Sustainable Farming & Agriculture Costa Rica

WHY we need you in Costa Rica

coffee on the trees

HOW can you help?

WHAT you can do?

  • Work as part of a team and take directions from the local supervisor
  • Help to grow, water and harvest crops
  • Educate the community on how best to care for the land and environmental issues
  • Get involved in all aspects of the farm, like picking and weeding 

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

creative lesson drawing






  MIN AGE: 18+ (16 with guardian)

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Criminal background check required


Agriculture forms more than a third of the population in South America. However, working environments are less than ideal and the ecological impact can be harmful. We work with NGOs and farming companies that use organic and sustainable practices in their farming methods, as well as traditional agricultural techniques. On this project you can assist on these projects and learn about eco-farming and sustainable agricultural techniques.

You will get hands on, in this project that will require some hard labour.  You could volunteer at coffee farms, macadamia nut and permaculture farms or help to grow local tea and cacao in communal farming projects.

Daily tasks can differ, depending on Spanish language ability (although this is not essential), responsibility level, and expertise. You will be supervised on the project and this supervisor will put you where you will best be placed. 

Volunteers at Eco-Agriculture projects may be asked to:

  • Harvest and process coffee beans
  • Tend to the coffee tree nursery
  • Plant and prune coffee trees
  • Package and market the coffee
  • Assist with reforestation projects
  • Support supplemental agriculture projects


Volunteers work at offsite projects,  located 3 to 4 hours outside the city of San Jose. These locations may not have reliable internet, but a phone is available in case of emergencies. Our local coordinators will check in with you by phone and in-person throughout your project.

Project Tasks

  • Growing crops
  • Harvesting
  • Processing crops/ coffee beans
  • Picking, weeding and planting
  • Packaging of the final product for local and international sales
  • Assist with reforestation efforts and community outreach

Food & Accommodation

While in San Jose for your orientation, you stay in a traditional home stay with a pre- approved middle class Costa Rican family in a shared room. You share with 1-3 other people of the same gender. Our host families are 10-60 minutes walking or by bus from the volunteer hub. On your first day, your host family shows you how to get a bus or taxi to our volunteer hub.

At Eco-Agriculture Projects, you stay with one of six farming families that we work with, living on site at a coffee cooperative where they share the land with other families. Accommodations are in shared rooms and are very comfortable, including both warm showers and electricity. Wifi may be limited. Because project sites are very rurally located, some of the comforts and conveniences you are used to may not be available.

3 meals a day will be served 7 days a week and will usually be local cuisine, cooked by your host family. The food in Costa Rica is a mix of African, Italian, French, Chinese, and Spanish cuisines. Common food are grains such as rice, corn, and beans and different meats mixed with spices like coriander, saffron, parsley, oregano, thyme and nutmeg. The food is usually mildly seasoned and has plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Below images show remote accommodation, and of the San Jose volunteer hub/ centre.

All prices in USD
  • 1 Week - $595
  • 2 Weeks - $935
  • 3 Weeks - $1275
  • 4 Weeks - $1590
  • 8 Weeks - $2690
  • 12 Weeks - $3775
Home Stays
What's Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Airport Pickup
  • Local Transportation
  • 1 Day Orientation
  • 24/7 In-Country Support
  • Project Materials & Equipment
  • Pre-departure Expert Advice
  • Preperation Tools & Checklists
  • Certificate of Completion



This project would suit those who are hardworking, have a good level of fitness and who love to get hands on and stuck in with the dirty work! You will be required to do a variety of tasks and work as a team with your fellow volunteers.

  • Airport pick-up
  • Host family accommodations
  • Breakfast and dinner, 7 days/week
  • 1 day orientation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Walking tour
  • Official certificate of volunteer service
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Spanish language tutoring table
  • Tandem Conversation Program
  • WiFi and computer lab
  • Salsa dance classes
  • Cooking classes
  • Free coffee and tea and on-site snack bar
  • Volunteer centre open 7 days/week
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Daily transportation
  • Travel and tours
  • Transfer back to the airport
  • Personal spending money

Each project will include a 1-day orientation to familiarise yourself with the local area, rules, safety advice and general information. Your host family will show you the best way to get to/from your accommodation to the volunteer centre. Orientation will include health and safety advice, do’s and don’ts, cultural norms, activities and tours you can do on weekends, and a short walking tour, showing you the local area. You are also able to take a free Spanish placement exam. On your first day the local coordinator will take you to the placement, where you will be introduced to everyone and shown around the project.

Arrival to San Jose
You will spend the first 1-2 nights in San Jose, before heading to the offsite location. Our local team will pick you up from San Jose airport on the Sunday before your project. Sunday night accommodation is included in the fees.

If you arrive outside the pickup times, you can book a private transfer for an extra fee.

If you want to book any extra nights before or after your program, you can do this for an extra fee.

Eco Farm project sites and accommodations are located 3 to 4 hours outside the city of San Jose. Public bus transportation to and from the project site is included at both the beginning and end of your program.

We will explain to you how to get to your project site, and you will be given transportation tickets. You will leave on Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning to reach your offsite project. Transportation back is included, and this will usually be Friday evening or Saturday morning.

Sunday – Arrival / Welcome and Home Stay Introduction

Monday – Orientation day

Tuesday to Friday

Here is a rough guide on what to expect:

  • Breakfast at the accommodation
  • 4-6 hours of volunteer work either in the morning or afternoon
  • Your own lunch at the accommodation or project site
  • Free time
  • Dinner at the accommodation

While the areas may be remote, the location is beautiful and there is plenty to do! You can look forward to being surrounded by mountains and nearby the famous cloud forest of Monteverde. There are also outdoor and adventure activities nearby including hiking, ATV tours, zip-lining, and bungee jumping.

Volunteers must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Those under 18 are welcome when there is a faculty leader, parent, or guardian present
  • Have a good level of fitness (the work can require manual labour)

Because Eco-Agriculture sites are very rurally located, some of the comforts and conveniences you are used to may not be available. While you have access to all the standard Local Services while in San Jose, please keep in mind that at your project site:

• Local transportation is limited and walking is the best way to get around.
• There are taxis available that can take you to nearby towns 15-20 minutes away for around $12 to $15. There you can find shops, ATM’s, and other common conveniences.
• Depending on your accommodations, Wifi may not be available. In some cases a neighbouring family is happy to allow you to use their Wifi to contact friends and family.
• There is a local clinic about 20 minutes by taxi from the coffee project site. The closest hospital is about 1.5 hours away. Our team and the local staff can support you if you require medical attention or have any concerns.

While the areas may be remote, the location is beautiful and there is plenty to do! You can look forward to being surrounded by mountains and nearby the famous cloud forest of Monteverde. There are also outdoor and adventure activities nearby including hiking, ATV tours, zip-lining, and bungee jumping.

Costa Rica is a small country in Central America and is bordered by Nicaragua to the North, Panama to the South, the Pacific Ocean to the West, and the Caribbean Sea to the East. The country has a population of 5 million people and is roughly the same size as a large city in the USA! Costa Rica offers incredible mountain trails, coffee plantations, lush rainforests and some stunning beaches, with a huge variety of landscapes.

Volunteer projects are situated in the beach town of Manuel Antonio and in the capital city of San Jose. Some projects are situated in areas further afield, offering a more ‘off the beaten track’ option. These areas are Guanacaste (beach), Caribbean (beach), and Monteverde (cloud forest).

Manuel Antonio: Located at sea level, you can expect average temperatures from 19 degree Celsius to 28 degrees. The dry season is from December to April with hot and humid weather. The wet season is from May to November. The weather will be humid, with showers throughout the day. The plus side of travelling during this time is that everything will be so green!

San Jose: At 1170 metres above sea level, temperatures can range from 20-30 degrees Celsius. December to April has little to no rain, moderate temperatures and can get cooler during the evenings. May to November experiences warm days, cool nights and short intermittent bursts of rain and sun.

Costa Rica still has much of its Spanish heritage (the national language), with a vast amount of the population being of Afro-Caribbean descent. There is also a small population Jewish and Chinese communities. A large proportion of the country is Catholic and Latino music and dance are enjoyed throughout the country, as well as a love for soccer. Cost Rica disbanded their armed forces in 1949, as the area is so safe. The people are happy, laid back and welcoming.

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IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.

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All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact.   All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality.

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We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points.   Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options

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Weekends & Extra Tours

Ready to Volunteer in Costa Rica?