The Renovation Program
Costa Rica has reopened to international arrivals. See the additional info. section for procedures in place.
To learn and grow children need a safe and solid environment with the right facilities and resources to help them learn. Schools and Childcare Centres in Costa Rica are severely under resourced and volunteers are desperately sought to help maintain and improve existing facilities. This program invites volunteers to work in Santa Barbara de Heredia, near Costa Rica's capital city of San Jose. The area faces major issues with schools and childcare facilities that urgently require work. This program offers true assistance to communities by supplying them with an international volunteer labor force that allows them to repair and maintain critical education and childcare facilities that they would otherwise be unable to afford.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide free volunteer labor to maintain school and childcare facilities in under-resourced communities in Costa Rica
- Improve the future prospects of the children by supplying them with safe spaces to learn and play
- Expose the locals to new and innovative ideas and a different way of doing things
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both students and international volunteers alike.
How You Can Help
Without adequate facilities, a school or childcare centre is unable to teach and care for their children effectively. It is as simple as that. This program allows communities to continue to support children’s educational and care needs by providing them with much-needed assistance in providing safe facilities. Volunteers play a major role in ensuring safe classrooms, facilities and playgrounds are supplied. Those volunteering on this program will see first-hand what a difference this help has made and how the children will benefit.
Volunteers will spend their time working on essential projects, as determined by the school or centre themselves, to create a better environment and facilities for the children. This program begins each Monday so volunteers need to arrive on the Sunday prior. An understanding of the Spanish language is not required for this project.
Volunteers will need to be physically fit and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Building maintenance
- Networking with local program staff and other volunteers
- Interacting with children.
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to have a tangible and lasting impact on the lives of families and communities facing extreme poverty in Costa Rica. This 'hands-on' project is ideally suited to those volunteers with some knowledge and experience in construction or any of the building trades, however the project is open to all and does not require participants to have specific education, qualifications or experience, as you will be shown everything you need to know by your local project leader. Importantly though, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, be fit and active, 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 in Costa Rica is based in Santa Barbara de Heredia, approximately 40 minutes outside the centre of San Jose. Santa Bárbara is the name of the fourth canton in the province of Heredia in Costa Rica and is located around four miles northeast of the city of Alajuela and six miles (10 km) northwest of the city of Heredia. Many of the locals make their living from agriculture, including coffee plantations and herb farms. There are also several Spanish language schools in the area. Life here is peaceful, as most tourists tend to flock to the more populous capital of San Jose. If you’re looking for a relaxing way to enjoy everything that Costa Rica has to offer, Santa Barbara de Heredia won’t disappoint.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every SATURDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week 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 taken to your host family accommodation in Santa Barbara de Heredia, 40 mins north of San Jose.
On Sunday a brief welcome orientation will be provided to help you settle in and ask any last minute questions.
On Monday morning, you will be taken to your project site and introduced to the project leader who will provide specific information about your role.
- Program Arrival Day: SATURDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Juan Santamaria International Airport, San Jose, Costa Rica (Code: SJO)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers on this program are hosted by wonderful local families during their stay in Santa Barbara de Heredia; located just 20 mins north of Costa Rica’s bustling capital city of San Jose.
Staying with one of our friendly host families in Santa Barbara is an excellent way to 'live like the locals do' and get first hand experience of local culture and customs.
Rooms may be shared by same gender volunteers depending on volunteer numbers. Host family homes have western style bathrooms with hot showers and bed linen is provided so you need only bring a towel and personal toiletries. This is a perfect home away from home and a wonderful base for your stay in Costa Rica!
Volunteers are provided 2 meals per day (breakfast and lunch) throughout the placement. Dinner is not included but can be arranged with the hosts, prepared yourself or eaten out at one of the local cafes or restaurants where you can try cheap and tasty local food. The meals provided are local cuisine and predominantly vegetarian.
Arranging your own accommodation? No problem! The program fee is adjusted to $195 for the 1st week + $30 for each additional week.
*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.
- Visitors traveling to Costa Rica will need to provide proof of a medical insurance policy to cover any COVID-19 related medical treatment or quarantine lodging while in Costa Rica. In the case of international insurance, tourists must request from their insurer a certification issued in English or Spanish, noting: 1) the validity of the policy during the dates of visit to Costa Rica, 2) guarantee of coverage for medicals expenses in cases of COVID-19 related medical treatment in the amount of 50,000 USD and, 3) minimum coverage of 2,000 USD for extended lodging expenses due to COVID-19 related illness. It is also possible to purchase a Costa Rican medical insurance policy through the National Insurance Institute (INS) or Sagicor of Costa Rica, covering the duration of your stay in Costa Rica.
- All visitors must also complete an online Health Pass (pasa de Salud) 48 hours prior to travel to Costa Rica. The Health Pass can be found at https://salud.go.cr.
Arranging your own accommodation?
The program fee is discounted for those arranging their own accommodation to the following:
Week 1 $297
Week 2 $352
Week 3 $407
Week 4 $462
Want to learn Spanish?
Why not use this opportunity to improve your knowledge of Spanish and really get immersed in the local culture during your volunteering placement? We can offer part time Spanish classes at very competitive rates for you, so simply let us know if you are interested!
Part-time Spanish Lessons (taken in conjunction with volunteer work):
- USD$130/week (10 Hours - 2 hours per day Monday to Friday)
Fees for Spanish Classes must be paid directly to your volunteer coordinator on arrival in Costa Rica.