A Summer Service Adventure Working with Children In Costa Rica!

Experience the heart of Costa Rica, ‘la Pura Vida’. Maximize your community service hours and Spanish language immersion opportunities with community development projects and environmental service work. Practice your Spanish while living with local community members, roll up your sleeves for some meaningful community service projects in local schools, and pump up the adrenaline on a zip-line canopy tour and a Pacific surf excursion.



Our experience begins in our base lodge located 20 km outside of La Fortuna, where students and leaders get to know one another and establish goals for the weeks ahead. Here, we visit an organic dairy farm. A zip-line excursion allows a unique view of the rainforest canopy from high above! We also participate in some informal Spanish games and lessons, so please come with a desire to use your Spanish!


It’s time to embark on a thrilling overnight rafting adventure on the Pacuare River, one of the world’s most beautiful and biodiverse waterways. We spend the night along the river at a permanent camp utilized by the rafting outfitters.


While living in a local community, we work on education, community, and environment-focused projects. Typical projects include: pouring the foundation for a community center, planting organic school gardens, painting and tiling a community kitchen, teaching English lessons, or completing a sidewalk around the town square. One of our most popular projects is prepping and leading a “Día de Actividades” – an event for the community’s children (and adults, too!) that includes field day competitions, art workshops, music, games, and more! In the afternoons, we play soccer games and spend time with children. Evenings include cultural activities (such as dances or cooking classes) and games with our host community.

Please see The Homestay Experience for more information on how we select our homestay communities and families!


Time to hit the beach! We travel to the Pacific Coast, famous for its unique combination of rainforest and ocean. We challenge ourselves with surf lessons taught by energetic local professional instructors. The wave conditions on this beach provide the perfect opportunity for all levels to hang ten! We will also adventure to a picturesque local beach and a beautiful waterfall. We have the unique opportunity to spot humpback whales as they congregate in the warm waters of the Pacific. 


As we say goodbye to our new friends and family, our trip back to the Central Valley gives us time to share our memories before we fly home. During a celebratory dinner and awards ceremony in a vivacious restaurant setting, we reflect upon our time together. We recognize that Costa Rica, our service projects, and our new friends have made a lasting impression.

When flights become available, please contact us for the latest airfare pricing or visit our Flight & Travel Arrangements page for more information about travel days.

Please note that this itinerary is subject to change.

Participants may be subject to additional expenses related to entry requirements to your destination and/or re-entry to your home country. Global Works does not cover these expenses. Additional costs may include, but are not limited to passports, visas, baggage fees, insurance, or other.

Tech Free Programs:

Global Works does not allow phones/internet-capable devices on our summer programs. We believe this enhances group cohesion and allows students to be fully present to their experience.

Community Service Projects

Youth Education Volunteering

Present English Language lessons to local community school children

Community Building & Infrastructure

Construct community facilities

Student Activities

Plan, organize, and run a field day for elementary school students

Environment & Conservation

Engage in environmental service projects and research activities in a biological research station

Adventure & Cultural Activities

Zip-Line above the rainforest canopy

Surf world-class Pacific waves


Visit an organic dairy farm

Learn to dance Salsa and Cumbia

Immerse yourself in Costa Rica's biodiversity




Global Works Costa Rica participants spend the first and final days of the program in a small, comfortable lodge located in the mountains surrounding the capital of San Jose. The lodge is locally owned and specializes in hosting student groups. It is dorm style with 4 to 6 students sleeping in bunk beds; each room has a private bathroom with hot water showers. Large group spaces located on the property are ideal for group orientation, dance lessons, and ice-breaker activities.


Our two cloud forest lodges are located within the boundary of the largest private ecological reserve in the country, The Children’s Eternal Rainforest (Bosque Eterno de los Niños). To reach the lodges, students complete an attainable hike through primary cloud forest and are rewarded with rustic yet comfortable eco-lodges built to exist in harmony with the natural surroundings. Both lodges offer large rooms with bunk-beds and private bathrooms. A large balcony affords expansive views of surrounding volcanoes and the hammocks provide an unbeatable spot to sip coffee and relax after a long day of service work.


Global Works has longstanding relationships with the communities where we place students and complete our service projects. All homes where students are housed are within walking distance of one another and close to the project work site. Homes are humble in nature, typically constructed of concrete blocks; they are clean and inviting. Students will have a private room within the home and the room is shared between two Global Works students. All homes have bathrooms complete with a flush toilet and a shower. Meals are prepared by the homestay families and families are trained in proper food preparation and food handling.


Participants stay at an eco-lodge in southern Costa Rica located just steps from the beaches of Marino Ballena National Park. Accommodations are traditional hotel-style rooms shared by two to four students. The lodge is styled with an onsite swimming pool, hammocks, and common areas.

Reviews & Testimonials

This trip taught me important values such as courage, friendship, and laughter.

- Rachael K., Costa Rica Participant

It has allowed me to think deeper on rural life and the possibilities of sustainability.

- Sunny S., Costa Rica Participant