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    Carpe Diem Education | Central America Semester: Sustainability & Spanish Immersion

    Carpe Diem Education | Central America Semester: Sustainability & Spanish Immersion


    • Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Destinations: Costa Rica, Guatemala
    • Credit Awarded: College
    • Program Length: Semester
    • Start Month: February, September
    • Category: Travel/Cultural Immersion
    • Selective: No
    • Gender: Coed
    • Ages: 17, 18, 19+, 19
    • Housing: Homestay, Other, Tents
    • Application Fee: $100
    • Accreditation: Gap Year Association - Program
    • Affiliation: Gap Year Association
    • Financial Aid: Grants/Scholarships, Other, Payment Terms
    • Minimum Cost: $10,000 - $20,000
    • Call: (877) 285-1808
    • Meeting: Schedule a Meeting
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    Venture through Guatemala and Costa Rica, exploring lush tropical rainforests, towering volcanoes, steep-sided mountains, and extended coastlines. Embrace the spirit of pura vida and learn from the unique crossover of individuals who call these nations home. Living alongside indigenous communities and their contemporaries, delve into opportunities to explore social justice, sustainability, and the influence of colonization.

    From the Sierra Madre mountains of interior Guatemala, to the sea turtle havens on the coast; from the tranquility and splendor of Lago Atitlán and her surrounding volcanoes, to the breathtaking coral reefs offshore, Carpe Diem Education explores the merging complexities of socio-political realities with the hope of a more sustainable future. Cap your new knowledge with improved Spanish, honed during your homestay experience, and outdoor skills learned from the many treks, hikes, and adventure activities available in the region.

    • Support sustainability efforts: Work with a small NGO on environmental justice, tree planting, and bringing back native species
    • Improve your Spanish: Engage in immersive Spanish classes and put your knowledge to the test during homestays within the community
    • Adventure outdoors: Hike, raft, trek, and even earn your Scuba Certification while exploring the natural beauty of the region
    • Live and learn: Stay on a family farm in Costa Rica, learning from your hosts about permaculture and traditional chocolate
    • Build it yourself: In a community-directed project, work with natural builders to support their efforts to construct with recycled materials

    Cost and Session Information

    Price Details
    Program tuition includes all food, accommodations, scheduled program activities, and international travel insurance for the duration of the program. Keep in mind you need to budget for international airfare and spending money. International airfare estimated at $1200 – $1500.

    What's Included
    Airport Transfers 
    Travel Insurance

    What's Not Included
    Some Equipment


    • Carpe Diem was incredible!! It was exactly what I needed after graduating high school and being tired of the traditional educational model. I went on the Central America program and I learned so much and had a fantastic time. I loved the home stays, the Spanish lessons, the trek, my instructors and my group. Each came with a few challenges but only the healthy kind and by the end of the trip I wasn't ready to go home. Being home afterwards I am filled with a sense of gratitude that I got to go and of wonder because I really feel that I became a different, better, braver version of myself during the program. I bonded well with my group and connected to the curriculum and to the places we stayed. I am a little surprised to say that I am a big fan of the no cell phones policy because I felt that it gave me fewer opportunities to be homesick and more opportunities to connect with my group mates. Before the trip I considered myself an introvert and I was worried that I might not get enough time to myself. By the end I didn't want to be alone because I loved my group so much: best possible outcome. I would highly recommend Carpe Diem to students who are interested in alternative education and in learning about other cultures. I would definitely recommend the Central America program to anyone who is interested in polishing their Spanish if you feel that your high school Spanish classes aren't doing you justice. Choosing Carpe Diem is one of the best decisions I have ever made and I hope that if you choose Carpe that you'll feel the same.

      - Lucia - December 12, 2019
    • I had an amazing time on this trip, from seeing so many new places and working with so many cool organizations to meeting people I know I will stay in contact with for life. This program taught me how to question the way I live my life by pushing myself out of my comfort zone and always being open to learning more. Learning Spanish throughout the trip also greatly helped with being able to feel like we were really working with the communities rather than just passing by like tourists. We were able to talk to so many interesting people along the way such as Guatemalan guerrilla fighters which gave us new perspectives on the history and culture we were learning. Homestays were my favorite because all of the families were very welcoming and patient with our many questions and difficulties speaking Spanish. This was a trip I will never forget and I would very highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about joining!

      - Annika - December 11, 2019