In Costa Rica, we'll dig deep into powerful topics of great importance to Ticos: sustainable development, environmental management, and green living. On a personal note, as our journey begins its final leg, we'll be taking stock of what we've learned across three countries and how it's changed the way we view the world and ourselves. You'll also have the opportunity to perfect the Spanish you just learned in Guatemala by practicing with our host families and local Young Dreamers. Already a Spanish speaker? You'll have full access to the community and its amazing people.
"I see the volunteers develop as leaders and I see them develop an appreciation for the simple way of living that they experience in Providencia."
— Jonathan Cerdas, Costa Rica Program Director
For the final leg of our journey, you can look forward to a warm welcome from our host families in Providencia and San Pedro, spending 6 weeks in each village! Many have been hosting our groups for years, and all of our host families have gone through training and had their homes vetted by our staff for health and safety.
In this beautiful forest setting, you'll enjoy your own bed in a shared room and drink clean water straight from the tap — but it's sitting down with your host family for simple, home-cooked meals and friendly conversation that really make your stay special. Before you know it, you'll feel like part of the family yourself! Play cards around the table, practice your Spanish, and enjoy locally grown coffee with the most hospitable people you'll ever encounter.
- Home stay
- 3 meals a day
- Individual rooms
- Laundry service
- Hospitable, fun-loving families
In Costa Rica, we'll have a special environmental focus. You might help with converting conventional coffee farms to organic, or support farmers who are becoming more ecologically friendly and sustainable and moving to crops that work together synergistically. You might get hands-on with biodiesel, manufacturing it and expanding its use. You'll likely also help beautify local schools with mural design and library creation, and pitch in on infrastructure development by helping with the road construction that makes crucial access to isolated communities possible.
- Organic coffee farming
- Sustainable development
- Infrastructure improvement
- Coordinate games & activities for kids
You don't have to be a coffee fiend to enjoy a tour of a coffee plantation...but it helps! Coffee is central to the economy in Costa Rica, and it's a fascinating topic on many levels. We'll go to a school carnival and church festivals, play tug of war and compete in sack races with our host families, make tamales, and get to know the local young people who are part of the Young Dreamer Network. Pura Vida is a popular phrase that means "pure life" — a wonderful description of the positive vibe here!
"The families were so nice and accommodating – in Costa Rica, they made them lunches in the morning, played cards with them in the evening. The volunteers really felt like they were a part of the community and got to know the people where they were helping."
— LaDonna Aronoff, parent
Cultural Immersion Activities
- Soccer matches
- Cooking lessons
- Family picnics
- Music and dance
- Coffee tours
We'll take a little break from the home stays to spend the night somewhere a bit less familiar: a jungle lodge in the rainforest. We'll also visit Manuel Antonio National Park, Corcobado, Arenal, the Carribean Coast, Tamarindo and much more. You'll hike through the cloud forest, swim below a waterfall and observe sloths and monkeys in their natural habitat.
- Manuel Antonio