higher level of Spanish in general

    • Welcome at the airport and private transport to your host family.
    • 24-hour on-call support from in-country staff and emergency assistance.
    • Program and project orientation.
    • Walking tour of local community Private room accommodation (shared bathroom) with a host family with two meals per day OR shared room in hostel accommodation with breakfast. 
    • Certificate of completion of the program

Extra costs:

    • Flights to and from Costa Rica
    • Transportation upon finishing the program
    • Mandatory health/medical insurance. If you don’t have health insurance you can buy a policy from our partners.

Two accommodation choices are available:

Host Family: You will be provided with a bed in a welcoming local host family near your project. The host family provides two meals per day.

Volunteer hostel: The hostel option is for people who want to meet other travelers and volunteers. The accommodation is dormitory-style with a locker.

Many volunteers are surprised to find that they have to pay a fee, but in order to make our programs sustainable, we have to charge a fee per volunteer. Many of the costs are incurred even before you leave your home country.

Included in your program are Spanish classes (if you included them), housing, food, orientation, walking tour, emergency support, transport from the airport, use of our facilities, etc. Your fees go into paying our kind staff, teachers, legal fees, taxes, host families, food, transportation, internet, phone bills, other utilities, maintenance, rental space, insurance, office supplies, the volunteer application process, emergency support, arranging and designing all of our programs, infrastructure, maintaining our website, making promotional material, establishing new partnerships with other organizations and much more! But most importantly, these fees go into making sure you have great experience volunteering and everything runs smoothly.

You will arrive at Juan Santamaría international airport where you will be greeted by one of our friendly staff members. Please look for a sign with your name on it. From the airport, you will be transported to your accommodation.

Airport information: http://www.fly2sanjose.net/

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU ENTER COSTA RICA WITH A RETURN TICKET WITHIN 90 DAYS AFTER YOUR ARRIVAL DATE, OF WHICH YOU CAN CHANGE AFTER ENTERING THE COUNTRY. COSTA RICAN IMMIGRATION MAY DENY YOUR ENTRY IF YOUR EXIT TICKET IS NOT WITHIN THE 90 DAY PERIOD.

Costs vary depending on how long you want to stay, visit our costs section and options you choose.

The richness of Costa Rica stems from the cultural diversity of its people. Throughout its history, waves of immigrants have added to the pre-Hispanic native populations, settling on this land and making it their home.

Presently, in addition to the majority Mestizo demographic, there are several colonial and national immigrant ethnicities that have restored their unique cultural heritage like African descendants, Chinese, Hebrews, Lebanese, Italians, etc., as well as native people of Bribri, Cabécar, Maleku, Teribe, Boruca, Ngöbe, Huetar and Chorotega.

Currency: El Colón, USD 1.00 = ¢ 600.00 (average exchange rate, September 2018). The US Dollar can be used in some touristic places but not throughout the whole country.

Climate: The country has a tropical and subtropical climate and is part of the Neotropic Ecozone. Costa Rica’s dry season in most places is from December to April, while the rainy season is from May to November. The average temperature is from 18ºC – 30ºC.

Typical food: Gallo Pinto and Casado are typical dishes in the country but you will find that it differs by region. The basic diet includes beans, rice, meat, seafood, all kind of fresh vegetables and fruits, bread and tortillas which is what you will be mainly eating.

Project options at glance in Costa Rica

+ Volunteer with children

Volunteer with children in Costa Rica by working in a daycare where you will be assisting local staff with cooking, elaborating educational material, playing games, teaching basic colors, letters and creating a safe environment for children from low-income communities. ​

+ Volunteer in education

Volunteer teaching children in schools of after school programs. You can teach a class directly or become a teacher assistant depending on the group, knowledge in a specific field, and other factors. Popular subjects include English teaching, math, art, science, and other core subjects.

+ Wildlife

Volunteer with wildlife in Costa Rica and support rich biodiversity. Volunteers work in wildlife refuges and re-rehabilitation centers with a variety of local species.

+ Sea turtles

Volunteer with sea turtles in the pacific coast of Costa Rica by helping during their nesting season in hatcheries,beach patrols and preservation education.

+ Volunteer in Environmental preservation

Environmental preservation volunteers work in national parks, environmental reservations, and research stations. The work revolves around keeping a healthy Eco-system, educational campaigns and sometimes research.

+ Pre med volunteering / Health care

Pre-med volunteering is perfect for people who are in pre-med stages or are thinking of majoring in medicine or a related field. As opposed to the medical intern program, volunteers in health support schools, elderly homes, chronic pain clinics, and programs for individuals with disabilities.

+ Special education volunteer

This program is designed to make the most out of education tailored to individuals with special needs. Volunteers in this program will be assisting and helping educate of people with various mental and physical disabilities.

+ Volunteer in construction

Are you good working with your hands and creating? Volunteer in Costa Rica in construction. In the project, you can help build or renovate houses, schools, community centers and more. Great for the physically active!

+ Women empowerment

Volunteer in Costa Rica in the women empowerment program that aims to teach low income and vulnerable women to overcome difficult situations; by giving them tools through education to improve their quality of life and heir families.

+ Medical internships

Costa Rica offers free healthcare to its citizens, but resources are limited and help is always needed. In the Medical internship program, you will be working side by side with Costa Rican doctors and nurses to treat patients in rural clinics or hospitals.

+ Microfinance and business training

The microfinance and business internship program is perfect for people with a background in finance, economics, accounting, marketing, and related fields. Interns in this program work to mentor small and medium business owners to have sustainable growth and the right tools to manage their company and small loans.

+ Physiotherapy internships

The physiotherapy internship program is for people that are studying or have completed a degree in physiotherapy, rehabilitation or occupational therapy. The clinic in Costa Rica focuses on individuals with restricted mobility and chronic pain. Interns can also help in physiotherapy sessions at an assisted living facility.

+ Veterinary

The veterinary volunteer program places vet students in clinics where they can assist veterinary doctors and technicians. Volunteers can work with animals by assisting doctors in medical procedures, feeding, bathing, brushing, obedience training, administering medicine, cleaning cages, and animal rehabilitation. Depending on experience, interns can help in vaccinations, surgeries, and diagnosis.

Why volunteer in Costa Rica with INLEX?

“Volunteering was always on my to do list and I was glad I had the chance to explore and travel Costa Rica this way. I loved my short time in San Ramon staying with my new family! Thanks to the staff and all the other volunteers for making this such a great experience!”

Hugh 23-USA
5/5