Volunteer and Internship Opportunities

We are a small scale, hands-on initiative that relies on the contribution and commitment of volunteers to carry out our community work. We are always looking to welcome new people into our volunteer family.

Hostel and Projects Management

We are looking for a volunteer to help manage the hostel and community projects—in exchange for room and board— for six months, beginning immediately. You must speak a minimum of Intermediate Spanish and be fluent in English.

We are also accepting applicants for the November 2014 season. You must be able to commit to a minimum of one year. You must speak a minimum of intermediate conversational Spanish and be fluent in English. You must have experience working with children, an interest in tourism, great people skills, and are willing to work ten+ hour days. Management and/or hospitality experience is a plus. Your responsibilities will include running the hostel and community projects. You will be paid a monthly salary and room and board will be provided.

Kids Club

Nate, on the left, with volunteers Andrea, Nicki, Lily, and Richard in Kids Club.

We are always looking for mature volunteers to be positive and fun role models for the children during Kids Club. Our after-school program runs from 2–4 p.m., five days a week. The children engage in arts and crafts projects, reading time, indoor and outdoor games, science projects, and homework help, should they request it. We would love it if you brought with you great ideas for arts and crafts projects or fun and educational games to share with the kids.

You will need a minimum of basic Spanish skills and be able to commit to a stay of at least three weeks to create a consistent environment for the children. References, details of experience with children, and a Skype interview may be requested.

Teacher Assistance

Ideally, this intern will have studied or is currently studying education or international development or is currently a teacher, is fluent in Spanish, and is in a position to make a three-month minimum commitment. The intern will be working in the local primary school in the form of teacher assistance, tutoring those children who are falling behind in their studies, as well as working within the Kids Club. We will provide any documentation required for the intern to receive college credit, if requested.

Surf Club

Oniel and Jefferson—winners of Jiquilillo’s First Annual Surf Competition

If you have the energy and the know-how, we’d love for you to teach local youth as well as hostel guests how to surf and maintain boards. Once a week you’ll lead or assist with a beach clean-up and environmental awareness activity with the Surf Club participants.

A minimum of intermediate level Spanish is required and we ask for at least a one-month commitment. Female surfers are especially encouraged to apply as we’d love help rallying more of Jiquilillo’s strong young women into the water as they are currently underrepresented.

Teaching English

For the past few years we have been assisting locals with English classes and are now providing classes for local children as well. The teachers are expected to plan and document lessons, give three one-hour classes each weekday, and give assignments to students. TOEFL certification is requested, but not necessary. There is a minimum one-month commitment.

Creative Arts

Isaac, Margaret, and Michela’s mural on the side of the dormitory.

The Rancho and the wider property is a true multi-purpose space serving children, travelers, and the volunteer family. Creating an inspiring environment that fits with the natural beauty of Jiquilillo is important to us. No one said the simple life was ugly or plain!

If you’re a carpenter who can incorporate natural materials like driftwood with functional design, or an artist who can paint a mural, create mosaics, or sculpt, let our home be your workshop.

Green Projects

Ben’s “El Jardin del Amor de la Tierra”.

If you have ideas on how to increase the sustainability of Rancho life, please let us know. For example, we have the compost, we have the space, we even have willing hands... but some more green thumbs would be great. If you’re an expert on what grows well where, and have some good container ideas to get us above the wet season puddles you could really make a valuable contribution here. To make sure there is time to do the job well, we require someone with experience gardening in dry tropical climates to come for a minimum of one month.

Expanding Community-Based Tourism

We are looking for a fluent Spanish speaker to work directly with locals to expand community-based tourism in Jiquilillo. This volunteer or intern will train locals to become tour guides, and will help begin and expand local tourism businesses within the local community, including a home stay program.

Tour guide training involves taking everyday living activities and incorporating them into a "cultural excursion" that a visitor would find interesting to learn. Thus far we offer five activities for guests and have taught locals how to lead them.

For the homestay program, this volunteer/intern is expected to meet with families, visit their homes and assess what improvements are needed, and help improve their homes so that they can house travelers. The volunteer/intern is expected to instruct locals on how to host a traveler, accommodate their needs, and teach their guest about local culture.

Finally, this volunteer/intern will give business assistance, including teaching basic accounting, inventory, cost/profit analysis, marketing/advertising, and general advice on how to improve local tourism businesses.

This tourism volunteers/intern is asked to stay a minimum of three months. We will provide any documentation required for the intern to receive college credit, if requested.