CHILDCARE VOLUNTEERING EXPERIENCE
Spend two or four weeks having a unique experience helping underprivileged children in Costa Rica.
Walk through the historic buildings of San Jose, full of rich culture, or travel to the beautiful beaches of Manuel Antonio, famous for its surfing culture, horseback riding and white water rafting.
Amongst these beautiful sights and cultural activities in these two locations, there are a range of childcare centres that are understaffed and under resourced. Many children at these centres are from impoverished local communities; affected by a poor lifestyle at home and with little or no education. [Read below for more info ↓]
With limited spaces, the exact cost of the 2 week experience is US $1350 but if you register in the next 7 days we can squeeze it down to US $1250 which comes in at about US $89 per day. The two week extension is US $750.
This goes towards covering everything from in-country transport and accommodation, to project fees and staff support. Please note that your international flights are not included in the above price.
To secure your spot you pay a deposit of US $250 (you can then pay the rest in weekly instalments or in full a couple of months before you travel). We also provide you with a comprehensive travel guide which covers everything from what to bring to travel insurance and international flight recommendations.
Locations: San Jose and Manuel Antonio
Experience Length: Minimum of 2 weeks (with optional extensions)
Work Type: Supporting underprivileged local children
Arrival Airport: San Jose International Airport (Code: SJO)
Finish Date: The program will end at your project location (San Jose or Manuel Antonio) on the Friday either two or four weeks after your start date (depending on the duration you book)
Recommendations: Healthy, no maximum age, minimum age is 17, (written consent is needed for anyone between 17-18years old from a parental/guardian). Open-minded and willing to be accepting of a very different culture.
During the childcare project you may be working in either an orphanage or another form of childcare facility such as a community center in an impoverished area. Our partner in Costa Rica recognises how much these children need and how important it is to have volunteers to to give companionship and care, something which they are not always able to receive from the local staff. Through assigning volunteers to this project, the team are able to ensure that the local staff are supported and that the children are given the time and attention needed to learn important life skills and be creatively stimulated.
The children at the projects we work with require a lot of care, attention and most importantly, companionship. Volunteers will assist with organizing activities for the children as well as helping them with their school work. Volunteers are encouraged to use their skills and interests to develop workshops such as music and dance, jewelry making, aerobics, arts and crafts, etc.
You will be supported by our partner organisation's in-country coordinators but they will not be on site with you at your project; here you will be working alongside the local project staff. The placements can feel disorganised, understaffed and underfunded which is exactly why volunteers are needed here and held in such high regard. The children love having volunteers and are extremely welcoming which makes it extremely rewarding.
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Every day on this project is unbelievable and unforgettable – guaranteed! Here are a few snippets to whet your appetite:
- If you arrive into San Jose's international airport (SJO) on the official start day, we'll arrange for you to be met and transferred to your host family to start your adventure
- In-depth orientation in San Jose
- Walking tour of San Pedro – the vibrant district in the heart of downtown San Jose
- Accommodation with a local host family
- All volunteering project materials and guidance
- Daily support from our experience team of coordinators
- Detailed pre-departure information to help you prepare for your time with us
Volunteers will be accommodated in a local family-stay. All families selected for this are pre-approved, and the program fees cover breakfast and dinner from Monday through to Sunday. Most family-stays include a shared room (most homes have 2-4 beds in one room) and shared bathroom facilities, with many of the families having hosted volunteers for years.
Volunteers are given a key to the house and are free to come and go as they please, but must respect the routine and rules of the house they are staying in. All family-stays are within 10-30 minutes walking distance (or within a 5-15 minute bus or taxi ride) from our partner organisation offices.
Housing rules have a strict alcohol or drugs on the premises at any time.
Local Costa Rican food is provided at breakfast and dinner at the home stay in San Jose. Lunch is not included and volunteers should budget around US $5-$8/day for this.
- Minimum age of 17, however participants aged 17 will need a signed consent from a parent or guardian
- Good level of fitness
- Enthusiasm and flexibility – schedules can change without notice due to uncontrollable factors
- Willingness to get your hands dirty and work as a team
- An open respect for other cultures and customs
- Travel and medical insurance
- All accommodation
- 24/7 support
- Project donation and supplies
- International flights
- Spending money
- Public transport to and from project
- Travel visa - if required; please check with the Consulate or Embassy closest to you
- Meals and drinks, other than those stated in the above description
- Travel and medical insurance
- Onward transport from your project location at the end of your placement (you should budget around USD $5 - $10 for the taxi ride back to San Jose
Childcare Volunteer Experience (14 days)
US $1250: US $89 per day
Childcare Volunteer Experience 2 week extension
Please note that your international flights are not included in the above price.
To secure your spot, you pay a deposit of US $250 - you can then choose to pay the remainder in weekly instalments or as one lump sum a couple of months before the experience starts. Once you have made the deposit payment, you will receive a comprehensive experience guide which covers everything from what to bring, to travel insurance and international flight recommendations.
San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, is the gateway to both the Pacific and Caribbean Coasts. The city is located in the Central Valley and lies between three volcanoes. It's a very modern, cosmopolitan city, offering a great selection of nightlife, theatre and tourism options.
It is relatively easy to navigate your way around Costa Rica, and the public transport is considered the best in the whole of Central America. San Jose offers something for all visitors, from low budget traditional meals starting from US $4 to expensive international cuisines.
On arrival into San Jose, because it's so easy to become lost in a world of sensory overload, our team will collect you from the airport and transfer you to the starting point, your centrally located host family. You'll have plenty of time to rest, refresh and settle in before your orientation and getting started.
If you plan to arrive into Costa Rica early, you may need to make your own accommodation arrangements until our official arrival day. Please speak with the team and we can confirm this for you.
Like a lot of countries Costa Rica celebrate different public holidays throughout the year. During these times some projects and public transport may be disrupted! You can find out when the holidays fall by clicking this link https://www.officeholidays.com/countries/costa_rica/index.php
There are great online resources for finding cheap flights, such as www.skyscanner.com or www.google.com/flights. If you would like to speak to an agent you can use our preferred agent by clicking on this link www.wearebamboo.com/tours/sta-flights.php.
Please book a flight that arrives into San Jose's international airport (named Juan Santamaria with airport code SJO) on your chosen arrival date. If you arrive into Costa Rica before your chosen arrival date, you may need to make arrangements for your early accommodation, but just get in touch with our team who can give you more details.
When you have your flight booked, you must send us the flight number (usually a code consisting of two letters and three numbers, for example BA009) and the arrival time. Without this information, we cannot collect you from the airport and that would just suck!
It's also a great idea if you can send us a number for a mobile or cell phone that you plan to bring with you so that we can contact you if, for some reason, we're unable to locate you at the airport.
Your project will end either in San Jose or Manuel Antonio (depending on where your placement is). Of course our team will help you to organise transportation for where you need to get to next but you will need to pay for your onward travel yourself.
SPENDING MONEY AND CURRENCY
The 'Colon' is the official currency of Costa Rica and, money-wise, the best thing to do is to bring an ATM or major credit card as well as some US Dollars to exchange. ATMs are easily accessible in major cities and tourist areas and generally dispense both colons and dollars.
As we're not medical professionals, we're not permitted to give medical advice. Center for Disease Control (CDC) is a good site for reference - https://www.cdc.gov/
However, Please do seek medical advice from your GP or local medical travel clinic for the most up to date information.
To confirm your place on the program, we just require a deposit of USD $250. This is one of our most popular programs and does have limited numbers so to ensure you can get a placement confirmed, we suggest sending this deposit as soon as possible. Once we have received your deposit, your placement will be confirmed by email. If you haven't received that email in 48 hours, please check your spam or junk folder.
We require your placement to be paid in full 90 days before your arrival date. We can set you up with a weekly payment plan if you prefer - just contact our team to make that happen
Throughout your project, you will have access to our award-winning team of coordinators. They are there to help you understand the Costa Rican culture and customs, to help you with arrangements, answer any questions and to ensure that you enjoy your time to its fullest. If at any time you have an issue in general or on your placement, you must speak to your coordinators immediately. In almost all cases, whatever the issue is, we will be able to get things resolved quickly and with minimum effect to your placement.
HOW CAN I BE SURE THIS IS NOT A SCAM
We have been operating for over 15 years, have placed over 25,000 people and have an experienced team with a wealth of knowledge and passion! But don't just take our word for it - if you visit our website www.wearebamboo.com/about/verifications.php where you can see our accreditation and view over 1000+ reviews.