Computer Skills Training Volunteer

Public Libraries System - Montes De Oca , Costa Rica
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-955 Location: Montes De Oca , Costa Rica Sector: Education Category: Employment Skills Training Min Duration: 2 weeks Lodging: BaseCamp or Host Family Language: Intermediate
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Volunteer Job Description

Technology has been the main factor that has taken people away from public libraries and Faustino Montes de Oca Public Library has not been the exception to this effect. Since 2005, the library has implemented strategies to invite the people to use their facilities. With the effort of the administration, they have create spaces to the citizen to learn skills relate to technology and the new use for public libraries.

The staff open several courses during the year to all citizens interested in learning about computers, handcrafts, English and reading techniques. The library is looking for computer training volunteers who are willing to provide support to the staff. Be it in general computer knowledge for the public or how to search for data using a computer, how to use social media o create a social media page to share people´s knowledge. It should be noted that computer games are not allowed at any public library in Costa Rica but the use of social media is.

Computer basic training volunteers at this placement must speak an intermediate level of the Spanish language in order to communicate with the public and the staff who do not speak English. Volunteers must have knowledge of computer programs, social media and softwares and must be willing to teach people of all ages.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Microsoft Tools Training

A computer teaching volunteer will teach people from all ages how to use Microsoft tools like Word, Excel and Power Point as the library promote the use of their facilities to do homework.

Social media training

Volunteers must know how to create a bloggs, use of social media like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube and other social media resources that allow people to learn for homework use, communication and learning in order to teach people from all ages.

Homework support

A big number of students visit the library looking for help to do a homework. A computer teaching volunteer will assist local staff by tutoring the students during the process of making a formal presentation for homeworks.

Basic Computer Training

The public library is always looking forward to open new basic computer classes for neighbor citizens and during the volunteer time at the placement, the staff open new subscriptions for new courses.

Host Organization Details

Public Libraries System

Public Libraries System is a network of public libraries that work towards social and cultural development. The organization promotes information services; providing access to knowledge, cultural extension and ensures the creation and development of programs that promote reading skills.

SINABI (National Libraries System - in Spanish) has 56 public libraries around the country and they provide teaching materials and data in support of educational studies for students from elementary to university level in Costa Rica. They also offer workshops and tutorials for students behind in some subjects. The libraries encourage reading and learning sessions with older people and recently they have introduced training seminars in different communities in the technology area in the use of computers and the internet.

School breaks are a busy time at all the libraries in Costa Rica as staff engage children in numerous fun and educational endeavours. These activities may involve several types of learning such as: handicraft making, puppet shows put on by staff or the children or a combination of both, reading clubs for the older children and storybook telling time for the younger ones, art classes etc.

SINABI offers free internet access to the public for general use but not to play games and twice a year they promote public health education about seasonal diseases like dengue.

When They Were Founded

Founded in 1890 by Miguel Obregón Lizano. As General Director of Libraries, Mr. Obregon opened the first public library in San Jose in 1888 and the following years he opened 3 more at different locations. In 1971, the system was established by law under the regulation of the Ministry of Culture and Youth and in 2000, it was named the National Libraries System (SINABI - in Spanish).

How Are They Funded

SINABI (National Libraries System - in Spanish) receives public funds from the Ministry of Culture and Youth of the Government of Costa Rica. A lot of materials like books and computers are from private donors.

Donation Requests

They welcome books from all over the world in all languages and topics. Also every library needs computers.

Placement Location Information

Montes De Oca , Costa Rica

The library was inaugurated on Sept 15th, 1995 but in 2010, the building received improvements to make it accessible to handicap population and it now has a more modern look.

The building has 2 floors. In the first floor, it can be found the books and two reading areas, one for children and one for adolescents and adults. In the second floor, the library has computers with internet access to be used by the public, a large computer room with 20 computers for learning process and other large classroom for other training courses like English, handcrafts.

As the building was remodeled to adapt to handicap people, it has an elevator to the second floor and ramps from the main street to the building.

Transfer From BaseCamp

From BaseCamp Center, volunteers will need to walk to San Pedro Central Avenue and take the bus to Vargas Araya which is on the way to the east. After 15 to 20 minutes; depending on the traffic, the bus will leave the commercial area and it will start making stops at residential area after Universidad Latina.

Volunteers will need to get off the bus on the third bus stop, right in front of a laundromat. Cross the street and walk a block to the north. The library is located next to Ignacio Layola´s Catholic Church.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 3
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 0:20

Weather in the Area

Due to its location; surrounded by mountains, Montes de Oca has several microclimates and weather is not the same along the whole canton. It has 2 seasons during the year, the dry season from December to May and March is the hottest month and the rainy season from June to November, being October the rainiest month.

City/Village Description

Montes de Oca is the 15th canton of the province of San Jose. The canton covers an area of 15.16 square kilometres And it has a combination between commercial and residential areas. Montes de Oca is known in Costa Rica as the Cradle of Higher Education as it is home of the larger public university: Universidad de Costa Rica and the Universidad Estatal a Distancia. The canton can boast of 99% literacy, compared with 97% in Costa Rica at large.

The capital city of the canton is San Pedro; the commercial area, it has several private universities, a wide vast variety of restaurants and bars, banks, internet cafes, stores, public and private clinics for all type of services like stetic, dental and medical.

The residential areas are not very far away from the commercial area and in them,volunteer can find all types of residences from high class to poor areas.

Nearest Medical Clinic

Hospital Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia
Streets 7 - 9
Avenues 17 - 19
San Jose
TEL 1: 22577922

Placement Address

Public Libraries System
Faustino Montes de Oca
Montes De Oca
Costa Rica

Accommodation and Meals

All of our volunteers begin their stay in Costa Rica at our BaseCamp Center in San Jose. Given that this placement is less than a 1 hour and 15 minute commute from BaseCamp, volunteers working here will have the option of living with us at BaseCamp or living with a host family.

The following information outlines a brief description of life at BaseCamp and also what someone can expect living with a host family in Costa Rica. Once you have completed our application, you can let our staff know if you would prefer to live with a host family. Otherwise, your application will default to having you live with us at BaseCamp.

If you have any questions about the difference between life at BaseCamp or life with a host family in Costa Rica you can always give us a call or send us an email. Our contact details are listed in the footer of every page of the site.

BaseCamp Costa Rica

BaseCamp Costa Rica
BaseCamp Costa Rica Address

Ave 16 St. 39&41
Los Yoses Sur
San Jose, Costa Rica

BaseCamp Costa Rica Contact Details

Tel: 506-8763-9595
Tel: 506-4030-1891
Mobile: 506-8763-9595

Take a Tour of BaseCamp
Accommodation in Costa Rica

All volunteers on our program in Costa Rica start out at our BaseCamp Center. The center is located in the capital city San Jose, and is a fantastic place from which to start your adventure.

Once volunteers have finished their orientation, where they live depends largely on the location of their placement. If their placement is more than a 1 hour 15 minutecommute from BaseCamp, then the only accommodation option may be host families or volunteer lodges in the national parks. However, if the placement is within a 1 hour 15 minute commute, then volunteers can choose whether or not to stay with us at BaseCamp or live with a host family.

BaseCamp Costa Rica is located in the province of San Jose at Los Yoses area. This is a fantastic area closed to the University of Costa Rica, San Pedro Mall, banks, supermarkets, restaurants, embassies and stores. Walking distance to down town and only 30 minutes away from the Juan Santamaria Airport.

BaseCamp has four bedrooms and three wash-rooms. The beds are mainly bunk beds in dormitory style rooms. Pillows, sheets and blankets are provided. There is a large common area where movies, books and games are available to our guests and there is a patio with a nice set up. This is an ideal setting for reading, studying Spanish or just some quiet relaxation.

BaseCamp is where volunteers first come when they arrive in Costa Rica and where they live for at least the duration of their orientation and training. The meal plan at the centre is based on a 14 day rotating schedule of a variety of traditional dishes from around the country. This meal plan allows volunteers to gain comfort and familiarity with both Costa Rican food and meal etiquette before making the transition to living with a host family.

Orientation and language training sessions take place in the BaseCamp Center. Each day of orientation blends some workshops and lessons with a mixture of outings to explore and become familiar with transportation and knowledge regarding the city.

Living With a Host Family in Costa Rica

Living with a host family in Costa Rica is a fantastic way to gain a deep understanding of and appreciation for the people and customs of the country. Each home-stay will provide a bed and three meals per day for our volunteers. The majority of host families offer private rooms with only one or two volunteers living with the family.

In the case of a volunteer lodge or ranger station (which is often the only option for placements within a National Park), volunteers will be living in dormitory type accommodation and meals will be provided in a mess hall or dining area.

Living with a host family can greatly enhance your performance at your placement. For one, it will have a huge influence on the speed with which you gain familiarity with the local language. This, along with your deeper understanding of cultural practices and beliefs that you are likely to gain in this environment, can go a long way to improving or strengthening your relationships with your team mates at work. Furthermore, a significant percentage of our host families are closely affiliated with the organizations with which our volunteers work. As such, even the evening meal or hanging out around the house can become valuable time during which volunteers can share their ideas and continue their support of their host organization.

All of this being said, living with a host family is not for everyone. It is very important for volunteers to honor the house rules in their host family and to be punctual. Also, depending on how remote your placement location, host families can be very rustic. Our staff in country can give you a better idea of what exactly you can expect from a host family in any particular community. However, in general, if these things sound like they might pose a challenge for you, we strongly suggest that you look at a placement within commuting distance from BaseCamp Costa Rica.

How the Program Works

Our program structure and costing is completely flexible which lets our volunteers ensure that they only pay for exactly the degree of support that they want.

Option 1 - Free Services

Some volunteers prefer to coordinate their own accommodation, meals and other support while overseas.

Anyone is welcome to use our volunteer placement search tool to help in finding a placement that is well suited to their interests. Once someone finds a placement that they wish to work with, they are welcome to make all the rest of their arrangmeents on their own.

As well, our team of staff overseas are often able to offer a few helpful pointers for volunteers 'doing it on their own'. Just send us an email with your questions and we will put you in touch with our team abroad. We only ask that you keep your requests fairly general, as this type of advice is exactly how our team earn their living. :)

Option 2 - Placement Support - 250 USD

Other volunteers would like assistance in selecting and confirming their placement, but they plan to manage their own accommodation and other expenses on their own.

These volunteers have the option of choosing to only have our assistance with selecting and confirming their placement. This option also includes ongoing placement support while abroad, so a volunteer would be able to ask our team for help if things at their placement were not working out.

In providing Placement Support, our team works with each volunteer through email, telephone and either Skype or Google Hangouts, to ensure that each volunteer has a clear understanding of their placement options. Our in-country staff will put together a custom list of placement options for each volunteer that they believe are the most appropriate matches with the volunteer's background, skills and interests. Then each volunteer can work with our team both in Canada and abroad to go through each of the options and narrow-down their selection.

Option 3 - Full Program Support

For most volunteers who are volunteering for less than a year, they are looking for an option that includes their accommodation, meals, airport reception, country and program orientation and placement support. This is what our Program Fees are designed for.

We are proud of how over the years we have ensured that our program fees are amoungst the most reasonable of any program in the world while we continue to provide exceptional volunteer support both at home and abroad.

Our Program Fees and listings of what these do and do not include are listed below:

Program Fees

Program Fees - Costa Rica

  Registration Fee
  1 Week
  2 Weeks
  3 Weeks
  4 Weeks
  5 Weeks
  6 Weeks
  7 Weeks
  8 Weeks
  Additional Weeks

Costa Rica wildlife and conservation placements require an additional $7 USD per day fee to cover park fees and accommodation. All program fees are listed in US Dollars.

What is Included
  • Pre-Departure support
  • Placement consulation
  • Airport reception & transfer
  • 2 Day orientation
  • Accommodation (BaseCamp or host family)
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Emergency & placement support

What is Not Included
    Before Departure
  • International flight
  • Travel medical insurance
  • Visa costs where required
  • Work permits where required
    While Overseas
  • Daily transportation to and from placement
  • Transport to airport on departure
  • Placement fees if requried

Program Dates


The following is a list of all months during which this placement is not available.

  • December

Our regularly scheduled program start dates are the first Friday of each month, every month of the year. We strongly recommend beginning your program on one of these dates as this will allow you to go through our orientation alongside other international volunteers.

If you would prefer, our application will also allow you to select a custom start date for your program. Keep in mind that there is an additional fee for a custom start date which ranges from 50 to 75 USD.

Jan 01, 2021 Feb 05, 2021 Mar 05, 2021
Apr 02, 2021 May 07, 2021 Jun 04, 2021
Jul 02, 2021 Aug 06, 2021 Sep 03, 2021
Oct 01, 2021 Nov 05, 2021 Dec 03, 2021
Jan 07, 2022 Feb 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022
Apr 01, 2022 May 06, 2022 Jun 03, 2022
Jul 01, 2022 Aug 05, 2022 Sep 02, 2022
Oct 07, 2022 Nov 04, 2022 Dec 02, 2022


These dates are the day that volunteers should plan to arrive on the ground in country. We can accommodate arrivals in-country at any time day or night on these dates.

Give us a Call
Canada / USA 866-646-4693 (toll free)
UK 866-646-4693 (toll free)
Australia 866-646-4693 (toll free)
International 613-353-3000
Send us a Message