Physical Education Training

Esparza - Costa Rica

Only 480€ per week!

Get involved with children in the local community. Enjoy a cultural exchange and give them an opportunity to play sports at school.

Teach Physical Education in one of the schools around Esparza and get an inside track on the Costa Rican educational system. This is a chance to step up to a challenge well suited to your skill level. Since many of the schools have no formal sports equipment, regimen or sports hall, you’ll have a chance to be creative in your use of the space outdoors for training.

Culture
Learning
Leisure
Community Engagement
Physical Demand

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Program Description

The local government and Educational Supervisor are fully behind our project, giving us access to many schools in the area. This program consists of working with students aged between 5 and 19, organising games and exercise during school time. You can teach in English or Spanish, or a mix of the two.

Participants will be free to choose their own way of teaching. It is important to understand that the methods of teaching are less important than the attitude of the participant towards the students. At times schools may focus on different activities, for example, environmental issues or current festivals, and you will be given the opportunity to take part.

The teaching program serves a dual purpose; of course it is meant to help children in rural Costa Rica to have the opportunity to practice sport and to exercise in an organised environment, but it also benefits you, giving you an insight into the Costa Rican education system as well as an excellent opportunity to become good friends with students, teachers and even parents, and so take a full role in the community.

Aims & Objectives

Children in rural communities often have a lot of responsibilities outside of school, and little opportunity to play organized sport. Therefore, the main idea is to give students the opportunity to exercise and practice sport at school. You will gain teaching experience, an invaluable life skill, and experience deep cultural immersion.

Schedule

Monday to Friday

You will be organizing and balancing a range of classes for your duration at the school. With some schools your schedule can be flexible and you may also have some say in what classes you prefer to teach, but you should be prepared to teach 3-6 hours a day. You will have lunch at the school and can expect to remain there from 08:00 in the morning until just after 16:30, depending on your schedule, giving you plenty of time to immerse yourself in the school and its activities, and to get to know its students and staff. You should also have plenty of time to reflect on and compare your experience with your personal experiences back home and to plan classes.

   Note:   When confirming your dates please take note of the long holidays (late Dec to early Feb) and the other Public Holidays in the Holidays section which schools may take advantage of. During such times, renovation work continues, with the option to join special classes and English camps when requested by the local community.

   Note:   This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Minimum age:

Maximum age:

Minimum English level: Basic

CRB required: On Signup

Passport copy required: No

Resume copy required: On Signup

Required qualification: None

Additional Requirements

There are no further requirements.

Additional Equipment

  • Casual dress is appropriate during your time at the school. Please don’t wear ‘beach wear’ or any others outfit that is too revealing to schools. Long trousers or long skirts are ideal, as teacher usually dress conservatively.
  • Please bring appropriate athletic wear for sport lesson and physical education. Please bring rough clothes if you will be here during holidays, as you will be able to take part in school renovation work and other community work.
  • Optional: If your luggage allowance permits, please bring equipment which you can use in lessons, and which can either be taken home with you or donated to schools here. Many airlines will permit an extra bag if you contact them in advance and say that you are taking sports kit for a project, and companies or charities in your home country may be willing to donate cones, coloured bibs or other equipment.

Location

Esparza is a medium-sized agricultural town nestled amongst the mountains above Rio Barranca, in the Central Pacific Coast area of Costa Rica. The area was first settled by the Chorotega and Huetar peoples. The Chorotega people fled from Mexico 1,500 years ago and brought their traditions with them. This is a possible reason why there are Mexican words which jump several countries and turn up again in Costa Rica.

The Spanish town was founded in 1577, making it the second oldest in the country. It has a rich history which includes legends of hidden pirate gold. Esparza is the second largest canton in the province of Puntarenas, covering an area of 216.80 km², and with a population of approximately 35,000.

The pace of life is relaxed. It is not unusual to see horses being ridden in the street. The town itself is off the tourist trail. However, the nearest beach for surf and relaxation is only 20 mins (14kms) away. Within a distance of 25 kilometers, you can also find canopy tours as well as the world-famous attractions of Puntarenas, including a marine park and a newly renovated marina. Likewise, the nearest national park, Carara, is only an hour’s drive away.

About the Accommodation

Your new home will be one of two newly built eco houses in our centre in Esparza: Jaguar House and Toucan House.

The two houses sleep up to 22 people. Most rooms have bunk beds and are shared on a single gender. One room in each house has a bunk bed with a double bed below, single above, suitable for couples or small families, if needed. (Private rooms can be obtained at additional cost; this must be arranged before arriving for your program).

All doors are lockable, but as rooms are shared, and we carry out regular cleaning, we recommend that you don't lock your rooms.

There is also a large dining hall/games room/communal area shared by both houses, with free WiFi, and table tennis, and a large garden of tropical plants, including coconut palm, papaya, banana, and citrus

Food Arrangements

Three meals a day on weekdays (two on weekends) are included during your stay. The meals will mainly be a mix of traditional and modern Costa Rican food, so you may experience the Costa Rican take on foods you will be familiar with. Most meals will include either fish, chicken, pork or beef, but vegetarians can be catered for.

Facilities

There are shops within 300 metres of the centre, and bars, restaurants, and an excellent public pool within 15 minutes walk. There is an ATM within 1km and more ATMs in town, about 2kms. Buses into town and further afield leave from within 300ms of the centre.

Esparza and the surrounding area has plenty of shops, bars and restaurants within easy reach.

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the program.

Sights & Surroundings

Esparza and Puntarenas have plenty to offer for weekend activities, including horse riding, watersports (surf is huge), game fishing, canopy tours, hotels to suit all budgets, and some of the best scenery in the world. Puntarenas is also ideally suited to take a scenic ferry to the Nicoya Peninsula and its many secluded beaches.

Esparza is on the Panamerican Highway, so access to the rest of Costa Rica and the rest of the American continent is at your doorstep.

Transportation

From this location we do not provide free transport to other locations.

Quick Facts

Name: Republic of Costa Rica

Population: 4.8 million

Capital: San José

Language: Spanish

Currency: Costa Rican Colón (CRC)

Time zone: UTC -6

Country Information

Pura vida (“real life”) has become the unofficial motto of Costa Rica. And for a reason. Costa Rica is, in essence, a slice of tropical paradise in Central America, and its inhabitants, AKA “the ticos”, are justifiably proud of it. Perfect waves for surfing, breathtaking sunsets, misty crater lakes, waterfall-filled hiking trails, white-water rapids, sun-kissed beaches, adventure-filled paths and wildlife that includes howler monkeys, capuchins and other friendly-looking animals await you in this small, yet magnificently varied country.

Climate

Costa Rica has a reputation for being a tropical paradise, and rightly so. However, due to its diverse terrain, the country boasts a range of different climates.

Costa Rica has no real summer or winter due to its proximity to the equator, and the average temperature ranges from 21°C to 27°C. However, a rainy season does exist, and takes place between May and November. The central valley is often cooler than the coastal areas.

The Pacific coast tends to be hot and dry all year-round, especially the northern part (known as the Gold Coast), while the highlands (around Monteverde) are filled with mist during much of the year, due to the high altitude. The Caribbean coast is quite hot and moist, and receives rain during most of the year. The lowlands have quite a warm climate, with an average temperature of 26°C, and the Central Valley, including San José, is said to have the best climate in the country.

Culture

Costa Rican culture, as in most Latin American countries, is heavily influenced by Spain, as a result of colonization. However, parts of the country have other strong influences, such as that of Limón, which has more of a Jamaican feel to it. There are also several indigenous areas throughout the country.

A great part of the music and folklore of Costa Rica comes from the north of the country, where Mayan culture mixes with Afro-Caribbean trends. Costa Rica has a distinctive musical genre known as punto and most of its music can be easily distinguished by a very unique rhythm known as tambito.

Costa Rica goes by the motto Pura Vida, which means “pure life” and the phrase can be used as a greeting or a farewell, or just to say “that’s great” or “all’s good”. The phrase was originally from a Mexican film, but was soon adopted by Costa Ricans, and is used in several contexts to express a positive outlook on life.

Gastronomy

The cuisine of Costa Rica relies heavily on fresh fruits and vegetables as well as fish and meat. Rice and black beans are traditional and included in most meals. Potatoes are another staple of Costa Rican gastronomy as wells as plantain, a member of the banana family.

Due to the tropical location of the country, you will be able to find many exotic fruits that you might have never heard of before!

Due to the amount of tourism that Costa Rica boasts, international food is offered in many sites – from Japanese to Mexican to Peruvian.

Transportation

Plane

Two domestic airlines (NatureAir and Sansa) connect major tourist towns

Shared shuttle

Shared shuttles are available to popular destinations on a daily basis and they will pick you up from your accommodation and return you, making them the most stress-free option.

Bus

Traveling by public bus is the most affordable way to get around Costa Rica. It can be time-consuming for many Costa Ricans, as many routes are based in and out of San José. However, Esparza is 1.5 hrs away from San Jose by direct bus, and Puntarenas has access to much of the Pacific Coast by bus, so Esparza is well situated for bus transport to the whole country and beyond.

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