TRIP #CRI1119:

Costa Rica

Travel in a way you can give back to others

Nov 9, 2019
Nov 23, 2019
Approx. $2,400
Barra de Pacuare, Costa Rica

Costa Rica

About The Trip:

DWC teams will work with our in-country partner Mar a Mar serving communities in Barra de Pacuare, a remote seaside village with boat only access in Costa Rica. You’ll be making basic infrastructure improvements for a seaside community that lacks electricity and a reliable source of water.

There are 49 families in the village with a population of 70. There is little government infrastructure funding for their small school for eight students up to grade six. For various reason the school classroom is used for storage only. The school has a refrigerator and tablets but not enough power to run them. Their rudimentary medical clinic does not have water, as such, the travelling doctor who tends to patients every 15 days has stopped doing some types of examinations or dentistry due to hygiene concerns. A turtle conservation reserve includes a recycling station where collected beach plastic is transported to depots by boat.

Your work here will build a future for people who live off of hope. You’ll work with the locals who are striving to build a viable eco business and alongside other like-minded volunteers who are passionate about travel and giving others a hand up, not a hand out.

Wildlife in Costa Rica

It’s Not All Work:

A trip here is both unique and rewarding with many options for your free time. You can absorb the environment around your host community during the week before spending your days off relaxing or adventuring. Easily fill up your time canoeing, on naturalist guided hikes, bird watching, eco-training, turtle hatching and research, coconut oil making, jewelry making, fishing, gardening, beach litter cleanup, or chocolate, banana and pineapple tours.

The climate is tropical, warm and humid, all year round. October is part of the dry season on the pacific coast characterized by essentially constant daily high temperatures of 30°C. While this equatorial region is characterized by low temperature variations, frequent showers and thunderstorms are common so packing a light raincoat is a good idea.
Learn more about Costa Rica »

The Project:

Details will be finalized in the coming weeks but plans are being made to make the school fully usable and to restore discontinued exams and dental services at the medical clinic. The most pressing needs are a well, water pump and waterline across the nearby Pacuare River, a storage tank and water quality assurance. Multiple DWC Teams will travel to Barra de Pacuare and work with locals to make these improvements a reality for this small Costa Rican community.

Project work volunteer in Costa Rica


  • Saturday, November 9 – Team arrives in San Jose and travels to Host Community
  • Monday, November 11 to Friday, November 15 – PROJECT WORK at Barra de Pacuare.
  • Saturday, November 16 to Sunday, November 17 – Leisure time.
  • Monday, November 18 to Friday, November 22 – PROJECT WORK at Barra de Pacuare.
  • Saturday, November 23: Return to San Jose. Fly home or continue traveling.

View All Trips Schedule »

Culture and people in Costa Rica


Do I need construction experience and how much will we work?
You don’t need any special skills or training. We work with local skilled labourers who will give training onsite. You will work at your own pace five days a week from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Your evenings and weekends are free for cultural activities and relaxing.
What are meals and accommodations like?
Volunteers are transported via boat to and from the Barra de Pacuare community dock to their accommodation. All bottled water and hygienically prepared meals are provided. Accommodations are comfortable and clean. The food is prepared hygienically and dishes range from local to standard Western fare.
How much does it cost?
The program cost is about $2,400 and will be finalized closer to the departure date. This includes accommodations, meals, in-country transport and program costs. It does not include airfare. Team members can fundraise for project contributions to Mar a Mar.

The entire program and flight costs are 100% tax deductible when paid through DWC. You can fundraise part or all of your trip and we will issue charitable receipts for donations $20 CDN or greater.

Why should I volunteer?

Volunteer trips take you to places you otherwise might never go, to do things you otherwise might never do and to meet people you might never otherwise meet.

You’ll make a difference in others’ lives and they will make a difference in yours. Simply put, there is joy and self-discovery that comes with giving to others. And you’ll have fun doing it, too.

DWC Team Leader:

Marcia Julian

DWC has been a huge part of my life since the day of its inception more than 10 years ago. I have been on the board of directors with DWC since the beginning and was six years as its first chair. In 2005, I had the amazing opportunity of travelling on the first DWC trip to Sri Lanka, within weeks of the devastating tsunami, to build homes for those who were left homeless. I will never forget that experience.
Following that, I volunteered on trips to Guatemala and Peru, and was team leader for trips to Cambodia, India and Kenya. Each country is so different and each project is so meaningful!
I’m a social worker by vocation and community development is my passion. I’m continually impressed by the projects that are developed by the in-country host partners in conjunction with DWC. They are always done with the input and empowerment of the people who live there. We come as volunteers to work alongside with them and leave much richer and more compassionate for the experience. It is an action of service and an act of global caring.
I’m delighted to have the opportunity to travel with you and to experience the beautiful, emotional, fun-filled – life changing – world of international volunteering.

Are You Ready To Go?

Got questions? Email us at

Ready to apply? Fill out our online application. You can secure your place on this trip with a $500, non-refundable deposit that goes toward your total trip cost. After you’ve submitted your forms and deposit, our office will contact you and send you a welcome package.

We’re glad to have you join us.

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