Costa Rica

Director's Welcome

Dear prospective Volunteers, Returned PCVs, Friends and Family,

Welcome to the Peace Corps Costa Rica webpage! We hope that you find here the information and inspiration to support us and join us as we carry out Peace Corps’ mission of world peace and friendship. Making the decision to join us is a noble challenge - to enter into the service of others and do something bigger than yourself. Peace Corps service is both an honor and a privilege. It is also a 27-month commitment that will offer challenges and frustrations, as well as personal growth, inspiration, and hopefully great joy.

Peace Corps Volunteers in Costa Rica work in the areas of Youth Development, Community and Economic Development, and English Education while at the same time they enjoy all that this beautiful country and its people have to offer.

Our Volunteers are, in their majority, generalist Volunteers who participate in at least eleven weeks of intensive training prior to beginning their service. They reflect our country’s great diversity and represent the best and brightest that the United States has to offer. We also recruit experienced Peace Corps Response Volunteers who serve in targeted professional placements for up to one year.

Here in Peace Corps Costa Rica we employ a service support model throughout your time with us – from when you are a newly arrived Trainee through to when you are a grizzled 27-month service veteran. Service support is the approach, systems, and strategies that we have in place to support a successful service experience. It encompasses relationship and capacity building and takes into account the needs of all of the stakeholders throughout your entire service. Those stakeholders include the community to which you will be assigned, the local organization you will be supporting, and our national partners such as the Ministry of Education or the Costa Rican Institute of Sport and Recreation (ICODER). Our goal, accomplished through a continuum of learning, assessment, and support is to prepare you to be a partner in community development.

For those of you that do decide to join us, you will be involved in a mighty endeavor to help Costa Rica recover and rebuild from the ravaging effects that Covid-19 has had on the social, economic, and political environment in Costa Rica. Peace Corps Costa Rica is well positioned to help re-build the communities where our Volunteers serve:

  • English Education: The impact of the pandemic on education over the past year has further exposed an already existent gap between the availability of resources to students in the Central Valley compared to the very limited availability of resources to students in regions outside the Central Valley. Peace Corps Costa Rica is prepared to work with the Ministry of Education to support post-pandemic recovery efforts that will focus on closing the achievement gap and potentially modifying learning modalities to accommodate more virtual teaching and learning.
  • Community & Economic Development: Tourism, a major economic engine in rural Costa Rica, has evaporated as a result of the pandemic leaving Costa Rica’s rural communities at risk. The program will focus on entrepreneurialism and e-commerce to address the country’s unemployment challenges which have only been exacerbated by the pandemic.
  • Youth Development: The pandemic has been difficult for youth, especially those in at risk and marginalized communities. Social distancing, the closure of schools, playgrounds and sports fields, as well as other mitigation measures put in place by the government have shattered a sense of belonging to a community. Now more than ever these programs are relevant and critical for addressing the challenges of the youth of Costa Rica.
  • Response: The goals of the Response program are aligned with the goals of other three programs. The Response Volunteers placed with our host country partners will support higher level projects in the same initiatives that our 2-year Volunteers support. This group of highly skilled Volunteers will play important roles of support in the post-Covid-19 recovery.

Peace Corps Costa Rica staff is composed of highly skilled, innovative and empowered professionals who are dedicated to the development of their country and provide the best possible support to our communities, the local and national partners, and the Volunteers. As development workers, programmers, planners, cultural guides, health care providers, coaches, champions of safety and security, trainers, administrators, drivers and a myriad of related roles, they create and sustain an organizational environment where leadership is understood as a means to help others grow.

Peace Corps Costa Rica is a learning organization that embraces change and is inclusive in nature, welcoming diversity and testing new ideas to meet the needs and demands of changing times.

We hope that you will be inspired by our mission and our work, and that some of you will join us either here in Costa Rica or at other Peace Corps posts. We look forward to working with you as you start that journey.

Stuart Jablon
Country Director

RPCV Jamaica 1983-85