Costa Rica: Pura Vida!
100% Rating
(6 Reviews)

Costa Rica: Pura Vida!

Costa Rica is a beautiful country filled with tropical jungles and picture perfect beaches. Experience the vivid culture of Costa Rica while serving those in need.

ISL offers various health teams to the region including medical, dental, nursing, public health, veterinary, and a hike for humanity through the culturally rich countryside! Volunteer teams range from 4-20 participants, and trips can also be uniquely customized to include time in either Panama or Nicaragua.

Costa Rica has a social security system that unfortunately is oversaturated and only covers public and private sector employees and self-employed people that contribute to the system. The unemployment rate is very high and we have a large population of poverty-stricken immigrants, mostly Nicaraguans. These are the communities where ISL volunteers serve. Costa Rica is a great first country to visit for those who have not been exposed to extreme poverty before.

North America » Costa Rica » San José
North America » Costa Rica
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
Project Types
Year Round
Starting Price
Price Details
Two meals per day, all lodging, land and water transport, guides, tips, museum and event fees, field academic program costs, border costs, security costs, project supplies.

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

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Program Reviews (6)

Default avatar
24 years old
Metairie, LA
University of New Orleans

A new world of experience


Before entering the ISL program for this mission trip to Costa Rica, my background in Spanish reaches back to my high school years and my Physical Therapy background only to the previous year of PT school. I was excited from the first day forced to sit through orientation, but after our last day I was quite sad to be leaving. The mutual social impacts we were capable of leaving and forming changed my life.

How can this program be improved?

The only improvement would possibly be to provide more detailed information on the specific health team mission trips to help understand the correlation that will be made in the professional field of focus.

Default avatar
23 years old
Crawfordville, Florida
Florida State University

Costa Rica-August 2016 Physical Therapy Trip!


It's undeniable that this trip was one of the best decisions I've made so far in regards to my education and life experiences! From treating people in needy communities to working with children suffering from cerebral palsy in an aquatic rehab facility, no other experience could have given me such an array of the various paths that physical therapy can take you! One of the most memorable aspects of this trip was meeting this amazing grandmother who had intense shoulder pain, and was in great need of some relief from the everyday stress and hardwork she went through. We were able to spend 3 hours with her, not only pinpointing the source of her pain, but also relieving her of pain and giving her the attention she deserves not only as a patient but as a human being! I learned so much in my short time there, met some amazing people, and have gained an outlook in Physical Therapy that I will cherish and carry with me as I pursue this wonderful career path!!!

21 years old
Clemson, SC
Clemson University

ISL Costa Rica Trip


This trip was by far the most amazing thing I could have ever experienced. Going into areas of Costa Rica that even the locals were hesitant about and providing care to those who needed it most was an absolutely amazing experience. I would recommend this program to anyone and everyone who is interested in being a medical profession so you can see just how much of a difference you can make in a persons life if you truly care about the individual patient.

How can this program be improved?

I couldn't imagine an improvement besides allowing for more clinical time and more time to help those in need.

Default avatar
23 years old
Windsor, ON
University of Windsor

Costa Rica Nursing Mission Trip


I experienced the trip of a lifetime. It was everything I was expecting and more. The schedule provided all the experiences I was hoping for. What made the trip as amazing as it was, was the passion and enthusiasm of our Team Leader. His enthusiasm made every experience very exciting and his interpersonal skills were exceptional. We cared for the underserved population of Costa Rica that provided an eye opening experience, and allowed me to expand my assessment skills. We experienced the Costa Rican culture engaging with locals and indulging in cuisine. I couldn't have had a better trip and I would go back in a heart beat.

How can this program be improved?

To improve the program I would recommend strongly encouraging seeing members of the community in the clinic who do not have social security as opposed to members who have social security and acccess to medical care. The purpose of a free clinic is to see people who are sick and cannot afford seeing a doctor.

Default avatar
24 years old
Toledo, Ohio
University of Toledo

¡Pura Vida!


Costa Rica was my first ISL trip, and it was so eye opening that it led to me going on a second trip to Belize! I went on the public health trip which was an excellent trip for anyone going into the medical field and actually convinced me to get my master of public health degree. We got to treat and educate individuals in the community as well as explore the beauty country! I got to go zip lining and visit hot springs! Definitely an opportunity of a lifetime!

Default avatar
32 years old

Great experience


This trip has changed my life by experiencing a different culture and giving medical cares to the poor and disabled. I thought our Team leader Marta and abdi where excellent and took great care of us. This trip had made me think about doing something similar in the future.

How can this program be improved?

some of the translators should try to have more patience with the students, understanding that its a learning experience for us.

About The Provider


International Service Learning (ISL) has been connecting volunteers with meaningful service projects and educational opportunities around the world for more than 20 years. ISL's staff are professionals in health care, travel, transpiration, translation, etc. The support ISL offers its volunteers is unmatched. ISL sends volunteers