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TEFL Training In Costa Rica | Updated: 02/13/2023

How Can I Volunteer in Costa Rica?

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

There are a number of ways one can volunteer in Costa Rica:  beach cleanups, wildlife refuges, hostels, sustainable farming, and the list goes on and on.  However, we’d like to share some ideas on how you can volunteer your time as a teacher to really make a difference in someone’s life by giving the opportunity to learn or practice English.

Hogares Crea

Located throughout the country, Hogares Crea is a center focused on assisting those with addictions in creating a new life with good habits and goals.  The residents live there for the duration of their program, and there are centers for adults and others for teenage boys.  We work closely with one of the teen Hogares Creas that is near our school in Barva, Heredia.  At any given time, there are between twenty and thirty adolescent boys in the program.  They study, do chores and participate in activities throughout the week and are often able to visit their families on the weekends.  

Trainees in our TEFL program teach some of their practical teaching classes there, and some of our other teachers volunteer their time to teach the boys English between TEFL courses.  There are other ways to volunteer at Hogares Crea depending on your availability and Spanish skills.  With permission from the director and board, one can tutor other subjects or assist in daily activities like preparing meals.  Furthermore, they are typically in need of supplies, so you can also make a donation.  Find out where the Hogares Crea is in your area and see how you can help!  

Youth for Christ

Working with kids and teens in a marginalized community of Heredia, Youth for Christ (YFC) is always looking for volunteers to love on these kids and give them a chance to escape the everyday challenges of their home life. YFC offers snacks, playtime and tutoring on Mondays and Tuesdays and would prefer help from people that speak Spanish on those days. On Fridays, they provide an English class for 4-6 year olds. You do not need to know any Spanish to help with this! 

Although YFC is a Christian organization,the goal of the club is simply to love and encourage these kids.  Not only will you be making a difference in these kids' lives, volunteer work and teaching experience always look good on resumes!  Additionally, if you can't offer your time, YFC gives the kids snacks each week and would love some help baking or with donations.

Again, if you aren’t in Heredia, don’t worry!  There are many organizations throughout the country like YFC that you can volunteer with.  Ask in churches or local schools about the area you live in!  

Don Bosco Expotec

Don Bosco is a semi-private technical high school in Alajuelita, San Jose, Costa Rica.  The students are given a number of opportunities throughout the year to practice their English in a practical way, including the yearly Expotec.  The students are required to design a project and give a presentation related to Electronics, Electromechanics, Graphic Design, Architectural Drawing, Networking, Software Design, or Precision/Fine Mechanics.  

In order to help the students prepare for the presentations, the director of the English program always asks for volunteers to listen to the students and give them feedback.  Likewise, during the days of the Expotec, they need judges to evaluate the students’ projects and presentations.  Not only is this a great way to give back to students and the community of Alajuelita, it’s fun to be on a high school campus in Costa Rica and see a different part of San Jose.

If you aren’t in the San Jose area, don’t worry!  There are a number of technical high schools around the country that do events like this every year.


If you can commit full-time to volunteering for a minimum of four months, English Volunteers for Change (EVOLC) might be a good option for you!

EVOLC is a non-profit volunteer program which was established by ALIARSE and Costa Rica Multilingüe, a government sponsored initiative that seeks to create a bilingual Costa Rica by 2020.  Supported by the Ministry of the Presidency of Costa Rica, the Ministry of Tourism, various local development associations, public and private enterprises, and the ALIARSE Foundation, EVOLC has brought more than 120 volunteers to Costa Rica to date, including a number of our International TEFL Academy graduates.

EVOLC is currently offering TEFL/ESL Certified Teachers fully-funded volunteer positions in Costa Rica! The Costa Rican Government's Department of Labor sponsors young adults to receive English classes in their local community and have the chance to better their current life situations.

In order to receive these classes, students must qualify for government assistance based on their current income and employment status; the students must be able to dedicate a considerable amount of hours each week to English classes. The goal of the program is to help these students gain employment at local hotels and businesses where a basic to intermediate level of English is required.

Volunteers will be asked to dedicate 40 hours per week to English lessons with one group of students in exchange for a number of benefits, including room and board. Additionally, the placement gives volunteers an opportunity to explore Costa Rica and immerse themselves in the local community and culture.

Again, you must TEFL-certified to qualify for the positions with EVOLC, so if you aren’t yet certified, contact us today about taking one of our 4-week courses at International TEFL Academy Costa Rica!  

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