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Volunteer in a Construction Project in San Jose, Costa Rica

Have you dreamed of volunteering in Costa Rica? Do you have construction skills to help repair and build schools and orphanages in impoverished communities? Join IFRE and help rebuild paradise!

The capital city of San Jose and the surrounding central valley are nestled into beautiful mountains and enjoy a much cooler, more pleasant climate than the steamy jungles elsewhere in Costa Rica. A great jumping off point for adventures around the country including beaches, volcanoes, and rainforests,

San Jose also has its 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 most heavily affected. People often live in substandard conditions and dilapidated buildings that are in desperate need of renovation and upgrading. Even schools are in 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 orphanages in poor communities in Costa Rica.

Not only do people in need receive the gift of a safe, clean, and well-maintained building to live or work in, the poor communities become nicer places to live, boosting morale and encouraging 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:

You will be working under the supervision of a Spanish speaking foreman who will oversee various construction and renovation projects. These usually involve local schools, homes for people in need, and orphanages to house children who have lost their families. You will be doing things like painting, plastering, cleaning, hauling dirt, laying tile, mixing cement, and more. Your duties will vary based on the current needs of the project and your own skillset.

The hard work you put in as construction volunteer in Costa Rica will have a profound impact on the poor communities in need you are traveling all this way to help. Children will have safe, beautiful new classrooms to learn and grow in, orphans will have a sound structure and welcoming place to lay their heads, and families whose houses were falling down will have a lovely home they can finally be proud of.

Skills and Qualifications:

At this particular project, speaking Spanish is a necessity as the foreman who will be in charge of the project and issuing directions and safety protocols is going to be speaking in Spanish, and you will be working alongside a local team.

If you need to brush up on your skills, we highly recommend you enroll in Spanish language classes. We offer them while you volunteer in Costa Rica, so it’s super convenient for you and will really assist you in performing your service work.

The primary qualification you will need to join is 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.

Working in this construction project will be an amazing and fun experience as you 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 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 its 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.

Volunteer in Costa Rica construction: Dates and Fees

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.

Our Fees

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 in 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.

Duration Construction
  1 Week   $450
  2 Weeks   $830
  3 Weeks   $1,185
  4 Weeks   $1,500
  5 Weeks   $1,760
  6 Weeks   $2,020
  7 Weeks   $2,280
  8 Weeks   $2,540
  9 Weeks   $2,800
  10 Weeks   $3,060
  11 Weeks   $3,320
  12 Weeks   $3,580

Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day »

How your fee is allocated?

Program Fees Cover:

  • Housing in shared rooms
  • Breakfast and Dinner (2 Meals) Per day.
  • Orientation
  • Project management
  • Weekly salsa lessons
  • Free Tandem Conversation Program.

Program Fees Exclude:

  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer

The volunteering overseas in Costa Rica program fees will cover expenses that will begin on the first day of the program (usually the first or third Monday of the month) 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 the additional expenses, which would typically be around $30 a day for room and meals at a hostel.

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. You will share three local healthy meals a day with them, and typical fare includes rice, beans, salad, fish or chicken, ceviche, arroz con pollo, tortillas, and soups.

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, ziplining, 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 as soon as possible if your flight is missed or delayed so that we can pick you up on correct time and date.

IFRE doesn’t offer departure transport services.


You wiYou may be eligible to simply ask for a visa stamp after your arrival at the airport in San Jose. However, we suggest you to secure 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 for more 90 days. Please visit Immigration site of Costa Rica for more detail information regarding Costa Rican visa policy.


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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Global Health Canada or in Travelers' Health United Kingdom.

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 and 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 to help 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 San Jose, 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

Teach English,

Provide healthcare,

with wildlife conservation

Provide comfort during the holidays,

offer childcare to struggling families and much more!

Contact IFRE today to learn more about these exciting opportunities!

Other Construction Programs Worldwidede

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, and some of our most popular of these programs are listed below:

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

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