Costa Rica

Teaching in the Cloudforest

Placement fee: $975

A small "colegio" (secondary school, grades 7 to 12) receives volunteers to assist with instruction of English language. Volunteers may also teach math, science and/or other subject areas, depending on their particular skills and study backgrounds.

The administration and faculty are very friendly and receptive to volunteers. Volunteers are welcome to request guidance and assistance from the teaching staff, but should also be prepared to work independently and create their own creative lesson plans and teaching techniques.

The colegio is a technical school and students may specialize in agriculture, forestry and conservation, tourism or secretarial training. On the colegio's grounds, there are a working farm, a forest area, nature trails and a "vivero" (tree nursery for reforestation projects). Volunteers are encouraged to explore possibilities to assist in any of these areas with the respective teachers.

Students and staff of the colegio are also involved with conservation and environmental education projects at a nearby community-operated cloudforest reserve. In addition to teaching at the colegio, volunteers may take on responsibilities at the cloudforest reserve. Volunteers may work in the reserve's office (located next to the colegio) and/or out in the reserve. Projects in the reserve may include trail maintenance, construction and/or repair of the reserve's facilities, providing guided tours for visiting eco-tourists, etc. Depending on their skills and educational background, volunteers may also assist with a research or plant identification project.

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.


- Volunteers should be self-motivated, able to work independently and prepared to create their own lesson plans.

- A background in Spanish language is necessary. Most volunteers participate with the goal of improving their Spanish skills during their stay. For teaching English, it is not necessary to have strong fluency, but a working knowledge of conversational Spanish will be very helpful. For those interested in teaching other subject areas, strong conversational Spanish skills are required.

(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 2 months is required. Longer time commitments are preferred.

- Experience in teaching or working with youth is helpful.

Contact us for more information about this placment.

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Contact us:

Explorations in Travel, Inc.
2458 River Rd.
Guilford, VT 05301 USA
phone: 802-257-0152
fax: 802-257-2784