A Community Service Based Summer Program for Middle School Students!

Experience Costa Rica’s ‘La Pura Vida’ with this program designed to introduce intrepid middle school students to international community service work and adventure travel! Get to know your Tico neighbors through local volunteer projects while staying at a group style ecolodge tucked away in a rainforest setting. Work with animals at a wildlife refuge center while practicing your Spanish and having a blast. Then, spend two days on the Pacific Coast taking surf lessons from energetic local professional instructors- fun for all levels!



The trip begins in our San Jose Central Valley base where our middle school students get to know one another, establish goals, and begin to immerse into the Costa Rican lifestyle. Activities include team building exercises and an awesome one-day rafting adventure. We also participate in some informal Spanish games and lessons, so please come with a desire to practice your Spanish!


While staying in our group lodge, we partner with our local hosts on community service and environmental projects chosen by the community itself. The community service projects are planned in coordination with local leadership and may 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. We also join in the daily lives of community members as we play soccer games, visit a dairy farm, learn to prepare tasty local dishes, and participate in traditional games and dancing.


We visit a wildlife sanctuary to take a tour to see many of the animals native to Costa Rica. We have the opportunity to volunteer here with animal focused projects, including preparing and distributing meals. We stop for an out of this world zip-lining adventure that takes us soaring above the lush jungle with vast views! We will also adventure to a picturesque waterfall.


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 enjoying the beach and taking surf lessons, taught by professional instructors. The wave conditions on this beach provide the perfect opportunity for all levels to hang ten! We wrap up our trip with a celebratory dinner and awards ceremony at an authentic, local restaurant to reflect upon our time together.


We head off from this stunning oasis to fly home. 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.

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

Community Building & Infrastructure

Construct community facilities

Education Community Service

Present English Language lessons to local community members

Student Volunteering

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

Environmental Service Projects

Volunteer at a wildlife reserve

Adventure & Cultural Activities

Surf world-class Pacific waves!

Visit a local cheese farm

Swim under a waterfall in a Costa Rican rainforest

Zip-line above the rainforest canopy




Global Works Costa Rica participants spend the beginning 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 teens and 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.


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 an ideal spot for group activities.


Participants stay at an eco-lodge built at the edge of the jungle and the beach surrounded by a spectacular wildlife refuge. Accommodations are roomy cabins shared by 4 to 6 students and the lodge is styled with an onsite swimming pool, hammocks, common areas, and outdoor palapa style eating areas.

Reviews & Testimonials

Our daughter had a wonderful time on the Costa Rica trip this summer. I can see how the Global Works program impacted her on a daily basis and am thrilled for her. Global Works was terrific, and I am happy to tell anybody that would like to listen.

- Kendra L., Mother of Emma S., Costa Rica Participant

This trip has totally changed the way I think of myself and others and it has really made me want to be more a part of community service and traveling around the world and meeting new people and learning!

- Vera P-R., Costa Rica Participant