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Volunteer Vacation in Costa Rica (Christmas and New Year Volunteering program)

Do you want to give back during the holidays and make a real difference in the world? How would you like to spend Christmas or New Year’s volunteering in Costa Rica? Join us on this rewarding project!

Ring in the New Year in paradise! Costa Rica is a fantastic place to spend the holidays. You won’t get quite as much rain this time of year, and everything will be green and alive and the sun will be shining. Escape winter and enjoy the country’s tropical beaches, lush rainforests, and beautiful mountains, all while spreading holiday cheer to people in need.

Although Costa Rica’s people are incredibly warm, friendly, and peaceful, many of them are also desperately poor. Around the holidays, families often don’t have the money to celebrate all of the wonderful Latin traditions usually observed and enjoyed at this time of year. Vulnerable members of society such as orphans and the elderly have it especially hard during this time, and you can help them feel loved and appreciated.

Help bring the joy of the holidays to children and elderly people in need by joining IFRE’s Christmas and New Year’s Costa Rica holiday volunteer program. Help fix up a childcare center and then volunteer with low-income kids playing games and sports. You and fellow volunteers will throw a special holiday party for the children, as well as in an elderly home, with gifts, holiday food, and local traditions.

Spread holiday cheer in paradise to kids and elderly in need! Instead of buying gifts this year, spend your money and time making a real difference in the world for people who feel abandoned and unloved.

Do you want to spend your Christmas or New Year’s spreading goodwill and happiness? Then contact us today to learn more about IFRE’s Costa Rica vacation volunteering program!

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

Volunteer Responsibilities and Impact:

In this volunteer program during the holidays, you will help out in a local childcare facility for low-income families. You will fix up the childcare center, assist with minor construction, painting, gardening and decorations. You will volunteer with the kids, playing games, sports, and doing other activities. You and your fellow volunteers will get the chance to throw a special holiday party for the kids, wrapping and giving out gifts, and serving special local holiday foods. For most of the kids, this will be their only holiday celebration and gift, so you’ll truly be making children’s dreams come true.

You may also visit a local elderly home and throw a party there. The elderly people will really appreciate your companionship during the holidays which they might have spent alone otherwise. Vacation volunteering in Costa Rica over Christmas and New Year’s is a great way to give back this holiday season and bring happiness to the lives of those in need of love and care.

Skills and Qualifications:

You do not need any special skills or qualifications to volunteer in this program. The most important qualifications when working with kids and elderly are being kind, compassionate, and a good role model. If you want to spread holiday cheer to kids in Costa Rica, please join us!

If you speak Spanish, it’ll be highly beneficial though it is not mandatory. If you would like to learn Spanish, we recommend that you join our Spanish Immersion classes. To protect the safety of the children who benefit from this program, you will have to undergo a background check.

Holiday volunteering in Costa Rica is an amazing way to spend Christmas and New Year’s. Each day will be fun and exciting as you bring joy to underappreciated members of society.

Here’s a sample schedule of what a weekday might look like for you:

  • First Day: On your first day of volunteering vacation in Costa Rica, you will be brought to the childcare center you will be helping out at by our very helpful in-country coordinator. You will meet the caring local project staff and the amazing kids you are there to help!
  • Weekdays: Your work begins on the second day, and your schedule is going to vary based on your placement. A typical day might look something like this:
  • 7.00 to 7.30 AM: Wake up and share a nice local breakfast with your Costa Rican host family. You might have rice, beans, eggs, fresh fruit and juice, and café con leche.
  • 7.45 AM: Head out to the childcare center at which you’re volunteering. Connect with the kids and make sure they have a great time.
  • 12.00 PM: Break for lunch. This is a hot part of the day in Costa Rica, so it’s nice to sit down and enjoy a meal with your fellow vacation volunteers in Costa Rica. Meet new people from all over the world this holiday!
  • 3.00 PM: When you’re not volunteering, you will be free to explore the surrounding areas! Make the most of your time in this tropical country, and team up with other volunteers to have a fun holiday abroad.
  • 6.45 PM: La familia is the cornerstone of life and culture in Latin America. Join your host family around the dinner table and experience what life is really like in Costa Rica.

Fees & Program Dates

Program Dates

Christmas Week: 21 December – 25 December

New Year’s Week: 28 December – 01 January


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 Vacation
  1 Week   $445
  2 Weeks   $720
  3 Weeks   $995
  4 Weeks   $1,205

For volunteer vacation, The fee includes weekly surcharge

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 overseas in Costa Rica program fees will cover expenses from 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

Our holiday volunteers in Costa Rica will stay with one of our socially respected and experienced host families. They will offer you a home away from home and a great chance to immerse yourself in the culture. You’ll share two healthy local meals a day (breakfast and dinner) with them, and you’ll be at your project site for lunch. We accommodate vegetarian needs but not special dietary requirements.

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

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

Free Time and Weekends:

When you’re not volunteering with the kids, you’ll be able to explore the surrounding area. On weekends you can go on excursions to many other exciting areas in this small country. You can head to the beach, the mountains, a volcano, a hot spring, or a wildlife sanctuary. Explore Costa Rica this holiday season!

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

Safety and in Country Support

Your safety is our number one priority. We have carefully planned every aspect of your trip, and we make sure you are secure and satisfied every step of the way. You will have the guidance and support of our dedicated in-country staff who you can reach out to 24/7 if you require assistance.

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 Vacation Costa Rica: FAQs

A lot of details go into planning a successful trip abroad. Here are some important things for you to know when you travel with us.

Arrival and departure

Arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. Please send us your final flight information before your departure. Our representative will pick you up at the airport once you complete immigration procedures.

We do not offer airport drop off services.


Our volunteers in Costa Rica need to have a tourist visa. You can visit the immigration office in your country to secure the visa. On arrival a visa at the airport is also available, depending on your nationality. You can extend your Costa Rican tourist visa up to 90 days. Please visit Immigration site of Costa Rica for more detailed information.


Make sure to get up to date on your vaccinations before heading abroad. Since you’ll be working with children from low-income families that may not have access to basic healthcare, and elderly people who have poor immune systems, you are going to want to be sure you are fully protected.

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

We highly recommend that you get the needed vaccinations before heading to Costa Rica for volunteering on vacation. You should be up to date on your routine vaccinations as well as Hepatitis A & B and Typhoid.

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

Why volunteer in Costa Rica for the holidays/vacations?

This holiday volunteer program is an amazing way to give back to people in need and warm your heart as you provide holiday cheer and happiness to people overlooked and abandoned by the rest of society.

Bring holiday cheer to people in need

Holidays may be a fun and festive time for some, but for people who don’t have the money or means to celebrate, it can be a sad time. Brighten the holidays for young kids and elderly people and bring celebration back into their lives!

Feel good that you’re giving back

Part of the Christmas spirit is giving to others, and the low-income families you are volunteering to help need this more than anyone. Feel good inside knowing you are making their lives happier and better.

Give the gift of time and care

Though the children will receive gifts at the holiday party, the real gift you are giving them will be the time you are spending and the care and attention they would otherwise never receive without your vacation volunteering in Costa Rica.

Do something different this year

This holiday season, change your routine. Share some of your favorite traditions with kids in need who have never experienced anything like that before. Travel somewhere new, make new friends, and make the world a better place. Give yourself the gift of a brand-new experience!

Travel to beautiful Costa Rica

One of the best parts about IFRE’s Costa Rica holiday volunteer project is getting to travel to such an exciting and beautiful location. Enjoy Christmas and New Year’s in paradise!

Contact IFRE today to join us for our Costa Rica holiday volunteer program!

Other Volunteering Opportunities in Costa Rica

Perhaps you want to volunteer in Costa Rica but can’t go there during the holiday season. Luckily there are many other ways for you to make a difference here with IFRE. You can join any of our following projects.

Contact IFRE today to learn more!

Other Volunteering Projects Worldwide

We offer different kinds of volunteering projects in many countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America. You can choose a project of your liking from our Childcare, Teaching English, Medical, Environmental Conservation, Wildlife Conservation and Women Empowerment among others. We also offer Family Volunteering, Summer Volunteer Programs, Gap Year Opportunities and High School Volunteer Programs.

Contact IFRE today to find the project that is right for you.

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

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