I (Vicki Skinner - aka "THE Sarong Goddess") created this blog in 2007 to share DETAILED Finds•Lists•Info•Events•Experiences to help bring more EASE to people living in, visiting or thinking of moving to Costa Rica since DETAILS are NOT easy to find!
I’m NOT an expert (an "expert" 2 ME knows 101%-NOT me). I believe in sharin info•helping where I can! And with over 2,200 entries, so some things might be out of date, so if you find old info PLEASE help each other by getting the updated info & sharing it with me to revise. At least you have some basic info to get you started.
Better yet - do you have extra time on your hands & looking for a volunteer project? Since this blog is a labor of love & RARELY does anyone share a donation (even though MANY have said how much it's helped them), I could REALLY use help updating info. Spanish speakers ESPECIALLY welcome since my VicLish can be somewhat limited at times!!

Has my blog helped in any way? Helped find something•brought more EASE? More exposure or business?
I welcome you to show YOUR appreciation for my efforts!
(see below other ways to show your appreciation)
The easiest way is with PAYPAL - Attn: LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com
(you do NOT need to have a PayPal account to do this - just a credit or debit card)
Do YOU have/know of a Business•Event•News•Place•Things 4 Sale•Rent to add? Email:


• APPLE LAPTOP - Do you have a Laptop you're not using? Mine recently broke so I'm using a lender. Must be new enough to run current Skypes & have an SDCard slot.
• Amazon.com or GoDaddy.com Credit•Gift Certificate (attn: SarongGoddess@gmail.com)
• Something else to share?? A gift certificate or invite for your business? I'm open!! (at times I'll add other things here that I'm seeking)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ways to GIVE BACK to your Community in Costa Rica!!! Organizing old friends for a Volunteer Vacation &/or Volunteering your Professional Skills &/or Bring Old Supplies from "home"

(this family vacationing in Costa Rica from the U.S. [sorry - I can't remember their names] each brought 1 extra suitcase filled with Shoes they collected from their church as well as one back of School Supplies!)

Someone recently posted that they were considering moving to Costa Rica and they had been a fire fighter and medic for years and were interested in volunteering.

It inspired me to write this post on OTHER WAYS to look at helping to meet the needs of people in Costa Rica - thinking outside the box!!

Volunteers are needed just about EVERYWHERE in Costa Rica - but here's an expansion on this idea (an in time I'll add more ideas to look outside the box from traditional volunteering).

Why not try to organize a "drive" of sorts with fire departments, paramedics, doctors, dentists, teachers, eyeglass stores, optometrists, sports teams - whatever professionals you know - to take up a COLLECTION of old equipment, tools, supplies, school supplies or things someone sells to DONATE. 

They may be old & outdated for someone in the U.S. or Canada but they'd be received like GOLD in Costa Rica as most of these groups have VERY LIMITED tools/equipment!!!!!!!!!

Also REALLY HELPFUL are Sports Equipment (ESPECIALLY Soccer • "futbol")!!!

We're talking Costa Rica so you'll soon find things aren't so easy - even when you're trying to HELP the people.  You MAY VERY WELL have a problem bringing quantities of things in through Customs (they think you're wanting to sell them which would mean you'd have to pay Duty on them).  One way to POTENTIALLY avoid that is to bring with you an article from your newsletter, local paper, website of what you're doing (proof it's legit), AND/or an OFFICIAL LETTER and/or email from the organization of what you're doing.  Then MAYBE you can get it through without having to pay Duty Tax on it (note that duty tax is paid on the value you would pay for the items in Costa Rica - NOT the price you got them for at the $1 store!!). 
AIRLINES:  The bitch is these days most airlines charge you for extra luggage.  MAYBE you can work something out with the airlines ahead of time (especially if you have the above suggested information to prove it's a legit donation).
SHIPPING DONATIONS:  Do NOT EVEN think of shipping these items as it's a FRICKING NIGHTMARE and chances are MEGA MEGA GOOD that it WILL be stopped by the Aduana and whomever here WILL NEED to go through the arduous effort to pay those usually REALLY HIGH taxes at 2 different not near to each other buildings. 

LOVE what you do and want to potentially write off your vacation?  Come down to Costa Rica and do a Volunteer Vacation!!! 

Do this for yourself if you are coming on vacation to Costa Rica.  One way to do this is by asking some of the hotels you're visiting what NEEDS there are in their community - be it fixing up a local school or something in the community, helping with English, painting, bringing school supplies, making things, teaching new skills, bringing shoes (ALWAYS NEEDED!!) or clothes, toys, things for babies - the list is endless!!

If you already live here - or were coming down solo - think about organizing some of your professional buds•members to come down to VOLUNTEER to do some extra training or helping (make sure you line up ahead of time someone to volunteer to help translate of course)!!  

THEN they can bring/present some of the above mentioned equipment & things AND have a FUN time/way to see your buds while doing something MUCH NEEDED & REALLY GOOD for your community!!!

Even better - create an on-going "Sister-City" program where a city or business abroad "adopts" a city in Costa Rica and helps fill their on-going needs!!! 

NOTE I'm sure a certain percent of your vacation must be doing the volunteer work but check with your tax person first if their is part of why you're doing it.

Volunteering - ESPECIALLY in a foreign country can go QUITE FAR on your college application!!  Someone close to me was one of the few white upper middle class guys that go into UCLA because of 2 weeks of volunteering he did in Costa Rica with Gail Nystrom's
Costa Rica Humanitarian Foundation



Do YOU have other ideas•suggestions on projects one can do to help their community??

Please share them in "Comments" below - or send me an email to:



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