Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ about Montezuma and Costa Rica:

Where is Costa Rica? Costa Rica is a country located in Central America between the countries of Nicaragua and Panama. It is border by the both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Where in Costa Rica is Montezuma? Montezuma is located on the southern tip of the Nicoya Penisula overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

What languages are spoken in Costa Rica? The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish, however due to the growing tourism industry English is often spoken especially by those catering to tourists. Some basic knowledge of Spanish is helpful and recommended when traveling to Costa Rica, but it is not necessary.

Is Montezuma safe? Yes, Montezuma is very safe, but like everywhere in the world you must be smart with your personal belongings. Don’t travel with expensive items that are difficult to replace. There are internet cafes in town, so leave your computer at home.

Why go to Montezuma? Montezuma mixes the ability to experience local culture with plenty of activities for travelers. The location of Montezuma makes it perfect for travelers who want to relax on the beach or for those who always want to have something to do. It’s the best of both worlds.


FAQ about Volunteering at Proyecto Montezuma:

Do I need to speak Spanish to volunteer at Proyecto Montezuma? No.  Although speaking Spanish would be an asset, it is definitely not a requirement. There are bilingual staff to assist you with any problems you may encounter while teaching. We highly recommend joining our Spanish Immersion classes to maximize your ability to communicate with locals.

Do I need to have a certificate to volunteer teach at Proyecto Montezuma? No. You may volunteer to teach English without any certification. You will work with a certified TEFL teacher and they will assist you with lesson planning and managing your classes. If you are interested in becoming TEFL certified, please check out our TEFL tab!

What do I do if I want to volunteer to teach something other than English? There are many educational topics that would be an asset to the local community. Please contact us and share with us what type of class/lessons you’d like to teach and we can see if this would fit well into our setting.  In the past volunteers have taught health classes, nutrition classes, as well as arts/music classes.  It is not necessary to speak Spanish to teach a class.

I’m worried because I’ve never taught before. Will this be a problem? Don’t worry! The Proyecto Montezuma staff is there to guide you in your volunteer experience!

Are there any other types of volunteer opportunities besides teaching? Yes.  Proyecto Montezuma is very much engaged in the community. Because of this they have often partnered with community groups and organizations to bring in volunteers to these much needed areas.  In the past volunteers have also worked in conservation roles and at the local medical clinic.

Where will I stay while volunteering? Proyecto Montezuma operates a Lodge overlooking the beautiful Pacific ocean. The natural rock pools and small isolated beach, found just beyond the backyard, provides the perfect opportunity to take in nature and get some R&R.  It is a 10 minute walk to the center of town. The backyard of the Lodge also serves as an area where classes can be held.  The Lodge consists of three types of rooms – shared, private with shared bath (1-2 people max per room), and private room with private bath.  Rooms are lodge style, simple and spacious and individually locking. Rooms are cleaned by maid service once a week.  Linens, towels and pillows are included, but toiletries are not.


FAQ about TEFL:

What does TEFL stand for?  TEFL stands for “Teaching English as a Foreign Language.”

Why Teach English?  Teaching English is a challenging and rewarding opportunity and the means to attaining numerous goals. It enables those who want more than a superficial view of a country to find work so they can settle in for a longer stay. Individuals who have lived overseas are able to offer an international perspective that is valuable both in the classroom and the professional world. If you choose to teach English in English speaking countries, you can make a difference by teaching individuals whose personal, academic or professional lives will be enhanced by the skills acquired in your classes. The cultural awareness gained by living and working in another part of the world, or with individuals coming from other cultures, will be invaluable.

Are there really any ESL jobs for me?  Yes, there are! Rightly or wrongly, the whole world wants to learn English. People everywhere, especially young people, are convinced that speaking English is the key to a successful career. Many governments now mandate English language study in elementary schools, high schools and higher-learning institutions. Worldwide, there are many more ESL (English as a Second Language) jobs than there are native-speaking EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers to fill them.

I speak English perfectly well. Why do I need a certificate to get a job?  In the past, especially in countries that were cut off from a supply of native English speakers, any American could simply ask for a job teaching English and be given one. Today, thankfully, school administrators are more particular about the qualifications of the individuals they hire. Being a native speaker of English does not automatically mean one possesses the ability to teach the language. Teaching English is a challenging job that requires not only creativity, patience, and intellectual curiosity, but also an understanding of English grammar and knowledge of instructional techniques. Your Proyecto TEFL certificate shows prospective employers that you possess the professional tools to teach English successfully. Not only will you be a more attractive candidate to employers, but your skills, knowledge and teaching experience will make you more comfortable, confident and effective in the classroom.

What if English is not my mother-tongue?  If you have an internationally-recognized Proyecto TEFL certificate, not being a native speaker should not be a problem. One of the entrance requirements for Proyecto TEFL’s course is the ability to speak and write English fluently. Thus native and non-native English speakers are welcomed as an asset.

What topics will be covered?  The program will prepare you to teach listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar while using only English in the classroom. You will master the art of teaching English by completing the following modules:

  • Module 1- Second Language Acquisition
  • Module 2-The Specialized Brain
  • Module 3- Language Aptitude and Motivation
  • Module 4- Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences
  • Module 5- The Four Skills
  • Module 6- Instructional Methodologies
  • Module 7- Lesson Planning
  • Module 8- Classroom Management
  • Module 9- What If ____?
  • Module 10- Practice Teaching and Feedback

You will have the chance to apply your new skills in your practice teaching sessions with real ESL students.

Is Proyecto TEFL Certified?  Our TEFL Certificate is a 120 hour certificate course including 60+ hours of hands on instruction.  Your teaching experience will range from preschoolers to adults and once completed, you will be formally trained in effective ESL, TESOL and TEFL teaching methodologies.

When do I need to pay?  Payments should be received prior to your arrival, although exceptions can be made for extreme circumstances.

How do I get around the Nicoya Peninsula?  It is possible to visit towns surrounding Montezuma on foot or by bike, but taking the public bus is a cheap and viable option. Buses travel to Cabuya and Cobano every two hours for less than one dollar a trip. Taxis are a slightly more expensive option. ATVs can be rented out for $80 per day for visitors looking for an adventurous, independent way to travel around the Nicoya Peninsula.

Is theft an issue around Montezuma?  Some of the beachfront hotels around Montezuma are known to experience high petty theft, however there have been no such incidents around Proyecto Lodge. In general, Montezuma is a very safe area with little crime. As long as you travel smart, you won’t have any problems.

Can I access my bank account from Montezuma?  Credit cards are accepted for larger purchases, however having cash on hand is always a good idea. The ATM in Montezuma is known for eating customers’ credit cards, so be sure to grab it as soon as the machine returns it to you. Otherwise, you might have to wait a week or two until the bank comes to retrieve it. Your safest bet for reliable access to cash is the bank in Cobano, which is a 20 minute bus ride from Montezuma.