Types Of Housing Provided For Volunteers

Housing is provided for all volunteers and interns who sign up for Volunteer Global's pilot programs, with the only exception being the Veterinary Assistance Program in Chetumal, Mexico. Read on to learn more!

Belize: P.A.W. Cat Sanctuary And Humane Society

Volunteers that sign up through our online reservation form automatically stay in the Cabana. If you would like to upgrade to a room in the guest house, please email us at belize@volunteerglobal.com. Housing is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis, and is coed if more than one volunteer signs up for the project. Click here to see our Facebook photo album for P.A.W. in Belize, including where you can stay!

Jaguar Beach CabanaJaguar Beach Cabana at PAW Cat Sanctuary

All volunteers stay in the Jaguar Beach Cabana, unless they request otherwise. The Cabana sleeps three people at a time and is located just at the shoreline on the beach. This includes one single bed and a bunk bed set, coffee machine and microwave, and a bathroom with running (not heated) water attached to the outside of the building.

Guest House: Garden Room

This room is located behind the Main Room of the Guest House, and features a twin bed, kitchenette, private bath (not heated), and fans. Accommodation costs $45 per night for the first week, and then $35 per night for each week thereafter. If you wish to stay in the Garden Room, please e-mail us at belize@volunteerglobal.com so we may send you updated project pricing information.

Guest House: Main RoomGuest House at PAW Cat Sanctuary

This room is in the main building on the P.A.W. Cat Sanctuary property, and is located adjacent to the Cabana. This room has a queen bed, futon, refrigerator, microwave, stove, fans, private bath (not heated), and air conditioning. A full porch is attached to the outside of the building, with a direct entry to the main room. Accommodation costs $65 per night for the first week, and then $55 per night for each week thereafter. If you wish to stay in the Main Room, please e-mail us at belize@volunteerglobal.com so we may send you updated project pricing information.

Meals are not provided at the sanctuary, though volunteers can purchase food at local grocery stores, at restaurants, or at roadside vendors. Laundry also is not provided, though Laundromats are available in town. As is common with travel, it may be best not to drink water straight from the tap. While tap water is perfectly fine to shower in, you will likely want to purchase bottled water at the local grocery store—an inexpensive alternative if you buy in bulk.

Please note: Cats are not allowed into the volunteers’ rooms in any of the buildings—while you may wish to bond with them, allowing them into your room will get them used to not being with the other cats in the cattery, something that could have a long-term, negative effect on them.

Costa Rica: Biblioteca de Jacó

All of our accommodations are within a short walking distance or directly along the main beach road in Jacó. Volunteers have the option to stay with a homestay arrangement or at a hotel. Housing will be arranged on a case by case basis to ensure the comfort of each volunteer. Private rooms are available upon request. We can also recommend nearby hostels for volunteers who choose to find their own housing. If volunteers choose to arrange their own housing in one of the nearby communities they will be responsible for their own transportation to and from the library.

Volunteers will have access to clean, potable water at accommodations and the project site. Hot, running water is available at accommodations, and there are several options in town for volunteers to do their laundry.

Internet is available and free at the project site, however, internet service in Costa Rica can be unreliable. There are several internet cafes in town with good rates and we can assist you with recommendations.

Meals

Volunteers staying with a homestay family will be provided breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Vegetarian options are available. Volunteers who arrange their own housing will be responsible for their own meals.

Access to clean, potable water is available at accommodations and the project site.

Costa Rica: Volunteering Design

Sample homestay with Volunteering DesignHomestays

Once you arrive in Costa Rica, you'll stay with Costa Rica Backpackers, a trusted hostel in downtown San José, for the first night. The next morning, you’ll receive orientation and move to your host family’s residence, where you’ll stay for the duration of your trip.

Families are chosen through an application process facilitated by our partner, Volunteering Design. Houses are fully equipped with hot running water, common room, kitchen, and laundry room with washer. Private rooms are available upon request at no extra charge. Click here to see our Facebook photo album for Volunteering Design in Costa Rica, including where you can stay!

Some houses may have WiFi, though this is not guaranteed, and internet cafes are located nearby. Volunteers may need to hang dry their laundry. Mosquito nets are only necessary at the beach, and can either be brought or purchased there.

Water can be considered potable - with the exception of some high mountains, etc. where the volunteers will be explicitly informed beforehand.

National Parks

All volunteers with the National Parks will leave after orientation and travel by local transportation to their park sites. Volunteers will stay in shared rooms on site in the park for the duration of their programs.

At site, volunteers will have access to running water - though not hot, the climate usually keeps the water fairly warm. Volunteers may have access to a washer for laundry, though this is not guaranteed and they may have to handwash and hang to dry.

There is currently no internet access at the parks.

Meals

Sample homestay with Volunteering Design

All volunteers are provided with three meals a day as included with their program fee, regardless of whether they are staying with a homestay or at a National Park. Vegetarian and special diet options are available with prior arrangement and notice.

A normal breakfast may include a plate of fruit, cereal with milk, rice and black beans with scrambled or fried eggs, and coffee.

Lunch is considered the most important (and largest) meal of the day and may include a meat dish (pork, beef, chicken, or fish), vegetable such as steamed carrots, tomato salad, and fruit juices.

Dinner will be similar to lunch with fruit juices.

Mexico: C.A.A.T.S. 

Housing is not guaranteed at this location, though our host country partner can recommend hotels and hostels in the area.

Nicaragua: Casa-Nica

The volunteer house and the casita are located in downtown Masaya, in a well-lit, safe neighborhood close to parks, restaurants, pharmacies, a bank, and shops.

Volunteer HouseCasa-Nica Volunteer House

Unless you request the casita, you'll stay in the volunteer house, a Spanish colonial style home that has been updated to include guest rooms with bunk beds, a full kitchen, two garden courtyards, and dining and sitting rooms. Amenities include hot showers, access to the kitchen, WiFi, fans in each room, and use of laundry facilities. Volunteer and intern rooms are coed, though if you would prefer a same-sex room, please email us at nicaragua@volunteerglobal.com.

Casita

If you prefer a private room, then you may wish to stay in the casita, which can be arranged for an additional fee. Please email us at nicaragua@volunteerglobal.com for details.

Meals

One meal per week is provided at Casa-Nica as part of their "family dinner" tradition. You can purchase supplies to cook for yourself at local grocery stores or whole meals at one of the local restaurants. Vegetarians can easily find food to accommodate their diets, while vegans may have a bit more trouble. The tap water is safe to drink, but if you’re more comfortable with bottled water, it’s available at local grocery stores and restaurants.

Panama: Alcance Positivo

Volunteers will stay with a host family with connections to their community's outreach center, selected by the NGO in charge. A reliable, potable source of drinking water will be available, but as these are urban and peri-urban communities with varying levels of poverty, amenities such as hot water, and washer/dryers may not be available or may sometimes be unreliable at your homestay. Volunteers may have the options to either hand wash their clothes, or many families will offer a laundry service for a fee. Most volunteers will have a private room, but this may be subject to availability and by location. All accommodations have electricity and bathrooms with running water. Internet is available and free at the outreach centers. Volunteers need to assess whether they believe they will be able to cope and adapt to these developing conditions before applying to participate in this program.

Meals

Breakfast and dinner are usually provided by the homestay families. As these placements are in developing urban and peri-urban communities, special diets such as vegan, vegetarian, or with special allergies may be difficult to accommodate and is dependent on each location. Typical meals include dishes of rice, beans, and chicken. There are mini supers in each community that sell basic food staples and ingredients for volunteers that wish to prepare additional meals. There are also often vegetable vendors.