Proyecto San Gerardo

Proyecto San Gerardo, founded in 2007, exists to enhance local skills and job opportunities by providing training such as learning English and computer skills for those working in tourism, job opportunities for locals in our coffee shop and scholarships to encourage youth to stay in school.

Every year thousands of hikers and climbers visit San Gerardo de Rivas to climb Mt Chirripo, the second highest mountain in Central America, and explore this beautiful part of Costa Rica. This in turn provides opportunities for employment for locals as guides, hoteliers and restaurant staff.

Proyecto San Gerardo seeks volunteers to help them achieve their objectives; providing free English classes, computer and first aid courses as well as leadership in the café and program development. Proyecto San Gerardo arranges for a homestay with a local family at minimal cost to the volunteer which is especially attractive to people seeking to learn, improve or practice their Spanish.

The area is famous for its mountainous cloud forest setting and is perfect for keen hikers, environmentalists, photographers and animal lovers. The program allows for free mornings for the volunteers to enjoy the area and generally weekends are free to explore the coast or other attractions.

Individuals interested in volunteering should first check out the opportunities online at and then send their resume and an email explaining what they would like to do to:

The project director will send an application form, and if all goes well there will be a short phone interview, reference check and finally a signed Agreement by the volunteer and the Project.

The following volunteer opportunities are available:

English teachers – teach conversational English in the local elementary schools and to groups of youth and adults. Full curriculum, classroom and resources provided: 3 months minimum. Must have teaching experience, TEFL or TESOL training preferred.

+English tutors +- join the Amigos Ingles volunteer team and help students practice their English learned in class in a non-threatening, supportive environment. No particular experience required but lots of patience and resourcefulness as a tutor: 6 weeks minimum. Some Spanish preferred though not essential.

+Computer Skills teachers +- teach basic Windows/WORD although there are also opportunities to teach more advanced groups. Curriculum provided along with a well-resourced teaching space, IBM laptops, internet connectivity etc. 6 weeks minimum. Must speak Spanish, have some teaching or tutoring experience and understand basic computer skills.

First Aid Instructors: teach a variety of short courses appropriate to a rural tropical environment, focusing on prevention and preparedness where possible. Manikins, teaching aids and assistant available. This is a short term volunteer commitment. Must have Instructor training or experience teaching First Aid previously plus Spanish fluency.

Café volunteers: help out in the café and possibly assist with the restaurant apprenticeship course taught annually. Volunteers should love to cook/bake and enjoy the sometimes fast-paced environment of our café and farmer’s market. Volunteers preferably speak some Spanish and have experience in catering: 6 weeks minimum.

Youth group leaders: lead a group of youth aged 10 – 16 in after-school activities from crafts to sports. Experience as a camp leader, youth volunteer or in community services required. Intermediate or better Spanish needed: 6 weeks minimum.

There are often needs for other types of volunteers: photographers, artists, web designers, administrative helpers. If you have a skill you think might fit please contact Proyecto San Gerardo

Volunteers are expected to commit a minimum of 3 months to the project if they are teaching English. Other positions: teaching computer skills, first aid, leading our apprenticeship course or youth groups or helping out in the café have a minimum commitment of 6 weeks.
Volunteers pay for their flights to Costa Rica and their transport from the airport near San Jose to our local town of San Isidro de General where they are met. They are also expected to have health and personal insurance and their spending money. Onsite the only fee is for the homestay – $300 per month ($10/day) that covers lodging all meals and laundry. This fee is paid directly to the homestay families we support in San Gerardo de Rivas. We do not believe in charging volunteers to assist us but rather depend on their skills and motivation to work hard and support the Project.

For more information about volunteering with Proyecto San Gerardo, visit them online: