Save Turtles in Montezuma Save Turtles and Sloths Savegre, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica
Patrol along a wonderful beach and help to guard the nests of endangered marine turtles. You will also help monitor sloths in their natural habitat.
Save Turtles In Buena Vista Sámara, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica
Help protecting marine turtles from poachers and animal predators in a magnificent bay.
Animal Rescue & Release Center Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica
If you love animals and if you don't mind dirty work ... you're in demand here!
Support Children in Schools in Beach Villages Sámara, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica
If you are interested in working with children and giving classes in English, sports, arts or other subjects, you're in demand in the little schools in beach villages.
Save Turtles in Montezuma Osa, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica
Help to collect and record data for research and conservation of marine turtles in an extraordinary nature surrounding and in a pittoresk village.
Save Turtles - North Limón Limón, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica
Get in contact with one of the most fascinating turtle species – the giant leatherback turtles – and help improve the local inhabitants' living conditions.
Rainforest Lodge Cahuita, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica
Planting trees, maintaining pathways ... horseback riding through the rainforest - doesn't that sound like paradise? You're right in the middle of it!
Macaw & Animal Reserve Supporter Aranjuez, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica
Take care of rescued animals - especially macaws -, to rehabilitate and reintroduce them into the wild.
Puro Caribe - Caribbean Life Limón, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica
Living in a remote Caribbean village at the beach and sharing daily life with a costarican family!
Music Teacher at a Music School Nicoya, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica
If you love music, play an instrument and love to teach - then you are in demand in a music school!
Agroecological Farming Cartago, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica
Come to develop a special skill - experience living with nature!
Save Turtles - South Tortuguero Siquirres, Costa Rica first hand Costa Rica
Help to monitor the habits of marine turtles and work with injured turtles in our rescue center.

96 Project overzichten van first hand Costa Rica


We offer you to immerse in the daily life of costarican families and work routines of teaching and conservation projects. These new found knowledges teach you a lot.

In 1994 we at first hand moved to Costa Rica and everything started when my son went to a little elementary school near Sámara: 11 children, 6 degrees, one classroom and one teacher. We started bringing volunteers to this little school and 'poco a poco' other schools addressed us with interest of having volunteers and families offered themselves for having volunteers in their house.

Since then a lot has changed and developed at first hand – we started many new teaching programs and conservation projects all over the country – but one thing is still the same: we have a very personal and very close contact to all of our schools, guestfamilies and projects. We live in Costa Rica and we will be there when you need us!

First hand offers volunteer opportunities in schools, kindergarten, music schools, turtle camps, animal reserves, macaw stations, farms and in the rainforest.

We, the agency for volunteer work first hand, are in direct contact with schools and environmental conservation projects planning, organizing and joining our volunteers during this unforgettable and worthy experience!

We have 20 years experience of living in Costa Rica and feel commited to the people, comunitary help and sustainable ecological development. Through the 'Asociación Intercambio Cultural ALEGRIA - AICA', a non-profit organization, we have been promoting intercultural exchange in all areas of artistic expression and organizing festivals and benefit events. 

First hand offers projects almost everywhere in Costa Rica. San Jose, Islita, Buena Vista, Manzanillo, Drake Bay, Mata Palo...just to name a few!

Our Vision

first hand wants to contribute to a sustainable development and mutual respect by intercultural exchange and learning from each other.

Why volunteering with first hand?

Your contribution makes the difference in educating children, preserving marine turtles or other animals and protecting the rainforests of Costa Rica. You live and work with locals and you get to learn the real life of Costaricans. Every day you deal directly with opinions, lifestyles and routines of a different culture. These new found knowledges teach you more about yourself! You learn or improve your spanish skills. Language is the key to understanding the values of a different culture. Work experiences in foreign countries are indispensable in times of globalization. A volunteer based commitment will open many doors for you.

About Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a little tropical paradise between two oceans. Hardly any other country has such an abundance of plants and animals on such a small terrain. 25% of it's area is protected by national parks. Active volcanos, hot springs, rain and cloud forests, mountain rivers, spectacular waterfalls, subterranean caves, coral reefs, mangroves, amazing caribbean and pacific beaches and a fascinating animal world invite you to discover and enjoy.

Costa Rica has the oldest democracy in Latin America, a working social system, responsable environmental laws and is the only country in the world that has no army. The relaxed 'pura vida' lifestyle of the 'ticos' and their hospitality towards visitors make it one of the safest top destinations in Latin America.

Het voornaamste doel van het project is
Sofia Stein
Sofia Stein
Gesproken talen

Sociale impact

We have achieved a very good cooperation with many schools: playgrounds and recycling stations have been built, murals painted, gardens replanted and lots of lessons of all types have been learned. Many volunteers already supported our local schools and actually made a difference to the lives of the Costa Rican people. 

In our conservation projects we take care of many animals and the environment in general to help maintain the diversity of Costa Rica. Our hard working already made an impact on the conservation of these animals. We could already release lots of turtles and macaws. We took care of many animals and many new trees have been planted. 

Nagestreven duurzame ontwikkelingsdoelen

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