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Volunteer Summer Camp for Teens in Costa Rica

Volunteer Summer Camp for Teens in Costa Rica

Are you 16 or 17 years old and wanting to volunteer abroad as a teen in Costa Rica this summer? International Volunteer HQ’s Summer Camp for teen volunteers is a awesome way for 16 and 17 year old volunteers to spend part of their summer holidays contributing towards important community initiatives and learning about Costa Rican culture. During the month of July, teen volunteers are able to take part in community volunteering, cultural activities, sports, and tourism activities for 1 - 3 weeks on this special summer camp project.

Highlights:
  • Only available in July
  • Affordable fees from £1529 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Get involved in community volunteering and cultural immersion activities

  • Discover Costa Rica’s vibrant culture and people

  • Stay in a fully vetted homestay with your chaperone, hosted by a local family

'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

Key information

Support local communities
Based in San José & Manuel Antonio
Local homestay accommodation
Volunteers aged 16 and 17
Fully hosted experience from £1529 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 3 weeks
Adventure and nature activities included
Fully chaperoned experience

This program is ideal for:

16 and 17 year old volunteers who want to make a difference abroad, experience a different culture, and make new friends during the summer holidays!
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

The Teen Volunteer Summer Camp is an incredible cultural immersion experience available to solo volunteers aged 16 and 17 and it is fully chaperoned.

Participants will take part in planned activities including volunteering in local community projects, taking salsa lessons, going on cultural adventures, and joining nature tours led by our professional guides and chaperones.

While this project is only available for 16 and 17-year-olds through IVHQ, there may be younger teens participating in the project at the same time.

The Volunteer Teen Camp has two available start dates in July 2024. The first is available on July 1st, 2024 and participants can join for a 1 - 3 week duration. The second start date is July 15th for a maximum of 1 week. Each week will take place in a different location:

  • Week 1 - Manuel Antonio
  • Week 2 - San Jose
  • Week 3 - Manuel Antonio

What’s included:

  • Counselors 24/7; 8:1 student-counselor ratio
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Program and safety orientation
  • Host family accommodations (laundry included)
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, 7 days/week
  • All tours and social activities
  • Private transportation to/from all activities
  • Official volunteer certificate
  • Souvenir camp t-shirts (2)
  • WiFi and computer lounge
  • Salsa dance classes
  • Cooking classes
  • On-site snack bar
  • Institute is open 7 days/week
  • Emergency contact number 24/7

Why join the Volunteer Summer Camp in Costa Rica with IVHQ?

When you volunteer as a teen in Costa Rica, you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Contributing to community-driven volunteer projects
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Immersing yourself in Costa Rica’s culture, food, history
  • Connecting with local people in an authentic way
  • Discovering Costa Rica’s beautiful beaches, national parks and cities

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers must provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program
  • Independent volunteers aged 16 and 17 can join this project for 1 - 3 weeks, depending on the start date selected
  • Volunteers must provide two character reference letters
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply For Free

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

LC
Laura Carpenter
04 Apr 2024

I was nervous about doing a medical mission on my own but after this experience I have the confidence to do another one. I loved immersing myself into a new culture and I learned so much living with the host family and volunteering. I enjoy traveling on the weekends. I also started learning a new language which I hope to continue when I go back home. This is one of my favorite memorable experiences I’ve ever had.

...
LH
Loahni Hernandez
20 Mar 2024

I feel as though I gained a new understanding of the various cultures around me and this trip further reinforced my belief that practicing my Spanish is worth it. I left with many valuable memories.

...
JB
Jenna Birdsell
14 Mar 2024

I truly believe that everyone should go on a trip through IVHQ, whether it is a week or a year, you will come back from it a better person. I have gained more knowledge in the 6 days I was in San Jose than I have all year at school. There are lessons that I learned that cannot be taught in a classroom, or on google, or reading a book. There is just something so different and astonishing about immersing yourself in a completely different culture than you are used to.

I took a leap of faith and truly did not know what I was about to embark on, but after adjusting and getting used to everything there, I was in heaven and wish with all my life I could have stayed longer. There is an adjustment period of about a day or two to get used to the life there but after that, I was living my best life and have never felt so content before. There is something so special about putting yourself out there and getting to know people from all around the world, being in a country that speaks a different language, all while making an impact on the lives of others who so desperately need the love and support from us.

I will never stop talking about this experience and pushing others to do it because I have such a greater appreciation for life itself. A piece of my heart is left with the kids I was lucky enough to teach, the family that I had the honor of staying with and getting to know, and all the beautiful humans I met from across the world, all while being immersed in a culture of truly living life to the fullest.

...
AT
Arnold Teixeira
29 Feb 2024

The program gave me a better perspective into my life and reawakened some capabilities I had forgotten about. My Spanish improved tremendously, as both host families spoke little English. Learning about how other cultures live is not always comfortable but it provides you with a better understanding about who you are as a person and how much we ALL have in common.

...
RG
Raffaella Gurini
14 Feb 2024

I learned so much about the culture and the turtles and I met so many amazing people! We had so much fun! It’s an amazing experience, an adventure of a lifetime! It changes the way you see other people, the world and even yourself in the best possible way! Just be open minded and flexible and take the next step! You won’t regret it!

...
MB
Maria Jose Benet
14 Feb 2024

Two weeks in Costa Rica with IVHQ transformed me in ways I never imagined. My journey began with a desire to step out of my comfort zone, immerse myself in a new culture, and contribute positively to a community by teaching English to young kids. IVHQ stood out because of its affordability, ethical volunteering approach, and the rave reviews from past volunteers.

From the get-go, IVHQ's support was stellar, providing all the necessary guidance to prepare me for the trip. Landing in Costa Rica, the local team's warmth and efficiency shone through. The orientation was thorough, equipping us with essential information and making us feel at ease in our new surroundings.

Teaching in Quepos was a heartwarming experience, enriched by the children's enthusiasm and the local team's guidance. Their insights into the community and culture were invaluable, making our teaching efforts more effective and meaningful.

The accommodation and meals provided by the ocal team were exactly as IVHQ described—clean, comfortable, and truly felt like a home. I am a vegan and the food the family I stayed with did a big effort to assist me with my diet, all while being prepared with the utmost care for hygiene.

Reflecting on my two weeks in Costa Rica, I can say that this experience has left a profound impact on me. It wasn't just about teaching English; it was about cultural exchange, personal growth, and making lifelong connections. For those hesitant about volunteering abroad, my advice is to leap. The growth, experiences, and memories you'll gain are beyond compare.

To future volunteers, embrace every moment, and to IVHQ and the local team in Costa Rica, thank you for an experience I'll cherish forever.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

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Volunteer Abroad in Costa Rica San Jose with IVHQ

Location

The Teen Volunteer Summer Camp in Costa Rica is either based in San José or Manuel Antonio, depending on the week you choose to participate.

San José is Costa Rica’s modern, metropolitan, cultural hub. The capital city has been hailed as one of the most visited destinations in Central America and is the central point for tourists arriving in Costa Rica. It’s got excellent eateries, an interesting variety of museums, markets, shops, parks and nightlife and is only a short trip to any of the numerous natural attractions and adventures in the region.

Manuel Antonio is a popular tourist destination, with its main attraction being a small but glorious national park known for the unparalleled biodiversity found at its forests, beaches and coral reefs. It’s a nature-lover’s paradise and adrenaline junkies will also find plenty of adventure to be had in the surrounding area. The small local population relies on the tourism industry for jobs and economic growth.

Arrival and orientation

Arrival and departure for this project will depend on the start date and duration you select:

Start date #1: July 1st

  • 1 week: Arrive - Saturday, 29th June and Depart - Sunday, 7th July 2024
  • 2 weeks: Arrive - Saturday, 29th June and Depart - Sunday, 14th July 2024
  • 3 weeks: Arrive - Saturday, 13th July and Depart - Sunday, 21st July 2024

Start date #2: July 15th

  • 1 week (maximum): Arrive - Saturday, 13th July and Depart - Sunday, 21st July 2024

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San José. When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation in Manuel Antonio, which will take approximately 4 hours. This is included in your Program Fee.

We recommend that participants under the age of 18 travel internationally with a notarized letter from their parents to support their documentation. If you are traveling in Costa Rica prior to your program, the local team will pick you up at your San José accommodation the day before your orientation.

Volunteer schedule example

WEEK 1 (Manuel Antonio):

Sunday, June 30th Transport to Manuel Antonio and orientation
Monday, July 1st Surf lessons, volunteering, and salsa class
Tuesday, July 2nd Surf Lessons or Kayak Mangrove, volunteering, and Jungle Night tour
Wednesday, July 3rd Jungle Zipline, volunteering, and cooking class
Thursday, July 4th Scuba Course or Chocolate tour, volunteering, and 4th of July celebration
Friday, July 5th Scuba Course and Beach Day, volunteering, and karaoke night
Saturday, July 6th Beach morning, return to San Jose, and souvenir shopping
Sunday, July 7th Airport drop off, or day with host family for volunteers staying in the country

WEEK 2 (San José):

Sunday, July 7th Day with host family
Monday, July 8th Coffee Farm tour, volunteering, and food truck dinner
Tuesday, July 9th University tour & scavenger hunt, volunteer project, and Go Karts
Wednesday, July 10th Tour to La Paz Waterfall Gardens, volunteering, and cooking class
Thursday, July 11th Volcan Irazu & Sanatorio Duran Tour, volunteering, and traditional Costa Rican dance show
Friday, July 12th Panoramic City tour, souvenir market, volunteering, Karaoke Night & Language Speed Tandem
Saturday, July 13th San Luis Zipline
Sunday, July 14th Airport drop off

WEEK 3 (Manuel Antonio):

Sunday, July 14th Transport to Manuel Antonio, and orientation for week 3 starters
Monday, July 15th Surf lessons or beach day, volunteering, and salsa class
Tuesday, July 16th Surf Lessons or Kayak Mangrove, volunteering and Jungle Night tour
Wednesday, July 17th Manuel Antonio National Park, volunteering, and cooking class
Thursday, July 18th Scuba Course or Beach Day, volunteering, Costa Rican-style BBQ
Friday, July 19th Scuba Course or Rainmaker Park tour, volunteering, and Karaoke night
Saturday, July 20th Beach morning, return to San Jose, and souvenir shopping
Sunday, July 21st Airport drop off

Accommodation and WiFi

Participants are accommodated in homestays with local families who have been vetted and approved by our local team, and their chaperone is also accommodated in the homestay in a separate room. We have been working with these families for 10+ years and the homestays provide participants with a cultural immersion experience like no other. You will find living conditions are comfortable and you can expect your accommodation to have electricity, drinkable running water and western bathrooms. Low pressure showers are common and the water is not always heated. Rooms are comprised of single and bunk beds and participants typically share a room with 3 - 4 other campers of the same gender.

Meals

Breakfast and dinner are provided by the host families every day, and all lunches are catered by the local team.

As this is an all inclusive camp, participants do not need to budget for things like tours, meals, or activities. However, we typically recommend between US$100 - $150 spending money per week for additional snacks and souvenirs.

Pricing

  • USD
Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week $1,840 Equivalent to $263/day
2 weeks $3,335 Equivalent to $238/day
3 weeks $5,050 Equivalent to $240/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £273) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • We recommend budgeting between US$100 - $150 per week for spending money if you wish to purchase additional snacks or souvenirs.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Return transportation to volunteer placement and activities
  • Chaperone supervision
  • Laundry
  • Tours listed in the schedule
  • Activities listed in the schedule
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Discounts on travel and tour add-ons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Flights,
  • Visa (if required)
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Vaccinations
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Free-time experiences & tours in San Jose

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in San Jose! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ San Jose program.

Beach and Jungle Mini Adventure - Manuel Antonio
Beach and Jungle Mini Adventure - Manuel Antonio

Immerse yourself in Manuel Antonio’s stunning natural beauty and thrilling activities on this 6-day adventure

£764
Coffee & Nature Experience - San Jose
Coffee & Nature Experience - San Jose

Embark on a full-day adventure exploring La Paz Waterfall Gardens, an animal sanctuary, and a Poas Volcano Tour, followed by a Coffee Farm experience.

£182
Mini Adventure  - San Jose
Mini Adventure - San Jose

Experience a comprehensive 6-day Mini Adventure, featuring Arenal Volcano, the Britt Coffee Tour, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, whitewater rafting, and a visit to the pristine Tortuga Island.

£1042

Check what's required to visit Costa Rica

Safety and support with IVHQ

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.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital San Jose
Population 5 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Costa Rican Colón (CRC)
Time zone UTC−06:00

Weather and climate: Costa Rica is unequivocally a tropical country. Although you get much cooler temperatures in the mountains, the average annual temperature for most of the country lies between 71°F (21.7°C) and 81°F (27°C). The coolest months are from November through to January, and the warmest months are from March through to May. San Jose stands at approximately 1170 meters altitude and has a mean annual temperature of 69°F (20.6°C).

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How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!