SUMMER SERVICE AND SPANISH IMMERSION IN COSTA RICA

Spanish immersion, community-driven service projects, and adrenaline pumping adventure…this trip has it all! Over the course of a month, practice Spanish and learn cultural norms and customs through immersive community service projects and homestay. Explore the incredible geographic diversity of Costa Rica while on an overnight rafting trip, help with reforestation efforts in the cloud forest, and “hang ten” at a surf camp on the Pacific Coast

Itinerary

DAYS 1-2: ORIENTATION & FARM TOUR

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, commercial, coffee farm, and hiking the cloudforest near one of Costa Rica’s most spectacular volcanos.

DAYS 3-5: OVERNIGHT RAFTING ADVENTURE

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

DAYS 6-9: CLOUDFOREST RESEARCH STATION

We continue our exploration of the southern region in Costa Rica with a visit to an ecolodge and biological research station, one of the most pristine areas of rainforest in Central America.  Here we engage in workshops and projects while immersing ourselves in this biodiverse environment.

DAYS 10-12: WILDLIFE REFUGE & ZIP-LINE

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, as we get our adrenaline pumping while seeing the forest canopy from high above!

DAYS 13-20: HOMESTAY & COMMUNITY BASED COFFEE COOPERATIVE

Travel to south central Costa Rica to a community perched high in the mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean below.  This community is unique in it’s beauty, community spirit, and economic initiatives.  Here, the economy primarily revolves around a successful community based, coffee cooperative.  While living with local families, we learn about the entire life cycle of coffee production.   The homestay allows us to practice Spanish, and connect with new friends in the town. 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!

DAYS 21-23: PACIFIC COAST SURF CAMP

Time to hit the beach! We travel to the Pacific Coast, famous for its unique combination of rainforest and ocean settings. For two days, we challenge ourselves with surf or stand-up paddle board lessons, taught by professional instructors. The wave conditions on this beach provide the perfect opportunity for all levels to hang ten!

DAYS 24-25: TRAVEL HOME

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!

Global Works offers A chaperoned Group Flight for this program. Airfare is not included in the tuition. Please contact us for the latest airfare pricing or visit our Flight & Travel Arrangements page for more information about travel days.

Please note that, given the unprecedented nature of travel currently, 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, COVID tests, insurance, or other. See our Covid-19 FAQ’s for more information.   The most up to date requirements can be found via links on your login page on the Flight and Travel Day Instruction form after enrollment.

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

Gallery

Accommodations

SAN JOSE

Global Works Costa Rica participant spends the first and final days of the program in a small and 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 an ideal spot for group orientation, dance lessons, and ice-breaker activities.

MONTEVERDE ECOLODGE

This off the grid field station, nestled in the cloudforest, provides comfortable bunk style beds in groups of 3-4. 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. Meals are provided for us by the station staff.

WILDLIFE REFUGE

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 2 to 4 student; each room has a private bathroom with hot water showers. Large group spaces located on the property are an ideal spot for group orientation, dance lessons, and ice-breaker activities.

HOMESTAY IN LOCAL COMMUNITY

Global Works has longstanding relationships with the communities where we place students and complete our service projects. This rural communities are located in the mountainous interior of the country where the primary economic driver is a coffee cooperative. 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 and 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.

PACIFIC COAST SURF-CAMP

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

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