My daughter, 14, went on the Arcos Journeys program to Costa Rica last summer 2022 (3 week option) and I would highly recommend it! From the beginning when she was picked up at the airport, to the end when she was assisted through the check-in process to fly home - it all went smoothly (note I would definitely recommend purchasing the unaccompanied minor fee through the airline - it was well worth it).
Everyone I dealt with during the initial paperwork process was efficient and thorough, any questions I had were immediately addressed. I had a last minute paperwork concern before she left for the airport and it was handled/resolved within 5 minutes of sending the email! I was initially hesitant about letting her go since she had never traveled alone, let alone to another country! But looking back on how smoothly it all went, this program is clearly run by a team of people who know what they're doing. And, most importantly, know how to manage a group of teens & structure a program in a foreign country so they're always safe! The program allowed her to fully immerse in another culture, have a ton of fun and improve her Spanish. She had the time of her life and already wants to go again next year!
Her homestay family was amazing - they were so kind, her accommodations were beautiful, and the food she was provided was exceptional (mangos, papaya, traditional Costa Rican cuisine, etc...). She made great friends, even the simple experience of walking into town together to have dessert at a cafe was really memorable for her! The Spanish classes were in this open air classroom that was just stunningly beautiful - her favorite part of the trip was her Spanish teacher - she learned a lot but really had a lot of fun at the same time. The excursions they planned for her group were really beyond what I expected - zip lining in the rainforest (her favorite), learning to surf, going to the beach, cooking/dancing classes, volunteering at a local school etc....All in all, everything was structured/planned really well - the director Cata was so personable and made her feel at home from day 1 - it was an experience I'm sure she'll remember her entire life!
If you're on the fence re letting your teen go through this program - go for it! It's a solid program - I 100% recommend it!