Alajuelita, Costa Rica

Partner: FIMRC
Date: Flexible. The site is open year round for volunteers, however there is limited availability in December, January, March, and May. It’s recommended to reserve your spot 3-6 months in advance.
Program Cost: $1,400 for one week
Estimated Economy Airfare: $1,000-$1,500
Providers: Active or retired physicians, nurses, and PAs
Medical Setting: Clinic


About the country: Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered to the north by Nicaragua, to the west by the Pacific Ocean, to the south-east by Panama, and to the east by the Caribbean Sea. Out of the total population of 5 million, 2 million live in and arounds San Jose, the capital city. Costa Rica’s climate is tropical, with a diverse landscape ranging from coastal plains to rugged volcanic terrain. As one of the premier ecotourism destinations in the world, Costa Rica is also the most-visited country in Central America.

About FIMRC: Founded in 2002, FIMRC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving healthcare for families around the world through the implementation of innovative and self-sustaining health programs that focus on healthcare access, education and participation. Through its network of outpatient clinics and partnerships, FIMRC asserts a multidimensional strategy that includes clinical services, extensive community outreach efforts, and health education programs. Each of our sites is run by full-time professional, local teams who are empowered to operate their respective sites and see patients year-round, not just during volunteer trips.

About the clinic site: Alajuelita (“Little Alajuela”)  is located approx. five kilometers outside of San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica. Approximately 12,500 Nicaraguan refugees and impoverished Costa Rican citizens have settled here. The majority of this population, comprised largely of women and their children, lacks access to the national healthcare system, so refugees seek out our clinic to receive treatment and psychological services.  To address these needs, FIMRC operates a community clinic as base of operations, with frequent local community outreaches and occasional group trips to a rural indigenous community for mobile clinics. Clinic activities include: general consults, pap smears, breast exams, well child exams, medications, counseling, and community education.