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First learn Spanish, then help actively our communities. Volunteer with us for your GAP Semester or Year

Intercultura is more than just a language school. It’s a place where you can learn Spanish and also get connected to the local culture, give back to a community with real needs and know you are really making a difference.

Get directly involved with the Sámara community, working with local kids, teens and families.

Offer your own specific skills to help people overcome academic, environmental and social challenges, while immersing yourself in rural Costa Rican culture and learning the language.

We design each volunteer program based on the participant’s strengths, abilities and interests.


What you can do

We invite you to participate in our program and contribute to cultural understanding through global exchange, awareness, and social & environmental development in Latin America. Your experience will deepen your understanding of both your own and Costa Rican culture, and it will undoubtedly change the way you see the world and your place in it.

  • 1 on 1 tutoring
  • Group English classes
  • Food delivery to families in need
  • Environmental / beach clean-up
  • Community garden
  • Soup kitchen
  • Maintenance
  • Administrative support
  • Marketing and social media assistance
  • Gardening
  • Art projects, Music workshops
  • Sports, Self-defense, Dance, Wellness, Psychology and more


Tell us what you are good at and we will design a program for you!


There are several things which will help you have a more meaningful and rewarding experience, and increased interaction within your placement: 

It is important that students set realistic expectations for volunteer programs, and to realize that you will get just as much out of volunteering as the organization will from you. You need to be independent, capable of figuring things out for yourself, and willing to put yourself in situations outside of your normal comfort zone. Most importantly, you need to remember that a positive, outgoing, hands-on attitude is the best attribute you can bring to the job. This is not the program for you if you are just interested in meeting new friends and having an economical, fun holiday!



The volunteers’ Spanish level is an essential factor to ensure a successful experience. To ensure the volunteers´ Spanish level is good enough to communicate and understand the instructions during the project a minimum number of weeks of classes must be taken. An Intermediate or Advanced Spanish level greatly facilitates training and interaction. At the very minimum, we require a high beginner level to start volunteering (which you can acquire after 4 weeks of classes if you start in our first level). Depending on the type of project you are going to do, we recommend a different length of your Spanish program. In addition, before signing up, please reflect on the following considerations, such as:

The concrete and communicable skills you bring to the position that make you a valuable resource to the organization. For example: teaching certification or license, construction experience, advanced professional degrees, experience teaching technology, sports, arts & crafts, music, photography or other short-term skills, library management, community development experience, social media or web management, etc. If you do not have any concrete skills, you can of course still participate, but your expectations regarding what you will contribute should be adjusted accordingly.
The time commitment you can make... (the longer you can stay the better, as this helps justify the significant investment in time and human resources that is required to train volunteers). Your willingness to learn and work (hard!) in any and all areas that need help and the understanding that your ability to contribute is defined in large part by the above factors. Once you commit, you need to fulfil your obligations just as you would in a paid working position. If you leave early, you will have created more work for the organization, harming them rather than helping them, and that will reflect badly on you, your own culture and the volunteers that follow you.

Understand that you are interacting in a different culture and that your expectations are based on what you are used to seeing and experiencing in your own culture. Open-mindedness is key to developing a good relationship with the people in the placement. Do not expect constant supervision and direct instructions on what to do; this is not the norm in Costa Rican organizational culture. Remember you are here to learn and contribute, and that many organizations have scarce personnel resources. You will be expected to take the initiative often, devise your own activities if need be, and join in to work on whatever task is at hand, with a positive, upbeat attitude.


Learn how to "onset" the carbon emissions of your trip by joining our Earth Deeds team.  You can make a donation and even crowd fund to keep your trip carbon neutral.  You'll be doing your part to save the planet while helping a local non-profit organization that teaches local kids about the importance of recycling, not littering, reducing the use of limited resources and reusing everyday articles in innovative ways.  The CREAR association works with the children in several local schools and provides after-school programming as well as summer camps, completely free of charge.  Check out our blog to learn more!

  • We recommend 1-3 months for a true language and cultural immersion. You will go home speaking Spanish, you will make life-long friends with locals, and you will know you have made a difference in the lives of those who need it most.
  • You will have time to explore the country on the weekends, taking advantage of the many offers currently available and the flexibility of travelling with few tourists in the country
  • If you have more or less time, let us know and we will work with you to design a program that fits your needs.
  • Live with a local family in a private room, with breakfast, dinner and laundry service included for $27 per day
  • Live in our beachfront student residence in shared rooms (2 to 4 per room), with communal kitchen, gardens, hammocks, ranch, and beach access right out of our gate!


  • You can participate in our Latin dance, cooking and yoga classes for as long as you stay in Sámara
  • You will have time to learn to surf, bike, ride horses, hike, swim and do many other things while here