Medical project (San Jose, Puntarenas, Guanacaste)

volunteer in health project in Costa Rica
  • Share your passion in medical care and help communities lead healthier lives
  • Learn about the healthcare system in Costa Rica alongside local medical professionals
  • Immerse in the Costa Rican way of life through safe, carefully-screened homestays
  • Explore nature’s best in Costa Rica, famous for its bountiful biodiversity

If you’re a healthcare professional or a student looking to heal the world, then look no further. Volunteer in Costa Rica in the Healthcare program and be part of a team that cures diseases and brings medical relief to the people. Many from underprivileged communities often cannot get adequate health care services, and an unfortunate number of them succumb to very treatable diseases. New Hope collaborates with local organizations to provide these medical services to them. Volunteers will provide support to doctors, nurses, therapists and other medical professionals, who could always use the assistance to be able to treat as many patients possible. Change the lives of the community, and in your free time, lounge on Costa Rica’s famous beaches and enjoy the legendary sunsets.

Volunteer’s Responsibilities

As a volunteer in medical volunteer in Costa Rica project, you will be placed in local clinics or hospitals and treat mainly those from underprivileged backgrounds. Depending on each individual’s level of Spanish fluency and expertise, and also the needs of the local staff, the various projects volunteers can choose to work include:

  • Assist with general check-ups and examinations of patients
  • Work in a Private Laboratory dealing with tests for detection of diseases and infections
  • Work with Mentally disable
  • In retirement home – you will require basic Spanish to volunteer in the home
  • Dental practice
  • Private Ambulance Service
  • Red Cross – volunteers will also have opportunity to teach English to local staff and administer first aid
  • Public Daycare – mostly with children and only 1-2 of work per day. You can combine this with other project
  • Ministry Health projects – include dengue project and recycling project
  • Help with emergency patient triage
  • Participate in home visits in rural areas to help with vaccinations and/or care for immobilized patients.

Medical volunteers will shadow local doctors and learn mostly from observation. Due to the increased risks involved and raised medical regulations, volunteers cannot treat patients or become involved in surgery during the project.

How You Can Make a Difference

Dedicated towards helping the poor and disadvantaged, many committed doctors and nurses in this project need all the help they can get to treat their patients. As a volunteer in Costa Rica, you will be assisting the local doctors and nurses. Although you will not be performing any surgery, you will play a part in treating the patients. This would depend on your ability to communicate with the patients and your experience. This is also the opportunity for you to gain insight and knowledge on the healthcare system in a different setting. Volunteer in the Healthcare project in Costa Rica, and gain invaluable healthcare treatment experience while helping the poor to lead healthier lives!

Skills and Qualifications

Volunteers must be at least 18, and have health insurance, as well as accident and liability. This project is available all year round. Intermediate knowledge of Spanish is preferred. If you cannot speak the language, we suggest that you enroll in our Spanish language course to make your stay more rewarding, both for you and the people you help. If you can't speak Spanish though, the local staff will help you with the interpretation. You can take our Spanish classes while volunteering as well.
Applicants interested to join this program must possess healthcare certification, such as: ID as a medical student, EMT, paramedic certification, nursing, physical therapy, midwifery or physician’s credentials. We do not permit volunteers without medical credentials to participate in this program due to the potential risk. This project also requires a copy of the volunteer’s resume which clearly documents the education and/or professional credentials, prior to arrival. The projects will also require an official copy of the credentials. Depending on your specific placement and host institution, additional application materials may be required.

Project Location

The project is located in Puntarenas, Guanacaste and San Jose. Puntarenas is a port city and a major tourist area in Costa Rica. It boasts a coastline full of unspoiled islands, pristine beaches, and beautiful natural landscapes. At the peninsula, stunning natural beach areas such as Tambor, Santa Teresa and Montezuma can be found. This area also hosts the Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Reserve, San Lucan, Chira, Tortuga and Coco Islands. The Monteverde area, located north of Puntarenas, has both national and international significance because of its conservation efforts and the laidback lifestyles which revolve around nature. The primary attraction is the Monteverde Biological Reserve, although there are many other attractions such as mesmerizing nature sites, picturesque trails, hanging bridges, as well as butterfly and frog exhibits.

San Jose is not only the capital city of Costa Rica but also the diversified cultural core of this magnificent country. In addition to fine dine restaurants and classic taverns, dozens of historic monuments, Spanish colonial architecture and interesting museums add to the euphoric ambience of San Jose.


© New Hope Volunteers. All rights reserved.