BaseCamp started working in Costa Rica in 2002. Since that time we have developed a wide range of placements across all fields of volunteer work. Volunteers in Costa Rica can choose from health care, social programs, teaching positions and of course, lots of conservation and wildlife projects around the country.
Some people are surprised by the demand for volunteers in Costa Rica. Given the country's status as one of the more developed counties in Central America, some assume that the country's social challenges are well in-hand. However, the reality is that Costa Rica still struggles to provide equitable access to services. While the country is improving access to government services in the urban areas, rural communities still struggle with even the most basic of needs.
Access to these services is further taxed by the massive influx of foreigners looking for work and opportunity. As a result of Costa Rica's reputation for development, people from throughout Central America come to Costa Rica in search of opportunities. In many cases, this wave of immigration and urbanization has stressed the social supports of Costa Rica to the breaking point.
In the National Parks, Costa Rica's government has gone to considerable expense to preserve their rich natural resources and wildlife. However, the massive number of people poaching is simply too great for the government alone to provide effective deterrence. With the advent of sea turtle volunteer placements in the National Parks, every year thousands of international volunteers patrol the beaches and assist in the hatcheries to protect these vulnerable creatures. As a result, the rates of poaching have been radically reduced. These placements are a fantastic example of international volunteers having a significant and meaningful impact in Costa Rica.