There are a number of volunteer opportunities available in Costa Rican communities to enhance the English language and improve athletic ability. Although most people immediately think of a tropical paradise when referring to Costa Rica, which it is, you can also travel there and become immersed in various projects specific to language exchange, teaching, and coaching sports.
While there, you will fall in love with the majestic rainforests, volcanoes, abundance of wildlife, beautiful landscapes, and pristine beaches. However, as you begin working with the locals, you will soon realize that you love the people even more.
The great thing about teaching English and coaching sports is that not only are you helping children within a community, in exchange, you are learning about the country’s history and culture. In addition, as you connect with locals, your Spanish skills will improve dramatically.
As a result, you will find it easier and more enjoyable to explore and travel to different villages. On these trips, your eyes will be opened to the true natural beauty of Costa Rica, including lively music, incredible food, and hospitable, warm-hearted people.
Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the entire world. Therefore, improving your current skills or becoming fluent is highly beneficial, whether in Costa Rica, the United States, or another Spanish-speaking country. As you immerse yourself in a community to teach English and coach sports, you also learn and improve your Spanish language skills thanks to your students.
Although the number of people in Costa Rica living in poverty has diminished, there are still many communities in dire need of help. With this unique volunteer project, you work with impoverished children. By learning the English language, one day, these children will have good job opportunities. Being able to speak English will also help the children interact better with others and allow them to get more involved with the community. Over time, their level of confidence will grow.
In impoverished areas, schools lack even the most basic resources for preparing children for a successful future. Without proper resources, children feel discouraged and have no support for their creativity. With the volunteer program, you will play a critical role in the future of Costa Rican children by providing them with proper education. In addition to conversational English, you will teach various sports and work with them on arts and crafts projects.
In working together, the children will begin to flourish while your Spanish speaking abilities improve. Before long, you and the children will develop a genuine lifetime connection. When not in school teaching, you can enjoy many popular activities in Costa Rica, including hiking, water rafting, and horseback riding. Of course, you can also relax at a local bar or restaurant or spend time at the beach.
As someone teaching English and coaching sports for children in Costa Rica, you will spend a good deal of time at a language center. Remember, along with teaching, the goal is for you to hone your Spanish skills as much as possible. This creates a win-win situation for you and the children.
While in Costa Rica for this volunteer project, you will stay with a local host family. This will provide you with a first-hand account of how the people live, allow you to learn more about the culture, and help you develop close relationships.
At the school, you will spend time teaching English and coaching sports to children, as well as local teams. The actual amount of time teaching will depend on what the need is in the community as well as schedules of other teachers and coaches.
Although this project is broad and wide reaching, it provides you with a unique and memorable experience. After returning home, you will have a new appreciation for the children in Costa Rica and improved Spanish-speaking skills.
As a teacher and coach in a local Costa Rica community, you are provided with a lot of freedom and control over the classes and sports. Therefore, you can be as creative as you want when coming up with interesting and engaging techniques. Based on the needs of the school at the time you start, you may be asked to teach different ages and teach on a variety of subjects. As part of teaching, you might be required to create a motivating teaching strategy, prepare homework, grade tests, and so on.
Regarding sports coaching, this is an excellent opportunity if you have been or are currently involved with some type of sport back home. Typically, the school will try to match your experience to the sport being taught, but there could be times when you are asked to coach in an unfamiliar area, whether swimming, tennis, soccer, basketball, or volleyball. In working alongside other coaches, the children, and local teams, you will have no problem developing specific targets and goals for improvement.
With the volunteer program, you can help with a variety of other extracurricular activities beyond sports. The exact topic or topics that you teach will depend on your own personal interests and skills. Regardless, being able to encourage and inspire impoverished children is extremely rewarding. Because the school has holiday programs, if you arrive during the holidays, you can help struggling students, as well as adults.