Volunteer at Blue Osa


We are SO grateful to have you come to Blue Osa as a volunteer. Blue Osa is growing and expanding and we are reaching out to the larger community to increase our visibility. Your contribution of knowledge and service to our community is vital and important to Blue Osa’s mission:

To provide the most nurturing and transformative environment possible to our guests.

 

Being a volunteer gives you an opportunity to come and experience Blue Osa in a very unique way. You become an intrinsic part of our community and our special way of life. We are opening our doors for you to become a part of our community. Our community consists of the guests, the staff, Marie, Adam, our animals, vendors, tour guides, drivers and many others who are a part of our eco-system.

In yogic philosophy, being a volunteer, or offering service, is one of the highest forms of yoga practice. The Sanskrit word for volunteering is “seva”. Seva basically means to offer service and to do so mindfully with non-attachment.

In deep gratitude for offering seva to Blue Osa and our community, our promise is to provide:

  • Upon your arrival and departure, ground transportation to and from Puerto Jimenez.
  • 3 healthy delicious meals daily.
  • Private accommodations in our staff quarters.
  • Yoga classes when offered.
  • In some cases, eco-tours will be provided in exchange for a blog post about the excursion.

Please Keep In MInd

  • Connector.

    Non-Paying

    This is a non-paying position. It is a volunteer position. If you ask, we will immediately discontinue any correspondence.

  • Connector.

    Regarding Positions

    We will indicate the positions we are looking to fill and when we are looking to fill them by.

  • Connector.

    Only Specific Skillsets

    Please do not email us telling us about the skills you have that we are not looking for.

  • Connector.

    Not Needed

    We do not need or want volunteers to come to cook, clean dishes, clean toilets, or any other tasks like that. We have a great team of employees who work for us and are the caretakers of Blue Osa.

  • Connector.

    Are You A Yoga Teacher?

    Although it is not always required, we generally look for volunteers who are able to teach yoga. If you are a yoga teacher, you will usually, but not always, be more likely to be considered.

  • Connector.

    Please Don't...

    Do not email us asking if you may be able to attend the One-Month Immersion for free or for exchange. If you would like to attend the One-Month Immersion, please visit the page for more information on the price and what is included. One-Month Immersion Yoga Teacher Training

  • Connector.

    Please do not be offended...

    Please do not be offended if we do not respond. If we do not, it means that we are currently full and do not need your services. One-Month Immersion Yoga Teacher Training

Work Hours
Monday to Friday

Writer/Office
Retreat Schedule
Morning 7:00 AM to 10:00/10:30 AM
Brunch
12:00 PM until 3:30 PM (this includes 1/2 hour for snack)
Dinner – 15 – 30 mins seva

Non-Retreat Schedule
Breakfast Between 7:30/8:00/8:30 AM
Morning until 12:00 PM
Lunch
1:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Dinner – 15 – 30 mins seva

Gardening
Retreat schedule
Morning 6:30 AM to 10:00 AM/10:30 AM
Brunch
11:00 AM to 12:30 AM
Afternoon for one hour
Dinner – 15 – 30 mins seva

Non-retreat Schedule
6:00 AM until Breakfast which is 7:30 or 8:00 AM
After breakfast until 12:00 PM
Afternoon for one hour
Dinner – 15 – 30 mins seva

Information You Need To Know

The following information will help smooth your integration into the Blue Osa community and give you the information you need, so that you can fully express your gift in a way that supports both you and Blue Osa to shine.


We know that you really want to fit in and be a constructive member of our community. We have found that the following guidelines will help us to support you, for you to support us. Aaron has covered these points already, but we thought it wise to put it in writing. If anything stands out or surprises you, please contact Aaron to discuss it at your earliest convenience.

We do expect all volunteers to comply with everything below. If you come and are not able to, you may be asked to leave without warning.

You are a part of our family, and greetings are very important!

In Costa Rica, saying hello and goodbye is an important way of life. Typically you say something like “Hola. Pura Vida!” If it is man to man, you always shake hands. If it is a female to male, or male to female greeting, then the custom is to offer a New York style “kiss” on the cheek. While we sometimes get frustrated with each other, we always follow these simple rituals, which help to maintain a sense of community and camaraderie. This rule actually applies almost everywhere in Costa Rica.

Sexual Conduct

Sex, fraternization and private time of any kind with guests and employees is strictly forbidden. This is a nonnegotiable. We do encourage you to develop healthy and meaningful relationships with our Blue Osa community but must insist that you remain professional at all times.

Working Hours and Time Off

Below is a description of working hours. We expect 30 hours a week from volunteers for the work/assistance you are coming to provide. Additionally, we do ask/expect some seva from you in the form of community service. At night time, we are sometimes very busy with kitchen clean up and ask our volunteers to offer 15 – 30 minutes of help. This will help cement deeper relations with staff.

Accommodations

We provide for your accommodations while you are at Blue Osa. Accommodations consist of eco style housing in our staff rooms. There is no AC so if you are heat sensitive or have problems with heat, we may have to talk. Each room is equipped with a fan. The bathroom is shared. There is a private outdoor shower for your use.

Be Clean

We ask that you practice keeping your spaces clean and tidy, specifically the areas you are working. You will most likely be working in the common
areas. Please remember this is a guest area as well and should be kept tidy. Our housekeeping will provide a basic service to clean your room once a week along with changing your sheets and providing fresh towels.

Alcohol at Blue Osa

You are definitely welcome to enjoy yourself as you wish during your off time and please do so responsibly and mindfully. You may bring your own alcohol (available in town) or buy drinks from the Blue Osa bar at a 50% discount.

Drugs and Smoking

Drugs and smoking are strictly prohibited at Blue Osa. If you are a smoker, please smoke outside Blue Osa and do so privately. Please do not invite any guests to participate with you, and please do so without being in view of any person.

Laundry Service

We encourage you to travel as light as possible. You do not need much
here. While we do not have a laundry for you to use on your own, we will provide a laundry service for you once a week. The laundry room is off-limits to all volunteers.

Morning Silence

One of our rituals at Blue Osa is to practice morning silence daily until 7:30. This time is reserved to honor the beginning of the day, for meditation and contemplation, yoga, and other sacred activities.

Wake Up in the Mornings

Typically breakfast is offered sometime between 6:30 and 8:30 am. Depending on where you are working and what you are doing, we do expect to see you up and working / available in the early mornings. Additionally, it is much cooler in the mornings and is the best time to work. Our workers arrive and start their day here at 6.

Dress Code

At this particular time, Adam and Aaron are still discussing dress code for volunteers. However, we do expect all volunteers to be properly dress. This means that a shirt or tank-top must be worn at all times unless you are going to the pool or heading to the beach. You also need to be neat and tidy in appearance when you are around guests or in guest areas.

The Kitchen

The Kitchen, the refrigerator and the freezer are off limits to all volunteers. If you are in the kitchen for any reason than the 4 reasons below, you might be asked to leave or given a severe warning:

  1. If you are taking pictures.
  2. You need to get a guest something from the kitchen and there are NO staff available.
  3. If you are invited into the kitchen to work / help out.
  4. You are cooking with Marie or the staff and/or taking cooking lessons.

Meal Times

Your meals at Blue Osa will be provided for. Please take note of the meals times and show up when meals are offered. Once the meals are served, there will not be another opportunity to eat until the next meal. At dinnertime, you are expected to arrive when the meals are served. We use this time to share around the table, sometimes introduce ourselves, and talk about the food.

Our custom at Blue Osa is to wait until the guests have served themselves first before lining up at the buffet table.

Leaving the Property

Anytime you are leaving the property you need to let someone know where you are going. If it is just to the beach for example, let someone know you are going to the beach. If you are going into town for dinner, let someone know you are going to town. Living in a remote rainforest jungle 11 km from town, we need to practice mindfulness in safety.

Spa Services

We definitely want to invite you to enjoy the spa. We invite you to make your own arrangements with the spa staff in terms of fees and payments. They will often give a discount to the volunteers, and sometimes may even do trades, particularly if you are a writer or photographer.

Electronics

We are in the tropics and next to the sea and many electronics do not hold up well. We have found that Macs hold up much better here than PC’s. MUCH BETTER! But please remember your electronics can fail when you come here, and will usually magically turn on when you leave. It doesn’t really happen that much, but it has happened and we want to let you know.

Just for your information, we only use Macs in our office.

Wi-fi and Internet

We generally have good wifi for being in the jungle. We do not have a lot of bandwidth and ask that you do any downloading at night when people are going to bed. NOT in the daytime.
While we do have great wifi, you do need to know that it can occasionally go out for a few days at a time. This is not a regular occurrence but can happen. If this does happen, you can usually go to town for a couple of hours at a time and catch up on what you need to do. If you are coming to Blue Osa with your own projects to work on, you should be aware of. And we do not promise consistent internet usage. We are in the jungle.

Positive Behavior

Blue Osa works towards being a positive communicative community – we don’t talk about things behind other’s backs and we do talk about things head on. Please bring things to our attention immediately so it can be addressed.

This avoids conflict, gossip and negativity in the future.

Going to Town

We are 11 km from Puerto Jimenez. We feel that it is important for you to know that we are this distance from town so that if you have needs there, it is not always easy to get there. However, there are usually cars going there all the time and you can usually get a ride. Our employees have motorcycles, and are usually happy to give you ride if you need one. There is also a “bus” that passes by three times a day. And you can always hitchhike.

You are a Volunteer

Please kindly remember that you are not a guest. You are a volunteer. We are so grateful for your assistance and all that you wish to add to the Blue Osa energy and life. Your service to us and our growing community is essential and we hope that your stay here will be as rewarding for you as it is for us. We look forward to having you come.

Open Volunteer Positions

Please read the descriptions below and when we might be look for them to be covered.

If you offer other services, or offer something we are not looking for, or are applying when the position is filled, please do not be offended if we do not respond to your email. We get at least 5-10 requests EVERYDAY for volunteering opportunities. We ONLY offer 3 – 5 volunteer positions at one time. We look for people who offer exactly what we are looking for and with the best skills.

And if you are looking for a vacation getaway, we suggest you use our reservation system to book one with us.

Positions Available

We are usually looking for writers who will give contributions to our blogs.

One of the main blogs is here. You may also write articles for submissions on other sites/magazines, as well write for Yogi Aaron on YogiAaron.com/blog

You should be able to:
– submit samples of your work.
– Can commit to three months, and possibly more.

You will:
– write weekly updates about life at Blue Osa, as well as contribute a a blog post in the week for the writers spot.
– research other yoga blogs / yoga publications and send article submissions about Yogi Aaron, Blue Osa, and the Osa Peninsula
– has media contacts and can send articles to propose to them / send out press releases
– fill in writing gaps for us

Being a yoga teacher is a huge plus! As such, you may be asked to teach some yoga.

When? Anytime

Blue Osa is seeking to fill one of our volunteer positions with a sales & marketing person who is ambitious, enthusiastic, career minded, individual, with a strong work ethic and a commitment to teamwork.

Blue Osa is working on expanding its network to include a corporate market, for the purpose of bringing corporate retreats to Blue Osa. We are looking for volunteers who can help us achieve this goal.

You are a great researcher, have experience in sales and marketing, takes initiative and is self managing.

Required Qualification:
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills
• Demonstrated experience working in sales or marketing team environment
• Strong organizational and follow-up skills
• Is not a complainer
• Is relentless
• has worked in the corporate world.

When?
Join our spa team in the peak season in Costa Rica.

We are currently looking to add an additional person to our spa team in the high season at Blue Osa. Our team consists of two people already, and we are looking for additional support. You would work approximately 15 to 25 hours a week. Be on call for 6 days a week.

You have experience in:
– Massage
– Facials
– Wraps
– Scrubs
– being a yoga teacher

A plus if you have experience in:
– Reiki
– Thai Massage
– Photography
– Videography

Your work duties may include occasional spa clean up.

Requirements:
– Minimum 3-month commitment to 4 to 6 months. (depends on what you would be able to arrive.)
– Marketing Experience
– Do research
– Spa experience
– Self-Direction, enthusiasm, takes initiative
– Comfortable speaking in front of people
– Work well in team/group environments
– Being a yoga teacher is preferable
– Non-smoker

What you will receive?

  • A stipend for every service you provide
  • Tips from the clients for services you provide
  • 3 meals cooked prepared daily
  • access to daily yoga classes (when available)
  • a private room in our volunteer quarters
  • a shared bathroom (shared with other volunteers)
  • laundry done for you one time week
  • free wi-fi (computer not provided)
  • taxi transportation to and from the airport on arrival and departure days
  • the open arms of a loving community
When? We are looking for gardeners starting sometime around July / August 2017

We are looking for a volunteer to donate 6 hours a day, 5 days a week to helping out in our organic garden. We also request weekly contributions to our blog about your experience in the garden. This person must be outgoing, present a strong work ethic, and be excited about contributing to our community. Although the gardening position is not customer service oriented, our garden volunteer must be comfortable and confident when dealing with customers and customer service issues.

Requirements:
Minimum 6-month commitment to 1 year
Fundamental knowledge of gardening: sprouting seeds, transplanting, composting, soil composition, weeding, mulching, crop rotation, seed saving and organic solutions to tropical gardening challenges
Experience and knowledge in Permaculture
Self-Direction, enthusiasm, takes initiative
Comfortable speaking in front of people (we offer a garden tour, led by our garden volunteer)
Minimum of entry level Spanish language
Works well in team/group environments
Being a yoga teacher is preferable
Non-smoker

When?
Throughout the year

(Please note if we do not respond it is most likely because we are not looking for anyone currently.)

We are looking for a volunteer to provide our kitchen staff (5 people) with extra support. The Blue Osa kitchen staff need an extra set of hands to help with clean up and meal preparation. Work will involve, but not always isolated to:

– Kitchen cleanup
– Dining room clean up – mopping, sweeping, clearing of tables
– cutting vegetables
– washing dishes
– some food prep
– make coffee, granola, yogurt, and other simple dishes.

You will be working in the kitchen for 30 hours a week. Our volunteers typically work 5 days a week with Saturdays and Sundays off. This could vary.

Requirements:
– Minimum 3 month commitment to 6 months
– Enthusiastic attitude
– Takes direction easily and in a welcoming way
– Comfortable speaking in front of people
– Minimum of entry level Spanish language knowledge
– Work well in team/group environments
– Being a yoga teacher is preferable but not required
– Non-smoker

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
~Mahatma Gandhi

Yoga Studio Rules


  • There are NO shoes or open cups allowed in the yoga space.
  • Make sure the closet door is closed when you are not using the space.
  • When using the sound system, take the towel off.
  • When finished using the space, turn off the power to the stereo.
  • Volunteers are more than welcome to use the yoga space when it is not being used.
  • Volunteers are NOT allowed to use the sound system in the yoga space unless there is a designated yoga class taking place. If there are any guests at Blue Osa who are not taking the class, the music must be kept at a low volume.
  • Volunteers must keep their yoga mats and yoga belongings in their rooms, and not in the yoga studio.
  • When using the yoga space, return all props and yoga items back to the proper space.

Yoga Mats

Please make sure that each guest who rents a mat either for the day or for the week that this gets written down on the bar sheet, so the office puts this information into the computer.

If you need a yoga mat, you will have one in your cabina. You are responsible for it. Please make sure it is cleaned for the next volunteer who comes to Blue Osa and leave it in your cabina. If there is no mat in your room, that is because the previous volunteer did not take care of theirs. You may ask us for another one, but we may not have one to provide you.

Do not leave your yoga mats in the yoga space.

When Conducting a Personal Yoga Retreat

1. On the day the guest arrives, please sit down with the guest for an intake. This process should take somewhere between 20 – 40 minutes. Sometimes it is nice to have lunch with the guest on their arrival. This is the time to:

Find out their goals for the personal yoga retreat.
What are the specific areas of focus they would like to work on? How much experience do they have?
Talk about their work, and how yoga can improve it.
Any injuries they might have.
Other areas of interest.

2. Designate times that the guest would like to practice. There are three options that we suggest:

One long practice every morning (a 2 1/2 hour to 3 hour practice).

One longer practice in the morning and one shorter practice in the afternoon. (Two 1 1/2 hour practices: One in the morning and one in the afternoon).

3. It is important to let the student know that these are the designated times to practice and the times you will be available. If they would like to cancel the session then they will forfeit the session. If they are late for the session, the yoga practice will be shorter (end at the designated time).

4. It is important to let them know that the intention for the personal yoga retreat is to help them develop healthy habits in the practice of yoga. To begin, encourage them to set regular times for practice.

5. If practice times run into meal times, speak to the kitchen staff about setting some food aside for the student when they are finished their practice.

6. You are not required to offer a yoga practice on the day of arrival and departure.The day of arrival is meant as an intake day. But you may if you both decide it would be a good idea.

The most important things when offering the personal customized yoga retreat are:

  • Customize it to the person’s needs.
  • Be consistent in the times you practice. This is a yoga week, not a personal vacation. Yoga practice is about setting good habits for spiritual development.
  • Have the person feel like they have connected to something deep and profound.
  • The student will more often than not have a deep and profound experience in the week.Do not be surprised if deep emotions surface, or a deep sense of gratitude is offered.

Daily Yoga Classes

  • All daily yoga classes we offer are 1 hour.
  • We only have daily yoga class when there are no groups at Blue Osa, or when we have some personal guests who are not able to take the yoga classes with the group.
  • The daily yoga class should be offered at either 9:00 am or 4:00 pm in the day.

The personal yoga retreat is a lot of work, and it can be not only a profound a experience for the student, but the teacher as well.

Packing List


There are some things you might want to bring and some things you might want to leave at home. But the

The first rule is to pack light. You will not need many cloths, and if you do bring a lot of cloths, you will not wear them and they will start to smell, mold, and possibly rot over time. (Please make sure you watch the video to get some tips.

We do not find much use for rain gear, but you might want to bring an umbrella. We provide them for our guests, but not for our volunteers.

  • Bathing Suits – Lots of these as you’ll want to spend your afternoons at the beach or in the pool. They also double as undergarments
  • Tank Tops – These are also important as shirts with sleeves can sometimes be too hot even if they are short sleeves. Most volunteers find it comfortable to have looser fitting clothing as well.
  • Exercise Clothes
  • Flip Flops or Tevas
  • Running/Hiking Shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Bandanas or Hats
  • Shorts
  • Passport
  • Water Bottle – You’ll drink water constantly here due to the humidity
  • Water Proof Bag
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • A Journal
  • Laptop
  • Shaving Cream – You can buy some in the village
  • Flashlight/Headlamp – Essential during any season but especially the rainy season due to the possibility of an increased amount of critters around the property
  • Pocket Med Kit – Mostly if you decide to go on hikes, but always handy!
  • E-reader or 1 or 2 books: E-readers are easier and weigh less but a good old fashion book is always nice too
  • All electronic charges
  • Any special medications, birth control or vitamins
  • Although you can refill medications in town, specific ones might not be available.
  • Spotify Premium – if you like listening to Spotify while you work, you’ll have to purchase the premium plan as the free version won’t work here.

Women – You Might Consider Bringing

  • Diva Cup – Easy to use and takes up less space than 3 months’ worth of tampons
  • Hair Ties – Probably a whole pack, these things disappear/break quite often
  • Skirts – if you like to wear them at home, you’ll enjoy one or two mid-thigh length skirts here. They are easy to get on and get off during the really hot days.
  • Dresses – Same as skirts, they are easy to put on and allow the wind in all the right places
  • Lots of conditioner, your hair will thank you.
  • Razors
  • Tweezers
  • Your own pen(s) Blue Osa is paperless and does not buy pens.

Things To Leave At Home

  • Towels
  • Bedding/Pillows etc.
  • Rain Jacket
  • Jackets…period.
  • Long Pants (Unless you plan on traveling north at some point, then maybe one pair)
  • Don’t bother bringing a ton of underwear, socks, bras
  • Rolling Suitcase. Get a good backpack, it makes the travel to Puerto Jimenez much easier.
  • Excessive Jewelry
  • Cancel your Pandora/Hulu Plus/Netflix accounts. They don’t work here as well and you’ll just be wasting money.
  • Dollars. Get a debit card where you can withdraw money without extra charges. Colones may be worth less than the dollar but if you pay in dollars you will end up paying more and getting your change in Colones anyway.

Do not apply to be a Volunteer If:

  • You are not ready for major life changes or do not adapt well to change.
  • You are looking for just a tropical vacation. (Yes, we are in the tropical jungle and we have lots of fun adventures, but we work very hard and the same will be expected from you.)
  • If you have trouble living in a remote location off the grid
  • If the idea of extreme heat bothers you. We do not have air conditioning and you will be working outdoors in the tropical heat.