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Accommodations and Meals in Costa Rica

You’re traveling to Costa Rica to make the world a better place, and IFRE wants you to be able to focus on your volunteer project and the amazing time you’re having abroad. That’s why we arrange all of your accommodations and meals for you, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

While volunteering in Costa Rica, you’ll have safe, clean, and comfortable accommodations and be served three healthy, local meals each day. Keep reading to find out all the details:

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Host Family

You’ll have the enriching opportunity to stay in the welcoming home of one of our experienced local Costa Rican host families. This will give you the chance to become fully immersed in a new culture, feel right at home while you travel abroad, and gain a much deeper appreciation for daily life in your host country.

Our host families are highly experienced in working with international volunteers in Costa Rica, live in good neighborhoods, and have safe, tidy, and comfortable homes. We have been carefully cultivating our home stay experience since 2006. Your host family will go out of their way to ensure you are having an amazing time and have everything you need.

Not only will your host family include you in daily life and ease your transition into life abroad, they will introduce you to exciting, fascinating aspects about their culture. You’ll try new foods, and be included in traditional customs, and holidays. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice your Spanish and learn more about your new friends!

While volunteering in Costa Rica, you’ll be staying in a spacious and comfortable bedroom in the home of your host family. You will likely be sharing the space with fellow volunteers of the same gender, along with a communal bathroom that has running water and a western style flush toilet. You can expect clean linens, electrical outlets, and a fan.

Facilities: Spacious bedrooms (shared with same gender), shared bathroom, comfortable beds, electricity, fans, western toilet, regular supply of water, safe and sound living environment, quality cooked meals.


Meal

Three healthy local meals a day are included in your Costa Rica volunteer fee. You’ll be enjoying typical fare, and most meals will include the staple rice and beans. You’ll share these meals around the table with your welcoming local host family, a great chance to practice speaking Spanish and learning more about Costa Rican culture.

If your project site is a bit of a distance from the home of your host family, you can ask for a lunch to-go to take along with you to eat at your project site. This will give you the chance to share that meal with your fellow volunteers, a great opportunity to chat about the great work you are doing together, and bond with like-minded friends from around the world.

Costa Rica volunteerswill be served tea/coffee, eggs, toast, bread, fresh fruit and other local dishes during breakfast. A variety of local Costa Rican dishes, including white rice, plantains, beans, picadillo, salad, and varieties of meat are served during lunch and dinner.

If you are a vegetarian or vegan and let us know in advance, we can accommodate your diet. Unfortunately, our host families cannot accommodate other highly specialized diets. If the local fare doesn’t suit you and you’d prefer to eat out, there are a number of restaurants available with a range of cuisines and budgets.


Costa Rican Cuisine

Although Costa Rica isn’t well-known for its cuisine, eating local foods and getting a true taste for your host country is part of the adventure of volunteering abroad. You’ll find fresh ingredients and Latin staples like rice and beans, but none of the spicy flavors you might expect. Be sure to try these traditional dishes while volunteering in Costa Rica:

Gallo Pinto is a wildly popular breakfast dish (although enjoyed throughout the day), which literally translated means, “Spotted Rooster”. The dish is prepared from rice and beans blended with cilantro, red bell peppers, onions, and Salsa Lizano, the official condiment of Costa Rica.

Casado, which means, “Marriage on a Plate,” is a traditional dish you’ll find at the local low-cost eateries called sodas and also served at homes throughout Costa Rica. It consists of rice, beans, a type of salad, plantains, and some kind of protein, most often chicken or fish.

Chifrijo is a popular lunch you simply must try while volunteering in Costa Rica. Each eatery will prepare it a bit differently but it’s essentially a layered dish of some of Costa Rica’s top flavors: Rice, Beans, Chimichurri (a fresh tomato salsa similar to Pico de Gallo), and Chicharrons (Fried Pork Rinds) served with fresh fried tortilla chips to dip with.

Be sure to get a true taste for Costa Rica while you’re traveling abroad!

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