Be a part of Medical Volunteering Project in Costa Rica to understand the healthcare system of a developing country that needs the help of professional volunteers in long term projects. However, some small private and semi-private clinics and pharmacies accept volunteers to work with them in “Health Campaigns” that help to detect and prevent illnesses in the communities surrounding them.
The EBAIS system in Costa Rica is a preventive Medical program in which the patients are coming to have a periodical evaluation. They take care of minor emergencies and inform and control the patient about the most common diseases and give them advises how they can feel better.
Under this program Pre-medical, nursing and medical students can work in local community clinics in and around Santa Barbara de Heredia. You would work 4-6 hours 5 days a week assisting local doctors and nurses. Work is given in accordance with the experience and knowledge of the volunteer.
General tasks would include:
- Shadowing the nurse.
- Take basic signs like blood pressure, temperature, weight, etc.
- Going with the staff to different campaigns at the community.
- Go with the ATAP nurse to visit houses in the poorest area of the community to perform checkups.
- Helping in-office tasks
This is a great program to help and to gain valuable experience and knowledge on how the medical system works in Costa Rica.
Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project. Participants should have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference. Medical volunteers must provide a clean criminal background check report, CV as well as other documents pertaining to their qualifications prior to joining the program. Pre Medical, Medicine and Nursing students are welcome to join the program. Students must have an intermediate level of Spanish to join the program and effectively communicate with the medical staff and patients.
Being an International Organization, we try to make sure that our volunteers are given the kind of comfort and flexibility they seek. In terms of airport pick up, stay, local travel or work and even city tour, we help our volunteers and facilitate everything for them.
Volunteers are picked up from the San Jose International Airport by the local coordinator or representative. Those volunteers who are arriving overland or are already in Costa Rica will be picked up at a meeting point decided beforehand.
As a volunteer, you'll have a choice either to stay at the volunteer hostel or with a host family, immersing in the local culture. All meals are provided at the homestay while at the hostel, only 2 meals will be provided.
The volunteer hostel is amidst a coffee farm, with old yet well-maintained buildings. There's a huge garden with ample greenery and freshness. There are two rooms with attached bathrooms, and wifi facilities, as well as a working kitchen, will be available. Each room can accommodate 4 people on bunk beds and there's storage space as well. Living at the hostel will give you an opportunity to connect with other volunteers and know about them. There's a common eating space where all the volunteers can gather, share their meals and catch up.
If you choose to live with the host family, you'll get to know more about the local culture & lifestyle. It'll also be a great opportunity for you to polish your Spanish skills. Comfortable safe accommodation is ensured for all volunteers.
All volunteers are given an Orientation beginning on their project start date. Orientation is conducted by the local staff and covers topics such as Costa Rican Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety and Introduction to your project and placement.
Volunteers are provided with three cooked meals a day at the host family house. Local Costa Rican cuisine is a fusion of cuisines from different parts of the world. Common foods are Rice, Vegetables, Beans, Pork, Meat, Chicken etc. Those staying at the volunteer hostel are provided with two meals a day.
During your Free Time
Volunteers are free to visit and see places or do shopping during their free time. You can explore the local markets or travel to the beaches which can be visited on the weekends. The country offers unparalleled natural beauty, active volcanoes, rainforests, and a wide range of national parks and eco-tourism. In addition, Costa Rica has over 1,000 miles of gorgeous white-and-black sand beaches. Visit these things you can do in your leisure time.
Please Note: -An application fee of £149 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. Please Note: -An application fee of €169 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment.
What are you Paying for?
- 24 hrs Assistance and support from VS Staff
- Comprehensive Pre- Departure Information
- Pickup from San Jose International Airport and transfer to accommodation
- Orientation on arrival
- 100% Financial Protection
- UK Based Support
- Certificate Of Completion (Upon Request)
What's NOT included?
- Visa and Visa extension fee
- Airport taxes
- Local Transportation
- Any personal expenses
- Return Airport Drop
FAQ's Application and Program Details
Volunteers must be 17 years or older for Teaching, Childcare, and Spanish Immersion at the beginning of the program. For all other programs, you need to be 18 years or older.
Volunteers joining the medical volunteer project must be either Pre-Medical, Medical or Nursing student or possess other qualifications related to medical and nursing field. Medical professionals such as doctors and nurses are also welcome to join the program.
Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.
The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
The participant must be in good health.
Knowledge of Spanish (basic to intermediate) is necessary for all the programs.
To add to the project experience, you can also join the Spanish Immersion Week which gives you a crash course in Spanish and even tests your current Spanish skills which would help you in volunteering, and you would also get a chance to experience Costa Rican culture, learn cooking and Latino dancing before beginning the program.
Note: Host accommodation is located in suburbs of San Jose in the Heredia and Santa Barbara areas, along with your projects placements.
The Childcare, Teaching and the Medical Healthcare projects are located near San Jose, primarily in the areas of Heredia and Santa Barbara.
The Turtle Conservation project is located in both Pacific and the Caribbean coasts.
The Wildlife and Animal Rescue Center is located 4km away from Puerto Viejo and 220km from San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital.
Flights and Visa
For those flying in from Europe, direct flights are available, and the recommended airlines are:
Health and Safety
If you already have a valid Travel and Medical insurance, you can email us a copy of the same. It is also advised to bring along the Insurance documents during your trip.
Connect with Past Volunteers
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit ?the Meet a Volunteer section on our website.
Accommodation and Living
Volunteers working in Turtle Conservation Project stay in ranger house, host family or volunteer house accommodations close to the project near the beach. Dorm-style accommodation is provided where you will be sharing rooms with other volunteers (same gender basis). Upon arrival in Costa Rica, volunteers are provided lodging in a host family accommodation in Heredia or Santa Barbara. After completing the orientation and project introduction on the first days, volunteers join their respective Turtle Conservation Project in either Pacific or Caribbean Coast.
For all other projects, volunteers will be staying with host families. More details about the host families would be provided after you apply for the program. Volunteers would be provided meals 2 times a day.
Volunteers working in the animal rescue center project in Puerto Viejo are provided accommodation in a hostel in San Jose on arrival. While at the project volunteers stay at a dorm style hostel accommodation. Meals are not included but volunteers cook their own meals at a fully equipped kitchen.
The local coordinators will be happy to help you with more information.