Costa Rica Summer Service Adventures

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Are you a high school student looking for volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica? Global Works has a variety of options for you. Take a look at our programs and visit our site for full details.

Language and Leadership: Spanish Immersion, welcoming homestay families, community-driven service projects, and adrenaline pumping adventure...this trip has it all! Over the course of three weeks, practice Spanish and learn cultural norms and customs through immersive homestays and community service projects

La Pura Vida: On these 2 week adventures, practice your Spanish with local families and community members, roll up your sleeves for some meaningful service projects and pump up the adrenaline on a zip-line canopy tour through the rainforest.

Sea Turtle Adventure: On this week-long trip, we engage in projects and tours to support native leatherback sea turtles and the local community. Activities include a tour of the hatchery, environmental projects, a night beach patrol, a kayak tour through the canals of Tortuguero National Park, and even an overnight rafting trip!

Questions & Answers


based on 20 reviews
  • Growth 9.3
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 8.9
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 16 - 20 of 20
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Experiencing "La Pura Vida"

When I signed up for this trip, I was not exactly sure what to expect. Traveling so far away from home with a group of strangers seemed exciting yet a bit scary. As it turned out, signing up for this trip was, in my opinion, the best decision I have ever made. Even during the first hour of our trip, our group was already having a great time getting to know each other while playing card games in the airport. When we arrived in Costa Rica, we immediately established group and personal goals for the trip, focusing on developing our language skills and dedicating a lot of time and effort to community projects in Santa Cruz. During these days of orientation, our three group leaders were very instrumental in helping us all bond as a group. Right after we arrived, we started eating the typical Costa Rican cuisine of rice and beans, which took a few days to get used to, but was a very important part of being immersed into the culture (and it is delicious too!). Rafting was quite an adventure and helped develop our friendships with each other and instill a sense of appreciation for nature in us. When we arrived at the home stay, we were all very anxious, some of more scared or excited than others. Being able to communicate only in Spanish wasn't very easy the first day, but by the end of the week, I would sometimes be speaking in Spanish without realizing it! The home stay in Santa Cruz was truly amazing because I felt like part of another family for a week. My home stay mother did everything she could to make sure we were enjoying our stay, and she did a wonderful job. The service project building the sidewalk during the day was so meaningful because we knew that it would benefit our wonderful Costa Rican families and it also provided some hilarious times for our group (my personal favorite being our singing and dancing while working!). Overall, I had an incredible experience. Our guides were responsible and also fun so we could relate to them but also rely on them for help if needed. The main lesson I learned would be that developing personal relationships by talking to people rather than relying on technology all the time is very important and it is the mindset I have taken coming back to the U.S. I LOVED this trip and I still talk to my friends that went with me every single day. I consider them a second family to me, and I have formed friendships that will last for years to come. I would do anything in my power to go on this trip again, it is well worth it!!

How can this program be improved?
If I could change this program at all, I would make sure that every student is close to the central meeting place in the home stay. I was lucky to live 2 minutes down the road but some of my friends had a rough 35 minute walk to the meeting place and back to their home each day which I know was exhausting, especially after many hours of hard work.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Costa Rica: unforgettable experience

This trip was one of the best experiences of my life and I wish I could relive it. I made life long friends and had unforgettable experiences that I wouldn't give up for anything. I improved my surfing tremendously and had so much fun doing it with great people. The trip is designed to be such a wonderful experience; unique and priceless.

How can this program be improved?
I felt like there was more service we could have done. I felt like the things we did didnt make as much of a difference in the community as they could have.
Yes, I recommend this program
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An Amazing Experience~

Costa Rica, its waterfalls, food, coffee, and its people were lovely. Every little thing was lovely. I can say that this was and will stay one of the best experiences in my life. In so little time, we did so much! Adventures were rafting in Rio Pacuare, Ziplining in Rinconcito, and Surfing in Playa Grande. It was my first time to try all of those things and I loved every single one. Aside from the adventures, we were able to serve the community. We helped the locals clean and level trails as well as build a bridge in the Monteverde cloudforest. We also did a lot of digging and mixing cement for the communal kitchen in Pueblo Nuevo during our homestay as part of our service. The homestay was amazing. It enabled us to help the people out as well as learn more about their culture and practice our spanish in a different but wonderful way! Our Costa Rican families were very hospitable and took good care of us. The trip helped me gain new views and aspects of life and struggle; made me understand and appreciate more of life.

How can this program be improved?
I can't really think of anything because for me, every minute of the trip was worth it!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Global Works: Costa Rica Trip

My Global Works Costa Rica experience was the best trip of my life. During this experience, I was able to try so many new things, like surfing, zip lining, rafting, living with a family and communicating in Spanish! At first I was a little anxious, but the group and leaders were so welcoming. For most, the thought of a home stay is scary. I was nervous at first, but my roommate and I became so close and our family was also so gracious and welcoming. They were so generous in opening their home to us, and we enjoyed each other's company and interacting with the kids. Upon arrival to the airport, we were immediately welcomed and introduced to our new acquaintances. They soon become great friends. The Global Works leaders already knew all of our names and we had talked already multiple times via Facebook and phone calls. I could easily identify the group members and leaders by our matching shirts. I could already tell the trip was well organized and planned, and I felt very safe traveling with Global Works. Prior to our arrival in the community of Santa Cruz, our leaders informed us on what to expect, and gave us tips for conquering the language barrier. We also received letters from our family prior to arriving in the community. After arriving, we were introduced to our family and then went home with them. While interacting with our families, we all shared so many laughs, smiles and memories. I felt very comfortable and never felt unsafe. Each day we had "weather checks" one on one with the guides, to check on us physically, mentally and emotionally and see how were adjusting. The leaders were very approachable with questions or problems. The community was well selected, and the "ticos" were very friendly and welcoming. It was a pleasure to work in the schools with local kids, who were very gracious and enthusiastic. Overall, this trip was an eye opener. It allowed me to experience an entirely different culture and language. I was able to meet life-long friends, as well as my "second family" who I still keep in contact with. I would highly recommend Global Works and this particular trip to a friend, or anyone interested in broadening their horizons and trying something new. This trip creates memories to last a lifetime.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Overall Great Experience

I had a wonderful time on the trip. I loved the activities we did, my host family, and it was overall a really great balance of learning, having fun, and meeting new people. I did get more comfortable speaking Spanish, though the levels of everyone's Spanish were very spread out, which meant not everyone improved quite as much as they could have had they all been equal. Overall, I had a ton of fun, met some really wonderful people, and learned about a new culture and worked on the language.

How can this program be improved?
I just wish that my partner in the partner homestay spoke the same amount of Spanish as me. She didn't speak it as well, and I found myself translating for her a lot.
Yes, I recommend this program


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For more than 28 years, Global Works has been an industry leader in community service-based adventure travel programs for high school students and custom group trips. Much more than a vacation, Global Works international trips are the bridge for...