Costa Rica

Farming and Forest Conservation Project

Placement fee: $975

Volunteers may apply to work with a cooperative farming and forest conservation project. Several farmers of a small agricultural community in the Monteverde Cloudforest area of Costa Rica participate in the project.

The project consists of 3 main areas:

1.) Coffee production: Coffee is the main crop. In addition to planting and harvesting, the coop has equipment for roasting and packaging coffee for sale in local markets.

2.) Hortalizas (gardens): Other crops include carrots, frijoles, cabbage, beets, lettuce, potatoes, chiles and much more. These crops are raised for consumption by the participating families themselves, as well as for sale in the local markets.

3.) Vivero (tree nursery): The community has a tree nursery for local reforestation projects. Seeds of native trees are collected and planted in bags of dirt to grow saplings, which are later replanted in desired areas. Families who participate in the coop are very interested in combining forest conservation with agriculture.

Volunteers help with each of the three projects. They should be prepared to participate in any and all work that may be happening at the time they are there: planting, harvesting, digging irrigation ditches, etc.

Room & board: Room and board are provided by local families for approximately $8 to $10 per day. Most homes have running water, indoor plumbing and electricity.

Requirements:

- Volunteers should be prepared for hard physical labor, and interested in integrating into the daily life of a small rural community.

- A background in Spanish language is necessary. Most volunteers participate with the goal of improving their Spanish skills during their stay. It is not necessary to have strong fluency, but a working knowledge of conversational Spanish is very helpful. (We often help volunteers arrange to start their stay in Costa Rica with intensive Spanish conversation classes at a local language institute.)

- Volunteers should feel comfortable living with a Costa Rican family in a rural area, with basic accommodations.

- A minimum time commitment of 1 month is preferred. Shorter stays can be considered.

Contact us with any questions regarding this placement.

 

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