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You are interested in a unique cultural exchange with a local community between jungle and sea? You want to live in harmony with nature in a host family on the country’s stunning Caribbean coast? The community of Gandoca has been growing regional food according to permaculture principles for generations and strives to live exclusively from its own resources. You can actively participate in planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables and assist in the maintenance and development of the farms. In addition, the community also pursues an educational mission and is committed to supporting the growing generation. In the village you can become part of the community and experience the beauty of nature and learn about the importance of environmental and social sustainability.

Are you interested in sustainability, sustainable agriculture, the protection of our environment and fair education for all? Become part of a unique community and live together in harmony with nature in a small community between the jungle and the breathtaking Caribbean coast of the country.


Type of program

Program location

Working time

Program start


Minimum age








Permaculture Farm and Community Work

Gandoca, Manzanillo, Costa Rica

4-6 hours per day, 5 days per week

Every 1st Saturday of the month

1-3 months

18 years

Basic knowledge of Spanish

Interest in sustainability and cultivation

Single room with host family

3 meals per day included

English-speaking contact person via WhatsApp

Mobile internet with SIM card from WanderWorld Travel

From 1490,00 €


Type of program: Permaculture Farm and Community Work

Program location: Gandoca, Manzanillo, Costa Rica

Working hours: 4-6 hours per day, 5 days per week

Program start: Every 1st Saturday of the month

Duration: 1-3 months

Minimum age: 18 years

Language: Spanish basic knowledge

Requirements: Interest in sustainability and cultivation

Accommodation: Single room with host family

Meals: 3 meals per day

Support: English-speaking contact person via WhatsApp

Internet: Mobile internet with SIM card from WanderWorld Travel

Price: from 1490,00 €


The project is located in a small community of about 350 inhabitants, located between the jungle and the beach in the southeastern part of the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, just a few kilometers from the border with Panama. On both sides of the municipality are protected areas of high ecological importance. To the north is the primary rainforest and wetlands of the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, while to the south is a wildlife-filled mangrove lagoon.

Most families have lived there for generations. The community is relatively isolated and away from conventional tourism, yet very lively and filled with families and children’s laughter. The remote location of the village has produced a largely self-sustaining community for many years. Although the community is not economically prosperous, most people own land and the surrounding nature creates a unique environment.

The project in is dedicated to promoting sustainable agricultural practices and providing cultural and educational opportunities for both the Gandoca community and visitors. The project aims to help the community become more culturally, environmentally and economically resilient. The Gandoca community has been growing regional food for generations and has many traditions in agriculture and gardening that they are happy to pass on. They use natural resources such as cacao, coconuts, tropical fruits in artisanal processing and products such as coconut oil or chocolate are made by themselves to be sold and to stimulate ecological tourism in the region.

In addition, the community also pursues an educational mission and is committed to the promotion of the next generation. For those interested, there is the opportunity to work in the school alongside agricultural work. The school project focuses on supporting about 30 children from the community in elementary school. The main goal is to provide educational support to the young residents of the community. This can be done by offering English, art or physical education classes or simply by helping with regular classroom tasks.


In the community, there are different tasks for the volunteers:

Farm work: volunteers can help with daily chores on the host families’ farms or on the large community farm, which is about a 30-minute walk in the middle of the jungle. This includes planting, harvesting and caring for fruits and vegetables, watering the plants and cleaning the cultivated areas. In the process, you’ll learn a lot about exotic crops and how to process them, such as plantains, coconuts, cacao, beans and more.

Support of the school program: In the community school of Gandoca, there is only one teacher for about 32 children. Volunteers can support the teacher and design and deliver lessons themselves for small groups.

Workshops: Workshops are regularly offered to visitors where volunteers can share their knowledge and skills. Examples of workshops include making cocoa and coconut products, cooking classes using regional ingredients, or handicrafts using natural materials.

Volunteers have the opportunity to plan and choose their tasks in consultation with their host families. Depending on their interests and skills, they can either focus on farm work, workshops or supporting the school program. Tasks may vary from week to week to provide volunteers with a varied experience.

Generally, the volunteers work about 4 – 6 hours in the morning and have free time afterwards. However, there will also be workshops and leisure activities in the afternoon where volunteers can participate. During their stay, volunteers will spend a lot of time with their host family, which is a great opportunity to get to know the culture and everyday life in Gandoca.


Gandoca is located away from large infrastructure and therefore has no direct access to large markets, shopping or bars. The village is crossed by a gravel road that ends at the beach. The beach is perfect to relax after a day full of work. If you still have energy, you can also let off steam by playing soccer on the local soccer field with the locals.

On your day off, there are several excursion options available. You can join a lagoon tour, go horseback riding on the beach, surfing, hiking in the jungle or dolphin watching. There is something for everyone to enjoy their free time and explore the surroundings. You should be interested in the great biodiversity of the region’s nature and wildlife, as you will spend most of your time in nature.

You should definitely like the peace and serene life and be interested in learning about and becoming part of a culture in a very authentic way.

In the Caribbean, it rains regularly throughout the year, so everything is beautifully green. However, there are only 2 months of dry season in the year: September and October. Temperatures are between 30 and 35 degrees during the day and around 25 at night.


Participation for volunteers does not require any special skills or knowledge. However, flexibility and willingness is expected. Volunteers should be flexible to adapt to different tasks as they may change daily depending on weather conditions. It is also important that they are willing to fit in with their host families and community and be open to new experiences, culture, and tradition, as there will be a lot of free time spent with the host families and community in addition to working hours. Therefore, a basic knowledge of Spanish is definitely an advantage.


In Costa Rica, Spanish is the national language. Since you will have a lot of contact with locals during the project, a basic knowledge of the language is an advantage. If you wish, we can organize a language course for you before the start of the project. However, you will also be able to improve your language skills in a fun way on site.


Volunteers stay in rustic, regionally typical, but cozy accommodation with their host family in the community of Gandoca. The host family provides private rooms with bedding and mosquito nets. The bathroom is shared with the family.
There you will also get the food of three meals a day and enjoy them together with your new family.


Lisa is German and emigrated to Costa Rica with her Costa Rican husband. Before that, she has visited the country a few times and therefore already knows very well about the culture, traditions and local conditions. After falling in love with the country and its people, she decided to live where others vacation. She speaks fluent Spanish as well as German and English. Lisa will be happy to welcome you in San José with her warm and funny nature and is eager to introduce you to her beautiful adopted country. As your local German contact person, she will answer all your questions and you can always approach her if you need help. Lisa will take care of you during the introductory meeting in San José. For questions of any kind during your stay in Latin America, an English-speaking contact person is available via WhatsApp in the same time zone.

WanderWorld Mitarbeiter lächelt



Single room with host family:

  • 1st month in start package: 1490,00 €
  • Extension month: 950,00 €
  • As 2nd or 3rd program: 1260,00 €


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