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Pura vida! This project takes place in the ever-vibrant capital city of Costa Rica, San Jose. Costa Rica is located in Central America, with Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. The city is located in the Central Valley, so volunteers can reach any coast or border in Costa Rica in just 5-6 hours. Within San Jose; however there is excellent shopping, nightlife, and a great live music scene that shouldn’t be missed.
Both healthcare and medical volunteers may be placed in local hospitals, clinics, elder homes or related institutions.
The healthcare placement is suitable for students of health science, students in nursing school, pre-med students and students in their first two years of medical school. Volunteers in the healthcare placement will focus mainly on providing companionship for patients and tending to their general needs. Healthcare volunteers may partake in conversation therapy or arts and crafts with people with disabilities, distribute medications in an elders home or lead workshops. Volunteers in this placement may also partake in dental or physical therapy placements.
The medical placement is suitable for both licensed medical professionals as well as students in their third or fourth year of medical school. Volunteers in the medical placement may be involved in more tasks such as taking vital signs, updating patient records, shadowing other medical professionals, partaking in medical campaigns and vaccination programs and/or assisting with check-ups and triage.
Some of your tasks may include:
Medical professional volunteers are typically placed at local clinic, hospital, ambulance service, or in an assisted living facility. Due to medical laws, professional volunteers are not allowed to practice fully and freely, however your help can greatly benefit the projects still.
Medical professionals can expect to do the following in their placement:
– Work alongside a nurse, doctor, therapist, or other medical professional with consultations
– Do triage, clean wounds, draw blood samples, give sutures and injections
– Provide general care and companionship to patients (talking, feeding, bathing)
– Distribute or sort medicine, teach patients about their medicine
– Clean or prepare materials and equipment, including changing beds
– Assist with administrative work and filing, recording patient data
Please note: Volunteer activities depend on placement, previous experience and training and language skills.
Typical Schedule: Volunteers will work 3-4 hours per day, on either a morning or afternoon shift, Monday-Friday. Schedules are subject to change depending on the current needs of the program.
Holidays: While the project remains open throughout the year, activities and volunteer schedules may vary during holidays. For specific dates, please consult with our placement coordinators.
Internet: Internet is available at the institute in San Jose.
Laundry: Laundry is available for an additional fee at host families or at local laundromats (called lavanderias.)
Accommodations: Volunteers with will stay in shared, single-gender rooms with a host family. Rooms accommodate up to four volunteers. Couples may request a private room with the host family.
Food: Breakfast and dinner are provided every day. Certain diets can be accommodated if notice is given in advance.
Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:
Consider joining one or more of these specialized program add-ons to add another dimension to your volunteer and travel experience in Costa Rica:
Spanish Language Immersion – 1 to 24 weeks of Spanish language lessons in small group or private classes
Surf School – Five-day surf school at the beautiful Manuel Antonio beach
Scuba Diving Certification – Four-day PADI diving certification
Mini Adventure—Catch the best highlights of Costa Rica on this week-long tour including Costa Rica Cultural Night, Volcano tour, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Coffee Farm tour and Catamaran tour to Tortuga Island.
Please note that there is an additional fee for these programs. Prices available upon request.