Early Childhood Education Volunteer

Day Care Center Tita Mary - Guadalupe, Costa Rica
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-292 Location: Guadalupe, Costa Rica Sector: Education Category: Non-Formal Teaching Min Duration: 1 week Lodging: BaseCamp or Host Family Language: Intermediate
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Volunteer Job Description

The Tita Mary Daycare Center provides education and daycare for the underprivileged population of children ages one to five years, in the Guadalupe region. Children attending this daycare come mainly from single parents and low income families.

There are only two staff employed at the daycare who attend to all the needs of approximately 15 to 20 children each day. Therefore, staff usually can only look after the kids immediate and necessary needs.

Daycare volunteers can do so much for these children be it there emotional or physical well being. At the same time, the volunteers can take a little stress off of the sometimes exhausted staff.

Volunteers at this placement would be responsible to create and implement fun and learning activities for the children who have had little opportunity in their young lives to do so. The volunteers would also be expected to help with the routine work at the daycare.

No special background is needed to work at this placement but experience with children and lots of enthusiasm are a plus.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Daycare Assistance

Daycare volunteers will help to facilitate the daily routine at Tita Mary Daycare Center. Some of these activities will be educational games, dancing and songs. Communication with the staff and other volunteers will be important in order to implement the new activities.

Playing With the Children

The children at the daycare are between 1 and 5 years old, so they demand a lot of energy all day long. Daycare volunteers must be prepared to be very active. Creativity will be an important tool to help the children keep busy. Create new games and/or help to organize and participate in existing ones.

Teach English

Children between 1 to 5 years old learn a second language faster than older kids. Daycare volunteers will be responsible to create activities where children will be able to learn English. This can be done through games, songs, dancing and books.

Help Staff

Daycare assistant volunteers will help with breakfast and lunch by serving and feeding the children. The kids also have a nap time, so volunteers will help with that process every afternoon. When children are sleeping, volunteers will help with the general cleaning of the centre.


The daycare needs constant upkeep. Daycare volunteers will help with minor maintenance jobs like painting walls, fixing chairs, organizing the kitchen or cleaning the green area.

Host Organization Details

Day Care Center Tita Mary

This center assists underprivileged families or single mothers by caring for children while parents are working, helping them with homework and recreational activities. At the community daycare center, the main objective was to develop and implement a system to ensure care for children whose parents work in poor communities that lack access to child care options. Specifically working with children of 0-6 years for educational and psychological development.

The program seeks to improve children's diet, hygiene, and development. This program does not only work for the overall development of children, but also promotes the participation and support between families and community members.

The program is set up for parents to choose someone from the town to be the caregiver. Sometimes only one person in the area or there may be more than one person at the childcare center on a rotating basis. The caregiver is responsible for up to 17 children Monday to Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 pm. The children receive attention and affection, participate in educational activities, learn about personal hygiene, and receive breakfast, lunch and two snacks.

Now they are implementing bilingual activities for the children in order to teach them the basis language skills before they go to school.

Does this organization have any religious affiliations?

This organization practices the Catholic religion in order to establish a religious philosophy with the children but the only way this is implemented at the center is by praying once during the day.

When They Were Founded

The organization was create in 2008 by Maricruz Smith, her husband and her mother. She is a kindergarten teacher who was looking to help single mothers and people who did not have the funds to pay a daycare or could not send their children to the government institutes due to the lack of vacancies.

How Are They Funded

Daycare Center Tita Mary was founded by Maricruz and her husband with their own funds but the children receive a scholarship from IMAS which is a Costa Rica institute who helps single mothers and/or poor families.

Donation Requests

As a day care they are in need of many items, for example: educational books in English and Spanish for kids between ages 1 to 5, coloring pens and markers, chalk, painting books and other educational materials.

Placement Location Information

Guadalupe, Costa Rica

Tita Mary Daycare Center is located in central town of Goicoechea, San José, 50 meters west from the municipal building.

This center is located in Guadalupe downtown close to several facilities like supermarkets, restaurantes, banks, stores and internet cafes. It also has an easy access to public transportation to downtown San Jose or other cities around.

The center was built in house but features all the modification that a daycare center needs. The buiding has a colorful gate entrance. The main room for children's learning activities is a small living room with little table, a rack full of coloring books, pencils, crayons and materials for teaching.

The little kitchen has the basic appliances but children at the daycare receive the three meals per day.

There is a small living room full of beds and mattresses for nap time which is next to the patio where children can play with bigger toys.

The center has one bathroom for boys and girls and a little office for the teacher and director.

Transfer From BaseCamp

From the BaseCamp house walk two blocks to the main street and take any bus that goes to San Jose, after the Central Park in Guadalupe, you must request the stop to the bus driver and get off at the Municipality of Guadalupe. Walk 50 meter to the west and you will find the colorful gate.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 2 km
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 0:30

Weather in the Area

The weather in Guadalupe is very simple; in the dry season it is sunny and a little hot; in the rainy season, it rains a lot and is kind of cold. The nights are chilly.

The surrounding lowlands and forests, including Braulio Carrillo National Park, are extremely humid and reach altitudes of nearly 9,500ft.

City/Village Description

Guadalupe is a suburb of Costa Rica, the capital of the Goicoechea Canton, and now fully incorporated in the Metropolitan Area of San Jose. Located at an altitude of 1,204 meters, Guadalupe is represented as the central district of the canton and with a population of 26,000 inhabitants living in 7,004 dwellings.

Guadalupe is a developed city, with a lot of shops, supermarkets, internet cafés, several clinics, restaurants, bars, a couple of malls, banks and many other facilities.

Travellers seeking a more urban experience may enjoy the laid back nature of the city of Guadalupe, with its conveniently close location to the bustling capital city of San Jose.

Nearest Medical Clinic

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

Placement Address

Day Care Center Tita Mary
Central Avenue
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

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.

Jun 05, 2020 Jul 03, 2020 Aug 07, 2020
Sep 04, 2020 Oct 02, 2020 Nov 06, 2020
Dec 04, 2020 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


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