Volunteer with Children

Volunteer Working With Children

Working with Children in Costa Rica

In 2016 Tico Lingo partnered with a nonprofit kindergarten in Costa Rica dedicated to providing basic care, food, and education to children ages 3 months to 12 years old. The program helps local families who have few resources to care for children and provides a space where children can find assistance with school work, emotional support, and adult supervision.

Working with over 100 children, the day-to-day at the Kindergarten can be a bit hectic. But as a whole, there are plenty of smiles to been seen as children and staff have fun playing games, organizing activities, and sharing meals together.

Volunteer Details

As a volunteer, you will be working alongside local staff and playing a hands-on role in providing much-needed support at the kindergarten. Your tasks may include everything from providing hygiene education to playing soccer, to teaching how to tie shoes and helping with homework.

This volunteer project is all about being flexible and playing a huge supportive role to the local staff. It’s suited for volunteers with a go-getter attitude who are interested in working with children and providing them with support, education, and assistance in a fun and supportive environment.

This program includes the following items:

  • 1 week of group Spanish classes (20 hours/wk, M-F) with Homestay family accommodation
  • Breakfast and dinner, 7 days/week with homestay family
  • Airport pick-up from San José Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO)
  • 4-6 hours/day volunteer work at local kindergarten with children ages 1 – 12 years old
  • Orientation tour and map of Heredia and surrounding area
  • Official certificate of volunteer service stating length of stay and details of work
  • 24/7 emergency support via phone, 7am-7pm in-person support at the school
  • Oral exam to ensure proper Spanish leveling conducted via Whatsapp or Skype
  • Conversational classes with local Costa Ricans every Thursday

Things to know about this program:

  • Signup dates are available year round and this programs begin every Monday.
  • Volunteers should plan to arrive the Saturday or Sunday before their desired start date.
  • Volunteers are not required to have experience in childcare or education to take part in this project.
  • Due to the necessity of conversational Spanish skills, each volunteer will go through a 1-week Spanish program that will orient them to the language and local dialect.
  • Before each volunteer’s arrival, we conduct a thorough written and oral exam to assess their Spanish level and place them in the class that suits them best. Each volunteer will be placed with a group that shares the same listening and reading comprehension as well as similar abilities in speaking and conversation.
  • All programs regardless of length include homestay accommodation
  • We recommend volunteers bring an extra $50 USD in cash for afternoon lunch, souvenirs, and any forgotten toiletries. See our What to pack blog post for recommendations.

All volunteers will be asked for the following before arrival:

  • A résumé (or CV) for review
  • A 300 word motivation letter (in your preferred language) explaining why you want to volunteer in Costa Rica with children.
  • Arrival details; airline, flight number, date, and time
  • A 35% deposit for the total cost of the program (100% refundable up to 3 weeks before arrival)

Airport Arrival
Upon arrival at San José Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO), you will be met by a Tico Lingo team member waiting for you outside with a sign and your name on it. Together you will drive by car roughly 30 minutes to your assigned homestay family in Heredia. You’ll be introduced to homestay family, given keys to your bedroom and outside gate, and set up with wifi internet. Come Monday morning, your homestay mom will walk you to your first day of Spanish class

Spanish Classes and Orientation
Comprised of no more than 6 total students, classes start at 8am and go till 12pm. Nearly 100% of the class is taught in Spanish emphasizing listening and speaking skills. Coffee and tea is included! 🙂 After your first day of class, volunteers will partake in a 2-3 hour walking tour of downtown Heredia. A Tico Lingo team member will show you great local restaurants, the central market, and central parks for reference.

The Volunteer Project
First Day: Volunteers will start their volunteer work on their second Monday in Costa Rica. On the first day, a Tico Lingo team member will accompany you to the kindergarten where they will introduce you to your main contact and set you up with necessary materials.

While Volunteering: Volunteers are encouraged to visit us at the school and participate in yoga, dance, and cooking class (at an additional fee) as well as our conversation classes with local (free of charge)

Last Day: All volunteers will receive a certificate of completion of their volunteer program. Staff will celebrate and wish you safe travels.

Transportation to Airport: We used to provide airport drop offs, but since Uber arrived here in early 2017, we’ve been asking students and volunteers to simply download the app and take an Uber to the airport. Schedule’s tend to change, students want to stay longer, or pickup locations can be different than from the homestay which can all make organizing an airport drop off very difficult — we’ve seen much more success and flexibility for students going this route. Standard rates are about $8-$10 from Tico Lingo to the airport.

Fees associated with this program.
*Note that each program includes a 1-week intensive Spanish language course.

Length of Program Program Fee ($USD)
3 weeks $850
4 weeks $1,130
5 weeks $1,400
6 weeks $1,660
Extra Week Volunteer $230
Additional Details:
• A 3.5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
• To convert these prices to your local currency click here.
Additional Costs:
• Flights, travel insurance (not-mandatory), souvenirs
• Weekend tours and activities offered by Tico Lingo (if desired)
• Uber back to the airport at conclusion of the program
• Spending money – volunteers in Costa Rica generally find $50USD to be sufficient for weekly expenses
• Additional Spanish classes (discounted to $260USD/week for volunteers)

Program Perks

Homestay Accommodation

Support a local family financially, share breakfast and dinner with them daily, and take advantage of wifi, your own bedroom, and a place to relax.

Make an Impact on a Community

Volunteers will be teaching, supporting, and working one-on-one with children and families in a local community in Heredia.

Airport Pickup at Any Arrival Time

Regardless as to what time you arrive, a friendly face will be at the airport to pick you up and introduce you to the family you’ll be living with.

Spanish Classes and Orientation

Each program includes a 1-week intensive Spanish course aimed to help you orientate to the language, culture, and city of Heredia.

Looking for something different?

Check out our flexible adult programs