Puro Caribe - True Caribbean Life

Immerse yourself in Costa Rican life away from tourism! On the Caribbean coast on the border with Panama is a small village where care is taken to maintain a functioning village life, a relaxed, quiet and safe environment, and the best possible organic and local food. There are no hotels, bars or souvenir stores here but plenty of friendly people who also have cell phones and use the internet but are not looking to funnel masses of tourists through their village, instead opting for regenerative tourism. The village has limited capacity for volunteers and the essential goal is cultural exchange, appreciation and care of the surrounding nature and exchange of ideas.

You will live with a host family and according to your abilities, needs and desires you can participate in their daily life and work. Many families have a small organic farm or fish and you can help there as well as learn a lot. You can also get involved in village life by getting involved in local primary or secondary school projects or helping with beach cleanups. Various highly endangered turtles arrive at the beach to lay their eggs and there is also a turtle station in the village where you can help out.

In your free time the surrounding area offers a lot of possibilities for relaxation as well as for tours in the breathtaking nature. Besides the beach, where highly endangered turtles - the leatherback turtle, the green turtle and the hawksbill turtle - arrive, the village borders the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge with primary rainforest and wetlands to the north and a lagoon with mangroves and lots of wildlife to the south. The following tours and activities are possible - depending on the season and weather conditions: boat tour on the lagoon, hike in the rainforest, visit to the turtle project, cacao tour, horseback riding tour, surf lessons, dolphin tour on the sea, fishing, coconut oil workshop. The prices for these tours can be found out on the spot.

Your tasks

Volunteers are expected to volunteer in the morning for work either for the family, for the village community or for the school. This work varies depending on the host family or special requests of the volunteer and will be discussed and determined during the registration process.
The afternoon is usually at your free disposal.

You should bring

  • Willingness to live in a remote village with no infrastructure (bus, stores) - in case of possible need for medical care, the trip to the nearest doctor or hospital will take ... minutes.
  • Willingness to live in simple conditions. The rooms are rustic but clean. There is of course clean running water and electricity. In the families there is usually also WiFi.
  • Openness, interest, serenity and friendliness. It's about cultural exchange - not evaluation.
  • Basic knowledge of Spanish is very helpful as most families only speak Spanish. All families are very patient with language beginners and a few families are bilingual. You can book a language course with first hand in advance.

Project location

The village of Gandoca is located on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, in Caribe Sur, close to the border with Panama.

Registration form

If you register here and start the project, we will plant a tree for you!