This flagship project in Costa Rica aims to improve the economic prospects of a remote indigenous village by making infrastructure improvements that will support their vision of sharing their culture with travellers. The project will offer an exclusive and remote volunteer experience in a way that very, very few have ever done. Tsinikicha borders the Barbilla National Park which recently allowed the use of some of its trails for hikers. There is great potential to appeal to visiting hikers and the community has plans to offer a comprehensive traditional experience that would bring valuable new sources of income.
Six villages in the territory are involved in this initiative. A new ceremonial hut has been built. Near here is the site for a hikers’ camp and small soda (restaurant). DWC volunteers will assist in developing camping facilities for hiking visitors of the El Camino Trail as well as facilities for sustainable small business that supports tourist experiences. This will increase village commerce and offer improvements for residents.
DWC teams will work with our in-country partner Mar a Mar serving Las Brisas de Pacuarito, a remote, small settlement about four hours east of San Jose and 17km from the picturesque, small town of Siquirres.
In general, expect to work 6-8 hours per day. Volunteers usually wake up early, around 6:00 or 7:00 am for breakfast. After breakfast, the team is transported to the project site (usually by private bus) and the workday begins, usually somewhere between 8:00 and 9:00 AM. There will be lunch in the middle of the day, which is either provided by your workplace, host family, or purchased by you. Your workday will usually end around 4:00 pm.
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.
Catch views towards Turrialba Volcano, the Atlantic sea and the Talamanca mountains with guided hiking to help you navigate through the dense jungle of nearby National Park Barbilla. This is a 29,500 acre protected forest on the Caribbean side of the Talamanca Mountains. The park is the home of the second-largest indigenous group in Costa Rica, the Cabécar. This area is ecologically rich and important as a water source for rare (and even endangered) species including three-toed sloths, jaguars, ocelots, pumas, tapirs, toucans and countless other bird species. The ranger station for the National Park is located in Las Brisas de Pacuarito.
Easily fill up your time with Banana, Vanilla or Chocolate Tours and get involved in fun evening activities with local families including crafting souvenir walking poles, salsa dancing, dice games, Settlers of Catan (game) and soccer.
The climate is tropical, warm and humid, all year round. January 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.
Do I need construction experience and how much will we work?
You don’t need any special skills or training. We hire local skilled labourers who will give training onsite for construction and team leaders. 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?
The team will stay at a local hotel that is comfortable and clean. The food is prepared hygienically and dishes range from local to standard Western fare.
How much does it cost?
The cost of each trip varies for each country, and the approximate cost of this trip is displayed at the top of the page. All costs will be finalized closer to the departure date. This cost is the in-country cost, including accommodations, meals, in-country transport, program costs and a donation to our Host Partner in their respective country. It does not include airfare. The entire program and flight costs are 100% tax deductible when paid through DWC.
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.
Joy Demsey is an American who moved up in the world to Canada for love and to raise her family. She has worked teaching ESL for over 6 years in Moldova, Japan and Kyrgyzstan. She has been able to travel to experience many countries in the world including Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, India, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Cuba and Honduras. She finds local immersion travelling experiences that connect her with children across the world brings the most heartfelt smiles, gratitude and hope for our world’s future. Joy has led a DWC trip to the Philippines and is also the Trip Coordinator for Developing World Connections.
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