As a volunteer with a women’s cooperative in Costa Rica, you will have the chance to not only travel to a beautiful country, but engage in the fight for gender equality and help women in a variety of ways economically, socially and emotionally. Currently, we are collaborating with a women’s cooperative called AMASIA, that is working with greenhouses as an income-generating project in San Isidro, close to Atenas. AMASIA, and participating women, work to grow and sell organic fertilizers, orchids, cacti and decorative plants.
In addition, AMASIA educates women on important life and business skills such as marketing, accounting, sales, product distribution and of course, gardening, giving the women the chance at an increased income. The women are eager to learn from others and are motivated to break their cycle of poverty, so join this project now and enrich the lives of others!
Beginner to intermediate knowledge of Spanish is preferred (but not mandatory). If you cannot speak Spanish, we suggest you enroll in a Spanish language course (we have some great on the ground low-cost recommendations) to make your stay more rewarding – both for you and for the people you are helping. A green thumb and a love for nature are important. If you have experience with websites, you can also help develop their website. Grant writing, or advertising skills can also be useful to the project to increase support and to promote the project. Volunteers are expected to be reliable and flexible.
What to Expect?
In Costa Rica, all volunteers stay with well-screened host families. Our host families are socially respected and are well versed in the art of hosting international volunteers. Host families offer a safe home, private rooms (occasionally rooms will be shared with other same-gender volunteers) and shared bathroom facilities with running hot water and a “western” style toilet. Volunteers have the ability to do laundry at the house or the host family may offer to do it for you for a nominal extra fee. You receive three prepared meals per day. If you will be out of the house during lunch hour, you can request a lunch "to go" that you can take with you or eat out on your own. Host families provide typical meals that are traditional to Costa Rica.
The project is located in Atenas, just west of San José in the Province Alajuela. The little town of Atenas offers a slice of quintessential small town Costa Rican life with just 5,000 inhabitants (25,000 including the suburbs). Atenas is most popularly known as having the "best climate in the world". If you are in search of a tranquil, small town life, Atenas is just the place for you! This perfect-sized town is just big enough to provide the amenities you crave for but small enough to preserve a strong sense of community. Owing to the superb climate, this town is teeming with bio-diversity.
From Atenas, you will be greeted by charming views of the surrounding coffee and sugarcane plantations as well as forested valleys. Cafes and restaurants located within the central park serve some of Costa Rica's delicious cuisine including the toronjas rellenas (stuffed grapefruits), which are a popular local dessert. Nearby shops and markets are very good places to purchase souvenirs such as handcrafted jewelery or traditional Costa Rican clothing. Located just east of Atenas, volunteers can also visit La Garita. It is to home to Zoo Ave, a wildlife rescue and breeding center, and also has a plant nursery nearby that sells exotic plants. On weekends, volunteers can travel to Pacific Coast or further away to visit National Parks and Caribbean Coast. A trip to San Jose, the largest city, is also recommended.
Throughout the volunteer project, our local staff stays in contact with volunteers either with face-to-face visits or via email/telephone. With longer placements, we visit our volunteers every two weeks (when possible) and volunteers are always welcome at the local office. If project placement is local, we request that volunteers stop by the office once a week to keep us posted on how they are doing with their home stay and project. If project placement is very far, then our local staff members maintain communication by either email and/or phone.
- Program ID: # 2451
- duration: 1 to 2 Weeks2 Weeks to 1 Month1 to 3 Months
- location: San Isidro AtenasCosta Rica9° 58' 49.2492" N, 84° 22' 15.168" WCR
- Fitness level: Light ImpactModerately FitVery Fit
- Closest Airport: Various locations available
- Costs From: $500 to $1000$1000 to $1500$1500 to $3000
- Program Type: Women's & Youth Programs