Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Population  Population: 8.136

Land Area  Land Area: 125.9 km²

Languages  Languages: Spanish

Currency   Currency: Costa Rica Colon


About Tamarindo

Map LocationTamarindo is a town on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, in the province of Guanacaste. Playa Tamarindo and Playa Langosta are two of its well-known surf beaches. Playa Grande, located in the northern portion of Las Baulas National Marine Park, is an important nesting place for giant leatherback turtles. Howler monkeys and crocodiles are among the wildlife that thrives in the mangrove-lined estuary of the Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge.


Why You Should Come

Tamarindo is a beautiful and diverse coastal town in Costa Rica, known for its stunning beaches and rich wildlife. Volunteering here allows you to immerse yourself in a new culture, learn about the local customs and traditions, and meet new people around the world while positively impacting the community. Despite being full of beautiful natural attractions, 1.1 million people currently live in poverty in Costa Rica. Around 20 percent of the population lives below the national poverty line, earning less than $155 per month. Poverty and income inequality are persistent issues in Tamarindo, particularly among local residents who may not benefit from the tourism industry. Some factors that contribute to poverty in Tamarindo include limited access to education and job opportunities, a high cost of living, and income disparities between urban and rural areas. The tropical weather and lush scenery attract many tourists. However, that same equatorial climate also brings still water and multiple mosquito-borne illnesses, which significantly impact the health of the local residents.

How You Can Help

MEDLIFE addresses some of the most pressing issues in these communities through Mobile Clinics, patient follow-up, and community development projects. But our work would not be possible without motivated individuals like you choosing to volunteer in Service Learning Trips (SLT).


Additional Travel opportunities

A trip to Peru would be incomplete without witnessing Machu Picchu, and you can’t visit Ecuador without experiencing the majestic Galapagos Islands. With optional tourism extensions offered by our partner travel company, Good Life Expeditions, you can explore more of your SLT destination while continuing to support MEDLIFE partner communities and traveling sustainably.

Click here to view extension options

Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.