first hand wants to contribute to an ecological sustainable, pedagogic and social development in Costa Rica. We promote intercultural exchanges which benefit as well the volunteers and the locals by interchanging different views about life and living. The main purpose is claiming respect for other ways of living and learning from each other.

Duties and responsibilities of the volunteer

  1. My work has a voluntary character and I will not assume the agreement to be hired after any time.
  2. My work will include (the works might change according to nature reasons or specific needs):
    • School project: preparing the classes, teaching, cleaning the facilities after the classes, repairing damages that occur during the teaching; organizing of needed material, organizing events and classes after school for kids and adults
    • Rainforest Lodge: planting, watering, new paths, administrative works on the lodge, hosting, sometimes work with horses
    • Turtle Camps: patrol walks at night to find the eggs, hatchery, taking bio-metrical dates, releasing turtle babies, beach cleanings, camp maintenance
    • Ara Station: Collecting, chopping and feeding of birds, several times daily, General aviary maintenance and husbandry, Environmental enrichment, making toys from an assortment of materials
    • Ecofarm: work with organic agriculture, medicinal plants, environmental education, domestic animals
    • Wildlife Centers: preparing food, feeding animals, cleaning facilities
  3. Every accident I have related to my voluntary work will be due to my own responsibility; first hand, the Ministry of Education or any other project are free of any obligation. I agree that I will take care of my own accident and medical insurance, valid in Costa Rica.
  4. I agree with a very strict anti-drug policy in all projects: who is taking drugs will be directly expelled from the project. If you are drunk – you will be expelled.
  5. During my stay in the area, I have to respect the rules and customs of the social and cultural environment where my classes and workshops take place. If I do not fulfill it, I can be expelled from the volunteer program.
    • Especially in school projects: decent clothing, positive attitude, reliability, punctuality
    • All projects: work independently – don't sit and wait … look, what needs to be done and start!
    • NO use of mobile phones and electronic devices during work!
  6. All intentional acts endangering your mental and physical health must be avoided. The information provided by first hand and the projects on safety in the country, how to deal with people and nature should be read carefully and taken into account.
  7. The project costs have to be deposited to the first hand bank account at least 3 weeks before the start of the project.
  8. I will have to pay for any extra costs on transportation, extra food, drinks, entrance fees, excursions etc.. The transportation and costs for hotels to the project, I have to pay on my own.
  9. If I leave the project before time, there will be no money refund.I agree that it is NOT possible to change projects once I am in Costa Rica. Also, it is NOT possible to get the money back if I leave the project because I don't like it. In case of emergency (accident, sickness) I will immediately inform one of the coordinators.
  10. If I want to stay longer in a project, I will inform first hand to organize that. It is not allowed to make private arrangements with families or projects.

Duties and responsibilities of first hand

  1. Providing pre-departure information and answering to questions concerning the volunteer service and any other aspects and counseling in official requirements.
  2. Organization of the stay, the airport pick-up, transportation between projects. The transportation and hotel/hostel costs have to be paid by the volunteer.
  3. Choosing adequate projects and guest families taking account of the volunteer's wishes.
  4. On-site orientation on arrival: in the village, in the schools, the families.
  5. Our coordinators are 24/7 available via phone and/or Email.
  6. School project: assistance (if needed and as far as possible); pedagogic advice in case of problems with the children, teachers and families.
  7. In case of leaving the project earlier as planned because of any emergency the volunteer coordinator will find a solution together with the volunteer.
  8. Handing out a certificate after the volunteer service and after getting a written feedback from the volunteer.

I fully understand and accept the agreements and conditions for the voluntary service with my application.

Click here to download the agreement as .pdf.