Summer and Spring Break Volunteer Programs in Costa Rica
99% Rating
(54 Reviews)

Summer and Spring Break Volunteer Programs in Costa Rica

Program Highlight!

Explore the intersection of modern medicine and indigenous wisdom as you lend a hand to community health projects on our Bali: Global Health Initiative™ program.

Five unique ecosystems, one adventure. Come join us in Costa Rica to volunteer and learn first hand about conservation. GLA offers multiple Service Learning Adventures in Costa Rica, from animal and environmental conservation, to language immersion, sports, and children programs.

• Spring Break Sea Turtle Initiative: Turn your passion for wildlife conservation into an adventure you'll never forget.
• Animal Rescue Project: Rescue and rehabilitate abandoned and injured animals.
• Spanish Service Adventure: Improve your Spanish skills.
• The Initiative for Children: Take on projects that benefit local youth.
• Empowering Rainforest Communities™: Empower communities that depend on the rainforest to thrive.
• Protecting the Pacific: Volunteer on the Pacific coast.
• Surf & Sports Service Adventure: Share your passion for sports and make a difference.
• The Sea Turtle Initiative: Get up-close and personal with the endangered species.
• Soccer Beyond Borders: Organize soccer camps for kids.

Costa Rica
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
Spring Break
Starting Price
Price Details

Includes: All meals and purified water, Lodging in GLA Home-Base, All excursions and activities, 24-hour emergency hotline, Airport Transportation, Local Transportation, Pre-departure Orientation, Travel, medical and evacuation insurance, Phone call home upon arrival.

Questions & Answers

This program is incredible! I was able to attend it this past summer and it gave me a whole new perspective. Some tips on saving up for the trip is to start a "Go fund me" account and asking relatives to donate money toward that for birthdays or other holidays instead of giving gifts. Also, I've started putting half of my pay checks into a savings account, which adds up really quickly! If you have...
While in Costa Rica, I felt extremely safe and so did everyone in my group! We were immediately welcomed into the country by our mentors and we found them easily after getting off the plane. In both of the places we stayed, everyone was extremely friendly and confident in what they were doing. Our trip was well planned and organized as well. I never doubted that I was safe which allowed me (and...
In my program, there were 14 girls. Although I was initially worried that there were only girls in my group, it made the trip even better! We had an amazing dynamic and all of us immediately bonded. By the end of the trip, it felt as if I had known those girls my entire life -- not just two weeks. We felt like sisters and there were many tears when we said goodbye. However, we still talk almost...
In Spanish and Service in the Osa we rotated through different projects. We painted the bleachers, helped dig the foundation for a basketball court, organize their library, help to brighten up and plant in their school's garden, and my personal favorite paint a large map of the world (as most of their maps were a little outdated). Not even the overwhelming heat could bring us down we were having...

Program Reviews

based on 54 reviews
  • Growth 9.7
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.7
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 46 - 54 of 54
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A Life-changing and Unforgettable Experience

Before arriving to Costa Rica, I did not know anyone and knew little to no spanish but that all changed. After spending three weeks with some of the best people in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, I walked away with a different outlook on life, improved spanish skills, and best friends. Going into the trip I did not anticipate how close I would come with my fellow adventurers, the locals, and the staff. While on the trip, I volunteered at an elementary school where I did things I never thought I would be doing like mixing cement, creating trenches, and re doing a playground. My favorite part of the service was the breaks because we would play soccer or other games with the students of the school. We did service 5 days awake usually from 8-11:30 and then would have lunch, some free time, and then an afternoon activity including spanish lessons, dance lessons, and exploring the town. On the weekends we zip-lined, horseback rode, white water tubed, hiked, camped, surfed, and even got to take a mud bath!(not all in one weekend) Traveling to Costa Rica, changed the way I view things such as the opportunities I have that others may not have, the true beauty of nature, and how it does not take wealth to be happy in life. This trip changed impacted me in a way I did not imagine. I undoubtedly recommend this trip to anyone looking for the summer of a lifetime! Pura Vida

Yes, I recommend
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a truley meaning-full adventure

The GLA Costa Rica program I went on is something I will never forget. When my mom told me I was getting togo I was ecstatic. I knew that the trip was going to be fairly physicaly demanding and me being a bigger girl thought that this would give me problems especially because there was a lot of hiking and working in the sun but I made such great friends that I was to busy having fun with them to think about how tired I was. The service that we did four days a week was very encourageing because we were working to help kids and that made it so worth while. Spanish classes consisted of actually going into town and talking with people so it made it fun and memorable. If you want to have a great summer experience GLA Costa Rica is something that you should really look into. You won't regret it!

How can this program be improved?

Sometimes we were a lot more energetic than our mentors so when we were biting at the bit to go some where or do something and they wanted to relax it could be a bit frustrating so we would at time have appreciated a bit more freedom like being aloud to go swimming in our pool without having to wait for a mentor to go sit outside and watch.

Yes, I recommend
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GLA Costa Rica

Last summer, I went on Global Leadership Adventures's Beach Side service trip to Costa Rica. During the week days, we went to a local primary school and worked with the kids, giving them English lessons. We developed the lessons we were going to teach the nights before going to the school in small groups with adult mentors. I felt like we were really doing something in the community that was around us. DUring the weekends, we had fun (Not like everything else wasn't fun). We went on a trail ride through the forest, ziplining, and other fun things. It was a really great experience. I was the first abroad community service trip i have doe, ad i would recommend it to people who haven't done something like this yet.

Yes, I recommend
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GLA: Costa Rica IS GREAT!

I loved everything about this trip. The best part was working with the kids and how much they loved that we were there. I also loved the weekend trips we did, so they we were doing things for the community but also looking around the beautiful country. I must say that I had the best 17th birthday day; I zip lined, rid a horse for the first time, inner tubed, but more importantly was making an impact on these kids.

Yes, I recommend
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Costa Rican Discovery

During my 8 day trip to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures, I learned so much about their culture and so much more about myself. During our days of service, we would wake up at about 7 a.m. to get ready, eat breakfast, and arrive at the local school by 8:30. We broke up the kids into three smaller groups, and each of my friends would be assigned to a group (normally about three of us with 10 of the kids). We spent a couple hours with them playing sports, teaching them basic English, and doing arts and crafts activities. Then, they would return home and we would continue to paint two of their classrooms. We really impacted the lives of those amazing children, and the service was so rewarding once we saw the finished rooms and how much the kids learned. We were always safe and taken care of thanks to Daniel, the absolutely amazing local director who shared so much of his knowledge with us. He planned our unbelievable excursions and the fun events for us to take part in, such as tubing down a flowing river and zip-lining through the rainforest. Jenna, our mentor, definitely taught us how to reflect on our feelings and learn how to communicate well with one another too. The food was made up of beans and rice at every meal, along with some other local dishes and snacks. We shared rooms with 1-2 other people that were very small, but we didn’t spend much time in them unless we were asleep anyways. The bathrooms were downstairs and we couldn’t flush our toilet paper due to the system, so we threw it out. The showers had inconsistent hot water, meaning it would change temperature in the blink of an eye depending on how many other people were showing at once. It didn’t really matter the water temperature though, as it was always around 90 degrees fahrenheit during the day so anything felt nice. I really took away lasting friendships and bonds with my friends, along with the amazing memories of working with the school children and our adventures in the city.

Yes, I recommend
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GLA Beachside Service Adventure

Last summer I had the opportunity to go to Costa Rica with GLA and it was a life changing experience! I absolutely loved it, everyone on the trip shares a common interest of volunteering and helping and the staff members are so nice and helpful! The home base is beautiful and everyones time is spent productively! While I was there we taught school children how to speak English as well as spending time cleaning up beaches. I would recommend this trip to anyone! It is the perfect way to travel and see the country as well as help and make a difference and meet people from all over the world!

Yes, I recommend
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Global Leadership Adventures has been an amazing program that has changed my life. I have been on two different trips, each one returning with a new perspective. GLA Peru not only opened my eyes to the struggles of the people, but helped me connect to my home environment by recycling and thought provoking decisions. Through eye-opening community service work and intense hiking adventures I was able to learn how strong I truly am. By pushing myself to work harder, or do something I was not totally comfortable with, like carrying materials up mountains to help build greenhouses I found my true strengths.

Yes, I recommend
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A fun and valuable program!

I went on GLA's Beachside Service Adventure trip last summer and the program was amazing. Our main activity was volunteering at a local school in La Cruz, Costa Rica where we taught English, arts and crafts, and games to young children. That experience alone was worth the trip as it was so rewarding. The kids at the school were so excited and grateful for the activities we did with them - they were even happy for a seemingly simple piece of paper and crayons to draw with since they did not have those things at home. It certainly brought things into perspective.
In addition to the volunteering aspect, I had such a great time bonding with the other teenagers on my trip. I formed friendships with people from several different states. It was fun to get to know everyone at our comfortable home base and on the bus to our different excursions - hiking volcano craters, ziplining, horseback riding, tubing.
GLA's staff was also super supportive, and their enthusiasm and fun personalities just added to an already great experience!

Yes, I recommend
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Global Leadership Adventures Costa Rica Beachside Service Adventure

Last summer I had the privilege of going to Costa Rica with Global Leadership Adventures. I can honestly say that my ten days were some of the best days of my life! Through community service at a local school, the group learned how to form lesson plans and work together across a language barrier. In addition to volunteering at a local school, we had TONS of fun activities. We went hiking, white water rafting, horseback riding, zipling, and we learned to salsa dance. I learned so much about the Costa Rican culture, served the community, and made life long friends. I would absolutely recommend Global Leadership Adventures for anyone who loves adventure, service, and having a great time!

Yes, I recommend

About Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

With a history and heritage in global education, Global Leadership Adventures packs our itineraries with leadership development, volunteering and the delight of taking learning off the beaten path. Our unique program design produces what many...