Summer and Spring Break Volunteer Programs in Costa Rica

Video and Photos

Costa Rica- Global leadership adventures
Costa Rica- Global leadership adventures
The mural we painted at sardinal sur and what it looked like when the second group finished it
The mural we painted at sardinal sur and what it looked like when the second group finished it
sunset at the beach by our home base
My daughter with friends in Costa Rica
After hiking to see a hot spring!
Me and two of my closest friends from my trip enjoying a gorgeous Costa Rican sunset.

About

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™
• Protecting the Pacific: Volunteer on the Pacific coast.
• Surf & Sports Service Adventure
• The Sea Turtle Initiative: Get up-close and personal with the endangered species.
• Soccer Beyond Borders: Organize soccer camps for kids.

Program Highlight!

The ancient Inca Empire is yours to discover while making a difference in the lives of rural families on our Peru: Service in the Sacred Valley™ program.

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...

Reviews

98%
based on 66 reviews
  • Growth 9.7
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.7
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.9
  • Program Selection 9.7
  • Pre-departure Help 9.8
  • In-program Support 9.7
  • Impact on Student 9
  • Value 10
Showing 25 - 32 of 66
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Jack
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Leadership Adventures - Truly Life Changing!

Global Leadership Adventures, or GLA, is incomparable to any other program. Every staff member is always there for you, especially your mentors. All of the mentors are very supportive and kind hearted people. When I got back home, the first thing I said to my mom and dad was, "Can I do another next year?" Everyday we woke so excited to scarf down our delicious breakfast and head out into the jungle to join the smiling faces of the locals. I will never forget these 10 days, the best 10 days of my life.

What would you improve about this program?
They can plan better at the airport, so that people don't have to wait or other flights. However, during that time waiting, you can connect with the mentors and other kids.
Default avatar
Stefanie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience

We sent our god daughter on the two week animal rescue program in Costa Rica. She is a dog fanatic so we knew that this program would be great for her. We did research other programs and companies, but decided on GLA because we felt they were the highest quality program at the best price. Their communication before, during and after the program has been first-rate. Our god daughter returned from the experience feeling that it was a life-changer for her. She hadn't been away from home for an extended period of time without family, so this was important to have her do to give her the chance to be on her own. She will go to college next year, so this was a great stepping stone to being able to go away from home for college.

Default avatar
Britton
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GLA - Initiative for Children Costa Rica

This program was amazing! I met so many awesome people from the other students, to the staff, to the community members - everyone helped make it such a memorable trip. It was incredibly well organized, especially compared to some other programs that my friends have gone on. It was definitely unique in the sense that it felt like a trip where the community was helping the community and not a bunch of foreigners helping a less fortunate community.

Default avatar
Phoebe
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life-changing

I went to Costa Rica on the Beachside Service Adventure this past summer and have come back with new insight, views, values, and an abundance of incredible memories. Not only do Global Leadership Adventure trips involve students giving back to those in need, but you also get to meet amazing people, experience and learn a new culture, and grow as an individual. The impact you make is extremely special and you will do good for yourself and more importantly, others. GLA has given me a life-changing experience that I will never forget.

Response from Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

Thank you for sharing your takeaways from your volunteering experience in Costa Rica. We're so glad you had an amazing time and made lifetime memories with GLA.

Default avatar
Rayya
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best experience!

I am so happy I stumbled across Global Leaderships one day. I have always wanted to do a service opportunity abroad but my parents are very hesitant towards it as most are. My parents talked to the GLA staff over the phone and they reassured them I was going to be in a safe environment wherever I went. I am a shy girl, but everyone on my trip was so nice and at the end of the ten days I felt as though I had known everyone in my group for a while. Meeting the locals and how the lived and how happy they were made me fall in the love Costa Rica and how beautiful the country was. It definitely made me a more humble, appreciative, and optimistic person. One of the best decisions I've ever made was going to Costa Rica through Global Leadership adventures.

Default avatar
Natalie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Most Amazing Trip Ever.

Global Leadership Adventures Costa Rica Beachside Adventure program was one of the biggest eyeopeners I've ever experienced. I know, lot of parents are concerned, thinking "Is it safe? Is it clean? Is it fun?" YES! " Is it a scam?". No, it is not. It is a life changing, leader building, intensely beautiful program that I wish every teen could experience. Playa del Coco Week One (our group) was such a fun, goofy, pure group. The mentors were amazing, l appreciate the love and passion they set forth. We would take walks on the beach, shop, tour around, and much more fun. But, our service projects... they were hard. (Good! But wow!) My group helped start to build a bridge. A bridge! We met so many beautiful people, from the US and Costa Rica. Global Leadership Adventures, you hold a special place in my heart. THANK YOU!

What would you improve about this program?
Make the picture MB size just a little bigger
Response from Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts both on your volunteering experience and on GLA. We're glad you were satisfied with the pre-departure assistance we provided as well as your experience in Costa Rica.

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Lindsay
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life-changing experience: Costa Rica Beachside Service

I went on the beachside service adventure program in Costa Rica this summer, and it was an amazing experience. I was assigned to a service project that involved helping a community build a bridge so the children's walk to school would be more than cut in half, as the river we helped build a bridge over swelled up in the rainy season. The trip changed my perspective, and I went without knowing anyone else, so it really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I got to play basketball with local teenagers, go swimming in the ocean at sunset, make new friends, try to make costa Rican style art, visit an animal sanctuary, a natural hot springs, and so much more. Everyone on the staff was so kind, on one of the last nights they all shared personal stories about how they ended up volunteering abroad, and they were all so inspiring.

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Terri
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

For the parents

Sending my 16 year old daughter out of the country on her own (without knowing anyone who would be there) was a daunting and slightly terrifying experience. Yet, she wanted to go so badly. She wanted to "see the world" and do some good for others. We did our research and settled on Global Leadership Adventures, a 10 day trip to costa Rica.

It was a growth experience for all of us. We learned to let go and trust others to take care of our chid (which they did wonderfully). She grew in countless ways- independence, maturity, empathy, seeing a hard days work pay off (they helped build a bridge to shorten the walk to school for local children). She saw the world from a whole new perspective, met interesting and caring people, had adventures and gained valuable experiences she never would have staying close to home.

After she returned, she was so excited to share her experiences and we were so glad we made the decision to let her go. We highly recommend GLA and the volunteering abroad experience.

Response from Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

Thank you for trusting GLA! Safety continues to be our #1 priority so parents like you can have peace of mind while students go abroad to volunteer, pursue new passions and develop their leadership skills.