Details & Itinerary

Experience the heart of Costa Rica, la Pura Vida. Maximize your service hours and cultural exchange opportunities with an extended homestay in a rural Costa Rican community. Practice your Spanish with local families and community members, roll up your sleeves for some meaningful service projects and pump up the adrenaline on a zip-line canopy tour through the rainforest.



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 learn more about Costa Rica, take a Latin dance class, and visit an organic 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!


On Day 4, we head off for our homestays in the mountainous interior of the country. While staying in a paired homestay (two students per home), we work on community development and environmental projects chosen by the community itself. Typical projects include: pouring the foundation for a community center, planting organic school gardens, painting and tiling a community kitchen, constructing a plant nursery, 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 entire community that includes field day competitions, art workshops, music, games, and more! Please see The Homestay Experience for more details 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 settings. We spend two full days taking surf lessons, taught by professional instructors. The wave conditions on this beach provide the perfect opportunity for all levels to hang ten!


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.

Want to continue your journey? Session 2 combines with our Costa Rica Sea Turtle Expedition program!

The Global Works chaperoned Group Flight departs from Houston (IAH) for this program. Airfare is not included the tuition. Please visit Dates & Tuition for group flight costs and Flight & Travel Arrangements for more information about travel days.

Service Projects


Plant organic gardens and construct school greenhouses.


Present English Language lessons to local community members

Community Development

Construct community facilities

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

Adventure & Cultural Activities

Tour an organic coffee farm

Zip-Line above the rainforest canopy

Learn to dance salsa and cumbia




Global Works Costa Rica participants spend 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.


Global Works has longstanding relationships with the communities where we place students and complete our service projects. Communities and homestay families are carefully selected and have hosted Global Works students in the past. The rural communities are located in the mountainous interior of the country and commonly consist of between 20-25 families, a community center, and a small store. All homes where students are housed are within walking distance of one another and close to the project work sites. Homes are humble in nature, typically constructed of concrete block or wood and are very 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.

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