Volunteer in Costa Rica: An Introduction to Cartago

Pura Vida - Pure Life

Whether your version of Pura Vida includes surfing or scaling mountains, howler monkeys or hummingbirds, coffee of cocao, camping or canyoning — alright, you get our point — well, you'll find it when you volunteer in Costa Rica. A worldwide leader in ecotourism, Costa Rica is known for its rich biodiversity, myriad ecosystems, and not to mention its warm and welcoming people. Learn more about this vibrant country firsthand with our Costa Rica volunteer program.

...Costa Rica is known for its rich biodiversity...

While this incredible environmental richness is a national treasure, it also brings with it some interesting social and economic challenges, such as an increasing percentage of regional immigration. Costa Rica’s reputation for social stability, along with its free education and universal healthcare, has drawn the attention of international trading partners, as well as immigrants from other Central American countries seeking better lives. As the economy changes, so do traditional social structures, which abandon vulnerable populations and leave them little access to healthcare, education, or social services. As a Cross-Cultural Solutions volunteer abroad in Costa Rica, you'll have the opportunity to work alongside local organizations as they work to address these societal issues.

As a volunteer in Costa Rica, you'll assist with the care of infants and children, improve education for children, improve health and the sense of dignity among the elderly, or work to improve the quality of care for people with disabilities. As a CCS Costa Rica volunteer, you'll contribute your time and passion to a local organization working to effect real and lasting change. No matter where you spend your time as a Costa Rica volunteer, your unique energy will offer a refreshing change of pace to under-resourced local organizations.

Read more about the Costa Rica volunteer experience on our blog!


Avg. Annual Temp.
Moderate / Subtropical
National Food
Gallo Pinto

Your Cartago Staff

Through his work with the University of Costa Rica’s International Programs department, the Foreign Service Foundation for Peace and Democracy, the United Nations Conference on the Environment, and the Close-Up Foundation in Washington, D.C., Jose brings with him extensive experience in the field of international development. Born and raised in Costa Rica, Jose is deeply involved in his community and especially committed to eliminating child abuse. A lifelong learner, Jose speaks fluent Spanish, English, and Portuguese, is currently studying International Relations and Diplomacy, and has set his sights on moonlighting as a DJ so he can make people dance. Basically, he does it all.
Country Staff