About The Project
This wonderful project was created with the goal of helping to improve the English speaking abilities of children in Santa Barbara, 20 minutes drive from downtown San Jose. Volunteers will work as Teacher’s Assistants and will generally work Monday - Friday, at least four hours a day, depending on the needs of the school. Classes have high numbers of students and generally lack adequate resources so volunteers are needed to help with planning creative lessons and running games and activities, especially with the younger children. With English language skills, these children will have a greater chance of employment, especially in the tourism sector. English language skills will also greatly aid youth into higher education.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide free English language classes to the children of Santa Barbara
- Improve the future prospects of the children of Costa Rica
- Expose non-English speakers to native English speakers in order to improve pronunciation and conversational skills
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both students and international volunteers alike.
How You Can Help
Volunteers play an integral role in achieving the goals of this project, greatly assisting students to learn the English language. They provide a valid and effective means of English language tuition and allow students to learn directly off native English language speakers – a major benefit for learners of the language.
Volunteers spend their time assisting the local teacher with daily activities, and will spend time teaching and playing with the children. They will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Help the teacher with the planned classroom activities
- Assist with the delivery of a range of academic subjects
- Converse in and teach basic English to the children
- Play games and read to the children in English
- Teach children good hygiene and life skills
- Help the children complete projects
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to help create a brighter future for children through the power of education. This project best suits those with experience and/or qualifications in the field of childhood development and education, though volunteers who simply wish to explore an interest in this field are also welcomed as there are many ways you can assist in the classroom. Whist not mandatory, completing a TEFL course prior to joining this project would prove to be highly beneficial. Volunteers on this project will need an understanding of Spanish in order to communicate effectively with staff and students. Importantly, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
Our programs in Costa Rica are mainly based in Santa Barbara de Heredia which is approximately 40 minutes outside the centre of San Jose. Santa Bárbara is the name of the fourth canton in the province of Heredia in Costa Rica and is located around four miles northeast of the city of Alajuela and six miles (10 km) northwest of the city of Heredia. Many of the locals make their living from agriculture, including coffee plantations and herb farms. There are also several Spanish language schools in the area. Life here is peaceful, as most tourists tend to flock to the more populous capital of San Jose. However, if you’re looking for a relaxing way to enjoy everything that Costa Rica has to offer, Santa Barbara de Heredia won’t disappoint.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every SATURDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon your arrival in San Jose you will be collected at the airport and taken to your host family accommodation in Santa Barbara de Heredia, just north of San Jose and close to the local team’s office. The following day (Sunday), you will be taken to the office where you will receive an orientation to help you settle in, find out about your volunteering placement, the local surroundings and meet your fellow volunteers. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have. On Monday morning, you will be taken to your assigned project site and introduced to the project leader so that you can start volunteering. Easy!
- Program Arrival Day: SATURDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Juan Santamaria International Airport, San Jose, Costa Rica (Code: SJO)
Accommodation & Meals
As with all of our wonderful programs in Santa Barbara, volunteers on this project are accommodated with one of our friendly local host families, where breakfast and dinner of traditional Costa Rican cuisine are provided daily. Lunches are not provided but can easily be purchased from a local shop near the project site. All home-stay families have been fully vetted by our local team and are located within a short walk from each other, making hanging out with other volunteers easy. Plus, it is only a 20-minute taxi ride to the tourist heart of San Jose city - where a multitude of restaurants, cafes and bars are available. All host families have standard amenities available, including comfortable beds, hot showers and modern bathrooms. Wifi is also available in most homes (additional charges may apply in some cases). All families have experience hosting international volunteers. Depending on the time of year it may be necessary to share a room with other volunteers. Living with a local family truly is the best way to throw oneself into the local culture and to meet people who will become lifelong friends!
For volunteers, staying in Santa Barbara means they gain something that most travelers miss out on: a ‘live’ authentic glimpse into family life and the character of the local ‘Tico’ people. By having the opportunity to stay with a host family and by working right alongside the local population volunteers can really experience all that Costa Rica has to offer!
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.