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Working with Underprivileged Children in Costa Rica

Do you love kids and want to help those in need? Would you like to travel to Costa Rica and volunteer abroad? Join IFRE and make a difference in paradise!

Costa Rica is the jewel of Central America. You’ll be delighted to find an array of exotic wildlife, beautiful beaches, friendly locals, and endless opportunities for adventure. It’s no wonder that this amazing place attracts countless visitors each year longing to lose themselves in paradise.

Although rich in natural resources, many Costa Ricans suffer from poverty. Poor families struggle to afford childcare, and they often have to choose between not going to work or leaving their children alone and unsupervised. Volunteer in Costa Rica with IFRE and help change this!

IFRE teams up with local community centers to provide safe and reliable childcare to low-income families so they can go to work and make the money they need to improve their situation. You will provide compassionate and attentive care to Costa Rican children, teaching them, playing games, and offering them a safe and happy environment to grow and develop in.

Volunteer with underprivileged children in Costa Rica and help poor families earn the money they need to survive. Give them the peace of mind that their children are well-cared for and in good hands. The love, care and attention you provide these children will greatly influence them as they feel inspired and motivated to lead successful and productive adult lives.

Are you interested in providing relief to struggling families and creating a safe and loving environment for children in need? Then contact IFRE today to learn more about this exciting opportunity to help children succeed!

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Volunteer Responsibilities and Impact:

You will be helping care for low-income children in community centers. You will spend most of your time keeping them engaged in fun and positive activities, helping with homework, and playing with the kids and giving them the care and attention they deserve. You may also help educate them on hygiene and cleanliness issues.

Without the help of volunteers like yourself, these poor families would be put in a terrible position. Since the parents need to work to keep food on the table and a house over their heads, the children would be left home alone and would not receive the care and attention they need to develop properly and have safe, happy, and fulfilling childhoods.

Skills and Qualifications:

The primary qualification to join our childcare project is a love for children and a passion for making a difference in their lives. You will need to be patient, compassionate, and act as a good role model. In order to protect these vulnerable young children, you will need to go undergo a background check before you can participate.

If you speak Spanish, it’ll be highly beneficial to you during your time volunteering in Costa Rica program. If you cannot speak the language or want to brush up on your skills, we highly recommend you enroll in Spanish language classes. We offer them while you volunteer so it’s super convenient for you and will really help you in caring for underprivileged Costa Rican children, connecting with them, and understanding their needs.

Working with children from poor families in Costa Rica is an incredibly fulfilling experience that will present you with fun and exciting adventures each and every day.

Here is a sample schedule to give you a rough idea of what you can expect from your service project. Actual hours worked will vary based on your project placement. Since you’ll be caring for children while their parents work, the project will likely have a schedule which accommodates the parent’s work hours.

  • First Day: On your first day of volunteering with under privileged children in Costa Rica, you will be brought to the community center you will be working at. You will meet the dedicated local project staff, and all the awesome kids you will be caring for. You’ll have an orientation where you’ll learn all about your project, your daily schedule, safety measures to follow, and the customs and culture of Costa Rica.
  • Weekdays: Your work with the kids begins on the second day, and your exact schedule is going to vary based on your placement. A typical day might look something like this:
  • 7.00 to 7.30 AM: Start your day with a traditional Costa Rican breakfast shared with your host family, one where the kitchen may be filled with the smell of fresh tortillas and delicious café con leche. Costa Rican breakfasts are often large, and include gallo pinto, a signature rice and beans dish, and fresh fruit.
  • 7.45 AM: Head off to the community center you’ll be helping out at. Enjoy a fun-filled day of caring for Costa Rican children in need.
  • 12.00 PM: Lunch break. Head back to your host family or spend the time bonding with your fellow volunteers in Costa Rica children program and making friends from around the world.
  • 3.00 PM: After your volunteering ends for the day, you’re free to explore the surrounding area and have some fun! Team up with your fellow volunteers and make memories that will last a lifetime.
  • 6.45 PM: Gather around the table with your host family for dinner each night. A traditional meal is the Casado, or marriage on a plate. It features rice, beans, some type of salad, a protein, and usually cooked plantains. Practice your Spanish and get immersed in the Costa Rican culture!

Working with Underprivileged Children in Costa Rica: 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 Underprivileged Children
  1 Week   $185
  2 Weeks   $350
  3 Weeks   $515
  4 Weeks   $680
  5 Weeks   $845
  6 Weeks   $1,100
  7 Weeks   $1,175
  8 Weeks   $1,340
  9 Weeks   $1,505
  10 Weeks   $1,670
  11 Weeks   $1,835
  12 Weeks   $2,000

Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day »

How your fee is allocated?

Program Fees Cover:

  • Airport Pick up and transfer
  • Housing(Host family)
  • Breakfast and Dinner (2 Meals) Per day
  • Orientation
  • Project management
  • Local Support

Program Fees Exclude:

  • Lunch
  • 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.

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Accommodation and Meal

All of our volunteers in Costa Rica will have the chance to get immersed in the local culture by staying with one of experienced and welcoming host families. They will offer you safe and secure housing and share three local healthy meals a day with you.

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

Free Time and Weekends:

San Jose has lots of parks, shopping, museums, and restaurants to keep you busy in the evenings, which you’ll have free. You’ll also be off on the weekends, so take off on an adventure to the many accessible destinations around this small country. Swim at the base of a waterfall, hike to a volcano, visit a wildlife sanctuary, or lounge on a picturesque beach, the opportunities for exploration is endless.

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

Safety and in Country Support

Your safety is our top priority during your Costa Rica volunteering experience. We go out of our way to make sure you have a secure and successful time abroad. We carefully select safe destinations and trusted and professional local partners. We also offer guidance and support from our fantastic in-country staff who you can reach out to at any time if something should happen.

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

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Working with Underprivileged Children in Costa Rica: FAQs

IFRE takes care of all those little details needed to plan the perfect Costa Rica volunteer trip. Here are some of the things you should know when traveling abroad with us:

Arrival and departure

You will fly into Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. Make sure you let us know the details of your flight, and we’ll make sure we have someone waiting for you when you land who will take you safely to your accommodations.

IFRE doesn’t offer departure transport services after you are done, so you’ll need to plan for this. Just check with your local project staff, and they’ll be happy to let you know how to set up a taxi to the airport.


You will need to apply for a visa in advance depending on your nationality. Do some research ahead of time and find out the requirements for someone from your home country.

A lot of volunteers will be eligible to simply ask for a visa stamp after your arrival at the airport as you pass through immigration. Most will be eligible for a 90-day tourist visa but you should know you will need to provide proof of onward travel. If you have a round trip ticket, this will serve as all the proof you need.

You should know that it is not possible to extend your Costa Rican tourist visa beyond 90 days. Should you desire to stay in the country longer, you will need to pass over the border and re-enter. The law states a mandatory 72-hour departure, though at most border crossings only 3 hours is enforced.

Research the visa requirements at the official Immigration site of Costa Rica.


Our volunteers project in Costa Rica should get up to date on your vaccines before heading abroad. Since you’ll be working with children from low-income families that may not have access to basic healthcare, 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Global Health Canada or in Travelers' Health United Kingdom.

We highly recommend that you get all the recommended vaccinations before heading to Costa Rica for volunteering 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 underprivileged children in Costa Rica?

For anyone who loves children, this opportunity to work with them is an amazing experience that will fulfill your passion and broaden your horizons as you volunteer and travel with amazing like-minded individuals.

Embrace your love of kids

If you have always loved kids and have a passion for working with them, this is the perfect project for you! You will get to play games, have fun, and bring smiles to their little faces. These Costa Rican kids will touch your heart and you’ll remember these moments forever!

Help poor families make a living

The impoverished families served by our Costa Rica working with children project already have difficult lives filled with many struggles, and they shouldn’t have to choose between going to work and making sure their children are receiving the care they need. With your help, they don’t have to!

Make the world a better place

The nightly news is full of all the bad things happening around the globe, but a lot of good stuff is happening, too! The actions of good people like you, no matter how small, really add up! Volunteering helping kids in need makes an impact on the individual child, the parents and family, and by extension, the community. Little by little, you’ll be making the world a better place.

Gain valuable experience

Volunteering project in Costa Rica offering childcare to poor families will teach you a lot of valuable skills and looks great on your resume. From gaining hands-on experiencefor jobs in teaching or childcare to just showing you are a compassionate and proactive do-gooder; this experience can really help you in your future education and career goals.

Visit the exciting country of Costa Rica!

One of the best parts of this project is its attractive location! Costa Rica is an amazing country with a million things to do and see while you’re there. Explore the unique city of San Jose, check out the many volcanos and hot springs, hike in the rainforest, go ziplining, snorkel, hang out at beautiful beaches, and make friends with the welcoming locals!

Other Volunteering Opportunities in San Jose, Costa Rica

You can make a difference in a multitude of ways in San Jose, Costa Rica. You can

Teach English,

Provide comfort during the holidays,

Help build schools,

Provide medical care,

Work in conservation, and much more.

Contact IFRE today to learn more about these exciting opportunities!

Other Orphanage and Children Projects Worldwide

The inability to care for children due to demanding work hours and lack of resources is sadly a prevalent problem in much of the world. To help support these families who only want the best for their children, IFRE arranges childcare projects in many different countries, the most popular of which are listed below::

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