The Childcare Program
The aim of this program is to supply international volunteers to work with pre-school children in San Ramon in low income day care centres and in orphanages. The Costa Rica education system is under-resourced and volunteers are desperately sought to help children learn to their full potential. The most vulnerable tend to slip through the cracks, which is why this program focuses on vulnerable children who are in extra need of care and attention. Pre-school education provides a foundation for children’s social and educational needs and is an essential building block on which to start their educational journey, which is why it is crucial that all children are provided with a quality early childhood education. This is a really hands on program, allowing either qualified teachers or non-teacher volunteers to work closely with these amazing children. The children attending the centres where this program works require a lot of attention and most importantly, companionship. Volunteers will be supplying essential help in the form of teaching and day to day care for children and ensuring their educational, emotional, social, and physical needs are being met, for them to not only survive, but to thrive.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide childcare to vulnerable children in San Ramon
- Improve the prospects of the children of Costa Rica
- Allow impoverished families to place their children in childcare programs and allow them to work
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both students and international volunteers alike.
How You Can Help
Volunteers play an essential role in helping disadvantaged children through this wonderful program. While volunteers will be giving care and compassion, and helping to create a solid educational foundation for the children, the benefits for the volunteer are immeasurable. Working with vulnerable children in a poor central American country and experiencing their lives and culture will be an amazing experience for any volunteer. Participants will spend their time taking care of children and assisting the local staff as needed. Volunteers will be busy working with the children, helping feed them and other care essentials, playing games and are encouraged to use their skills and interests to develop fun things for the children to do. The day to day tasks include helping at meal times with cooking, cleaning and feeding, arranging games and teaching.
Volunteers will contribute in many ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Help to develop educational materials
- Help to teach children
- Attend to and interact with children
- Create activities and entertaining children with games and songs
- Help with chores
- Help with kitchen and other duties where required
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to assist in the ongoing support and development of marginalized and at-risk children of Costa Rica. This highly interactive and varied project does not require participants to have a background in the field of childcare, as there are many ways you can assist. However, volunteers with suitable education, qualifications or experience are highly sought after. Regardless, a volunteer’s individual role can often be tailored to suit their particular skills and interests. Volunteers on this project will need an understanding of Spanish in order to communicate effectively. Importantly, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
This wonderful program is set in the quaint city of San Ramón in the Alajuela Province of Costa Rica. San Ramon is known as the city of ‘Presidents and Poets’ and has also been described as a city of lovers! Lovers of nature, lovers of life, of simplicity, of ‘Pura Vida’ - the greeting and motto of the city that encapsulates living in peace and appreciating a life surrounded by nature, family and friends. This wonderful location is in the Cordillera de Tilarán mountains, at an elevation of 1,057 meters above sea level and only a 50-minute drive from the country’s capital San Jose.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs typically start every 1st and 3rd SUNDAY of each month. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon your arrival in San Jose you will be collected at the airport and transported to your designated project location. Once settled in you will receive a full welcome orientation where you will find out about your volunteering placement, the local surroundings and meet your fellow volunteers. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have. You will then be taken to your assigned project location, where you will be introduced to your project supervisor and the rest of the local project team. Easy!
- Program Arrival Day: SUNDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Juan Santamaria International Airport, San Jose, Costa Rica (Code: SJO)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers on this project are accommodated with one of our friendly local host families, where breakfast and dinner of traditional Costa Rican cuisine are provided daily. Lunches are not provided but can easily be purchased from a local shop near the project site. All home-stay families have been fully vetted by our local team and are located within a short walk from each other, making hanging out with other volunteers easy.
All host families have standard amenities available, including comfortable beds, hot showers and modern bathrooms. Wifi is also available in most homes (additional charges may apply in some cases). All families have experience hosting international volunteers. Depending on the time of year it may be necessary to share a room with other volunteers. Living with a local family truly is the best way to throw oneself into the local culture and to meet people who will become lifelong friends!
For volunteers, living with a local family means they gain something that most travelers miss out on: a ‘live’ and authentic glimpse into family life and the character of the local ‘Tico’ people. By having the opportunity to stay with a host family and by working right alongside the local population volunteers can really experience all that Costa Rica has to offer!
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.