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Work in Organic Coffee and Sustainable Farming (Atenas)
Project Summary
Project At A Glance
Start point:
San Jose
End Point:
San Jose
1-12 weeks
20-40 hours per week
3 local meals daily
Host family
Mondays of each month

Farmers in Costa Rica are beginning to recognize the importance of organic and sustainable farming. Many of the coffee farmers have converted to organic or at least use less chemicals than their conventional counterparts use. Local independent farms have converted over to organic for the environment and their personal health. Volunteers can work side-by-side with local farmers to learn the practices, teach new alternatives and help these farmers develop rural tourism as well for more sustainable and eco-friendly agricultural practices.

Skills/Qualifications Needed

Beginner to intermediate knowledge of Spanish is preferred (but not mandatory). . If you cannot speak Spanish, we suggest you enroll in our Spanish language course to make your stay more rewarding – both for you and for the children you are helping. An interest in organic or sustainable farming is important. Volunteers are expected to be very self-motivated, reliable and flexible.

Volunteer Responsibilities

As a volunteer with Coopeatenas, you work alongside farmers, setting up new systems of agriculture and possibly conducting interviews and surveys. Volunteers spend a large amount of their time physically at the farms, picking coffee, learning and sharing information on organic practices.


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.

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.