- Listing Type: Summer Programs
- Destination: Costa Rica
- Program Delivery: Residential
- Provided By: Independent Provider
- Session Start: June, July, August
- Session Length: Other
- Entering Grade: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, PG, College
- Gender: Coed
- Category: Community Service
- Sub-Categories: Animals/Nature, Preserving the Environment, Environmental Science
- Selective: No
- Ages: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19+, 19
- Minimum Cost: $1,500 - $2,999
- Credit Awarded: No
Volunteer in Costa Rica on a project that is most needed at the time of your arrival. This could be beach cleanup, beautification projects, or other initiatives that improve the community. Relax after a hard day’s work at our beautiful Home Base. You’ll also have the chance to enjoy water sports, fun in the sun and other activities with your new friends from all over the world. Find out more!
Experience The Pure Life—Or Pura Vida—While Giving Back To A Rural Beach Community.
-Live in a coastal village near a beautiful beach
-Volunteer on educational or environmental development projects
-Go tubing down the Rio Negro
-Engage with locals and practice your Spanish around town
-Zipline through the forest
-Enjoy the ocean via catamaran and snorkel among marine life
You’ll live and work in a small beachside community where the ocean plays a huge role in daily life. There are many opportunities to serve the community here, and you’ll be working on a meaningful project based on what is most needed. For example, you may assist in environmental projects such as beach cleanup, planting native tree saplings, or creating signs to promote environmental awareness and sustainability. You could work on initiatives within local schools, such as improving classroom infrastructure or starting a school or community garden.
Living in an authentic community is a great way to learn about Costa Rican culture. Connect with the local people, learn to dance salsa and cumbia, taste delicious fruits, and try your hand at cooking local cuisine. Discuss current social issues in Costa Rica, including growing environmental concerns and the importance of ecotourism. You’ll also have opportunities to practice your Spanish or pick up new words with locals in the region.
Costa Rica is an adventurer’s dream! Cruise along Potrero Bay on a catamaran, go ziplining over tree canopies, and whitewater tube down a roaring river. Your location near the stunning Pacific coast allows for a variety of water sports and beach time, as well as the opportunity for impromptu soccer and field games. Take in breathtaking sunsets off the coast of pristine beaches.
This past summer, I went to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures. My program was called Beachside Service Adventure and consisted of 10 days in Parrita. There were about 60 people in my group (mostly girls only like 10 boys) and we were split up into mentor groups of like 8-10 ish.
M y group worked with a startup plant nursery which was amazing. We worked with two locals, Nicholas and Mau who's nursery it was, and spent our service time basically hardcore gardening in the rainforest. One day we were clearing the land for the nursery and we got to be super cool with machetes and hack through the jungle brush which was awesome. Other groups did stuff like paint a mural at a school, build a tire playground, plant trees at a farm, build a garden at a school, etc.
One of my favorite parts was our nightly mentor group talks. Since gla does focus a lot on leadership we did discussion groups about leadership in our lives and how we can be a leader in our community and we talked about globalization and the relationship between developed/developing countries and some economics so it was really cool to get kinda a crash course foreign policy and how it applies to us kinda thing. And we totally had to open our minds to new ideas which was cool
Honestly the best part was just being immersed in the culture like eating rice and beans and drinking pineapple juice we ate SO MUCH fruit it was amazing
I thought the GLA people were really cool like every program has to have a native who works as an advisor so we actually had two: one woman who has just finished up in the peace corps and one woman who was from Parrita. They were really organized like being at the airport was stressful at first but once you find the GLA people they take care of you the whole time which was great and my parents weren't stressed at all
I would recommend on program length so I did a 10 day but I would recommend the 14 day ones just cause I really started to form close bonds right as we left and didn't really get the chance to develop those friendships. If you have any interest in the peace corps or mission work it's so great cause a lot of the staff did the peace corps or at least extensive volunteering so you get tons of cool people to ask lots of questions.
If you're nervous about doing GLA I'd definitely recommend the programs in Latin America/Caribbean. I know my parents were a lot happier knowing I was in the same time zone and it was easy to call me and my flight wasn't too bad. Plus it's less of a culture shock than, say, Thailand. I would definitely say whatever program you do, find someone who did that one before because there were a lot of confusing things just cause they can only fit so much in a brochure.
One of the lasting effects of GLA on my life is I feel a lot more down to earth and focused on nature and being in the present and I worry way less about social media or texting or television now which is nice.
-Miranda Wilson, GLA Ambassador