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ECV Volunteer & Intern Terms & Conditions

We want your learning experience as a volunteer or intern at El Centro Verde to be as meaningful and fun as possible. We find that setting guidelines in advance is the best way to ensure that visitors can safely and effectively benefit from their time at El Centro Verde. Below are Terms and Conditions to participate in an El Centro Verde (ECV) volunteer or internship program. For the purposes of this document, all terms and conditions apply to any visitor (volunteer or intern) of any length of time.

Please read carefully before submitting an application. Submission of your application acts as your acceptance of all Terms and Conditions defined in this document.



The volunteer is solely responsible for arranging and paying for their own travel to ECV, specifically including all airfares or other transport costs to and from ECV as well as any local transport costs during their stay. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to carry all necessary documents when travelling abroad. While ECV may advise the volunteer on required travel documentation, ECV is not responsible for any supporting documents necessary for the volunteer’s travel needs or other purposes.



ECV does not provide the volunteer with insurance of any kind. While travel insurance is not mandatory to volunteer with ECV, it is highly recommended. The volunteer is solely responsible for evaluating and determining the type, extent and levels of any insurance coverage they need or desire for their planned volunteer travel period.


Program Cost

Program Cost includes accommodation at ECV (sleeping arrangement, utilities and bathing/cooking facilities) and use of on-site tools/equipment and library. Program Cost does not include transportation, meals or activities outside of ECV.

If accepted as a volunteer, the Program Cost is due upon arrival at ECV and can be paid in either American dollars or local Costa Rican colones.


Refund Policy

The ECV Program Cost covers basic administration and livings costs; the program operates on a very small profit margin. Therefore, ECV is unable to provide and does not provide a refund policy of the Program Cost.

ECV reserves the right to provide partial refunds in extenuating circumstances.


Change of Start and End Dates

Once a volunteer program has been confirmed by ECV, changes to Start and End Dates are dependent upon availability at ECV. If an initial request to change Start and/or End Dates can be accommodated, no fee will be charged the volunteer; however, ECV reserves the right to charge a $20 Change Fee for additional requests to change Start and/or End Dates. If ECV is unable to accommodate a change to Start and/or End Dates, the volunteer may cancel their program.


Work Schedule & Living Expectations

The volunteer agrees to provide services to ECV on weekdays during their program duration. Volunteer goals and skills will be incorporated into their services but all volunteers are expected to participate in general upkeep of ECV grounds which may include but is not limited to building cleaning and maintenance, path/visitor area maintenance, erosion control, garden weeding, planting, and harvesting.

The volunteer agrees to keep their personal living area and kitchen area clean and to store/dispose of food such that animals and bugs will not infest or nest in ECV buildings. The volunteer agrees to clean work areas and put away work tools when finished with a project or task.

If a volunteer is unable or chooses not to participate in the daily tasks at ECV, they may be released prior to their arranged End Date with a prorated refund.


Personal Risks

The volunteer acknowledges and accepts the responsibilities and risks associated with their agreement to travel to, temporarily live in and provide volunteer services in a developing country. Such travel and volunteer work involves a certain degree of risk, both foreseen and unforeseen, which is fully accepted by and solely assumed by the volunteer. Therefore, ECV including any and all of its staff, managers, directors, shareholders, host families and partner organizations are not liable, to the maximum extent of the law, for any loss or harm the volunteer may suffer, including but not limited to loss caused directly or indirectly by personal injury, emotional injury, death, illness, disease, or damage to/loss of property.


Fire Hazard & Smoking Policy

Due to the prevalence of wood buildings and trees at ECV, the volunteer agrees not to build or start contained or un-contained fires at ECV, including but not limited to candles, barbecue pits, and campfire pits/grills. The only exception to this rule is within a designated cooking area at ECV where the volunteer assumes all responsibility for using safe cooking practices.

Smoking is only permitted outside of buildings at ECV and all cigarette butts must be fully extinguished prior to disposal.


Alcohol and Drug Use

The volunteer agrees to behave responsibly and respectfully at ECV and in the local community; especially with regard to alcohol consumption. The volunteer may not use or operate ECV equipment or vehicles if consuming alcohol. If ECV deems a volunteer’s actions related to alcohol consumption in any way inappropriate, illegal, or dangerous, the volunteer may be dismissed from the program without refund.

Drug use (unless prescribed by a doctor) is strictly prohibited and will result in immediate dismissal from El Centro Verde without refund.


Code of Conduct

The volunteer agrees to treat all ECV staff, managers, directors, visitors, and other volunteers with courtesy and respect. The volunteer also agrees to treat ECV tools/equipment and surroundings, including but not limited to ECV buildings, woods, paths, and gardens, with care and consideration. Guests must be accompanied at all times at ECV by their host volunteer. For security reasons, overnight guests are not permitted.



If accepted to an ECV program, the volunteer pledges to act in accordance with the Terms and Conditions set forth in this document. The volunteer acknowledges that if accepted to an ECV program, failure to abide by the Terms and Conditions could result in dismissal from El Centro Verde.