You are involved in a unique cultural exchange with a local community between Jungle and Sea Interested? Would you like to live in harmony with nature in a host family on the country's breathtaking Caribbean coast? The community of Gandoca has been growing regional food for generations according to the principles of Permaculture and strive to live exclusively from your own resources. You can actively participate in the planting and harvesting of fruit and vegetables and in the maintenance and further development of the Farms support. In addition, the community also pursues an educational mission and is committed to supporting the up-and-coming generation. In the village you can be part of the Community and experience the beauty of nature and the importance of more ecological and social sustainability get to know.

Quick Facts

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
Minimum age
18 years
Basic knowledge
Interest in sustainability and cultivation
Village, Jungle, Rural, Close to the beach
Single room, Host family
German-speaking contact person via WhatsApp
Mobile Internet with SIM card from WanderWorld Travel
Host family
Base price 1st program: 1550,00 €
Extension month: 1010,00 €

Project description

The project is located in a small community with around 350 inhabitants, which is located between the jungle and the beach in the south-eastern part of Costa Rica's Caribbean coast, just a few kilometers from the border with Panama. There are protected areas of high ecological importance on both sides of the municipality. 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 of the families have been living Generations there. The community is relatively isolated and away from conventional tourism, but nevertheless very lively and full of families and children's laughter. The remote location of the village has a largely self-sufficient community over many years. Although the community is not economically prosperous, most people own land and the surrounding nature creates a unique environment.

The project in has made it its mission, sustainable agricultural practices and to provide cultural and educational opportunities for both the community of Gandoca and visitors. The project aims to help the community become more culturally, environmentally and economically resilient. The Gandoca community has been growing local food for generations and has many Traditions in agriculture and gardeningwhich they are happy to pass on. They use natural resources such as cocoa, coconuts and tropical fruits in artisanal processing and produce products such as coconut oil and chocolate themselves in order to sell them and stimulate ecological tourism in the region.

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


There are various tasks for volunteers in the community:

Farm workVolunteers can help with the daily work on the farms of the host families or the large community farm, which is about a 30-minute walk in the middle of the jungle. This includes planting, harvesting and caring for fruit and vegetables, watering the plants and cleaning the cultivated areas. You will learn a lot about exotic crops and their processing, such as plantains, coconuts, cocoa, beans and much more.

Support of the school program: There is only one teacher for around 32 children at the community school in Gandoca. The volunteers can support the teacher and design and deliver lessons for small groups themselves.

WorkshopsWorkshops are regularly offered for visitors, where volunteers can pass on their knowledge and skills. Examples of workshops include the production of cocoa and coconut products, cooking courses with regional ingredients or handicraft work with natural materials.

Volunteers have the opportunity to plan and select 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.

In general, the volunteers work for around 4 - 6 hours in the morning and then have free time. However, there are also workshops and leisure activities in the afternoon that volunteers can take part in. 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.

Program location


Gandoca is located away from major infrastructure and therefore has no direct connection to large markets, shopping facilities or bars. The village is crossed by a gravel road that ends at the beach. The beach is perfect for relaxing after a day of work. If you still have energy left, you can also burn off some energy playing soccer with the locals on the local soccer pitch.

There are various excursion options available to you on your day off. You can take part in a lagoon tour, go horse riding on the beach, surf, hike in the jungle or watch dolphins. There is something for everyone to enjoy in their free time and explore the surrounding area. You should take an interest in the great biodiversity of the region's nature and wildlife, as you will be spending most of your time in nature.

You should definitely like the peace and quiet and the laid-back life and be interested in getting to know a culture in a very authentic way and becoming part of it.

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


Volunteers do not require any special skills or knowledge to participate. However, flexibility and willingness are expected. Volunteers should be flexible to adapt to different tasks as these can change on a daily basis depending on the weather. It is also important that they are willing to fit in with their host families and the community and be open to new experiences, culture and traditions. In addition to working hours, free time will also be spent with host families and in the community. Therefore, a basic knowledge of Spanish is definitely an advantage.


Spanish is spoken as the national language in Costa Rica. As you will have a lot of contact with locals during the project, 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 on site in a fun way.

Accommodation and meals

The volunteers live in rustic, typical regional but cozy accommodation with their host family in the community of Gandoca. Private rooms with bed linen and mosquito nets are available in the host family. The bathroom is shared with the family.
You will also receive three meals a day there and enjoy them together with your new family.

Contact person

Lisa is German and emigrated to Costa Rica with her Costa Rican husband. She has visited the country several times before and is therefore already very familiar with the local culture, traditions and conditions. After falling in love with the country and its people, she decided to live where others go on vacation. In addition to German and English, she also speaks fluent Spanish. Lisa will be happy to welcome you to San José with her warm and cheerful manner and is keen to introduce you to her beautiful adopted country. As the local German contact person, she will answer all your questions and you can always approach her if you need help. Lisa will look after you during the introductory event in San José. If you have any questions during your stay in Latin America, a German-speaking contact person will be available to you via WhatsApp in the same time zone.

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Services and prices

Host family
Base price 1st program: 1550,00 €
Extension month: 1010,00 €

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