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Volunteer in a Construction Project in Costa Rica

Have you dreamed of volunteering in Costa Rica? Do you wish to utilize your construction experience to help impoverished communities? Join IFRE and help rebuild paradise!

The capital city and many touristic regions of Costa Rica are built up and have the most scenic beaches, volcanoes, and rainforests. The cities of Costa Rica have their own charm, with shops, restaurants, museums, parks and historical buildings like the National Theater.

Sadly, over a quarter of Costa Ricans live in poverty, with those living in rural areas being

most heavily affected. People often live in substandard conditions and dilapidated buildings that are in desperate need of renovation and upgrading. Many community centers and facilities are in dire states of disrepair, and these poor communities need the aid of volunteers to come to Costa Rica and help them address these serious problems.

IFRE has ongoing construction projects to offer these communities the help they need. We work with local foremen, and our international volunteers join teams building or repairing homes, schools, and community centers in poor regions of Costa Rica. By volunteering, you will help provide safe, clean, and well-maintained buildings for the poor communities and boost their morale as well as encourage other members of the community to make repairs and take pride in the place they live.

Do you want to change the lives of entire communities of people in need? Then contact IFRE today to learn more about volunteering in Costa Rica construction projects.

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Volunteer Responsibilities and Impact:

When you join this Construction volunteer program in Costa Rica, you will participate in various construction projects under the guidance of professional local foremen. Your duties will vary based on the current needs of the project, your own skillset and your Spanish skills. Volunteers will work 3-4 hours per day Monday to Friday. Work hours may be in the morning or afternoon depending on the project.

Your duties will include digging, removing dirt, carrying bricks and other manual work. You will help build, create, repair, paint, renovate, or make improvements in community centers, assisted facilities, clinics and schools. You will build, cut, mix, paint, install as well as possibly participate in activities such as excavation, painting, mixing cement, laying brick, and plastering depending on your capabilities.

The Construction volunteer program in Costa Rica provides an amazing opportunity for volunteers to make a profound difference in the lives of people in need and uplift disadvantaged communities. You will also learn about construction work and take part in a team effort while improving the well-being of the locals.

Skills and Qualifications:

The primary qualifications needed for the Construction Volunteer Program are a willingness to work hard in varying conditions such as heat, humidity, and rain, as well as a passion and love for helping those less fortunate. You need to be physically fit and mentally prepared to do manual labor as the work could be physically demanding. You will also need to be flexible and able to follow instructions. If you have a specific skill set, you will be assigned work accordingly and your schedule may vary based on project needs, the construction schedule and weather.

Volunteers need to be 16 years or older to join this program on their own. Volunteers below the age of 18 years old will need parental consent and those below the age of 16 years old need to be accompanied by their parent, guardian or faculty leader if they wish to volunteer. Volunteers need to bring gloves, work boots, and safety glasses.

Though not mandatory, it will be helpful to have basic Spanish skills. If you want to learn Spanish skills, we highly recommend that you join our Spanish Immersion classes. We offer them while you volunteer and you will get a chance to practice your newly learned skills.

Working in this construction project will be an amazing and fun experience. You will work closely with the local community and immerse yourself in their culture and daily life.

Although we provide a sample schedule here, at our construction project you are going to need to be really flexible when it comes to when the work gets done. Your service work will revolve around what is being done at the project site, and this is dependent on when supplies are available, the construction schedule, and the weather.

  • First Day : On your first day of volunteering in Costa Rica construction project, you will be brought to your project site by our dedicated in-country coordinator. You will meet the local foreman and his team and your fellow volunteers. You’ll undergo an orientation session, and we’ll go over your duties, schedule, safety, and the customs and culture of Costa Rica to prepare you for a successful volunteer trip abroad.
  • Weekdays: Your work begins on the second day. Keep in mind IFRE has ongoing construction projects, and as soon as one is completed, we move on to another. Each project has its own schedule and hours, so think of this a rough guide for what a typical day might look like:
  • 6.00 to 7.30 AM: Share a traditional breakfast with your host family. Gallo pinto, a delicious national dish, often factors into this, along with fresh fruit, juices, and cooked plantains.
  • 7.45 AM: Travel to your project site from your host family home and get ready for an exciting day of construction volunteering in Costa Rica! Keep in mind transportation in Costa Rica isn’t always straightforward. Local buses are cheap and plentiful, but can get crowded, run behind or arrive early, and you may need to take a transfer or two to get where you’re going. Think of it as part of the adventure!
  • 12.00 PM: Lunch break. You might head home to your host family if it is close, but more than likely you’ll take a lunch to-go and eat at the project site with the rest of the crew. Take the opportunity to bond with the local project staff and your fellow volunteers.
  • 3.00 PM: After a hard day’s work, you can return to your host family’s home and relax. If you’re feeling up to it, explore the surrounding area and see what hidden gems you can find.

Fees & Program Dates

Program Dates

IFRE programs begin every Monday year-round. If you have travel constraints, you can still start your chosen program on any day of the year.

Volunteers can participate in our program anywhere from 1 week up to 12 weeks


Since 2006, IFRE has been the most trusted and respected volunteer abroad organization in the world, and also the most affordable. We’re dedicated to providing the highest quality volunteer programs at the lowest fees, which make it possible for everyone, especially students, to volunteer internationally and make a positive impact on the lives of others.

We believe in 100% transparency. Rest assured, we never use middlemen. Your one-time registration fee of $299 covers our administrative costs. The low weekly fee is paid in the host country directly to your host family and project (via country coordinator), and includes housing, food, and minor expenses. IFRE is a non-profit organization, so your program fees are tax deductible.

Volunteer Program Fees (US$)

Duration San Jose Manuel Antonio
  1 Week   $550   -
  2 Weeks   $955   -
  3 Weeks   $1,360   $1,350
  4 Weeks   $1,725   $1,630
  5 Weeks   $2,005   $1,825
  6 Weeks   $2,285   $2,020
  7 Weeks   $2,565   $2,215
  8 Weeks   $2,845   $2,410
  9 Weeks   $3,125   $2,605
  10 Weeks   $3,405   $2,800
  11 Weeks   $3,685   $2,995
  12 Weeks   $3,965   $3,190

Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day ( below 28 years) and $4.49/day ( above 28 years) »

Spanish Immersion Classes
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica - $150/week
San Jose, Costa Rica - $125/week

How your fee is allocated?

Program Fees Cover:

  • Shared Accommodation with host family
  • 2 meals per day (Breakfast & Dinner)
  • Airport Pick up
  • In-country support
  • Program Orientation
  • Project Management
  • Volunteer Certificate
  • Discount for returning volunteers

Program Fees Exclude:

  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses such as soft drinks and snacks
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer

The volunteering in Costa Rica program fees will cover expenses that will begin on the first day of the program to the last day of the program. If you arrive before the first day of the program or you decide you stay beyond your program’s last day, you will be responsible for any additional expenses.

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Accommodation and Meal

While volunteering in Costa Rica, you will have the culturally immersive experience of staying with one of our welcoming host families in their safe and comfortable home. We have carefully vetted our host families and accommodations to ensure that you have a delightful stay.

You will be provided with shared accommodations and you will be sharing a room with another volunteer of the same gender. Volunteer rooms are basic, clean and comfortable. You will have access to showers, hygienic toilets and electricity. The volunteer project may be walking distance from your accommodations or require public transportation.

Volunteers will be provided with 2 local meals a day (breakfast and dinner). We accommodate vegetarian needs but not special dietary requirements.

Learn more about IFRE’s accommodations and meals in Costa Rica. .

Free Time and Weekends:

Most of our construction projects are located in and around San Jose. For your evenings off, the city offers shopping, restaurants, cultural experiences, live music, and theater. It is also a fantastic place to easily get to many places around the country, and weekends can have you visiting a wildlife sanctuary in the rainforest, zip lining, trekking up a volcano, lounging on a nearly deserted beach, or sampling delicious coffee at one of the country’s many plantations.

Discover what to do in your free time in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Safety and in Country Support

Your safety is our biggest priority while you are volunteering abroad in Costa Rica. From pre-trip planning, trusted local partners, comprehensive travel coverage, and nearly 15 years of experience in the industry, IFRE’s got you covered when it comes to security. You’ll also have the guidance and support of our dedicated in-country staff of passionate humanitarians who will be right there to help you at all times.

Learn more about IFRE’s safety and support in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Volunteer in Costa Rica construction: FAQs

Planning a volunteer trip abroad can be a daunting task, and it can seem like there are a lot of details you need to consider. IFRE helps take care of everything for you. Here are a few things you should know when traveling with us:

Arrival and departure

Juan Santamaria International Airport is where you should arrive to be a part of your Costa Rica volunteering project. Please do not forget to send us your final flight information. Contact us as soon as possible if your flight is missed or delayed so that we can pick you up at the correct time and date.

IFRE doesn’t offer departure transport services.


You may be eligible to simply ask for a visa stamp after your arrival at the airport in San Jose. However, we suggest you secure your tourist visa before heading to Costa Rica in order to avoid unwanted bothers. You can simply secure a 90-day tourist visa and can further extend it for another 90 days. Please visit the Immigration site of Costa Rica for more detailed information regarding Costa Rican visa policies.


Getting vaccinated before heading off to volunteer in Costa Rica is the best way to keep yourself safe and healthy. Since you’ll be doing manual labor, you’ll want to be sure you are at your best physically.

Please consult your travel doctor who is knowledgeable about current health issues and epidemics in Costa Rica. You can also find the information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Global Health Canada or in Travelers' Health United Kingdom. websites.

We highly recommend you to get all the recommended vaccinations before heading to Costa Rica for volunteering in our program. You should be up to date on your routine vaccines, as well as Hepatitis A & B and Typhoid.

For more readings
Volunteer Health and Safety
Safety tips for your volunteer abroad trip

Why volunteer with IFRE’s Costa Rica construction volunteer program?

Working in this construction program allows you an amazing chance to work directly with the community and immerse yourself in their daily life, becoming an integral part of the place you work.

Help rebuild paradise!

Costa Rica is a tropical paradise, but many of the communities have very dilapidated buildings that need repair. Help these friendly people have a better quality of life by lending your construction skills, valuable time and hard work!

Put your construction skills to good use!

Maybe you’re a professional contractor, or maybe you’re just handy and know how to swing a hammer. No matter what your construction skills are, you can start putting them to good use and helping others in need with them. You’ll feel great giving back!

Beautify an impoverished community!

The poor communities you will be volunteering in Costa Rica will become beautiful, safe places for people to gather. This boosts the overall morale of the community as a whole, and makes people take pride in their surroundings.

Provide a better quality of life to people in need!

Costa Rica is a place of hot and humid temperatures, torrential rain, and tens of thousands of species of insects. When buildings fall into disrepair, all these elements make their way inside, creating substandard living conditions. Help improve the quality of life for local Costa Ricans!

Other Volunteering Opportunities in Costa Rica

If you don’t think you’re up for the physical labor of this project, don’t worry, as there are other ways you can make a difference in this amazing place. You can join any of our following projects.

Contact IFRE today to learn more!

Other Construction Programs Worldwide

There are sadly many communities around the world in desperate need of renovation and construction for a variety of reasons. Thus, IFRE arranges construction volunteer programs all across the globe to help these communities in need.

Contact IFRE today to find out more about our Construction Projects.

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

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