Costa Rica Volunteer Quest

Volunteer in Costa Rica: 6 or 12 months

"I love Costa Rica...what a beautiful sense of lifestyle! My volunteer work is incredible, the children are amazing."

--Emily, United Planet volunteer in Costa Rica


What makes a United Planet Long-term Quest unique?

United Planet’s Quest volunteer abroad programs are 100 % cultural immersion experiences. Long-term Quest volunteer opportunities begin in August and January of each year and areavailable to U.S. and Canadian residents of all ages and skill levels.

All Quests include:

  • Personalized attention and ongoing support from Coordinators
  • Extensive pre-departure training and in-country orientation
  • Local home stays or on-site lodging options

We have no doubt it will be life-changing and provide lasting memories. Read on for more detailed information about volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica.

Country Information

Costa Rica, Spanish for "Rich Coast," can boast environmental diversity and beauty unlike any other!  Beaches, rivers, jungles and more await exploration!  This small country is a terrific example of eco-tourism as about one quarter of its land is protected by the government.  Costa Rica, which does not have an army, is often viewed as an example of political stability in Central America.  However with a population of 4 million, there are still social problems to be addressed. Costa Rica volunteers have many opportunities to assist local NGOs, care centers for elderly, schools, or even work in a zoo.   You can share your skills and enthusiasm with the warm Ticos while practicing your Spanish and discovering this incredible country of Costa Rica! Pura Vida!

United Planet and the ICYE Federation

For six months to one year, you can experience a life-changing program in one of over 30 countries across the globe. United Planet is the U.S. and Canadian member of the International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE) Federation , founded in 1949.  Through their vast network and 60 years of experience, United Planet and ICYE offer a wide range of programs for volunteers from around the world.


Who can apply?

Volunteers must be 18 years of age volunteer in Costa Rica with United Planet. United Planet can send volunteers who are citizens of the United States and Canada or those who are currently living in the U.S. and Canada.  Citizens and residents of other countries must contact the ICYE partner in their home country. United Planet can send people from any country to our Short-term Quest locations for 1-12 week programs.  Some of our short-term volunteer placements can be extended for longer stays.  Please contact us for more information about volunteering with United Planet.

Volunteer Opportunities in Costa Rica

United Planet currently offers social volunteer opportunities in different locations as well as environmental projects in partnership with local organizations in Costa Rica.

What's Included and Program Details

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        Please see the Long-term Prices and Details page for more information on what's included in your program fee.

Quest Program Briefs


Volunteers working in Costa RicaSocial Projects

Volunteers work with children who live on the street. Tasks include taking care of the children, helping with homework and playing games.  The goal of these organizations is to further these children’s education and personal development.


working with elderly in Costa RicaWork with the Elderly

Volunteers assist elderly citizens in residential setting.  The main activities consist of companying residents, organizing activities, sometimes assiting physical therapy. Help in the kitchen and other manual work are also possible involved.


Environmental program in Costa RicaEnvironmental Projects

Volunteers assist in the conservation of wildlife, such as various species of plants, birds, invertebrates, or primates. The objective is to protect endangered species and reintroduce them to the wild. Volunteer duties include, but are not limited to: observing and taking notes on animal behavior and helping to maintain the gardens and trails of the National Parks.

Volunteer Accommodations

Most volunteers live with host families, but accommodations may vary according to the assigned project.  Other possible accommodations include shared housing with other volunteers or a room at the work placement.

Learn about the application deadlines and program fees for this Long-term Quest.

Three Easy Steps to Apply

Questions about applying?

Call one of our friendly regional Quest coordinators today. We will walk you step-by-step through the application process and answer any questions you may have.

Step 1: Choose your Quest. Contact us at any time for help!  We'd love to talk to you. Email or call  1-800-292-2316.

Step 2: Enroll online. Please fill in the enrollment form. Then reserve your spot with a deposit (which will be credited toward your program fee).

Step 3: Meet your Quest coordinator and iron out the details. Once you've applied, your United Planet coordinator will contact you, and arrange a phone session to talk about your Quest of interest. THANKS!

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