Green countryside and breathtaking sights are what Costa Rica is all about. One of the most biodiverse and ecologically rich countries, Costa Rica is home to lush rainforests and a wide array of flora and fauna. The country has gone to great lengths to preserve these natural habitats. Costa Rica is also one of the most cosmopolitan countries in the region with diverse cultural heritage and traditions drawing from many countries all over Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The country is considered an advanced developing country, one of the most stable democracies in Latin America, and a leader in environmental sustainability. However, like any emerging economy, opportunities are not always evenly distributed and many of the smaller villages and more remote regions of the country are much less developed. You have the opportunity to make a very real and immediate impact working in Costa Rica, actively fostering new development in their towns, schools, and coffee plantations!
Our region of focus is called Dota (known locally as Los Santos). Dota is a mountainous, lush, tropical environment full of wildlife and foliage, approximately three hours south of San Jose. The chief source of income throughout the region is coffee. Our service work will focus on sustainable development and social entrepreneurship. As part of our service work, we'll learn about the entire supply chain of the coffee business from seed to plant to factory to cup. We'll learn about the farmers, the pickers, the cooperatives, the roasters all the way to the baristas. We'll also learn about local entrepreneurs who are developing low-impact eco-tourism as well as ecological and sustainable farming programs.
What You Will Remember...
“Pura vida” is so much more than a greeting, though often heard as such. It is an optimism embraced wholeheartedly. It is the belief that life is short, and generally good. No matter how much or how little we have in life, we can all choose to embrace the moment and live life fully. There is a reason Costa Rica is the most peaceful country on the planet!
Colorful birds, noisy monkeys, prowling cats, exotic frogs, sedentary sloths and so much more! The striking landscapes include dense tropical jungles, high mountainous cloud forests, active volcanoes, rich reefs, and expansive coastlines along the Pacific and the Caribbean. A highlight is zip-lining through the rain forest on a canopy tour, getting a monkey’s eye view!
The remote village of Providencia makes do with what they have out of economic & environmental necessity. Creative ingenuity and the hard work of many have generated viable businesses in organic coffee, natural foods, and ecotourism as well as a successful recycling center. You'll help the community grow these projects, ensuring an even brighter future.
Projects are based on community needs and vary from trip to trip. Here
are examples from recent trips.
A long day's work on the coffee farm
"Green construction" at the recycling center
Feeding a rich organic compost
Building a school bench from re-used plastic
Paving a road to enable sustainable farming
Making new trails in the cloud forest
Recess play with children at the local school
In addition to volunteering, you will have time to travel and explore
some of the many highlights the country has to offer.
Bienvenidos! Welcome dinner on the first night
Waterfall in Providencia de Dota
A curious observer in Manuel Antonio Nat. Park
Rafting in River Pacuare
Learning to make tortillas
Ziplining through the rain forest
Surfing at Dominical
Enjoying a picnic lunch with host families
Making traditional vegetable soup for group dinner
4x4ing to Manuel Antonio National Park
Ecolodge in San Gerardo de Dota
Humid group hike one afternoon
Cloud Forest in Providencia
An outcome worth the hike!
Check out our upcoming trips to Costa Rica:
I felt immersed in the town of Providencia and with my host family. I was warmly welcomed by the Young Dreamers and their families. I learned so much while exploring the area.
This was one of the best experiences I've ever had. It was amazing to be immersed in the culture and meet such wonderful people. Everyone was so kind and welcoming. It was also great to know that I was making an impact on something important.
Being around such passionate people who were driven to make a positive influence in our society was refreshing and enlightening. Being immersed into such a beautiful and warmhearted culture taught me so much, and I am very grateful for my experience.
It gave me a whole new perspective on life. I want to be more involved and help more people around the world. I hope to be able to go on more Dream Volunteers trips in the near future.