South America Inside

Work with Disabled Children

San Jose , Costa Rica show on map
founded in 2003
Coordinator | Sergio
Coordinator | Sergio
Assist teachers during lessons, help organize activities, and care for children that have disabilities. Make a positive impact on them and brighten up their day. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:

The Project

In Costa Rica, institutions and schools for disabled children are dedicated to helping children with physical and/or emotional disabilities that cannot attend a typical school. These schools help children with a range of disabilities, such as autism, hearing and vision problems, or Down Syndrome. Autism is a psychiatric disorder characterized by deficits in communication and social interaction, preoccupation with fantasy, language impairment, and abnormal behavior, which can include excessive attachment and repetitive acts. Autism is usually associated with an intellectual impairment. 

These schools often lack professional staff and equipment to properly help the children. For this reason, the schools heavily rely on volunteers to assist with teaching and taking care of them. 

There are no specific skills required when assisting the disabled in Costa Rica, however, any skills that could be of assistance to the institution are very welcome. 

There are two different schools where we place volunteers, which are attended by between 250 and 560 children. The children range from babies to teenagers, and there are also young adults between the ages of 18-21 that attend as well. 


Your Tasks 

On a day-to-day basis, you will be expected to help teachers during classes by assisting the students and preparing teaching materials for the classes. Since English is becoming an increasingly important language in Costa Rica, you will be expected to teach the children English on a regular basis. You will also help with the general operation of the schools through daily tasks.

Here is a small overview of what your tasks may include:

  • Helping the teachers during classes
  • Teaching English
  • Preparing extra lessons
  • Organizing games and activities
  • Playing sports and games
  • Helping out with day-to-day operations
  • Providing caring attention to the children
  • Assisting the teachers
  • Help with feeding and bathing the youngest children
  • Monitoring naptime for the small children
  • Supervising the children while they play, eat, sleep, or study

At work, you will be surrounded by other volunteers and teachers who are all passionate about helping children. This creates a welcoming, safe atmosphere for both children and volunteers alike.

Volunteers are also encouraged to be as creative as possible and promote a fun atmosphere in the schools.


Free-time activities

Being in the vibrant city of San Jose, there are many activities to do in your spare time. There are regular concerts, and a wide range of sports to participate in. Weekends are the perfect time to enjoy an exciting hike through Costa Rican nature. 


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 Spanish (intermediate level) and English (basic level)
Education Requirements
at High School 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 and Friday from 08:30 - 15:30

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 South America Inside 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 South America Inside.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
South America Inside (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 South America Inside
  1. Homestay, single room
  2. Half-board (2 meals/day)
  3. Airport Pick-up
  4. Translating application documents
  5. Placement in Volunteer Work Project
  6. Orientation session upon arrival
  7. Orientation kit
  8. 24-hr emergency number
  9. Advice given on all travel
  10. Certificate of Participation
Airport Pickup at Juan Santamaria International Airport

Airport pick-up is provided and will drop you off at your host family's home. 


You will be living in a single room with a local host family, sharing both bathrooms and living spaces. This will allow you to indulge in the culture of Costa Rica and improve your Spanish skills. Living with a host family will allow you to live like the locals and experience the country in the most authentic way possible. 

Guest Family Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages

Half-board is provided by the host family (breakfast and dinner). 

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.
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.
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
4 weeks (min. stay)
$ 1,160
5 weeks
$ 1,335
6 weeks
$ 1,510
7 weeks
$ 1,685
8 weeks
$ 1,860
24 weeks (max. stay)
$ 4,660
Average fees
$ 242 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in San Jose /Costa Rica between 4 weeks and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. South America Inside 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 South America Inside during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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

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