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Discover Corps

About

Discover Corps is a new way to travel. Our authentic, off the beaten track itineraries plug travelers into the daily lives of local people.

Our team of local Program Hosts gives you unparalleled access to the lives of people and the stories of places in our host countries. Since our average group size is 8-10 travelers, you can have experiences that big tours can’t. And because you’re traveling with us, we can ensure you’ll have a safe and seamless volunteer travel experience.

Whether it's learning to cook a regional delicacy, helping out at the village school, or sharing stories over cocktails with a local artist or activist, our trips across Asia, Africa and Latin America are vacations with purpose.

Visit our website to learn more about these unique 8, 10 & 14-day trips.

Reviews

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Cheryl
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

We traveled to Costa Rica for the Discover Corps Wildlife Safari trip in March, 2021. We had to postpone and change our trip a couple times due to Covid, and I truly believe that it was meant to be. We had an amazing time! The country is so beautiful, the people are very hospitable, and we felt very safe throughout the entire trip. Our guide, Priscilla, was incredibly knowledgeable and thought of every last detail. She really catered to us and made sure we had the best possible experience. Our driver, Erick, was also fantastic. He was an excellent driver, helped us with our luggage, and was very fun and friendly. Every hotel we stayed at was immaculate and beautiful. The staff treated us like family everywhere we went. All the meals were delicious, and the restaurants all had great atmosphere. We really enjoyed learning all about Costa Rica and its rich history and the many unique animals that live there. All of the activities were wonderful as well. We visited a number of animal rescue centers and the biological center, and we went white water rafting, canoeing, kayaking, and we participated in a cooking lesson with delicious food. It was so hard to leave and go back to having to take care of ourselves after being treated like royalty during this fantastic experience. We definitely plan to take another Discover Corps trip again in the near future!

What was your funniest moment?
We participated in a cooking lesson, and I have zero cooking skills! The ceviche we created was the best I've ever tasted though!
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Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I recently returned from the Costa Rican wildlife safari. I was a bit concerned with Covid however every place was extremely clean and had places for you to wash your hands before you even walked in. This was a trip I was actually supposed to go on in 2020 however it was postponed, waiting so long the expectations were high. I was definitely not disappointed! Patricia our guide was absolutely wonderful, extremely knowledgeable and cater to our every need. I would highly recommend this vacation. Also everyone that I met in the community was extremely gracious and kind. The majority of these people work on tourism and unfortunately in the last year have not had any. Booking this trip would not only be an amazing adventure for you but it would also be amazing for the people in the community

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would have added more days onto the end of my trip to be able to enjoy more of San Jose.
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Sean
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I have been to Costa Rica before, I spent time in the more visited surf towns like Tamarindo & Montezuma, so when my wife suggested we look into the Sea Turtle Initiative I was intrigued. Right away, Discover Corps' friendly and knowledgeable team answered all our questions and provided us with a wealth of information to help us decide if this was the right fit. We've never been group travelers but we were ready to have someone else do all the trip planning for us. The week long trip offered up more than we were expecting. Behind every activity, our awesome guide Tara provided context and education and was extremely knowledgeable about the local communities we visited. The volunteer piece was pretty neat, the beach patrols were late at night and while we were told that turtle sightings aren't guaranteed we lucked out and saw 2 sea turtles nesting in the sand. We stood quietly and watched as she dropped all her eggs then used her rear flippers to push sand over the top and disguise the nest. We then took the eggs and relocated them to the hatchery where they are to hatch in protection. We also had the chance to release newly hatched sea turtles into the ocean a different night. I personally really enjoyed the visit to Bejuco Artisnal fishing village and the visit to "Jungle Mike's" where we learned of his enthusiasm for entomology. He toured us around his property and rattled off all the scientific names for every species of plants and insects we came across, very fascinating. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our trip with Discover Corps, all 3 accommodations were great and the food was delicious. We highly recommend this trip to anyone wanting to see a different part of Costa Rica in a safe and comfortable way. We are already planning our next trip for 2020!

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing I can think of. I'd say the whole week was carefully planned out, it rained quite a bit but that's just part of the experience!
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Kim
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Discover Corps did an amazing job. They took great care in choosing the most perfect accommodations for the trip to Kenya. Ol’ Pejeta was fabulous and plentiful with animals. The Sweetwater camp inside the conservancy is true glamping with 5 Star service and food. Sweetwater is located on a watering hole where you can sit and watch Elephants, Rhino, Zebra, Warthogs, birds and Giraffes come and drink. Inside the Masai Mara we stayed at Asilia again another 5 star establishment. The animal sightings in the Mara are just amazing, breakfast is provided out on the open plains of the Mara while watching zebra and wildebeest stroll by. Then happy hour with cocktails are provided on the open plains while watching the incredible African sunset (unlike anything you have ever seen). The service provided at both locations was top notch. Discover Corps chose amazing places and designed a fabulous itinerary for our days in Africa. I would recommend this trip to anyone.

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Cori
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My family (me, my husband, and 3 kids ages 17, 14, and 11) took a 2-week trip to Peru in August and used Discover Corps to organize several days of service while we were there. It was an incredible experience that we will never forget, and one of the highlights of our entire trip. Miguel, our host and guide, was so informative and kind and made us feel like family. We loved spending time with him and the children in the community -- doing arts and crafts, flying kites, eating meals, and teaching them English. We also got to visit an orphanage and a local NGO where women produce dolls that are sold around the world. It gave us an incredible perspective on the country and our lives as well. When my daughter sprained her ankle, Miguel took us to the clinic in the main city, and we got excellent and expeditious care. We couldn't have asked for a better experience. It was just what we wanted, and I highly recommend this trip and the organization.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

This program seemed to fulfill my desire to learn about Costa Rica from a more "insider" view and it also satisfied my need to be an active rather than a passive traveler. The "small group" format was also appealing. CR has been at the top of my travel "bucket list" for a long time. It was also my first journey as a solo traveler and I liked how it sounded like I would get a very personal experience as part of a small group.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I was easy to just embrace the design of the program as organized by Discover Corps. All the pieces were in place and it was a pleasure to put myself in their capable and helpful hands. From the first time I inquired about the trip to the fabulous attention paid to my needs during the trip to the final drop off at the airport to return home, I was so grateful that ALL aspects of our travel were handled so professionally and effectively. It was a pleasure.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Take work gloves. The volunteerism segments involved some "get down and a little dirty" activities. We spent two days with hands-on involvement with re-forestation (planted some trees with the help of townspeople) and wildlife preservation at Kids Saving the Rain Forest compound side-by-side with other volunteers from all over the globe. What a treat to become a part of the solution, even for a short time.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

We were on the go all week, but the schedule was not a whirlwind tour. Each day we had a clear objective that included learning, seeing, great food and just enough down time so we could catch our breath. Our guide, a very well informed and proud Costa Rican, gave us a wonderful introduction and immersion in Costa Rican history, culture, politics, ecology, and wild life. And we had laughs along the way too. We also enjoyed witnessing his excellent network of friends and colleagues as he greeted so many along the way.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

We were a very small group (only three travelers) and I worried that with only two other people to interact with I would not find kindred spirits. I needn't have worried. This trip attracts people who want to learn, who appreciate other cultures, and who are not expecting luxurious arrangements (although our last three days at the beautiful resort were delightful). We were all of a mind and I enjoyed their company.

What is life like in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a beautiful and unique country that is focused on a healthy environment and an engaged citizenry. The burgeoning tourist industry is embraced by everyone in every region and city. They are welcoming and lovely. Do some reading about the country's history and governing policies, as well as their approach to environmental activism. It's a work in progress, but they are certainly a model we can all admire.

Also, sharpen up your animal and bird spotting skills. Our guide could spot a sloth a mile away. I tried to get better at it with him as an inspiration.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.