first hand Costa Rica

Agroecological Farming

Cartago, Costa Rica show on map

Come to develop a special skill - experience living with nature!

About the Program

This farm was constituted on November 14, 1998 as a non-profit association with the purpose to complement Costa Ricas environmental education and to strengthen the relationship between society and the environment.

The near by town 'La Flor' is a typical rural Costa Rican community located in the high lands of the Central Valley, 1250 meters (4000 feet) above sea level. The grounds of the farm include 10 hectares of regenerated forest, botanical and medicinal gardens, domestic animals (goats, chickens, horses) and organic agriculture. The property displays a panoramic view of the Orosi Valley, one of the most beautiful valleys in the country.

You will do planting and watering, working with the ground, and you will harvest fruit and vegetable that will be used for cooking.

There is always a lot of work with animals: clean their stables and feed them.

Sometimes there is construction work to do - and you might learn how to construct a wall out of 'barro' ... (loam).Spanish knowledge is not required - it is to the volunteer´s advantage to study Spanish to communicate with the local people who work at the farm. The farm runs an Alternative Spanish Language Institute where classes are offered.

Our Volunteers

Our volunteers should be enthusiastic about developing new skills and experiencing living with nature. We welcome volunteers of all ages for a shorter or longer period of time. You don't need to speak Spanish although it's an advantage to be able to communicate with the local people. We also offer Spanish language classes to our volunteers. 

Your Program Location

The eco farm is located in a beautiful, natural environment in the town of La Flor - approximately one and a half hours outside of San Jose (two hours by bus), above the Orosi Valley near Paraíso of Cartago, Costa Rica.

Typical day

Weekly Schedule

You will do guided work from Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m to 12:00 noon.

Your Tasks

Typical tasks during your week can include the following areas: 

  • Organic agriculture
  • Botanical garden and forest
  • Domestic animals
  • Medicinal plants
  • Environmental Education
  • Discussions of environmental problems and possible solutions
  • Cooking
  • Cross-cultural interaction

Details on Arrival

This program is available all year. It starts every Monday. Please arrive at least one day before the programs starts. 


Free-time activities

During your work you will not have the time to make trips to other places as every journey takes about half a day to get there. So, save your free days for an excursion ... there is so much to visit in Costa Rica! We recommend the National Parks (Monteverde, Manuel Antonio), the volcanos (Arenal, Irazú, Poás), go for a trip to the coast in Jacó and Quepos, travel to the caribbean coast to Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, our rainforest lodge or visit us in Sámara and enjoy beach life for some days!

Swimming
Hiking
Yoga/Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
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High ethical standards & transparent social impact
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Resolution Support
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by first hand Costa Rica.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
first hand Costa Rica (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by first hand Costa Rica
  • We organize the journey to the project
  • We also do hostel reservations in San José if needed (mostly it is needed!)
  • Accommodation
  • Food & drinks
Airport Pickup at Juan Santamaria International Airport

You will be picked up at the airport by our driver with a sign with your name and you will directly get in contact with your german, english, spanish speaking coordinator via phone. The driver will drive you to the reserved hostel (if necessary), give you the bus ticket (he will buy a ticket in advance to reserve you a seat in the bus), pick you up at the hostel the day of your journey to the project and bring you to the bus.
The cost will be around 60 US$ plus the hostel night (between 10-12 US$ (dorm) and 30 US$ (single/double room).

Accommodation

Shared cabins with other volunteers - see the photos.

Bungalow
Food & Beverages

Three meals - very tasty and vegetarian food.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose. We assist you to find cheap flights to Costa Rica.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Costa Rica provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Costa Rica you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Costa Rica.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
$900.00
3 weeks
$1,134.00
4 weeks
$1,368.00
5 weeks
$1,602.00
6 weeks
$1,836.00
7 weeks
$2,070.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$3,240.00
Average fees
$360.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Cartago/Costa Rica between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. first hand Costa Rica will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Costa Rica.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with {project.name} during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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Reservation

The social project site is open in Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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