Volunteering In Costa Rica

Volunteering In Costa Rica

Our family travels around the world has exposed us to some of the saddest realities of life that we address in this article about Volunteering In Costa Rica. For some of the less fortunate, the struggles to feed a family, afford their housing, buy school uniform, get a quality education and good mentors are just but a few of the difficulties that face them. Volunteering In Costa Rica and giving of love and time, however, proved to be a very rewarding experience for many of my traveling friends, and our heart is always to care for others as we travel the world.

So, in Costa Rica it is for this reason that organizations like Maximo Nivel take in volunteers from across the world to help put a smile on the faces of the less fortunate. Unless we are partnering with such volunteer organizations, we have developed a habit of participating in some random acts of kindness in all the countries we travel to. If not in schools, we go to more remote towns, to the villages, orphanages or slums.

Volunteering In Costa Rica

Our decision is always informed by our capacity to help at every stage of our journey:

Volunteering in Schools

The problem with public schools in poorer nations is that they lack teachers. They also lack textbooks for students, making it even harder for these students to fail in their quest for a bright future.

A visit, or partnering with organizations and volunteering In Costa Rica to assist these schools made us realize the high number of students who attend classes in torn uniforms and bare feet. Many of them don’t even have emotional support regardless of the issues they have to deal with back at home.

It is with this realization that we have always made it our culture to provide any of these needs in whenever we decide to volunteer in schools.  It is really important to organize to do so through a registered and recognized organization.

Volunteering in Remote Towns And Villages

We feel blessed to have met some of the kindest of hearts on our visits to remote towns in Costa Rica. For us, we love to perform ‘random acts of kindness’ so we help the poor and needy as we meet them on the streets. These people are always happy regardless of the little they have. Most have always appreciated the little items we give them. Time shared with them is always very much appreciated.

Volunteering In Costa Rica with an organization, however, opens up far greater opportunities, and you know you are working with people you can trust, and be helping the real needy. Unless we are volunteering as a group, we always want to restrict ourselves to only help a limited number of people.

While there, we always donate clothes, some of which we buy from local markets while others are always those that we no longer use.  One great thing about nomadic travel is that with seasonal changes we can give our excess clothing to the needy.

We take time to talk to them and listen to their stories. At the end of the day, we leave behind a more psyched up village whose members have a renewed positive self-believe. Our stay always depends on how long our visit is to a region as well as the list of places we plan to be within this time.

Volunteering In Costa Rica

©Exporamum and Explorason – Crossing the border is easier than this if you use a volunteer organization to assist you – Volunteering In Costa Rica

Volunteering in Orphanages

Children are the heritage of every nation. Their ambitions and dreams have to be nurtured if they are to grow up into responsible adults. While we enjoy buying them snacks, food, drinks, utensils, and books, we always feel more satisfied when we know we have made a positive impact on their lives through mentorship. We do this by sharing our life stories and those that would inspire them to be the best they can ever be.  This is especially so with the orphans we have assisted in the past.

It is worth noting there are needy people in every part of the world. Both in developing and developed nations. Some are financial while others are non-financial. Our advice to everyone desiring to be volunteers is that they ought to have a big heart. You need to be prepared to deal with all manner of challenges.

Volunteering In Costa Rica

©Exporamum and Explorason – volunteering means you can help in so many ways – even feeding local animals in the area you stay

Through it all, we have learned to be many things, including the ones below:

Emotionally Strong

Do not let your emotions make you operate beyond your budget. Maybe you can stretch it a bit, but not to a point of suffocation. I remember when we visited an orphanage and were overwhelmed by the great needs they had. While we had planned to get them food, snacks, and drinks, we discovered that they needed more. So we stretched our budget and did more than we had hoped to do.

While we did it wholeheartedly and it in no way had a negative effect on our finances, we later saw the need to be emotionally strong since it is only through this that we would make sound judgments on what to finance and what not to finance.

Volunteering In Costa Rica with a recognized organization means you know in advance your financial commitment.

Volunteering In Costa Rica

©Exporamum and Explorason – Starting the day out with breakfast in our Costa Rica accommodation

Time Sensitive

There are very many occasions when we decided to independently volunteer our services in villages, small communities, towns, orphanages, and schools for a specific duration a day but ended up spending more time there. We found ourselves taking 4 hours in places where we thought we would spend a maximum of 2 hours. As a result, we had to reschedule our other plans and make other visits to parks and attractions shorter. We even missed some appointments.

From this, we have learned to allocate enough time to volunteer activities. If you are visiting as a group, at least one person should act as a timekeeper. I always leave this job to Explorason, agreeing that he will tap me some minutes before time.

With such strategy, I do not lose track on time and get late on our other appointments.

However, when you are volunteering In Costa Rica, it is best to be are guided and given the timeframe to work within.  This greatly assists us too.

Volunteering In Costa Rica

©Exporamum and Explorason – Police assist in protecting the streets of San Jose to ensure your safety

Careful With Our items

When you donate gifts to places like orphanages, there is always a high chance that your items will get mixed up with them. As a result, they are likely to end up in wrong hands and get damaged or lost before you even notice. While this has never happened to us, we have heard of people who lost their valuables while on a volunteer mission.

Every volunteer should understand that the safety of their valuables is always their number one priority. Know where your wallet, camera, and bags are at any particular time. If there is no secure storage area, carry them everywhere with you. As you do this, be careful not to make the people feel like you do not trust them. As you will realize, some of the people in this places are always honest and can be trusted.

If you are volunteering In Costa Rica, the organization should have prepared a safe place for your valuables for you.

Open Minded

Experiences differ from places to place. There are places you will visit and have the worst experience. There are however those you will visit and have a great experience. Do not take one bad experience to mean that it will always be like that everywhere you go.

Try being open-minded and always expect the best if you are volunteering In Costa Rica. Doing a bit of a research on the places you plan to visit is one of the ways you can avoid negative experiences as it gives you an opportunity to select the wheat from the chaff.

It is also important not to listen to other people’s negative experiences, as we each have our own encounters and your life is unique to you.

All in all, do not be faint-hearted and be prepared. Volunteering might just open you up to the most extraordinary experience of a lifetime!


Have you ever volunteered before?

Did you do it alone or through a recognized organization?

Volunteering In Costa Rica

©Exporamum and Explorason – lush jungle vegetation means some areas are remote.

39 thoughts on “Volunteering In Costa Rica

  1. Wow. That’s so good of you both to do such random acts of kindness. Even a pair of shoes would make a difference for that one person. Every little bit helps. Volunteering is a great thing to do and I admire volunteers so much. Lovely to read this.

  2. This is such a wonderful way to see the world. I can imagine how rewarding it is for your children to learn and experience other cultures in this way.

  3. Great advice on volunteering in Costa Rica. I went to a retreat high up in a cloud forest and I know the doctor that puts on the retreat always stays a few extra days to treat people in the nearby village. I look forward to making this idea part of my next travel experience.

  4. An experience of Volunteering like u had at Costa Rica is very inspirational. You have shown all the colour of life which you experienced marvellously. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Wonderful idea to volunteer with a young child! When I will have child I will try to grow him like this, bring on adventures and show the world. I have volunteered in Wadi Rum desert and teached English at a camp in Ukraine. I would love to do more volunteering projects, but it is quite time consuming and trips should be longer 🙁 Thanks for the article!

  6. Ah I’ve looked at volunteering abroad programs before but have never actually done one. It must be such an incredible experience. I would love to visit Costa Rica so would be amazing. Love your tips – about keeping your emotions in check and being open minded!

  7. What a great experience! We’ve spent some time in Costa Rica and also discovered it is a completely different country when you get away from the beach and tourist hot spots. It looks like you both made a real difference in some lives (and your own too I’m sure).

  8. Wow, so amazing! When I was a teenager I help build an orphanage in Mexico. The experience has always be stuck in my mind and love to do something similar one day. Thanks for the great tips!

  9. Great post. I’d love to volunteer in Costa Rica.

    I went to Northern China 5 times in 2019 to volunteer with an organization saving dogs from the dog meat trade. On top of volunteering at the safe house, I also flew over 30 dogs to their forever homes in the US. It was such an amazing experience.

    One day when the pandemic is over, I hope to volunteer abroad again.

  10. You’re epic! I love this so much! I’ve done lots of volunteering over the years but not much with the kids, and as soon as the pandemic is over cant wait to take out children to do things like this too! SO inspirational 🙂

  11. We try to always visit an orphanage depending on where we are traveling. Our last try they wouldn’t really let us do anything except drop stuff off. Maybe because of covid.

  12. Wow, this is such a great story.
    I volunteered when I was 18 in Ecuador through a registered organization, and it changed my life! Since then I have worked in charitable organizations for livelihood projects and environmental conservation – two topics super close to my heart.
    My daughter basically grew up in a volunteering project in Nepal, I was the volunteer coordinator there for the first 5 years of her life. The experience was amazing for her, she got to meet people from all over the world and worked closely with the Nepalese farmers. I am sure this experience will stay with her forever!
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. We visited Costa Rica three years ago when our son was 5 and we LOVED it. The people were some of the nicest in the world and we loved the jungle, the beaches, and the wildlife – we had monkeys coming right up to the door! But it was clear in some areas that there was a very great need. How wonderful for you to be setting such a great example of “see a need, meet a need” for your boy!

  14. How amazing! I assume it’s high-quality which you and your own circle of relatives volunteer whilst you travel. I wish to try this one day! Thanks for the inspiration.

  15. I volunteered in the highlands of Peru after college and had similar experiences, so life changing to meet the most generous people and learn from them. You quickly find out that your volunteering has a lot less impact on them then it does on you! Costa Rica would be a wonderful place to visit and volunteer, adding to my list!
    Thanks for this great article!

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