Kaya Community Development Volunteering in Costa Rica

Cause Areas


It's flexible! We'll work with your schedule.


Alajuela,San Jose,Atenas, Central PacificNA, Costa Rica NACR


Mother and Child Nutrition

Volunteer in Costa Rica and you can help provide access to good food on this mother and child nutrition project. It is a challenge for some poor and vulnerable communities in Costa Rica to eat well and serve balanced meals. The objective is to improve the quality of life of those in need by providing food, dietary and basic well-being education. In addition, the project provides childcare so that parents can go out to work.

This mother and child nutrition volunteer placement supports nutrition centres as well as an old people’s home. It also helps women who have suffered abuse and are in need of security for themselves and their children and disadvantaged communities. You will see that some families can’t provide more than 1 meal per day for themselves or their families. You will work with project staff with young children from broken homes, whose parents suffer from alcoholism or drug addictions.

The nutrition centres focus on the healthy development of the beneficiaries as well as giving them food. The government supplies some the food and in addition women who run the nutrition centre grow vegetables to supplement meals. Volunteer in Costa Rica and you can be a part of essential work supporting the most vulnerable in the community.

Volunteering for 16 and 17 year olds in Costa Rica

If you are looking to spend your holidays doing something different and help others through volunteering overseas why not join Kaya and work on one of 4 projects in Costa Rica that accept 16 and 17 year olds. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can join local staff and older volunteers to work in schools, childcare centres, a coffee cooperative or a turtle protection project.

The projects support communities in and around Atenas, and for many a low level of income is generated from agricultural activities such as coffee or orchid growing. The communities rely on drop in nutrition centres, located next to elementary schools where children can have a meal and nutritious snacks while their parents work. The parents are often looking to generate extra income which is why coffee cooperatives have been set up. Children are taken to childcare centres so parents are able to work. In elementary schools, there is often a lack of resources and extra classroom help is always welcomed. There is also a project which protects land turtles, which are often overlooked in favour of sea turtles.

Bring your enthusiasm and willingness to help where needed and support local communities and initiatives in Costa Rica through volunteering in your spare time.

Family Volunteering: Community Beautification and Development Projects in Costa Rica

Despite being derived from the Spanish for "Rich Coast", Costa Rica still endures relatively high poverty levels, especially in rural areas. Levels have been reduced in recent years thanks to improving tourism, agriculture and electronic exports. To support this trend and ensure community and environmental work continues to make a difference, volunteer as a family and support a number of projects around this agricultural town.

For families that would like a varied experience, volunteering in Costa Rica allows you to choose one or two projects from four to spend time on. As projects are all located around the area of Atenas, there is flexibility for children to choose their own projects, giving them that all important independence, whilst being safe in the knowledge that they aren’t too far away. Project requests will be accommodated as far as possible, depending on the needs of the projects at the time.

The projects available to choose from are:

  • Support women’s empowerment at an orchid cooperative
  • Mother and child nutrition program
  • National Park clean up and beautification
  • Renovation and decorating at local schools

The whole family will be able to get involved in an exciting range of tasks, either as a group or independently, allowing you to get a true feel for community life and how the projects fit into a wider development strategy. You will feel rewarded as you not only get to know the locals but your homestay family and see the impact that initiatives such as these have on improving quality of life.

Costa Rica Spring Break Volunteering Week

Want to do something amazing with your Spring Break this year? Join us in San Jose for a week of community volunteering helping abandoned and underprivileged children in the city’s children’s homes , community and day care centres. The children’s homes care for children who have been abandoned or removed from their families by the government for their safety. The children’s progress is monitored and attempts are made to find families for the children where possible. Community centres provide assistance to poor families, running various community initiatives including day care for their young children, support with learning, a feeding programme and housing for teenage orphans. Spend your Spring Break this year helping others.

Spring Break in Costa Rica will give you the opportunity to discover some of the amazing things that attract tourists to this amazing country. You will be exposed to cultural activities such as a cooking class and Spanish lessons as well as exploring some of the amazing sights and having lots of fun - the choice is yours! So whether it is exploring the cloud forest, relaxing in the hot springs or white water rafting, bring your enthusiasm and positive attitude to support local families, and give something back during your time in Costa Rica this Spring Break!

Community Empowerment Volunteering at Cooperatives in Costa Rica

Become a volunteer in Costa Rica and join one of our most unique projects in Central America assisting local communities at 2 cooperatives. Many men from the community work at a coffee cooperative and it has supported them and their families for many years by producing coffee that is sold locally and also exported internationally. Many families in the Costa Rican countryside depend exclusively on coffee as it is their source of income and so having an additional source of income is very helpful, especially as there was a coffee crisis in recent which hit the already low incomes of local families. Fluctuations both in coffee prices and demand, and a small drop in either of these can severely affect the producer’s income.

The women decided there was a need for an alternative and the orchid cooperative was started in 1993. The project was originally started by 35 local women, but there are now only 8 women who have weathered the years and dedicate themselves to this project. This group of women decided to diversify their income base by starting a business growing orchids and making compost. They grow these flowers for local sale (within the country) and for export. The women often have to use their own money to make improvements or to keep the project going. They coordinate with expositions and ministries to set up a table to sell their plants and sell in San Jose and also at any area fairs or festivals. Join the communities in Costa Rica and help with some of the tasks that enable them to generate incomes to support themselves and their families.

Teach in Elementary Schools and Kindergartens in San Jose, Costa Rica

Volunteer abroad with Kaya in Costa Rica and get hands-on teaching experience with children who will really benefit from international instruction. Kaya work with an amazing variety of public schools that are in and around San Jose, the bustling capital of Costa Rica. All projects welcome volunteers to teach English as well as to interact with the children in various subjects such as sports, arts and even educational trips and recreational activities. Resources are often thin on the ground and children often come from low income families. The government funds some of their programs but their families are asked to pay for materials and a tuition fee.

The projects work with schools with children aged 2 - 15 in different placements. Volunteers can work in elementary schools, teaching english or a specialised subject. Alternatively volunteers can work with students up to the age of 18 that are beginning to learn a trade and need extra support learning English. Volunteers can also choose to work in kindergartens and daycare centres by helping out with the younger children’s routines and play times help prepare lessons and teaching classes along side the local teachers. Bring your skills, enthusiasm and interests and share them with the teachers and students of San Jose!


Good Match For

Teens People 55+ Group

Requirements & Commitment


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