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General questions

Do I have to worry about safety issues?

In Central America, like any other part of the world, there are good people and bad people. RJI works exclusively in areas that are safe for volunteers to live and work. Our rural and indigenous areas also usually have very low rates of dangerous crimes. Nevertheless, there is always a risk concerning any travel. During orientation, volunteers will receive a session on Risk Management in order to minimize the possibilities of something happening

Do I need a visa to enter the country?

In general, travelers need the following documents to enter the Central America:

  • A valid passport with at least one blank visa page. The expiration date of your passport must be more than 6 months from your date of entry.
  • A pre-paid airline ticket to exit the country
  • If you are considering staying for more than 90 (ninety) days, you must file for a stay extension at the Immigration Department (or a local travel agency). An up to $20.00 U.S. dollar fine will can be charged upon departure from the country if you overstay your permitted length in the country.

Most citizens from North America and European Union do not need visa to enter the region.  Other countries should check for specific visa requirements depending on the nationality. You can use the following link to VisaHQ for more information. For volunteers applying to Costa Rica, you can also check the direct link to the Costa Rican Embassy

If your nationality requires visa before travelling, RJI can offer to support you by writing a letter about our organization and the project you wish to implement, but procedures and costs depend exclusively on the volunteers.

Why do I have to pay to volunteer?

RJI is a nonprofit organization, but in order to offer the volunteer adequate conditions we must ask for a fee to cover the various necessary expenses of the operation of the program. These costs include food, transportation, accommodation, water filter, volunteer training, and group leader (depending on the size of the group).

Where are you and your programs located?

RJI head offices are located in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, in the capital city of San José. From here, with the support of our regional and international partners, we are able to coordinate projects in the entire region.

We work in all Central American countries, including Panamá, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and México. We are also currently expanding our impact to the Caribbean in Trinidad and Tobago, French Guyana and Suriname. To have more information about our work in these areas, click where we work. (link a where we work).