Volunteer in Organic Farming

Eco-agriculture volunteers work with sustainable coffee-farming communities in Costa Rica and Guatemala helping local coffee growers and learning sustainable coffee production from bean to cup.

In Latin America, agriculture employs more than one-third of the population. However, working conditions are less than ideal and the environmental impact can be very negative. During your volunteer program, you help with alternative agriculture programs in Costa Rica and Guatemala. Eco-agriculture and responsible farming relies on more hands-in-the field than modern industrial farming, and your help is a critical part of achieving sustainability.

What will you do as an Eco-Agriculture Volunteer?

Maximo Nivel volunteers work alongside local farmers and their communities. You provide support and participate in every step of coffee production—growing, harvesting, and processing. This includes working in the nursery, coffee-picking, weeding, planting shade trees, and even roasting and packaging of the final product for local and international sales. You can also participate in reforestation efforts and other community activities.

In Costa Rica, volunteers work at offsite projects several hours away from the Maximo Nivel institute. Offsite projects may not have reliable internet service, but there is a phone in case of emergency. Our Field Managers check in with you by phone and in-person throughout your program.

In Guatemala, volunteers work with a local project close to the Maximo Nivel institute just outside of the city of Antigua.
Peak coffee harvest season is December to early March, but there is plenty of work to do all year round!

Countries Costa Rica, Guatemala
Program Duration Minimum 1 week
Work Schedule 3-4 hours/day Monday-Friday; Working hours are split into morning and afternoon shifts; schedules vary according to the project’s needs.
Volunteer Requirements – At least 17 years of age
– Flexible; Willing to do various tasks based on season and project needs
– Healthy and physically prepared to do manual labor in a rural setting
– Hard working, ready to do anything!
– Spanish language skills are not required

What our Eco-Agriculture Volunteers are saying…

“I worked with the coffee cooperative and it was an amazing experience to really see how the coffee farmers do their work. Not only do you work on their plots of land, but they also invite you into their homes so you can see the entire coffee process from picking to sorting the beans. It really helped me improve my Spanish because you can get a lot of practice speaking with the farmers. Even if there is a language barrier the farmers are so grateful to speak with volunteers to tell them about their experience, family or coffee! I felt like I learned a lot here!!”
“Working with the coffee farmers was great! It was an incredible experience to get to meet and work along side the families who make the coffee. By interacting with the families, we were able to hear their stories and get a better appreciation for the hard work they go through to support their families. It’s also surprising and touching to hear how much they love what they do. It was neat to see the whole process – from the bean picking, to the roasting, to the bagging. I definitely think more about where my coffee comes from now that I’m back in the States and try to make more of an effort to support fair trade coffee. The staff at Maximo Nivel set everything up for us and made our whole trip extremely stress-free!”
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