While incredible environmental richness is a national treasure, it also brings with it some interesting social and economic challenges, such as an increasing percentage of regional immigration. Costa Rica’s reputation for social stability, along with its free education and universal healthcare, has drawn the attention of international trading partners, as well as immigrants from other Central American countries seeking better lives. As the economy changes, so do traditional social structures, which often neglect vulnerable populations and leave them little access to healthcare, education, or social services. As a volunteer in Costa Rica, you’ll have the opportunity to work with local organizations as you work alongside vulnerable people to raise their quality of life.
More than 1.1 million Costa Ricans live in poverty – that’s 1 in every 5 individuals – and the population living in extreme poverty increased last year. Women and children are particularly vulnerable, and Costa Ricans living in poverty are more likely to live in a single-parent home with a higher-than-average number of children under 5 years. With more than 77% of this population working in the informal sector, a lack of employment security and fewer years of education are pressing concerns.
Join our team as a volunteer in Costa Rica to fight for equal and complete education for children. With more than 12% of all children not completing primary school, we are determined to prepare students for success through early childhood preparation, and through support to mothers in the community working tirelessly to provide for their families.
Volunteers in Costa Rica greatly contribute to improving the quality of education that every child deserves. Women, mostly single mothers, need to work to support their family, and thus rely on community support to help with their children. Community groups and childcare centers are present to provide these essential services, but they are grossly under resourced and understaffed. Volunteers assist teachers, conduct early education programming, teach English language skills and provide children with one-on-one attention.
Costa Rica’s healthcare system is universal, yet large gaps in public health education and access to basic services remain a challenge. Through outreach, education, and care, you will provide much-needed support to vulnerable children and adults in low-income communities. In addition we will be spearheading multiple public health projects in Costa Rica including vision screening for children, oral health campaigns and the promotion of hygiene in schools.