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Exchange your skills for accommodation
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Hostel Fortuna, Costa Rica
As one of the most biodiverse and adventure-packed countries in the world, Costa Rica might just be the perfect travel destination.
Misty volcanic peaks stretch towards the sky, begging the most daring hikers to ascend. Explore mysterious caves, bike along high-altitude trails, hike through thick rainforest or fly over the canopy of trees on a zipline.
It goes without saying that Costa Rica has some of the most impressive and choice surfing conditions you'll find. There are so many adventures to take on, you might not know where to begin!
Your Costa Rica itinerary is bound to be full of exciting outdoor experiences that will get your adrenaline pumping and help you connect with nature as you travel. The natives, known as Ticos, are fiercely proud of their nation and believe in sustainable travel and preserving the environment.
Recently, Costa Rica became the world's first country to run on 100% renewable energy. This makes it an ideal place for those who want to volunteer abroad in Costa Rica to help with conservation efforts or permaculture projects. There are plenty of eco lodges and farms that are surrounded by beautiful rainforests and waterfalls to marvel at.
If you are from the US, you do not need a visa to come to Costa Rica. You can stay for a maximum of 90 days volunteering all over the country to get a sense of what each area has to offer!
The best time to go is on the shoulder season from May to December if you want to avoid large crowds of tourists. There are 800 miles of shoreline for you to bask in the sun and hit the waves during your time off.
Mesmerizing cloud forests, relaxing hot springs, and protected rainforest as far as the eye can see all add to the magic of Costa Rica. It truly is a nature-lover's paradise!
According to the State Department, around 50,000 Americans live and work in Costa Rica. The country has the highest immigrant percentage in Central America, so it is full of people who love it enough to make it their permanent home.
Residents who have acquired legal citizenship can start work in Costa Rica, but there are a lot of criteria that need to be met in order to do so. Instead, expats have opted to go freelance, working as digital nomads or starting their own online business so they can live in Costa Rica. The best part is that this is totally acceptable, even normal.
If you're a digital nomad and have the ability to live by your own schedule, volunteering in Costa Rica is right up your alley. You can find lots of unique work exchange programs in Costa Rica that suit your set of skills.
Ticos need lots of manpower when it comes to keeping their gorgeous country running on green energy alone! However, there are also many different creative work exchanges that need other skills:
The capital of Costa Rica, San Jose, has recently become a top destination for foodies from around the world. This gastronomic hot spot would be a delicious place to stay if you'd like to eat gallo pinto and authentic casado to your heart's content! Become a tour guide in Bahia Drake or teach English to the hostel staff to be near Corcovado National Park in all its splendor.
One of the best parts of traveling is becoming involved with the community. This is the best way to immerse yourself in an unfamiliar culture, understand its roots and traditions, and connect with locals on a deeper level.
The volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica have hosts that are very passionate about what they do. If you're in search of a cause to get behind, volunteer your video-making skills in Santa Teresa de Cobano to help document environmental awareness projects. NGOs and social impact programs like these are eager to collaborate with environmentally-conscious and responsible travelers in their efforts to build a better future for everyone.
The majority of work exchange opportunities in Costa Rica are in hostels.
There are so many benefits to working in hostels! Working at reception or in administration, you will be able to meet like-minded globetrotters from all over the world. You may even get acquainted with a future life-long friend. Travel brings people together in awesome ways.
Hostel staff need lots of volunteers to help with a variety of tasks that range from housekeeping and cleaning to party planners and social media gurus. Promoting their establishment, keeping it running smoothly, and having fun are your main objectives!
One of the best parts about volunteering at a hostel in Costa Rica is the team effort. You'll get to share a dorm with other volunteers and staff members, receive free meals, free tours, and even free guided hikes!
Upgrade and fix an older hostel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and go out for an adventure in the evening. Work in the peaceful town of Monteverde at a rainforest hotel and go out on the weekends to soar over the rainforest canopy. You'll love seeing the hostel improve little by little as you help the hosts make it shine.
Hostels in Costa Rica are often placed in a breathtaking locale to attract visitors who want to book an extended stay. Some jobs will only require you to work for a few hours a day, giving you the perfect chance to see the sights in the afternoon and party the night away, if that's your thing!
These hostels need creative minds like yours to help out in places like Bahia Ballena, Jaco, Turrialba, and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Living with your fellow volunteers and the hostel staff for weeks at a time will make you feel like a small, close-knit family by the time your experience comes to an end.
The "rich coast" is home to half a million species of animals and insects, making Costa Rica's ecology one of the most biodiverse places in the world. Ticos know how important it is to protect these wild lands, so they have created laws that conserve these large areas.
Many volunteer programs in Costa Rica involve working on a farm as you help plant and sow seeds for crops that sustain a community. Many hosts will take time out of their day to teach you about living an eco-friendly lifestyle and love seeing their volunteers grow throughout the experience.
Learn about reforestation, renewable energy, rainwater collection, medicinal plants, and so much more at eco farms in Paraiso, Platanillo, and La Fortuna. To the farmers who work tirelessly to feed their families with their crops, these farms are a labor of love.
A huge benefit of volunteering in Costa Rica is not only the wealth of knowledge that you will receive and be able to pass on, you will get the chance to explore lush jungles, dive into the ocean, and walk the rainforest floor with a new perspective. You will leave the experience with the tools necessary to incorporate sustainability into your own life.
Permaculture projects not only teach you how to farm, they inspire you to take better care of the world around you. You will get the chance to actively sustain the forest or jungle near you, have hands-on learning experiences as you go out into the field, and demonstrate chemical-free agriculture. These are the key principles of sustainable living and Costa Rica thrives by them.
People who live in Costa Rica are some of the healthiest on the planet! Their lifestyle is based on the term "pura vida", or pure life. You can’t get more pure than 100% renewable energy and farming your own organic food!
Not only are you surrounded by natural beauty, you are able to reflect on your living habits and make the necessary changes to be a more conscious traveler.
The country encourages everyone to do their part to conserve and rehabilitate the land and wildlife around them so future generations can be proud of it too.
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