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.


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...


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 61 - 66 of 66
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Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Yes, I recommend this program


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.

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Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Yes, I recommend this program

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!