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Volunteer and Teach English in Costa Rica
International Volunteer HQ collage photos of participants International Volunteer HQ collage photos of participants

Volunteer and Teach English in Costa Rica

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Teaching English

I was able to volunteer at an after school teaching english program while in Costa Rica. It wasn't easy but as I was teaching the kids it was rewarding to see them gaining confidence in their english skills and building upon what they already knew!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    6

La Carpio: an area of need

With IHVQ, I was prepared to travel, but not totally prepared for what my heart would find just outside of San Jose, Costa Rica. I did the Teaching English course for 2 weeks through IVHQ and I was placed at a family home in La Carpio, a very poor and impoverished area right outside the country's Capitol. Every day, I would ride two buses and partake in a 15 minute walk (usually in the rain) to make it to a tiny house hidden back in a dangerous neighborhood. The first day, the trek was intimidating. But when I met the little boys I would be teaching, my heart knew it was worth it. Every day we went over simple ESL activities, like how to describe oneself and how to spell and say the names of fruits and other foods in English. While many times the boys would want to leave to go to la cancha and play fútbol, for the most part they got involved and listened to me, even though they knew I would soon be leaving, too--just like many other teachers. These boys need stability and love; even though multiple weeks isn't too long, I think IVHQ volunteers are a source of stability and affection for them. As for other parts of the trip, it was a step up from what I imagined. My host mother was great--she never cooked us the same meal twice. My roommates became good friends and the locals I met were friendly and excited to know that I was trying to learn Spanish. If you're looking for a chance to grow, buckle up..but you will sure find it here.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

For 2 weeks my name was "Teacher" and I loved it

I had the wonderful experience of volunteering abroad in Costa Rica. For two weeks, my name was teacher and I absolutely loved it. Every day I would take 2 buses to go to the small town of Coronado and teach English to about 15-20 adults. The program was very independent, although the local partner offered resources to help you teach, it was really up to you to take initiative and make the class the best it could be. I really enjoyed my experience because my students really wanted to learn and they wrote everything down. I spent an hour in the morning each day, planning out my lesson. The first day, the community partner gave an example lesson for adults and then the next two weeks were all on me. Be prepared with teaching activities and take the time to plan your lesson. They really appreciated the English teachers being there. I was the only teacher in the classroom. Two other volunteers taught ESL to children.

In terms of my general experience abroad, I would say to go into service abroad with an open mind, ready to take initiative, meet people from all over the world and just put yourself out there. IV HQ was great in coordinating everything but they do not schedule your day to the minute. Resources and opportunities are offered, but it's up to you to take advantage of them. I would do service through IV HQ again.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review July 08, 2015 at 8:05 PM

    Hi Christina, It’s great to read about your volunteer experience in Costa Rica with IVHQ. Thanks for sharing your insights into what it’s like volunteering and your recommendations for future volunteers are invaluable. We hope to see you on another of our volunteer programs soon.