Spanish immersion, community-driven service projects, and adrenaline pumping adventure! Over the course of a month, practice Spanish through immersive community service projects and homestays. Explore the incredible biological diversity of Costa Rica on an overnight rafting trip, help with reforestation efforts in the cloud forest, and “hang ten” at a surf camp on the Pacific Coast.



Our adventure begins in a San Jose Central Valley area Bed and Breakfast, where students get to know one another, establish both personal and group goals, and prepare themselves for the adventure ahead. Activities include team building exercises, visiting a sustainable coffee farm, and hiking the cloud forest near one of Costa Rica’s most spectacular volcanoes.


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.


We continue our exploration of Costa Rica’s southern region with a stay at an ecolodge within a biological research station in one of the most pristine areas of rainforest in Central America. We engage in focused workshops and projects while immersing ourselves in this biodiverse environment. 


We spend time volunteering with experts at a wildlife refuge and become familiar with efforts to conserve and rehabilitate Costa Rica’s wildlife species. We then go on an epic zip-line excursion to get our adrenaline pumping while seeing the forest canopy from high above!


Travel to south central Costa Rica to a community perched high in the mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean below. This community is unique in its beauty, community spirit, and economic initiatives. While living with local families, we learn about the entire life cycle of coffee production. The homestays allow us to practice Spanish and connect with new friends in the community. Evenings include cultural activities (dances, cooking classes, art projects) 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. 


The trip back to San Jose gives us time to share our memories before we fly home. We have a celebratory dinner and reflect upon our last three weeks together. We know we will never forget the beaches, rivers, surf, rainforest, mountains, and- most importantly- the people we have met!

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.

This program is currently on a Waitlist. To join the waitlist, please complete an application.

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.

Service Projects

Community Building & Infrastructure

Construct community facilities

Environment & Conservation

Work on erosion prevention projects with the Monterverde Conservation Association

Student Activities

Organize day camp activities for local elementary school children

Youth Education

Present English Language lessons to local community members

Adventure & Cultural Activities

Raft Costa Rica’s best white water

Surf world-class Pacific waves

Zip-line past the Arenal Volcano

Immerse yourself in Costa Rica's biodiversity

Learn to dance salsa and cumbia

Visit a local cheese farm




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.


In the La Fortuna area, we stay in a comfortable lodge located in a mountain valley. The lodge is locally owned and specializes in hosting teens and student groups. Rooms are for 2 to 4 students; each room has a private bathroom with hot water showers. Large group spaces located on the property are ideal for group activities.


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 ecolodge 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

My favorite part of this trip (although it is hard to pick I loved it all) was the homestay. I simply loved every bit of it. My family and the whole experience really affected me. I learned a lot about myself and hopefully built character. Cedral is full of loving people, I’m so grateful to have them all.

- Ashley L., Costa Rica

I was very pleased with the staff, the planning of the trip, the trip day coordination, and with our entire experience with Global Works. The trip leaders were outstanding.

- Linda B.-E., Parent of a Costa Rica Participant