Veterinary Volunteer

Are you interested in becoming a vet or vet tech? Would you like to work with dogs and cats in a clinic environment? Then you should volunteer as a Veterinary Volunteer or Intern in a local vet clinic in Costa Rica.

  • Age requirement: 18+ years
  • Dates: This project is available year-around.
  • Working Schedule: 6-7 days a week for 8-10 hours a day
  • Language requirement: Spanish on a basic to intermediate level is a must (you’re working with non-English speaking vets)
  • Costs: The first week of the project fee is $449, for each additional week the fee is $149 per week. Most of your payment goes into your host family. Parts of your payment will go to the project to support dog and cat rescue, spaying and neutering of dogs and cats, and for animal food. A part goes to Green Life Volunteers’ support and services.
  • Accommodation: Host family or own apartment / housing
  • Food: 2-3 meals daily in your host family
  • Location: Puerto Jimenez, Osa Peninsula, Southern Costa Rica
  • We offer: 24/7 emergency telephone support
  • Optional: A letter of recommendation and certificate at the end of your internship

Green Life Volunteers is looking for a veterinary student, vet tech student, or a person wanting to become a vet, to help out at a rural vet clinic in Puerto Jimenez, on the Osa Peninsula. The Osa Peninsula is a remote, rural, and economically challenged area.

As a volunteer on this project you’ll be working with the local town vet. The vet is happy to train you so that you can even take care of some patients or assist with procedures and surgeries.

The project would be great for a vet student, or someone interested in becoming a vet student – since you may be able to use your volunteer time in your studies as work experience time.

The vet clinic is the only one in a large rural area, and thus they are always very busy. There are plenty of dogs and cats (and other animals) to take care off on a daily basis. The vet also organizes spaying and neutering clinics almost on a weekly basis, when he offers spaying and neutering for a cheaper fare and where assistants are always needed.

  •       Help  at spay and neuter fares
  •       Assist the vet with incoming patients
  •       Translate if foreigners come into the vet who don’t speak Spanish
  •       Help in the pet shop part of the clinic selling, stocking and labeling products
  •       Clean cages, back clinic areas, and general maintenance of the vet clinic
  •       Help to clean equipment the vet uses and needs during surgeries
  •       Prepare dogs/ cats for the vet visit, such as weighing of animals, measuring temperature etc.
An ideal volunteer on this project has a passion for animals and is older than 18 years.

Furthermore, Spanish at least on a beginner level is necessary, since the veterinarian and vet staff do not speak English.

As a veterinary clinic volunteer you’re basically an intern to the veterinary doctor at the clinic. You’ll be helping with everything needed around the clinic and you’ll help in surgeries. Many volunteers have used their experience at the vet clinic as internship experience for studying veterinary sciences and for becoming a vet. A lot of universities would give you credit for doing an internship at our vet clinic.

Furthermore you’ll learn so much more than at a vet clinic in the states, Europe or other parts in the worlds, where you often aren’t even allow to touch animals until you’ve already studied for several years in the field. This is not the case at our vet clinic – where you can get hands on experience, are allowed to handle animals from day one, and assist in surgeries. This is a great opportunity for gaining a good insight into the veterinary field, and an amazing experience to prepare yourself for a future career in the veterinary field.


The vet clinic is located in Puerto Jimenez, on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica.

More info on location here.

The costs for this project are:

  • First week’s fee: $ 449
  • Every Additional Week: $ 149 (It does not matter many weeks you choose, this fee stays the same)

FEES EXPLAINED: Our organizational fee of around $249 is included in the first week’s fee and covers the “behind the scenes costs”, such as staff salaries, office space rental, transaction and bank fees, and more. Our weekly fee for additional weeks covers the costs of your host family or project accommodation and food, the local staff on your project, and a donation to help with the daily running costs of the program you will help on.

NOT INCLUDED IN THE FEE: First and last night in San Jose in a hostel, travel to and from the international airport (airport shuttles are around 30$ each way to San Jose – We can set this up for you, just ask us during sign-up), travel to the project site (usually by public buses, which are from around 10-16$ one way), national/ International flights, travel insurance, visa costs, any additional food or snacks besides the host family meals, extra-curricular activities.




The Veterinary Volunteer project’s Handbook. Here you can find more detailed info on the project and volunteering.

To view our handbook in your browser, click on the PDF symbol:

Click here to view FULL DETAILS of the Internship

To download and save our handbook on your computer, please click the link below:

Download our PDF Handbook Here


Veterinary Volunteer Reviews

Kathleen’s Review

Kathleen’s Review

Kathleen - Volunteer at the Veterinary Clinic and the Local Private School in Puerto Jimenez Age: 61 From: United States Review written via personal email. My time volunteering in Puerto Jimenez was fabulous.  You could not have chosen a more wonderful family for me...

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