• Costa Rica
2 - 12 weeks

Program Details

Program Type
Apartment Host Family Hotel
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
Price Details
PROGRAM COST: $6,395. Travel expenses to and from Costa Rica are not included.

FINANCIAL AID IS AVAILABLE: We offer between 10-50% financial aid based on need. Please submit our financial aid application if interested.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Oct 05, 2021
Sep 18, 2022
18 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Global Routes has been leading this leadership-intensive program for over two decades! This program appeals to those wanting to discover, enhance and explore their leadership and teaching skills by running free 'friendship' camps for local children. Develop genuine relationships and connections with your Costa Rican host community as you develop, market, and lead a community-driven summer camp.

Along the way, you'll have grand adventures, partake in a homestay experience, white water raft, rappel in the rainforest, and explore the warm, hospitable country of Costa Rica.

*This program has previously been held in other locations, including the Carribbean. The Summer 2023 LIA trip will take place in beautiful Costa Rica!

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • OUR MODEL: Our hallmark model includes meaningful community service, cross-cultural exchange, and living and volunteering in rural homestay communities.
  • COMMUNITY SERVICE: Students receive a certificate for 40 to 60 community service hours.
  • LEARNING GOALS: Camp counseling, cooking, leadership, construction
  • GROUP SIZE: 12-18 students, 2-3 U.S. leaders, 2 local partners

Program Dates

Application Deadline
Program Dates

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 10 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 4.9
  • Support 4.8
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 4.9
  • Safety 4.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 10 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Routes Costa Rica program was an incredible adventure and my student grew tremendously

My son was a Global Routes student in summer 2022. He was extremely nervous and more than a little scared about going on his first long adventure by himself, especially after 2+ years of Covid that made everyone way too comfortable going nowhere and not making social connections. It was very hard for him to say goodbye and then embrace all the new people and experiences. The staff, his host family and the other students were incredibly open, accepting, warm and gracious with him. They helped him find a successful pathway through what ended up being an extraordinary adventure. With support, he was able to embrace the hard parts, really enjoy the good stuff and grow tremendously.
When he arrived home, he was transformed. He feels more confident and comfortable in his own skin. This is visibly evident – he stands taller and is much more willing to try new things. For example, on his own initiative he decided to try out for the soccer team, which we feel he would not have been open to before his Global Routes experience.

16 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

LIA Costa Rica Review

This trip was by far the greatest trip that I have ever been on, and the greatest experience that I have ever had. I got to be with a group of people with the majority of them being some of the best friends that I have while traveling Costa Rica and going on amazing, super fun adventure and also immersing ourselves in the culture there. The trip was a 10/10 for me because all of the activities that we did were super fun, and even when we weren’t doing any activities I was still having fun which was definitely partially due to the amazing group that I was with. From this trip you also gain many new, life-changing perspectives that help you to grow as a person. I would without any question fully recommend this trip to anyone that is interested.

  • The group of people
  • The chance to immerse ourselves in the culture by living in a town for two weeks
  • The personal growth that I gained
  • Some arguments throughout the group here and there
18 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

LIA Global Routes

This LIA program was one of the best experiences of my life so far and I'm not just saying that. I learned, grew, and had so much fun on this trip. When we got to the town I met my host family and I am still keeping in touch with the people I met there. My host family was amazing and my Spanish improved a lot. I connected with the kids there doing the Friendship Camp even with limited Spanish skills and it was so fun. I am so happy I met the people in the town and also broadened my friendships with the other LIAs. Overall, this was an amazing experience and I really do recommend it to any teens who want to connect with a new community as they help out and immerse themselves in a new culture. Especially for Windsor Mountain people, this is a perfect follow up to LIT year but really it would be great for anyone.

  • improved spanish
  • made connections with lots of new people
18 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Global routes

The Global Routes program exceeded any expectations I had and gave my summer a purpose. I was in an environment where I had to try new things, which lead me to discover new things I never thought I would enjoy. For example hiking. I dove into learning about a culture through experience and from the first day felt so welcomed by the community we were staying with. My Global Routes experience was amazing and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who is interested. At first I was hesitant to choose the Global Routes LIA trip. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my summer, and going away to a different country without my family seemed frightening. I had a service requirement for my school, so I had to do something, but everything that I found wasn’t exactly how I wanted to spend my summer. When I finally considered doing the Global Routes trip, I really loved how I could bring something I love to kids who may not get to experience the luxury of going to camp every summer. What also sold me about the program, was how we, the students, got to create the summer camp ourselves, unlike any other program.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Breadfruit was the most unfamiliar thing I ate. It was surprisingly tasty.
45 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


The summer I did this trip was one of the best summers of my life. This trip as influence me in so many ways. I have made so many life long friends, tried new things, and learned so much while on the trip. Getting to immerse in a new culture and really become part of a community was life changing.

One big thing on this trip was the chance to create our own summer camp and work with children. As someone who wishes to go into education this experience was extremely valuable. Running the camp taught me how to work in a group and how to communicate better with others.

Parents and students should take this trip as an opportunity to grow as a person. The Global Routes programs give students the awesome and unique opportunities to really experience a new culture and become part of the community.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My future advice for anyone thinking about joining a Global Routes trip is take advantage of this experience, immerse the culture and community. The Global Routes programs give students the awesome and unique opportunities to really experience a new culture and become part of the community.
42 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

I've been both a student and a leader -- highly recommend Global Routes

When I was 17 I traveled with this organization to do traveling theater in Europe (a program that no longer exists). It was one of the most influential, life changing experiences of my life to that point. It was instrumental in me developing the values that I have today (and really making me cognizent of living those values). The organization emphasizes personal growth, development, and leadership. They take you out of your comfort zone just enough to be a challenge and still fun.

In my 20s, I came back to the program as a leader. All leaders are trained in experiential education, and are selected from a large, qualified pool of talented applicants. They work hard to make sure everyone has a good time, and that everyone is accepted and met (and challenged) at their level.

Global Routes is a fantastic organization. If you're thinking about a summer travel program for teens, they should definitely be at or near the top of your list.

43 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Satchel’s Review

I gave every category on this review a 10 because this trip was incredible. Although it was some time ago, it was one of the highlights of my entire adolescence. This was not only because of how much fun we had, but also because I was able to grow tremendously. And this was was not only internal awakening from visiting a place with so many underprivileged people. This trip, followed by one to South Africa the following year, really played a major role in the development of my leadership and teamwork abilities.

Thanks to our three leaders, there we’re never any safety issues, and everyone in our group had tons of support.

I’m confident that many other people in the group with me would have similar feedback. It was an ideal trip.

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly don’t have many suggestions for improvement. As I said, the trip was pretty much ideal.
42 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Absolutely Life Changing Experience

Despite having gone on this program 6 years ago, it's still something I think about all the time and rave about to friends and family. I had never really traveled abroad before, and if I had it was purely for tourism purposes. This program really pushed me to become a better leader and a better person. Not only did I make lifelong connections with the people in my group, but I got to experience a way of life I never could have imagined.

Running a day camp for the kids who lived on St Vincent and Bequia was not only incredibly fun, but also pushed me out of my comfort zone. Before the trip I was someone who was hesitant to take initiative or contribute to a group effort because I doubted my abilities. Being put in a position of responsibility really pushed me to grow into a more confident and adventurous individual.

Not only did we get to spend significant time with local residents, but we also were able to take part in their cultural scene. We had the opportunity to go to a local basketball game, attend our host family's church service on Sunday, and even got to be guests at a local family reunion. Feeling immersed in the culture of St Vincent and Bequia was an experience that's importance to me cannot be measured.

Additionally, we got to see all of the amazing BEAUTY the islands had to offer!! Hiking an active volcano, visiting a turtle sanctuary, and exploring the local businesses are just a few of the amazing opportunities we had! I would recommend this program to everyone, it is an experience I will hold very dear to me for the rest of my life.

What would you improve about this program?
The only improvement I could honestly recommend would be to make the program longer. I absolutely did not want to leave when the time came!!
45 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers