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The best volunteer programs in Central America

Central America is still a largely poor region. It’s comprised of Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador and Belize. All of these countries have been impoverished, struck by recent civil wars, political instability, foreign debt and low standards of health care, education, conservation, social care and so on. However, they are still great places to live and work in. 



Most of the wealth in these countries comes from either tourism or large companies from America migrating their facilities there due to cheap locations and low average wages. Most of these are tech companies like Intel, Microsoft, HP and so on. 


Because of all of these factors - both social and economic - there are a lot of opportunities for volunteers to help and get involved. There are opportunities in working with children, teaching, conservation of the land and the sea as well as helping build and construct better facilities for the local community. Any area of work, in fact, can be found among the volunteer opportunities in Central America,” says Nico Wells, a volunteer at Ukwritings and Essayroo.


Here is a list of free or low fee volunteer programs you can enter in Central America:


Costa Rica 

Costa Rica is a beautiful and popular country for both tourists and volunteers. Here are some of the programs you can enter:

• El Puente - This program is located in Puerto Viejo along the Caribbean coast. They offer microloans to the locals, education to the children and food programs as well. Look them up if you are skilled in any of these areas, they are always welcoming volunteers. 

• Gaia Vista - This is an organization that is working on creating an eco-resort through environmental and sustainable research, education and collaboration. They are always looking for volunteers in organic farming, sustainability and rainforest preservation. 

• La Tortuga Feliz - This is an organization working on protecting the sea turtles and improving locals’ income s that they don’t hunt turtles or harm their eggs. You can enter this program at any time

• Monte Verde - This opportunity is all about insects and arachnids. If you are interested in learning about them and protecting them, this program welcomes you.

Costa Rica

El Salvador 

This is another beautiful country in need of some help. Whether you are a teacher or someone skilled in working with young people, this opportunity is made for you.

• Homies Unidos - This is an organization which works on preventing gangs from working and lowering the amount of violence through education and empowerment of young people.



Guatemala is a great place for volunteers skilled in building and helping communities become sustainable and better. There are a lot of opportunities here. Take a look at their programs: 

• Ak’ Tenamit - “This is an organization which develops schools, clinics and many other things in Eastern Guatemala. They are focused on community and gender equality as well as health and improvement,” says Mia Hodge, an educator at Ox Essays and Eliteassignmenthelp

• Buenas Cosas - This is an organization which serves 11 communities and a lot of families. Their goal is to bring in more eco-tourists and benefiting the locals from the tourism. They have projects like Good Water, Digital 4 Good, Build Good, Good Doctors, Good Teachers and so on. 

• Safe Passage - This is a non-profit which brings hope, education and opportunities for kids in this area, especially for poor families. 

• Seeds of Knowledge School - As the name says, they want to create more access to better education and community development. They offer various opportunities for these people.



Honduras is a popular destination in Central America where you can find a lot of volunteering opportunities. 

• Cofradia Bilingual School - This program offers education for local children and they are always looking for teachers who could join them. 

• Walk Beside Me For Knowledge - They want to empower these poor communities by giving the children all of the tools necessary for personal growth and education. They need volunteers in teaching and English language.



Belize is a beautiful country in the Central America where you can have fun in the sun and help people in need at the same time. Here are some programs you can enter:  

• GoEco - This program has many individual projects for marine preservation and helping manatees. If you love the sea and all of sea creatures, this is a great program for you. 

• IVHQ Belize Program - This program involves marine preservation and preservation of sea creatures. Another great place to enjoy animals and have fun as well as help the environment. 

• Project Abroad - This program offers many possibilities in care, teaching, marine preservation, health care and so on. If you are skilled in any of these areas, you can join this program for a small fee.



Panama, one of the most interesting countries in the world, is a good place to share your volunteering skills. Here are some opportunities:  

• Travel Bud - This program offers many opportunities in teaching. If you are skilled in working with people, this is a great place to start. 

• Amigos Des Las Americas - This program will offer you plenty of opportunities in environment preservation, teaching and healthcare.


Volunteering is one of the best things you can do with your time. While there is no money to be earned, you will learn a lot and feel fulfillment in other ways - you’ll help people who really need it and you might even change someone’s life. 


If you really want to help, these opportunities will be tempting. You can spend time in a great place, working with great people and helping the community. Find even more opportunities on various volunteering websites.  


Nora Mork is a travel blogger and editor at Australian Reviewer. She loves being a part of international traveling community by attending travel events and writing articles at Write my Australia and Academized blogs.


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Written by: Nora Mork
Published: 20 February 2019

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