Volunteering in Costa Rica

Academia Tica's Volunteer Program in Costa Rica (community service work or service learning) is a perfect opportunity to travel within Costa Rica, practice the language and lend some help.

These once-in-a-lifetime experiences present the opportunity to grow by working along with people, in nature or with animals. It is a mixture of adventure, hard work, learning and making a difference.

All our volunteering projects have been carefully selected to work with foreigners. You will go to a place where you are really needed and able to help.

Volunteers in Costa Rica working on an organic farm

This program is for those students who:

  • Are at least 18 years old (minors can come as part of a group).
  • Enroll for a minimum of a 2-week Spanish course at Academia Tica prior to the start of the program.
  • Have a Spanish level of A2 (all nature-related projects) or B1 (social projects). Students with considerable lower levels should take into account a longer Spanish course before the start of the volunteering period.
  • Are able to commit for the minimum project length. The standard period is 2 weeks, although some projects may require up to 4 weeks.
  • For all nature related projects, volunteers should be in good health and willing to work in humid and hot conditions. All volunteers should come with medical insurance and communicate any medical condition or allergies.


Groups of all ages are welcome! This includes working in projects for long or short periods of time in any of our project categories. Please let us know your expectations for the group's work and let's bring them to an extraordinary experience!

Why volunteer?

Each year, volunteers' work represent valuable hours that save the already scarce resources that can be used to improve the conditions of each project. You could see it another way: volunteer's work may be something that will never be done if you're not there! At the same time, there is a great desire for sharing knowledge and learning both ways.

Why does volunteering has cost?

The reason for this is that all projects are in a very tight financial situation and most are actually only able to function with the support of volunteers. Most projects have high operation costs: imagine in an animal rescue project, how much animals have to eat, how much you have to spend in cleaning equipment and supplies, how much the people that are working there year-round should earn how much does an enclosure cost... animals can't live properly in small cages! Also, they don't have the money to cover the living expenses of their volunteers. This is where you come in, contributing to the cause.

Projects usually require a donation or fee that helps covering administration and material costs. This is charged at the moment of your booking to ensure your spot. Academia Tica has a fee of $100 for all administrative work related to your inscription, selection of project and other activities. The school also has a charge of $50 which covers a donation/sign up fee that projects always require. Lodging fees should be paid directly to the project managers and is approximately $30-$35 per day (in most cases this includes three meals).


  • Learning about things that will have an impact during your lifetime! From experience, we know that you acquire skills that will be developing over the years.
  • Practice Spanish (of course!).
  • Meet other people with a vocation for help.
  • Meet really interesting Costa Ricans.
  • Visit places and do things that even locals don't know about.

Volunteering project types

Animal Rescue Projects

As close as it gets to wild animals

Volunteer with sloths at Animal Rescue Centers in Costa Rica

Wild animals constantly face a big range of situations caused by human intervention. From illegal captivity to hunting and even the danger of crossing the street. Many of these wild animals are found in precarious conditions and have to be brought to rescue centers. The job is to make their living conditions the best possible and help them recover.

More about Animal Rescue Volunteering Programs >>

Social Volunteering Projects

Every effort makes a big difference

Social Volunteering Projects and Spanish in Costa Rica

The projects with social institutions and communities focus on human interaction with vulnerable populations and special needs. This is a field where no action is rendered little, and every moment is a chance for learning about you, about life and the others.

More about Social Volunteering Programs >>

Turtle Protection Projects

Your turn as stepmoms and dads

Turtle Protection programs in Costa Rica

We are blessed with thousands of turtles coming to our shores each year, but this also bears a huge responsability. Turtles are among the most beautiful and interesting animals out there, but also among the most endangered species. These projects are about helping to improve the nesting conditions of these amazing reptiles, thereby increasing the life expectancy of baby turtles.

More about Turtle Protection Volunteering >>

Organic Farm Volunteering Projects

The future means respect for nature

Organic Farm Volunteering in Costa Rica

More and more, organic practices are adopted everywhere in the world for their potential in sustainability, social and economic development. This integrated model farm is visited by experts and institutions for its implementation of agricultural techniques and it's owned by a well-known organic pioneer in Costa Rica. Grow vegetables, take care of farm animals and make vermicompost!

More about Organic Farm Volunteering >>

Nature Conservation Projects

The best way to experience nature

Volunteering in Costa Rica, Nature conservation
Work on national parks and special conservation projects all around Costa Rica. You will live in volunteer shelters in remote areas where help is needed most. Work, learn and see animals, plants, landscapes and forests that are among the world's most beautiful and diverse.

More about Nature Conservation Volunteering >>


Academia Tica and the community

Academia Tica is actively involved with the communities of Coronado and Jacó. Our philosophy of teaching is that a student should not only strive for a "travel" but rather a "travel, learn and get involved" concept. We collaborate with many local social institutions and enterprises.

Locos por el Bosque
Since 2015, Academia Tica has been sponsoring a local environmental project: Locos por el Bosque (in English: "crazy for the forest"). This new project has been protecting an important wildlife corridor between Braulio Carrillo and Irazú National Parks in the mountains of Coronado's cloud forest. The area is home to monkeys, birds, resplendent quetzals, trogons, big cats and other mammals along with a high diversity of plants and endemic species in general. It has an interesting ecotourism and adventure approach that also includes the very small community of Monserrat. Locos has been one of our favorite places to visit for some time for its beautiful untouched scenery that is hardly accessible in this pristine condition in any other location in Costa Rica. For more information about Locos por el Bosque, visit their Facebook page and also check out some of the animals we've seen there on our "Wildlife around us" album on Facebook!
Visiting Locos por el Bosque Private Reserve

Visiting "Locos por el Bosque" Private Reserve