Did you know that there are some rural areas in Costa Rica, where you will not be able to find any teachers? Instead, classes are taught via radio in some of these remote places. Even though Costa Rica's education system is considered to be the best of Latin America, there are still a variety of people who do not have access to quality education due to poverty. This is especially the case for people who live in the more rural parts of Costa Rica. Here, volunteers are of great importance in order to teach children and help to provide a safe and productive learning environment by joining a teaching project. Given the country's rich biodiversity, which is definitely worth protecting, becoming a marine or wildlife conservation volunteer in Costa Rica might be right up your alley. In these projects, you will not only accomplish amazing work, but you will also gain a lot of knowledge and a better understanding of conservation in general.
Volunteer in Latin America
We rescue, rehabilitate and when possible release injured and displaced wildlife. The generosity of time and effort from our volunteers help us achieve our mission.
Sloths, as ambassadors of our Costa Rican nature, are a very important part of our program. For this reason, we are passionate about monitoring their population.
Be part of the NATUWAS's team assisting in feeding the animals, animal enrichment, cleaning enclosures, maintenance of the sanctuary, and guiding tours for visitors.
Join our coastal clean up expeditions around our beautiful country! Be part of our regenerative programs building artificial reefs, planting trees, releasing turtles.
Learn NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP & classical riding o Costa Rican horse farm. Work hands on with our horses, farm work, social work and have a SPANISH COURSE included.
Ready to take your scuba diving to the next level? Passionate about the world of Marine Conservation and Marine Science? Become a professional PADI Divemaster now!
Volunteer work in Latin America
Have you ever thought about traveling to Costa Rica, Brazil or Peru? Or would you rather like to spend some time abroad in Ecuador, Belize or the Caribbean? The answer is simple: join our community and become a volunteer in Latin America! There is a variety of volunteering options in the most beautiful locations. From volunteering in Latin American communities and working at a local school as an English teacher to volunteering in a project that helps to save and protect the continent's unique wildlife, you will surely find a volunteer project that combines your interests and skills the best. At the same time, you have the chance to improve your Spanish skills, as Spanish is the main language spoken in Central and South America. In order to find the perfect location and the perfect volunteering project for you, we prepared this guide with some important information and tips about the countries and opportunities in Latin America.
Have you heard of the Spanish saying Pura Vida? It is the most recognizable phrase describing the Costa Rican way of life. It means pure life or life is good and is a phrase that is often used by people to greet each other instead of saying 'Hi'. Bordering the Caribbean Sea in the east and the Pacific Ocean in the west, Costa Rica is one of the greenest countries in the world with a coastline of 800 miles! So, if you are a fan of nature and you think that you can adapt to the Costa Rican lifestyle, it is the perfect destination for you. Located a few miles away from Costa Rica's capital city San José is the area Monteverde, where you can find the Cloud Forest Reserve with the most amazing and exotic animals. If you like action, the Skywalk in the rainforest cannot be missed. The walk goes up to 40 meters and is an unforgettable experience.
But the Latin American country does not only impress visitors in terms of its landscape with its white and endless beaches, the rainforest and the exotic animals. It is also a country that captivates with its culture and traditions combined with modernity. In comparison to other Latin American countries, Costa Rica is most advanced in terms of healthcare, but nevertheless, many people live in poverty. Therefore, the important work of volunteers is always needed.
How can I help?
Brazil is a country of great environmental and cultural variety - which is no surprise looking at its size. It's the largest country in South America and the fifth largest in the world! About 60% of the Amazon rainforest lies in Brazil, it is home to the most known species of plants and one of the countries with the greatest diversity in its animal population. If you want to volunteer in Latin America and decide to travel to Brazil, you'll not only experience the country's beautiful nature but also Brazil's culture. In Brazil, people know how to have fun. The vibrant music, the dances, the exuberant carnival - it all shows the infinite cultural energy and their contagious "joie de vivre".
How can I help?
Brazil is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and interesting countries regarding its nature and wildlife. However, it also has to face a set of environmental issues. The country's deforestation rate is the second highest worldwide, erasing huge parts of the ecosystem essential for removing carbon dioxide from the air every day. This also impacts the animals living in the Amazon, some of them rare or even threatened with extinction, because they're losing their habitat. As a volunteer in Brazil, you can support a social project dedicated to environmental conservation. Of course, you can also do your part to protect the wildlife of Brazil. Approximately 700 new animal species are discovered each year! Being a volunteer in a wildlife conservation project, you have the opportunity to help the researchers in taking care of these exciting new discoveries as well as of the animals that are endangered. However, not only the flora and fauna are in need of your support. As a community volunteer, you can help with the integration of people who have recently moved from poor areas into cities, build up communal vegetable gardens and parks, host fundraising events and lead English lectures.
Peru - the "heart of the Inca empire" - is known for its rich cultural history. And looking back on history, the Inca empire's development is pretty impressive. Starting to rise around 1430, the Incas were able to control a territory ranging from Argentina to Colombia within just a century, including an area of almost 1 million km2. But Peru was not just home to the Incas. Many indigenous cultures, such as the Chavín and the Sechín, were living in Peru, some even long before the Incas arrived. Today, people visit historical sites like Machu Picchu (an ancient Incan city), the Andes mountains, the Sacred Valley, the Inca Trail and the lively city of Cusco to get a sense of these ancient cultures. As a volunteer in Latin America, you'll also experience the friendliness of the locals in Peru and find many opportunities on top of your travel - such as rafting, hiking and mountain biking.
How can I help?
So what are the areas you can support as a volunteer in Peru? Although the country's economy is growing, poverty is still a big issue, especially in rural areas of Peru. One way to help is to become a volunteer at a community project and work directly with the people, supporting sustainable tourism and local workers. Another great way is to support a local NGO with your skills: Help them to help the people by becoming a business volunteer. Volunteers that contribute their work in Latin America to teaching can really make a long-lasting difference in the improvement of the country's education by creating secure and productive learning environments for the rural areas of Peru.
With an extensive coastline of more than 10.000 km, Mexico is a country that allures its visitors with beautiful beaches and diverse wildlife. Known for its varied landscape of mountains, deserts and jungles it has much to explore. Improve your Spanish skills while discovering your inner adventurer! To top that off, beautiful Mexico is rich in both culture and history combined with an exquisite arts scene and delicious food and thus, the perfect destination for volunteer work. From teaching English to working with children, to marine conservation projects - there are plenty of volunteer opportunities in Mexico to make a difference in this amazing part of the world and there certainly will be the right one for you, your skills and your interest.
How can I help?
Even though many of the countries in Latin America have made enormous improvements over the years in the fields of education and community development, Mexico is still a country where many people live below the poverty line. There are many different volunteering projects that are eager to tackle these problems and that are looking for you as a volunteer in education, community development or health care. Your tasks can consist of teaching English to either children or adults or to support rural community development initiatives. If you're a wildlife lover, your helping hand is needed at a marine life conservation project or animals shelters. Surely one of the projects will fit perfectly for you and you will soon be part of an amazing and sustainable journey.
Ecuador is a tiny country compared to some of its Latin American neighbors, but it's big in a lot of ways. An interesting and possibly surprising fact looking at its size is that the country is actually one of the most species-rich countries in the world. From tiny hummingbirds to spectacled bears, monkeys, and the marine wildlife like giant tortoises and sea lions around the Galapagos Islands, a great variety of species lives in the tropical country. Fun fact about the Galapagos Islands: Located about 1000 km (621 miles) west of the mainland of the República del Ecuador, they are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Furthermore, Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano worldwide, offers grounds for a unique biodiversity. The reason for Ecuador's diversity in flora and fauna lies in its big range of different habitats. The cold Andes, rainforests and coastal regions attract different animals as well as many travelers and nature lovers every year.
How can I help?
You'll find a number of reserves and protected areas in Ecuador. But sadly, there are still many species that are endangered. The Mountain Tapir, the Pacarana, different Whale species, the Giant Otter, the Amazonian Manatee, the Bush Dog, the Amazon River Dolphin and the Galapagos Fur Seal are only some species that urgently need protection. So how can you help? As a volunteer in Ecuador you can, for example, support these reserves and work with local NGOs in the field of animal care. But also their habitat needs protection. Volunteers interested in environmental conservation can leave a lasting impact on the protection and research of the greatest rainforest habitat in the world - the Amazon rainforest. If you are more interested in working with people, there are several issues that Ecuador is facing as well. Volunteers coming from a medical background are desperately needed in the fight against infant mortality as well as infant malnutrition. Furthermore, there is the problem of understaffed schools and children living in remote areas won't usually attend to class. They need to work to sustain their families or aren't given access to education. As an education volunteer in Ecuador, you will give these children better opportunities to improve their quality of life.
Belize is a small country in Latin America that is directly located on the Caribbean Sea! Doesn't that sound like a place where you want to spend some time? If you are looking for a unique and unforgettable place, you will love Belize with its Barrier Reef, which is the perfect diving spot and by the way the second largest Barrier Reef in the world. Besides that, this amazing country has more to offer, such as the historical Maya sites, spectacular waterfalls and magnificent caves. Given all that, Belize is the perfect volunteering place for people who are interested in nature, love a new adventure and want to protect the Caribbean marine life.
How can I help?
If Belize sounds like the perfect volunteering country for you, you have the possibility to become a part of different volunteering projects. Contribute to the field of ecotourism or protect the reef and its inhabitants while collecting important data. You can also lend your helping hand in rehabilitation efforts of manatees. If you are interested in diving and everything the ocean has to offer, Belize is definitely the right volunteering place for you. Or is there anything better than combining your passion and volunteering at the same time in one of the most beautiful places in Latin America?
Cuba, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and the Bahamas are just some of the countries that constitute the dream destination of the Caribbean. All the little dreamy islands of the extensive archipelago with white beaches and turquoise sea each have a charm of their own. It's a cultural melting pot combining indigenous influences with those of former European colonies such as the Spanish, Dutch or British. The Caribbean is also remarkable for the diversity of its flora and fauna, making it an international biodiversity hotspot. However, there are many causes where these wonderful countries of the Caribbean Islands need a helping hand and volunteers will be welcomed warmly and wholeheartedly.
How can I help?
There are many possible ways to help as a volunteer in the Caribbean, depending on the needs of the island you decide for. Teachers for English and other skills are always needed as the public schools can be understaffed and limited in their resources. If you have a medical background or you are considering a career in that field, there are many projects for you to shadow doctors and nurses and support the staff in local hospitals. Other possible volunteering projects you could support are sports initiatives for disadvantaged children, marine conservation and animal care projects.