Q: How will my volunteering with Reto Juvenil Internacional make a difference?
Our service learning trips address the wants and needs of people in impoverished areas. Our programs address these needs in ways that empower the people to improve their communities going forward. Your participation will change lives by improving living conditions and making people self-sufficient.
Volunteering with RJI will change your life because employers and college administers look favorably at applicants with service learning experience. Engaging in service learning demonstrates valuable skills, such as project planning, intercultural communication, public speaking, and workshop facilitation. We can serve as a reference to future employees and administrators by writing letters of recommendations on your behalf.
Q: What should I expect during a Reto Juvenil Internacional service learning trip?
Expect to be working Monday to Friday in a designated area. Each project will have a group leader that will supervise the group and coordinate work activities with the locals. This group leader stays in contact with RJI and can always be contacted during the trip to address any concerns.
Q: How can I be prepared for a Reto Juvenil Internacional service learning trip?
You will receive orientation and training sessions to provide you with the specific set of tools and resources you will need upon your arrival in the country. You can receive these sessions via Skype or in person depending on the project. RJI sessions include risk management, staying healthy, and the specific ways in which RJI projects are implemented. at the worksite, volunteers will be provided with all the necessary materials to complete the projects to the fullest.
Q: Where can I find more information about your programs?
You can find out more about our programs by visiting our programs page.
Q: What is the participation fee?
Due to our nonprofit status, Reto Juvenil Internacional requires fundraising to cover expenses such as food, materials, transportation, and administration. These participation fees are different depending on if you want to be an volunteer as an individual or volunteer as part of a group.
If you are volunteering as an individual the first week is $650 and every other week is $350. If you are volunteering as group every week is $450. The participation fee covers:
- Airport pickup and drop-off
- Transportation to and from the project site
- Basic lodging and meals in the community
- Orientation sessions
- Project training and in-country support
- Participation certificate and reference letter (when requested)
- 24 hour in-country emergency service
- 24/7 staff support
Q: Can I receive any discounts for your volunteer programs?
If you become a RJI representative at a university you can receive discounts on volunteer trips, including a free trip if you organize a group trip of twelve people or more.
Q: How is volunteer safety addressed?
Reto Juvenil Internacional recognizes the importance of safety, so we implement specific procedures to ensure the safety of our volunteers and staff. This begins with the selection of our worksites. All of our worksites are in cities or countries approved by the United Nations Development Programme. Once a need for volunteer work is established in that area, we design our program to fit that need.
In the days prior to volunteer arrival, RJI visits the site to check that all living and working conditions meet the Reto standard. This means there is running water, electricity, and clean cooking areas. If any of these standards are not met, RJI immediately finds another location within that city for volunteers to live and/or work. If the water supply is not clean, RJI provides bottled filtered water for all of our volunteers.
Each group has a group leader who is medically trained, bilingual in Spanish and English, and has emergency contact information. This includes having contact with a driver or mode of transportation that can get a volunteer or staff member to the nearest hospital quickly in case of an emergency.
Q: How are dietary restrictions and allergies issues handled?
RJI will work with you before you leave on a service learning trip to accommodate you as best as possible. Before volunteers arrive in their destination country, we ask them to provide emergency information such as emergency contacts, medical requirements, dietary restrictions, and allergies. RJI officials’ preparation for each project also includes working phones, transportation, and knowing the location of the nearest medical facility in case of an emergency.
Q: What kind of traveling documents are required for these trips?
In general, travers need the following documents to enter Central America:
- A valid passport with at least one blank visa page. Make sure the expiration date on your passport is more than six months from the date when you will enter the country.
- A prepaid airline ticket to exit the country.
If you are considering staying for more than 90 days, you must file for a stay extension at the Immigration Department or a local travel agency. You will be charged a fine of up to $20.00 U.S. upon departure if you exceed the permitted length of stay.
Most citizens of countries in North America and the European Union do not need visas to enter the region. Be sure to check for specific visa requirements depending on your nationality. You can find more information online at VisaHq.
If you are required to have a visa before traveling, RJI can help you by writing a letter about our organization and and the project you wish to complete, but you still are responsible for the the visa costs and following the appropriate procedures.
For volunteers applying to Costa Rica, you can also get more information from Costa Rican Embassy.
Q: Can volunteers travel around the visited country during their Reto Juvenil Internacional service learning trips?
Some groups have scheduled trips before arriving to the country, while others organize a trip while in-country. All trips must be approved by RJI to make sure that they conform to our safety standards. Trips are an optional part of this experience and are not included as part of the participation fee.
Q: Can I choose where and how to volunteer?
When filling the volunteer form you may specify which country and type of program you prefer, and RJI will accommodate you.