Volunteer in Costa Rica: icon

Pura Vida - Pure Life

Volunteer in Costa Rica

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More than 1.1 million Costa Ricans live in poverty - that’s 1 in every 5 individuals - and the population living in extreme poverty increased last year. Women and children are particularly vulnerable, and Costa Ricans living in poverty are more likely to live in a single-parent home with a higher-than-average number of children under 5 years. With more than 77% of this population working in the informal sector, a lack of employment security and fewer years of education are pressing concerns.

Join CCS as a volunteer in Costa Rica to fight for equal and complete education for children. With more than 12% of all children not completing primary school, CCS is determined to prepare students for success through early childhood preparation, and through support to mothers in the community working tirelessly to provide for their families.

In Costa Rica, CCS has been working for the past 15 years as leaders in early childhood education with the support of international volunteers.

FACT SHEET

Population Below Poverty Line
Up 2% in 5 yrs
Gender Inequality
Single mothers are 31% of population
Primary School Dropout Rate
12.3%
Adolescent Birth Rate
16% of all childbirths

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES IN CARTAGO

Once enrolled, you will have the chance to select the volunteer opportunity that's most interesting to you. Volunteers will always receive their first preference. The only exception to this will be when there are national or school holidays, or there are exceptional circumstances.

Child Development
CCS volunteers in Costa Rica greatly contribute to improving the quality of education that every child deserves. Women, mostly single mothers, need to work to support their family, and thus rely on community support to help with their children. Community groups and childcare centers are present to provide these essential services, but they are grossly under resourced and understaffed. CCS volunteers assist teachers, conduct early education programming, teach English language skills and provide children with one-on-one attention.

Global Health
Costa Rica’s healthcare system is universal, yet large gaps in public health education and access to basic services remain a challenge. Through outreach, education, and care, you will provide much-needed support to vulnerable children and adults in low-income communities. In addition CCS will be spearheading multiple public health projects in Costa Rica including vision screening for children, oral health campaigns and the promotion of hygiene in schools.

Voices from the Community
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"Volunteers trust our students, respect their disability, but also recognize them as people who have their own goals and desires for the future. The impact has been very positive."

"CCS volunteers have helped us complete projects that would have otherwise been abandoned."

"Our community has learned so much about other cultures, and our own culture has been enriched as a result."

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Your Cartago Staff

JOSE HERNáNDEZ-UGALDE, COUNTRY PRESIDENT
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If I look back at my life and could have even one moment of making the world a better place through work with vulnerable women and children, it would be worthwhile.

I grew up in rural Costa Rica, always grabbing for any educational opportunities and thankful to people, sometimes unknown, who trusted me and offered me a hand to grow. It’s these opportunities that led me to earning a degree in English Literature in the US, as well as opportunities to work in the academic field through the University of Costa Rica and Lawrence University. My experience and commitment to improving my community, country, and world continued through experiences at the United Nations, teaching in Washington D.C., and later, returning to Costa Rica with Cross-Cultural Solutions.

Working with students and volunteers has given me the opportunity to give back to my country and add true meaning to my life. Service and education are the greatest tools you can offer for a global mindset and to be of service to others. Each day, I witness the connection between volunteers and communities through true outreach and connection, and could not imagine doing anything else.

Country Staff

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