Costa Rica House Building Volunteers
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From £529, 1 week, Costa Rica Trip code: CRHB

  • Adventure 3 out of 5
  • Relaxation 1 out of 5
  • Culture 4 out of 5
Costa Rica House Building VolunteersCosta Rica House Building VolunteersCosta Rica House Building Volunteers

Trip Highlights

 

  • The smiles of families when you give them the keys to their brand new home
  • Exploring the beauties of San Ramon, in the picturesque Alajuela province
  • The opportunity to discover central America's beautiful Costa Rica in your free time; do a canopy walk, visit volcanoes or soak in a hot spring

Trip Summary

See full itinerary

Volunteering Costa Rica is a hugely rewarding programme, where you will be able to help in building new homes for people living in some of the poorest rural communities of Costa Rica. You'll live and work with the local people to get a real feel for what life in this wonderfully diverse country is really like.

 

The people of Costa Rica need your help…. living in houses that do not have adequate sanitation or protection from the weather, is common place in many rural communities, but you can be a part in changing this. With a bit of hard work, you can really make a difference by building new homes that are safe and secure for the people that need it most.


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What will I be doing?

  • Arrival (Day 1 and 2)

  • Let's get started (Day 3 onwards)

  • Free time (Weekends)

  • The project and your role (1 to 8 weeks)

  • How have previous volunteers helped? (1 to 8 weeks)

Arrival: Day 1 and 2

Next Leg

Destination info

This programme is based in the town of San Ramón, in the picturesque Alajuela Province of central Costa Rica. San Ramón lies 30 miles north of the capital San José and 28 miles inland from the beautiful central Pacific beaches, making it is great base for exploring the highlights of Costa Rica during your free time. San Ramón itself is a tiny city surrounded by dramatic mountainous landscapes and is a close knit community with some of the friendliest people in the country, so you can be sure that a warm welcome awaits you.

  • Location: San Ramon, Costa Rica

Sunday – Monday: Arrival and Orientation

On arrival at San José International Airport, Costa Rica, you will be met by one of our representatives who will take you to your first night’s accommodation in the historic town of Alajuela. The following day, Monday, you will receive a detailed orientation from our local team which will cover important information about your programme and provide you with lots of information about Costa Rica along with tips on the best places to visit during your free time.

Let's get started: Day 3 onwards

Next Leg

Destination info

This programme is based in the town of San Ramón, in the picturesque Alajuela Province of central Costa Rica. San Ramón lies 30 miles north of the capital San José and 28 miles inland from the beautiful central Pacific beaches, making it is great base for exploring the highlights of Costa Rica during your free time. San Ramón itself is a tiny city surrounded by dramatic mountainous landscapes and is a close knit community with some of the friendliest people in the country, so you can be sure that a warm welcome awaits you.

  • Location: San Ramon

Tuesday

After spending two nights in Alajuela, you will be transferred to San Ramón to start your programme, volunteers usually travel by public transport. On arrival in San Ramón you will be introduced to the delightful family who will be your hosts for the duration of your programme, before having a bit of time to settle in and get familiar with your new home. Later on you will be taken to your project so that you can meet the people that you are working with and witness first-hand the wonderful work that has already taken place. If there is time you may even be able to start getting your hands dirty and stuck in to the project work!

 

Wednesday – Friday

Having settled in and got to know your host family, Wednesday will be your first full day of project work. Don’t worry if you are unsure of what to do, there will be plenty of people around that will be able to help and show you the ropes!

 

The working day is normally from 8am to 4pm, with a lunch break in the middle of the day. Your evenings are your free time so you are welcome to spend them as you wish, you may like to spend some time with your host family and practice your Spanish or perhaps meet up with your fellow volunteers.

Free time: Weekends

Next Leg

Destination info

This programme is based in the town of San Ramón, in the picturesque Alajuela Province of central Costa Rica. San Ramón lies 30 miles north of the capital San José and 28 miles inland from the beautiful central Pacific beaches, making it is great base for exploring the highlights of Costa Rica during your free time. San Ramón itself is a tiny city surrounded by dramatic mountainous landscapes and is a close knit community with some of the friendliest people in the country, so you can be sure that a warm welcome awaits you.

  • Location: San Ramon

Saturday – Sunday

The weekends are your free time, this is a great opportunity to explore Costa Rica and visit some of the splendid things it has to offer. From canopy walks to volcanoes to beaches, there is something for everyone!

 

Following weeks

For the remainder of your time on the programme your work schedule will run from Monday to Friday, starting at 8am and finishing at 4pm; your free time will be in the evenings and at weekends.

 

On the final day of your programme, you will need to make your own way back to Alajuela where you will be able to arrange a transfer back to the airport.

 

Please note: Itineraries are subject to change without prior notice.

The project and your role: 1 to 8 weeks

Next Leg

Destination info

This programme is based in the town of San Ramón, in the picturesque Alajuela Province of central Costa Rica. San Ramón lies 30 miles north of the capital San José and 28 miles inland from the beautiful central Pacific beaches, making it is great base for exploring the highlights of Costa Rica during your free time. San Ramón itself is a tiny city surrounded by dramatic mountainous landscapes and is a close knit community with some of the friendliest people in the country, so you can be sure that a warm welcome awaits you.

  • Location: San Ramon

Each house can take between ten and 24 weeks to build from start to finish, the stage of building work that you will be involved in will very much depend on the progress of the houses that are being built at the time you arrive.

 

As the programme is funded by the Costa Rican and Canadian Rural Housing programme and is a scheme to provide affordable to housing to the lowest income families in the rural areas; one of the requirements of the scheme is that the family for whom the house is being built for is very much involved in the building process as well. So as well as working with your fellow volunteers and builders from the scheme, you will be working alongside the people that you are helping and this will be give you the wonderful opportunity to get to know the people that will benefit from the house that you are building and gain an insight as to how much of a difference the new home will make to their lives.

 

The project work is likely to be very tiring and physically demanding but in return the sense of achievement will be incredible. You will be required to get involved in lots of different aspects of the building process, some of these tasks may include the following:

 

  • Carrying materials and tools to the building site
  • Digging trenches for the foundations
  • Laying floors
  • Mixing concrete
  • Putting roofs on the houses
  • Building septic tanks
  • Preparing frameworks for the buildings

It is not a requirement of the project for you to have any building experience or skills, as the team you will be working with will be able to teach you everything you need to know. However, if you have any previous building or construction experience then please do tell the local team know so that they can put your skills to good use.

How have previous volunteers helped?: 1 to 8 weeks

Destination info

This programme is based in the town of San Ramón, in the picturesque Alajuela Province of central Costa Rica. San Ramón lies 30 miles north of the capital San José and 28 miles inland from the beautiful central Pacific beaches, making it is great base for exploring the highlights of Costa Rica during your free time. San Ramón itself is a tiny city surrounded by dramatic mountainous landscapes and is a close knit community with some of the friendliest people in the country, so you can be sure that a warm welcome awaits you.

  • Location: San Ramon

How have previous volunteers helped the project? We asked our in-country team…

 

“We started working with the project about 9 years ago and in that time our volunteers have helped over 150 deserving families become home owners.

 

Everybody involved in the building programme wins. The families would not normally be able to afford to have a house built, but gets free labour from our volunteers allowing them use the small amount of money they have to buy doors or paint. The host family has some extra income that allows them to put their children in school or help buy food for their family, and the volunteer gets a great insight into the real Costa Rica and makes a difference to the local community!” 

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Trip Notes include a full itinerary, country guides and travel advice on visas, money, insurance and the local weather. By filling in your details you'll also be kept updated on all the latest news, offers and stories on this particular trip. Happy reading!

What's included?

  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • Orientation
  • All meals with home-stay family
  • Laundry once a week
  • Full support and assistance
  • 24-hour support number

What's not included?

  • All flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Return airport transfer
  • Visas

Additional Information & FAQs

Minimum age

Minimum age 17 years with written parental consent, maximum decided on potential participants health and fitness.

 

Minimum numbers required on this trip

There are no minimum numbers on the trip.

Please note: you may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact us

 

Accommodation

Homestay with local host family

 

Meals

Included in your programme will be three meals per day, these will be provided by your host family and will be based on a Costa Rican diet which can be fairly basic including items such as rice, beans, corn, pasta, vegetables, meat and seasonal fruits.

 

Is this trip for you?

You may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. However, you will still have the full support of your in-country team and those at the project. If you are looking for a group volunteering experience we have plenty of options for you to consider.

 

Accommodation

For the first two nights of your programme in Costa Rica, during your orientation, you will be accommodated in a comfortable Backpackers Hostel which is centrally located in Alajuela.

 

After your orientation, you will be transferred to San Ramón for your project. You will be staying with local host families for this programme; this is a great way to really get immersed in the culture and lifestyle of the local Costa Rican community. Volunteers are normally accommodated in a shared room with another volunteer and will have access to a shared bathroom.

Advice & Safety

Throughout your programmes you will have the support and guidance of the programme co-ordinator and team. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions or advice you may need during your stay.

 

You will be assigned a personal travel advisor who will co-ordinate your programme with you. Feel free to contact them at any time before you go, or when you are on your travels.

 

In addition, you will have access to a 24 hour emergency contact number so you can contact one of our staff at any time should you need to.

 

FAQ

1. Do I need to know Spanish to participate?

You will need a basic level of Spanish to get by living and working in the community. Most volunteers join our Spanish language school for a week or more before starting on the project. Contact our travel advisers for details and costs.

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2. Can I travel on afterwards if I wish?

You will be more than welcome to travel afterwards.

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3. Can I travel with my friend?

You and your friend/s can join this trip with you and we wil make sure you all stay together.

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4. How big are the groups?

The group sized always change but generally there are between 4-8 people.

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5. Do I need building experience?

No, you will be taught everything you need to know to help build a house out there.

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6. How long does it take to build the houses?

The build time varies depending on the size of the house. Typically it takes 10 to 24 weeks per house.

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What will I see in San Ramón?

17 photos

What other travellers thought

I've done this trip

Write review
Overall rating: (10/10) (3 reviews)
Costa Rica House Building Volunteers

Liam Harris - December 2015

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Amazing experience, would go back to Costa in a heartbeat!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Seeing his happy the family's were who moved in the houses, seeing the rest of Costa Rica on weekends

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Put as much effort into immersing yourself into the culture, see as much of the country as you can at the weekends, try your best with the Spanish

Costa Rica House Building Volunteers2015-12-22

Freddie Raben - April 2014

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Loved the work, weekend trips away and difference in food.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(5/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The work itself. Weekend trips away. Playing football with the locals in the evening. Losing weight from the work, execise and diet.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

- Be prepared for the local stay (food, language barriers, etc.) - Be flexible to the other volunteers - Bring a positive attitude!

Costa Rica House Building Volunteers2014-04-13

Richard Morrison - June 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Difficult and rewarding work, amazing people and a beautiful backdrop!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The trip was very well organised in getting completely immersed in the culture of Costa Rica. The amazing host families give a great opportunity to learn Spanish and the workers on site were extremely helpful and great to work with.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Take a phrase book Take clothes (including boots) which you don't mind throwing out after Stay in for evenings with the families, they enjoy the company and are keen to help with Spanish

Costa Rica House Building Volunteers2013-06-20

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