Costa Rica 2017

CR 2017

This Spring break (March 18-26, 2017), Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County will be traveling to Costa Rica!  

In Whatcom County, we are already working in partnership with low-income families to build simple, decent homes where they can live and grow into their fullest potential. Now, we have the opportunity to extend our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live beyond Whatcom County, by traveling to Central America to build alongside one of our Habitat tithe partners.

Join us in Costa Rica and:

  • Be welcomed into the community in a way that is unique to the immersive nature of Habitat builds
  • Get your hands dirty on the work site, and learn about the local building style
  • Meet families whose housing situations have been improved with Habitat’s help
  • Eat traditional food (and learn to make empanadas!)
  • Explore Costa Rica’s immense natural beauty
  • Do all of this alongside a team of like-minded volunteers from our local affiliate!

Keep reading for all of the need-to-know trip details.

Contact the Team Leader

About Costa Rica

The Republic of Costa Rica is a tropical country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

What makes Costa Rica unique?

  • Costa Rica is one of the most environmentally progressive countries in the world
  • Costa Rica’s democracy has been uninterrupted since at least 1948, which is uncommon in the region, due to the lasting impacts of Spanish colonization
  • Costa Rica is located just 8 to 12 degrees north of the Equator, so it’s climate is tropical year-round

What will the weather be like?

We will be visiting toward the end of Costa Rican summer (late March), meaning the weather will be beautiful, sunny and dry, but cooler than the peak of summer.

Costa RicaHabitat Costa Rica

The housing need in Costa Rica

The INEC National Survey of 2014 estimates that at least 1.2 million of Costa Rica’s residents — about one-fourth of the population — live in poverty. Among poor households, 7.8 percent have single women as heads of the household, which makes it difficult for them to access credit to secure adequate housing.

Habitat’s contribution in Costa Rica

Since 1997, Habitat Costa Rica has provided over 2,010 housing solutions.

Other projects include:

  • Improvements: In 2013-14, we performed 76 home improvements and rehabilitations, which have a positive result in the community as a whole
  • Training for life: Last fiscal year:
    • 276 families received Construction Technical Assistance
    • 4,534 individuals in different areas were provided with information to gain access to the state housing subsidy
    • 569 individuals received financial training to learn to adequately interpret their financial reality and efficiently manage their resources
  • Volunteerism: Throughout the past year:
    • 622 national volunteers donated their love and solidarity, providing 4,976 hours of volunteer work
    • International volunteers reached a total of 16,200 hours of work

To read more, visit habitatcostarica.org.

The Itinerary

Day 1This Spring break, spend 8 glorious days in Costa Rica!

Day 1: Saturday
Arrive at San Jose’s airport, where Habitat for Humanity staff welcomes you. Travel to accommodations. Meet your team over dinner.

Day 2: Sunday
Days 3 - 6Habitat staff will orient you to our work in Costa Rica and introduce you to the community in which you’ll work.

Days 3-6:
Monday-Thursday
Build on-site, with free time and team activities in the evenings.

Day 7: Friday 
Day 8Build on-site, then attend a farewell celebration.

Day 8: Saturday
Spend the day swimming, hiking and taking in the stunning vistas at one of Costa Rica’s national parks. Then enjoy a final team dinner in San Jose.

Day 9: Sunday
Depart for home or independently continue your travels.

Trip Details

Trip dates: March 18-26, 2017

Program cost: $1,725
This cost includes a significant donation to Habitat for Humanity, and it covers the volunteer’s accommodations, meals, in-country transportation and travel medical insurance. International flight and exit/entry costs are not included.

You may fundraise the program cost, pay it all, or pay some yourself and fundraise the rest.

Where you will stay & what you will eat
Teams stay at modest, comfortable hotels with two to four people per room. Enjoy a variety of cuisine prepared by locals.

How you’ll help
Volunteers will assist with prefabricated construction. Tasks will include digging post holes, a septic hole and drainage ditch; mixing concrete; setting posts; and moving and assembling pre-fabricated concrete walls.

Join Us in Costa Rica!

It's better to see something once

Joining Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County on our journey to Costa Rica could be a life-changing experience for you and a world-changing experience for the communities we serve.

It’s also super easy!

  1. Contact Team Leader Sarah Bond-Yancey to set up your informal phone interview:
    1. Email sbondyancey@nullgmail.com
    2. Call or text (360) 870-3894
    3. Message on Facebook to
  2. Pay your deposit ($400) to Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County to secure your spot on the team
  3. The final payment isn’t due until February 1, 2017, so you will have plenty of time to fundraise or save for the final payment of $1325

Sarah will walk you through everything else!

Support Our Build

If you aren’t able to join us in person, but would like to be there in spirit, you can donate directly to our team or become a project sponsor!

To donate to our team, go to our team page and click Donate Now!

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Team Leader at sbondyancey@nullgmail.com!

Help Spread the Word

spead the wordAnother wonderful way to get involved is to help us spread the word about our build! Sharing about Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County’s work and our upcoming trip to Costa Rica will help us recruit volunteers, raise funds, and create lasting change in the communities we serve, both abroad and at home.

Some ways you can share about our work include:

Email the Team Leader for other ideas about how you can help at the local level!

However you can help …

I alone cannot change the world

Whether you are able to join us, donate to our build, or simply share our work with your networks, please know you are a critical and deeply appreciated part of this build. Your time, money, energy, well wishes and hopes are the pieces which will join together to send this team across the world and set the wheel of change in motion.

Team Leader Sarah Bond-Yancey thumbnail“Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or comments. I would love to hear from you, and I would especially love to help you join us in Costa Rica! Click here to email me or call (360) 870-3894.”
Sarah Bond-Yancey
Global Village Team Leader
Habitat for Humanity International