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.
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
This is a non-paying position. It is a volunteer position. If you ask, we will immediately discontinue any correspondence.
We will indicate the positions we are looking to fill and when we are looking to fill them by.
Only Specific Skillsets
Please do not email us telling us about the skills you have that we are not looking for.
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.
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
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.
Monday to Friday
Morning 7:00 AM to 10:00/10:30 AM
12:00 PM until 3:30 PM (this includes 1/2 hour for snack)
Dinner – 15 – 30 mins seva
Breakfast Between 7:30/8:00/8:30 AM
Morning until 12:00 PM
1:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Dinner – 15 – 30 mins seva
Morning 6:30 AM to 10:00 AM/10:30 AM
11:00 AM to 12:30 AM
Afternoon for one hour
Dinner – 15 – 30 mins seva
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
Hours are given at arrival and often will change from week to week.
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.
During my time at Blue Osa, I will do my best to be 100% accountable for my experience. I am choosing to believe that I attract that which occurs around me and to me. This belief will prompt me to take ownership of both the good and the uncomfortable and to mindfully choose how I am going to respond externally and internally to the event. I am choosing to embrace the idea that my inner story is of my own design and that my external responses affect those around me. I am choosing to be a force for good both with others and with myself.
Sex, fraternization and private time of any kind with guests and employees is strictly forbidden. This is a non-negotiable. 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. Any time with guests/employees must be done in public areas, in full view of other guests/employees.
We also have a zero tolerance for sexual harassment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At this particular time, Adam and Aaron are still discussing dress code for volunteers. However, we do expect all volunteers to 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 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 Blue Osa or given a severe warning:
- If you are taking pictures.
- You need to get a guest something from the kitchen and there are NO staff available.
- If you are invited into the kitchen to work/help out.
- You are cooking with Marie or the staff and/or taking cooking lessons.
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 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. We are not trying to keep tabs on you or care what you do in your free time. We are just concerned about your safety.
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.
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.
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.
While our employees have motorcycles, they are NOT permitted to give any rides to guests or volunteers. 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.
UNLESS YOU EMAIl US REGARDING THE CHEF POSITION + GARDENER, WE WILL NOT BE RESPONDING TO YOUR EMAIL.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
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.
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.
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.
Women – You Might Consider Bringing
Things To Leave At Home
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.