Costa Rica draws the crowds due to its staggering diversity of wildlife and scenery as well as its smiling communities. As a PMGY volunteer you will be able to witness this tropical paradise from the inside, working side by side with the local people towards a better future.
Costa Rica is one of the richest areas of biodiversity on the planet, the ecological zones vary from dry tropics to jungles and white sandy beaches to a volcanic ring of fire, all in one small country. It is also an extremely stable nation, having dissolved its armed forces in 1949. Furthermore, the standard of living, as a whole, is also relatively high for a country of its income level. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that Costa Rica was named ‘the happiest place’ on earth for its most content people, best ecological footprint and the average life expectancy according to the Happy Planet Index (HPI). During your time with PMGY, not only will you be able to take in Costa Rica’s incredible natural beauty but also to build meaningful relationships with its friendly, laid-back and welcoming people. It won’t be long before you settle into the ‘Pura Vida’ way of life!
Although Costa Rica is in pretty good shape compared to many of its Central American neighbours, large government deficits— due to interest payments on exorbitant internal debt—have begun to take their toll. Inflation rates remain at more than 10%, social service expenditure is on the decline and there is an estimated 250,000 people living in extreme poverty. We support several social and community projects that receive no government funding but provide essential services to the community. Our focus is to empower the most disenfranchised members of Costa Rican society.
We work in a small town called Santa Barbara de Heredia and its surrounding district, which is approximately 45 minutes from San José. Our volunteers see the real Costa Rica, without the tourists. You will live with a local family who will help you become truly immersed in the culture. Working with the community, you are able to see the hardships that those living on the edge of society face whilst doing your bit to improve their situation.
Volunteering in Costa Rica is also a great way to develop your Spanish skills. Our programmes are designed to give you the opportunity to contribute toward sustainable efforts, developing a rich cross-cultural experience and becoming part of the community.