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Green Life Volunteers

Solar Energy Workshop in Rural Communities

Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica show on map

Our goal is to provide power to small rural elementary schools around the Osa that are off-grid and without power. Furthermore we educate the local community about solar.


Why is your program important? Which social issues do you face? And how do you try to solve these issues?

The workshop aims at installing solar systems free of charge for chosen elementary schools or organizations in small remote communities with no access to grid-electricity. Furthermore we also try to educate the local communities (and you as a participant) about Solar energy, and show them how to install, maintain, and build their own solar system!

An important aspect of the project is that we involve the local community in the workshop and provide knowledge and expertise to locals on solar power systems. The locals are the ones managing and running the systems later on, so they’ll have to know how they work. You will help to educate the community about renewable energies and solar systems.

We are also including educational events for kids and adults throughout the workshop – usually we do a visit to our local high schools and show them how to make panels from scratch and teach them about solar energy.


What is your program exactly about? What is the role of the volunteer?

You as a participant in our Solar Power Project will gain an understanding of the basic engineering principles of photo-voltaic power and solar panels. You will receive theory and practical lessons on how solar panels work. We will make panels from scratch and install basic systems. We will also install solar systems on one or two of the places we will donate the solar system to (varying locations throughout the Osa Peninsula).
We ask of our participants to actively take part in the theory and practical lessons, and help us with the installations of the solar system. We also include a visit to the local high school and we ask from our participants to actively help plan the high school visit and teach high school kids about solar energy. We also include locals into our daily practical and theory classes, and we would appreciate that participants help us to teach locals about solar energy.

Surroundings

You'll be living and working mainly in Puerto Jimenez, a small rural town on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. The workshop will take place in communal buildings, such as the Salon Communal, which is a centrally located meeting place. 

With whom will the volunteers be working with?

The volunteers will be working with our instructors, program staff, and also with locals! You'll meet locals that also want to learn about solar energy, and help us teach them how it works!

What do you expect from the volunteers? What can the volunteers expect from you? Do the volunteers have to bring special equipment?

An ideal volunteer on this project has a passion for environmental conservation, renewable energy, and helping communities. As a participant you should be flexible, pro-active, creative, and a team-player! The workshop is held in English for our foreign participants. However, Spanish knowledge is always of advantage since you’ll be speaking with locals throughout the workshop and also communicate with your host family – who may not speak English!

Typical day

The Solar Energy workshop classes start on Monday the 16th of July and end on Thursday the 26th of July 2018. The daily schedule is from around 9am - 4pm, with a lunch break. There will be some days off in the middle and end of the workshop - so that you have the chance to enjoy the Osa Peninsula: go to the beach, go for a surf, go for a horseback ride, or just hang out around town

Details on Arrival

You'll arrive in the international airport in San Jose on the 14th of July, 2018. From there you'll take a short taxi ride to the hostel, where all participants and at least one program staff will meet. The next day, 15th of July, all of you will travel together from the hostel to the local bus terminal, and take the bus to the town Puerto Jimenez together. Upon arrival in Puerto Jimenez you'll be greeted by other program staff and taken to your host families. The next morning program staff will meet you at the host family and take you to the first program classes to start your first day. The last day of the project will be the 26th of July 2018, with potential flight out date for the 28th of July 2018.
We only have 1 project per year, for 2 weeks.

Free-time activities

Volunteers could spend their time in Puerto Jimenez, a small town that has everything to offer for example: beautiful beaches, many hotels & resorts, travel agencies, rental tour companies, supermarkets, a hospital, a pharmacy, various gift shops, bars and restaurants. In addition, organizing your trip can easily be done with the various transportation possibilities like taxis, local and public busses, public boats to Golfito and even a local airport which is able to fly you all the way up to San José. Not to forget the many assortment of activities this town has to offer: sport fishing excursions, hiking, mountain biking, rappelling horse riding. Surrounded by the natural beauty you will be able to see scarlet macaws, crocodiles, monkeys and various colorful birds.

Water Sports
Swimming
Sightseeing
Diving/Snorkling
Shopping/Souvenirs
Climbing
Hiking
Sports
Riding
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 (fluently) and Spanish (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
An ideal volunteer on this project has a passion for environmental conservation, renewable energy, and helping communities. As a participant you should be flexible, pro-active, creative, and a team-player! The workshop is held in English for our foreign participants.

However, Spanish knowledge is always of advantage since you’ll be speaking with locals throughout the workshop and also communicate with your host family – who may not speak English!
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 09:00 - 16:30

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Included Services

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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Green Life Volunteers.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Green Life Volunteers (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 Green Life Volunteers
FEES:

The two week program is 1200$.
FEES EXPLAINED: Our fees for the solar project covers a lot of different aspects. A significant amount goes into your host family accommodation and food. Another amount cover instructor expenses (flights, salaries,etc.) and coordinator / staff costs. Another part go into materials for the workshop. There is also an amount included in the fee as a donation to the project and will cover the solar system we donate to the schools. Finally a small amount is used for transportation costs during the project (to installation and excursion sites), other costs such as room rental fee (which we have to pay to rent the room where we’ll be working in), and other small expenses.
NOT INCLUDED IN THE FEE: First and last night in San Jose in a hostel, travel to and from the international airport (airport shuttles are around 30$ each way to San Jose - We can set this up for you, just ask us during sign-up), travel to the project site (usually by public buses, which are from around 10-16$ one way), national/ International flights, travel insurance, visa costs, Any additional food or snacks besides the host family meals, extra-curricular activities.

Accommodation

Our host families in Puerto Jimenez can host several volunteers at the same time, so you'll most likely share a room with another volunteer. We are going to try to separate rooms by gender, but there may be mixed-gender dormitory style rooms with several beds.

Guest Family
Food & Beverages

Host families provide three meals a day and there are plentiful local fruits provided for volunteers. Food is usually served around 6-7 am for breakfast, 12:30-1pm for lunch, and around 6pm for dinner. All volunteers will share meals together at the host family housing. For lunch there is a 2 hour break allocated to eat, and also to rest a little before continuing the workshop in the afternoon. 

We can accommodate vegetarians, vegans and allergies - please let us know if you have any special dietary needs during your sign up process.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Puerto Jimenez (PJM) in Puerto Jimenez. 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)
$1,200.00
2 weeks (max. stay)
$1,200.00
Average fees
$600.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Puerto Jimenez/Costa Rica between 2 weeks and 2 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Green Life Volunteers 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 Green Life Volunteers during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Americas Central America Costa Rica  Puerto Jimenez, Puerto Jimenez

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