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Whether your version of Pura Vida includes surfing or scaling mountains, howler monkeys or hummingbirds, coffee or cocoa, camping or canyoning -- alright, you get our point -- well, you'll find it here in Costa Rica. A worldwide leader in ecotourism, Costa Rica is known for its rich biodiversity, myriad ecosystems, and not to mention its warm and welcoming people.
While this incredible environmental richness is a national treasure, it also brings with it some interesting social and economic challenges, such as an increasing percentage of regional immigration. Costa Rica's reputation for social stability, along with its free education and universal healthcare, has drawn the attention of international trading partners, as well as immigrants from other Central American countries seeking better lives. As the economy changes, so do traditional social structures, which abandon vulnerable populations and leave them little access to healthcare, education, or social services.
Know Before You Go
Volunteering at an orphanage is an important responsibility. Read these tips before choosing a program.
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