Costa Rica is one of the 20 most biodiverse countries in the world. It is home to 26 National Parks and is known for its incredible range of unique wildlife. More than 500,000 species are found here, representing 4% of the total species estimated worldwide, despite the country being only 0.03% of the world’s landmass.
Approximately a quarter of Costa Rica is made up of protected jungle, and despite its popularity for tourists, there is significant disparity in income between the richest and poorest communities. Raleigh International works to preserve Costa Rica’s biodiversity and address inequality. Our volunteers work with innovative young people of Costa Rica and local project partners to preserve its natural resources, increase the resilience of local communities to climate change and improve access to education.
Environment Project – Improving Access to Conservation Areas
Costa Rica has been a world leader in environmental policy aiming to be Carbon Neutral by 2021. Come together with passionate youth leaders from Costa Rica and across the world to support Costa Rica in leading the international flight against climate change on your environmental project.
Project Site Volunteer Managers will be living and working in a national park alongside their volunteer groups. You will work to improve the trails and ranger stations and increase awareness in local communities through environmental education initiatives, helping them to better manage their natural resources for future generations. Field office staff will also get to see our work in action, on site visits to manage supplies, get updates from the team and report back on the group’s progress.
Community Project – Improving Access to Education
Indigenous populations in Costa Rica are often the most marginalised members of society and tend to be some of the poorest. Education levels in these communities are much lower than the national average and poor school infrastructure further exacerbates the situation.
Teams led by our Project Volunteer Managers will join forces with local indigenous communities to improve access to education for some of Costa Rica’s most disadvantaged children, by improving educational infrastructure and school facilities, and help create a more inclusive society for all Costa Ricans. We will also ensure the community have the know-how to manage and maintain the schools in the years to come. As with our environmental projects, Country Office staff have the opportunity to be part of the changes being achieved in communities through their visits to our project sites (Covid restrictions permitting).
Please note: Due to Covid-19 considerations we will not be undertaking any community projects in Summer 2021.
Adventure Leadership Trek
There are several different trek routes you can join us for in Costa Rica as a Project Volunteer Manager. These take you across an incredible variety of terrain from rainforests, valleys, rivers, to mountains. Trek requires courage to venture outside your comfort zone, and it is here where your support for the volunteers may be most important. Friendships formed on trek are often some of the strongest on Expedition, and the experience of seeing the volunteers grow and develop through this experience is incredibly rewarding.
Life at Country Office
For our Volunteer Managers stationed at Costa Rica’s central country office, life is just as exciting. From here in Turrialba, you will carry out the essential day-to-day running of Expedition. It’s a calm and peaceful place to work, surrounded by lush farmland you will travel through each morning from your accommodation off-site, only a five minute walk away. Despite this sense of remoteness, it is still within walking distance of Turrialba town should you need to gather supplies. With a great sense of space and connection to the outdoors, you will likely encounter a great range of wildlife at your door, from toucans and parrots to frogs and cows. There is great variety of things to do on your days off, from sampling local food, trips into town, or hikes into the surrounding area of rivers and hills.