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Pura Vida - Pure Life

Volunteer in Costa Rica

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Impact Areas

Child Education
Early childhood education in Guanacaste is a central struggle for families due to overcrowded schools, shortages of teachers, and limited availability. Students are often forced to attend in shifts for a maximum of 3 hours per day and many are only open for a total of 100 days per year. At home supplemental education is rare due to parent work schedules or education level. This all results in students entering secondary school unprepared, leading to high dropout rates by age 12. Of course, this is preventable. For children in their earliest years of education, between the ages of 3 and 6, you can provide a solid foundation in literacy, numeracy, social and emotional skills, and motor skills, while providing the positive start children and families need to achieve long-term goals.

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Child Health
Guanacaste daycare centers and schools are often tasked to provide nutrition and primary health care support to their children, but the facilities are often in disrepair and lack the necessary resources. Many families in the region struggle to provide nutritious food at home so CCS volunteers create school gardens to educate children and parents on healthy eating habits. Children also lack basic access to dental care and vision screenings. As such, CCS volunteers form groups to implement dental and vision clinics at schools with the support of our local staff and healthcare professionals. Through vision and dental campaigns, CCS volunteers provide tangible resources such as prescription eyeglasses and dental hygiene supplies that these children may otherwise not have access to.

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Immerse yourself in lush landscapes dotted with cattle farms as you travel to the pristine beach towns of the Guanacaste province. With rolling hills, rainforests, and quaint colonial towns in a tropical setting, Guanacaste offers the perfect combination of nature with Costa Rica's laid-back “pura vida” lifestyle. Discover monkeys and tropical animals, while waking up to the crowing of roosters in your rural Costa Rican paradise.


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

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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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