Maximo Nivel

Help at Local Helthcare Facilities

San José, Costa Rica show on map

Agency | Maximo Nivel

Volunteer at an assisted living facility for elderly adults or HIV patients, or a facility for disabled children.

Healthcare volunteers are typically placed at an assisted living facility for the elderly or at a special school for children with disabilities. If you have a strong preference we always do our best to accommodate you, however please note that due to availability and seasonal needs at our projects, we cannot guarantee any particular type of facility. We do have specific placements available for those with Physical Therapy training. 

As healthcare volunteers, participants directly assist project staff with day-to-day care work with a central focus of providing general care and companionship to patients.

At adult assisted living facilities, they may be asked to:

  • Plan arts and crafts, make conversation, engage in talk therapy
  • Accompany patients on walks
  • Sort and/or distribute medicine
  • Change beds
  • Feed and bathe patients
  • Ensure patients’ overall well-being
  • Help with administrative work and filing

Please be especially aware that conditions can be emotionally trying. Volunteers should prepare themself mentally and emotionally to work one-on-one with terminally ill patients. 

At facilities for children with disabilities, volunteers may be asked to:

  • Act as a classroom assistant and help run activities
  • Provide additional attention and care to the children
  • Work with one classroom or area of the school throughout your program
  • Help organize arts and crafts, play with the children, assist with physical therapy
  • Assist the children during meal times

Participants are always supported by Maximo Nivel’s in-country coordinators but they are not on site at the project every day, so independence and leadership is important.

Physical Therapy volunteers should be aware that the local practices they join have limited resources. Therapy methods may be very different from those considered standard in their home country. They work in an underfunded facility for patients with mobility problems, assisting with and/or shadowing a professional physical therapist. Placements can involve treating adults or children. Their experience, qualifications, and Spanish level determine how much hands-on treatment they deliver to patients.

Our projects are located in the San José area. Walking or taking the bus is the most effective and cheapest way to get to and from your project. Travel time varies widely from project to project, and volunteers should expect to spend 15-60 minutes traveling each way. Taxis are also widely available. On the first day at the project, volunteers travel on local transport with a Maximo Nivel representative who provides all the necessary information on how to get there and back.

Typical day

Working hours may vary slightly, but volunteers can expect to work 3-4 hours per day, Monday to Friday. Volunteer shifts are in either the morning or the afternoon depending on the needs of your project. 

Details on Arrival

Every Monday, all year round. 

Free-time activities

Within San José, volunteers can take a city tour, see shows at the National Theatre, visit the central market, and go zip-lining. Our local staff always posts a monthly events calendar to let them know of the activities going on around Maximo. Outside of San José, they can hike up volcanos, go whitewater rafting, and take a trip to the Pacific or Caribbean coasts. There are a lot of options and our staff is well-acquainted with the area to help advise on the must-see places. Tours and trips can also be easily booked through our on-site travel partner.

Swimming
Concert/Music
Sightseeing
Shopping/Souvenirs
Climbing
Hiking
Museum/Opera
Sports
Yoga/Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
required
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 and Friday

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Maximo Nivel cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Maximo Nivel.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Maximo Nivel (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 Maximo Nivel

Our fees include:

- Airport pick-up
- Host family accommodations (shared room with breakfast and dinner)
- Program and safety orientation
- Walking tour
- Official certificate of volunteer service
- Emergency contact number 24/7
- Program management
- Free Tandem Conversation Program
- Free office-wide WIFI and computer lounge
- Free social activities
- Free coffee and tea and on-site snack bar
- Maximo Nivel Institute open 7 days/week

Airport Pickup at Juan Santamaria International Airport
Airport pick up in San José is included. Volunteers find our representative outside the airport bringing a yellow flag with a smiley face on it.
Accommodation
Volunteers stay in a traditional family-stay where you they are placed with a pre-approved middle class Costa Rican family. Breakfast and dinner are included in their home stay.
Guest Family
Food & Beverages
Volunteers have 2 meals included (breakfast and dinner) 7 days a week.
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)
1 week (min. stay)
$695.00
2 weeks
$975.00
3 weeks
$1,255.00
4 weeks
$1,495.00
8 weeks
$2,235.00
16 weeks
$3,715.00
50 weeks (max. stay)
$10,005.00
Average fees
$448.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in San José/Costa Rica between 1 week and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Maximo Nivel 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 Maximo Nivel during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Americas Central America Costa Rica  San José, De la Farmacia La Bomba, 75 metros Sur, San Pedro, San José, Costa Rica

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

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