A list of involvement opportunities at the Monteverde Institute and description of the application process
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The Monteverde Institute offers several opportunities for individuals who would like to work with the Institute independently or in a small group. These opportunities fall into the following categories.
Specific opportunities will depend on the interests of the Monteverde Institute and the applicant, the particular skills and experiences the applicant brings, the level of supervision required, the proposed duration and Spanish language ability. Each inquiry and application will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For more information please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that all of these opportunities are self-funded; you will be required to cover your travel expenses, living expenses, international health insurance, and applicable service fees. The Monteverde Institute can assist you in finding housing either with a local family or independently. Monteverde Institute fees help cover the direct costs of your endeavor as well as support our local educational and research activities.
The tourist high season in Costa Rica is November to April. Additionally, June to August also sees an increase in travel to the country, as it corresponds to summer break in the U.S. and other countries. Airfare during high season can be up to twice as much as a low season fare.
There are two international airports in Costa Rica: one located in the capital of San José, known a as the Juan Santamaría International Airport, approximately 150 km. (100 miles) from Monteverde; and one to the north in Liberia, known as the Daniel Oduber International Airport, approximately 140 km. (88 miles) from Monteverde. Because of road conditions, travel time ranges from 4-5 hours to/from San José by bus or private vehicle, and approximately 2.5-3.5 hours to/from Liberia. There are a number of travel options to/from San Jose, from inexpensive public transport (approximately each way) twice daily, to private taxi (approximately 5 each way). Private shuttle buses also come up to Monteverde, and cost approximately - each way. Travel from the Liberia airport is easiest by private transport; note that airfare to/from Liberia tends to be higher. Note that the airport exit tax is from either airport, and must be paid when you leave Costa Rica.
It is important to note that if you want to arrive in Monteverde the same day as your flight, it is best to arrive before noon. The only way to get up to Monteverde from an evening arrival is by private taxi.
Around Monteverde expect to walk quite a bit on uneven terrain. Taxi service is widely available, and typically costs around a trip from the town of Santa Elena to the Monteverde Institute. Public transport around Monteverde costs around .50, with buses running every hour.
You are required to carry international health insurance during your time at the Monteverde Institute and will be asked to provide coverage confirmation before arrival. While not required, we also recommend that you obtain travel insurance, and if you are bringing a laptop or other expensive equipment we highly recommend that these are insured. While theft is not widespread, there have been cases of stolen laptops, cameras, and binoculars.
We strongly recommend you stay with a local family through MVI’s homestay program. It is an excellent way to connect to the local community and culture and is also one of the least expensive options. Please note that Spanish proficiency is required; if you are not already proficient, you will be required to take Spanish classes at MVI to participate in a homestay. The cost for homestay includes three meals a day, your own room, and laundry services.
If homestay is not an option for you, MVI can help you find suitable accommodation through a shared rental or private residence. The cost for these options ranges from $ 200 to $ 500 a month. MVI charges housing placement fee (please inquire for current rate). Telephone and utilities may cost from $ 30 to $ 75, depending on usage.
There is a ready availability of groceries and fresh produce in Monteverde. Monthly expenses for groceries for a family of two adults and two children averages between $ 300 and $ 400, a single person should budget for at least $ 1 000 per month. Because it is a tourist area, restaurant prices tend to be comparable, or only slightly lower, than you would find in the U.S.