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Volunteer in Central America

Programmes to help make the world a better place.

N.B. Travel and pricing information correct on 6th April 2021

With increasing numbers of students desperate to improve their language skills and make themselves useful, we have found three more exciting programmes for Language Gappers who would like to hone their Spanish and build careers and skills in other areas at the same time.

Firstly, there is an amazing opportunity for qualified Beach/Surf Lifeguards (UK and other international qualifications are recognised) in Costa Rica where volunteers work on the lookout towers, campaign against beach pollution, and work in the community gym. You can live and work on one of the world's most famous surf beaches for 36 hours per week in return for free accommodation in the very cool volunteer house and 2 healthy meals a day. There is a selection process involved; volunteers can join the project for a minimum of 4 weeks and must be able to communicate in Spanish at an intermediate level. The Language Gap will arrange pre programme language training at an accredited language school in Costa Rica before volunteering begins, and help with the application process for this incredible opportunity.

Next is a really exciting find in Veracruz Province on the Gulf of Mexico where an inspirational organisation was founded 50 years ago in the National Reserve to protect the sea turtle population. It is now run by Ricardo, son of the founder, who dedicates his life to protecting this wild and unspoilt space. The foundation is in an isolated protected reserve, and if you really want to make a difference to the natural world, this is far from the tourist trap ‘eco’ project. It is a grassroots charity grappling with the destruction of the natural world by humans. They are happy to receive volunteers for a minimum of 2 weeks to help with their vital work after you have passed an initial assessment for suitability. You will need basic Spanish to start here, so an intensive course is highly recommended! The Language Gap will arrange for you to take a course at one of our partner language schools in Tulum, on the Caribbean coast, or in the beautiful colonial city of Mérida in Yucatán Province. There are direct flights to Cancún from the UK, and then you can take a short internal flight to Veracruz where a taxi will meet you to take you to the project. Clean, basic accommodation and full board with freshly cooked local meals are provided for USD$159 per week. This project is perfect for geographers, naturalists, marine biologists, ecologists, and anyone interested in sustainable development.

Precious sea turtle eggs are incubated, hatched, and returned to the ocean by volunteers at this project in Mexico.

Finally, we have exciting news of the reopening of one of our favourite volunteering programmes which is based on the Caribbean coast in Honduras. The charity has space for a very few volunteers starting in June 2021 to teach English, help with community development projects, after school activities and environmental education for children and families who have been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic. Schools have been closed, there has been little access to any learning at all, and minimal help from local or international government agencies for some of Latin America's poorest people. They would like help for at least 6 weeks, but there are also internship opportunities available for Language Year Abroad students for 6-12 months. The project provides safe, basic and clean accommodation in a volunteer house, training and support 24/7, and holds a special place in The Language Gap's heart, as they hosted Gapper Freya early in 2020, before COVID turned our lives upside down. The project asks for a donation towards housing of around USD$42 per week. You will need to have basic Spanish before arrival, and this can be arranged by The Language Gap with excellent online tuition as an option from the UK, with additional classes in country once you arrive.

This brilliant project uses a team of local and international volunteers to provide a wrap around enrichment programme for local families and children with literacy, activities, English, and much more.

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