Youth Support Volunteer Project in Puerto Rico - San Juan
Eager to be a Youth Support volunteer in Puerto Rico? International Volunteer HQ’s Youth Support project enables volunteers to assist in community centers, daycare centers and after school programs. Volunteers gain youth work experience by providing personalized attention, mentoring and educational support to young people and opening their minds to new cultures and possibilities.
- Programs start every Monday
- Affordable fees from CA$806 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Mentor young people by helping with education, playing games and setting a positive example
Visit one of Puerto Rico’s breathtaking bioluminescent bays
Stay in a modern hotel in a lively, vibrant area of San Juan
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
The future of Puerto Rico lies in the hands of its young people - and youth-focused initiatives are doing great work across the island to build and harness the potential of the country’s next generation. Despite being under-resourced, they cater to a large number of young people each day, so rely heavily on the support of volunteers.
As a Youth Support volunteer, you’ll be helping these initiatives to provide a variety of opportunities for children and young people, enabling them to thrive. The Youth Support project in Puerto Rico takes place in community centers and after-school programs. Volunteer work is led by local placement staff and your tasks each day will vary depending on your specific placement, but often include:
- Providing personalized attention to young people
- Educational support with homework
- Tutoring young people
- Assistance with running games and sports
- Workshop activities such as yoga or music
- General daily operations
- Cooking and cleaning
Why do Youth Support volunteering in San Juan with IVHQ?
When you volunteer with young people in Puerto Rico you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Providing extracurricular opportunities for young people
- Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining youth work experience
- Immersing yourself in Puerto Rican culture
- Exploring Puerto Rico’s stunning beaches
- Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
- This program requires all volunteers to be over the age of 14, even when accompanied by a parent or guardian
- All volunteers aged 14+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 14-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
- All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
- All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Puerto Rico photo gallery
Recommended online TEFL course
We encourage volunteers on IVHQ’s Teaching and Childcare projects to come prepared by completing some relevant training, such as a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course. Although formal teaching qualifications are not required on these projects as volunteers are supported by local staff, taking a TEFL course enables you to gain more from the experience. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn how to gain an internationally recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.Get TEFL certified online
”I'm really glad I went on this trip. I want to work on another IVHQ program in the future, and I'd happily recommend it to others. It's hard work, but it's one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do.”
Read reviews from Youth Support volunteers in San JuanSee more reviews
The IVHQ Puerto Rico volunteer program is based in and around the region of the island’s coastal capital of San Juan, renowned for its beautiful beaches and vivid history. Set on the outer edge of the Caribbean, San Juan has long been an important international port and remains so to this day. As a result it is also a hub for industry, finance, culture and tourism.
The city is also home to around 80 percent of Puerto Rico’s population, and took a serious hit when Hurricane Maria ripped through the region in 2017.
While huge recovery efforts have returned much of the city to a habitable state, there are still many people and parts of the region feeling the longer-term effects of the crisis. Volunteers can have a meaningful impact on these communities by choosing to give their time and energy to projects which aim to give people a hand up in the ways they most need it.
Arrival and orientation
The Puerto Rico volunteer program begins every Monday. You need to arrive in San Juan for pickup on the Sunday before your chosen start date.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee if you arrive on the Sunday before your program starts. The pick-up window is from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM so please ensure to arrive during this period.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation, which is a 20-minute drive away. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the Sunday night prior to your program orientation.
If you are traveling in Puerto Rico prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a meeting point in San Juan on the Sunday before your program start date. Alternatively, you can choose to make your own way to the volunteer accommodation.
On the first Monday of your program, orientation is hosted by our local team in San Juan and runs for a half day. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Puerto Rico – introduction to Puerto Rico, Puerto Rican customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Puerto Rico, introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
Volunteer schedule example
A volunteer day is subject to change depending on your specific project and your placement. A typical daily schedule might be as follows:
|9:00 AM||Volunteer work begins|
|12:00 PM||Lunch breaks can vary depending on the working schedule, but all volunteers get time to have their own lunch and relax. After lunch you will have free time to explore the area, do some shopping or plan for your next day’s work. If your project calls for it, you may be involved in more afternoon volunteer activities.|
|Evening:||Volunteers have free time to spend as they wish. You’ll definitely want to head out to local restaurants for dinner, though volunteers who prefer to cook for themselves do have access to the hostel kitchen.|
During the weekends, volunteers have spare time to relax or explore San Juan and other parts of Puerto Rico.
We recommend taking a walking tour of Old San Juan to absorb its vibrancy and colonial history, taking a trip to the tropical rainforest for hiking and waterfalls or enjoying the white sand beaches and soaking in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.
It’s a great idea to do your own research before you go to get an idea of what you may want to see and do once you are in Puerto Rico. Volunteers often get together once they’re in the country and organizing travel and tours together.
Accommodation and WiFi
You will be accommodated with other volunteers in one of two public hostels in San Juan. The hostels also cater for independent travelers who book rooms from time to time. The hostels are centrally located in San Juan, close to beaches, shops, restaurants and amenities.
You should expect basic dormitory style accommodation. Rooms are mixed gender and you could share a room with up to 16 other volunteers. Bedrooms are comprised of bunk beds with bedding provided but you will need to bring your own towel.
You can also expect to share a communal bathroom with toilets and showers. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to ensure their room and shared bathroom is kept tidy, although there are staff who clean the accommodation throughout the week.
Free WiFi is available at the volunteer accommodation, as well as at many cafes and restaurants in the area. A local SIM card with data can also be used in unlocked phones.
Private room upgrades are also possible for an additional cost, subject to availability. The cost varies according to the season and the upgrade and can be arranged with the local team directly, once you are registered.
Meals are not included in this program, so you will need to arrange your own breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hostel has cooking facilities to prepare meals and there are nearby shops and restaurants to purchase food from.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||CA$809 Equivalent to CA$116/day|
|2 weeks||CA$1247 Equivalent to CA$90/day|
|3 weeks||CA$1645 Equivalent to CA$79/day|
|4 weeks||CA$2084 Equivalent to CA$75/day|
|5 weeks||CA$2519 Equivalent to CA$72/day|
|6 weeks||CA$2954 Equivalent to CA$71/day|
|8 weeks||CA$3760 Equivalent to CA$68/day|
|10 weeks||CA$4498 Equivalent to CA$65/day|
|12 weeks||CA$5301 Equivalent to CA$64/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of CA$402 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in CAD.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, meals, public transportation to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Puerto Rico generally find US$200 per week to be sufficient for expenses, such as meals, and in-country tours.
Check what's required to visit Puerto Rico
Check out the widget below to find out what the Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements are for Puerto Rico, based on your country of residence.
Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential country information
|Currency||US Dollar (USD)|
Weather and climate
Puerto Rico has a tropical climate with warm to hot temperatures throughout the year. The average top temperature each day is around 85°F (29°C). Easterly trade winds can cross the island year round. Puerto Rico’s rainy season is from April to November, and the dry season is from December to March. The temperature in San Juan, where our program is based, varies very little throughout the year and can be very humid.