Costa Rica may be considered rich in its own region, but that doesn’t mean its social services are up to the standard of a first world country. The country still needs help from international organizations that run on volunteers. These programs span a wide range of areas, from agriculture to construction. If you enjoy working with your hands, you can help build, repair and decorate buildings that are for the benefit of the community, such as clinics, schools, orphanages or community centers.
The country has a decent social healthcare system, but they are always in need of extra help. If you have a medical background you can help out local doctors and nurses. The amount of hands on experience you will get depends on your qualifications, skills and your ability with Spanish. There are plenty of schemes and program, both urban and rural.
People with concerns about the natural world who want to do something about animal welfare can volunteer to work on a turtle conservation program. You will be working under a local biologist, taking part in studies and protection. Duties include shift work, as there are both night and day beach patrols, nest building, harvesting eggs and tagging. Limited Spanish is necessary, but you can pick that up as you go along. This is for the more hardy or dedicated volunteer, as the locations are remote and the conditions pretty Spartan.
Eco-agriculture is another area where you can volunteer. Volunteer to work on an organic coffee plantation and learn the whole process beside local workers.
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