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Volunteer Teaching Physical Education in Costa Rica

  • ROLE: To encourage children in their sport lessons to learn new skills and improve their fitness
  • CLASS SIZE: 15-35
  • ACCOMMODATION: Host family
  • LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
  • START DATES: Flexible

A Projects Abroad Sports volunteer begins a physical education exercise with students at a school in Heredia, Costa Rica.

Teaching Physical Education in Costa Rica with Projects Abroad is a great way to get involved in the local community and to inspire the next generation of young Costa Ricans to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. As a PE coach in Costa Rica, you will be based in schools in and around Heredia. You do not need any experience to participate, but you should have an interest in sports and fitness.

At your placement, you will be an assistant to the main teacher during sports lessons, and you may sometimes be asked to teach small groups independently or teamed with another volunteer. You will receive plenty of support from the Projects Abroad Sports Supervisor, who will be happy to give you advice and help you plan new activities.

Teach Physical Education in Schools in Costa Rica with Projects Abroad

Student scores a goal during soccer practice with a volunteer coach in Costa Rica

Volunteers who coach PE are involved in organizing a wide range of recreational activities for the children. There is a strong focus on general active games and activities that promote fitness, health, and well-being, such as dodge ball, hide and seek, and dancing.

Many schools also teach different sports such as volleyball, track & field, and of course soccer. Any ideas for games or sports you know particularly well can often be incorporated. Some schools have limited space and facilities, and coaching materials can be scare, so it is up to you to use your imagination and creativity to adapt the sports and games accordingly.

The aim is for children to get fit and have fun, and to encourage them to develop a lasting habit for staying active and playing sports throughout their lives.

Most of our PE placements are in elementary schools, with most children aged between about 6 and 13 years old. The local staff are eager to have the help of volunteers with new ideas who can help coach the children and keep them active, as well as having an extra pair of hands to help out.

We also work with a special education center for children and young adults with disabilities. If you are interested in working alongside the physical education teacher with disabled children please let us know on your application.

Volunteering as a Physical Education Teacher in Costa Rica

Volunteer soccer coach takes a break with players in a school in Costa Rica, Central America

You may be asked to help out with after-school sports activities in the afternoons and evenings from time to time and there may sometimes be matches scheduled on the weekends too. Many placements also appreciate help with English lessons, so if you are happy to help in this area, please let us know.

Schools in Costa Rica have their main vacation from mid-December to mid-February, with a shorter holiday in the first two weeks of July and a week-long break during Easter for Holy Week. There is also a three-week exam period in November when volunteers are unable to teach. We do organize extra classes and a community program for volunteers from the second week in January until mid-February, as well as in July. This involves teaching English classes or coaching sports and doing painting and renovation work at a local school or day care center. This program is not available from mid-December to mid-January, as schools are closed. If you are volunteering in Costa Rica over the Christmas, New Year and Easter holidays, you will be able to travel or enjoy the festivities with your host family.

Volunteer Profile Volunteer Elliott P. shares his review from the Sports project in Costa Rica
Elliott P.
Everyone was so friendly and welcoming that you wanted to do more. Becoming part of the Moracia spirit I had to get involved. Teaching at the local school I spent most of my time within the Physical Education department but I also helped with English and Maths. Projects Abroad were more than happy with the extra involvement and supported all the volunteers in achieving the very most of their placement. Read more...

If you have any special requests regarding your PE placement please let us know when you apply.

While you’re in Costa Rica, you might also consider joining a 1 week Conservation & Environment Project. For more information, please visit our Tropical Dry Forest Conservation & Environment Project in Costa Rica page. Our Combinations Page explains how you can combine not only projects, but also destinations.

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