Amigos de las Americas - Costa Rica: Perez Zeledon

Video and Photos


Spend the first half of your time abroad getting to know your host family in a rural community surrounded by lush green plants and chatter of tropical birds. You’ll work with Costa Rican students on a service project in your community before heading to one of the country’s stunning national parks for some hands-on volunteering.

  • Live like a local with your host family
  • Volunteer in national parks alongside Costa Rican students
  • Lead day camps for local kids
  • Practice your Spanish through authentic cultural immersion
  • Explore a new country!

New virtual gap year program

AMIGOS & Tufts University just launched a new virtual gap year experience for fall 2020: the Civic Action Gap Semester! Explore social change across the Americas, make an impact through a civic volunteership, engage with your community, and earn college credit.

Questions & Answers


9.5 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
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  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 10
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
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Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing experience in a beautiful country

I went in the summer of 2019; I loved meeting new people from around the US and the world. It was hands down, one of the best experiences I've had in my life. Not only were we surrounded by amazing participants, but the staff was so supportive and encouraged us to get out of our comfort zones. My host family welcomed my Amigos partners and me with open arms and took us in as apart of their community. I loved learning more about Latinx culture, and I hope to participate in another Amigos program in the future.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing life experience!!

I went on this trip summer 2019 and it was the best experience of my life. I meet so many cool people from a range of states and countries and I had the opportunity to live with a loving and welcoming host family. The amigos staff was very supportive in our growth and learning and anything else we needed. By living with a host family we were able to fully amerce ourselves in the culture which was one of my favorite parts. I couldn’t have had a better experience and I hope to do another Amigos program in the future.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Parent review: Awesome Program! - Summer 2019

My daughter wanted a Spanish immersion program and the environmental sustainability focus of the Amigos PZ program caught her eye. As a parent, the 5 month training leading up to departure was key to her success in Costa Rica. The training helped her get comfortable with the idea of being disconnected from home and gave her the confidence that she would know what to do once there. It helped us to know that she would be prepared for anything. The training was culturally sensitive, met the teens where they were at and really focused on teamwork. She grew in so many ways and returned to us with newfound confidence and resilience that she continues to draw on when faced with challenges. Fundraising for "tuition" makes it a more affordable option for study abroad.

What would you improve about this program?
This program has been really well thought out. I cannot think of any way they could improve it. Was it perfect? No, but that's part of the beauty of it - it teaches the kids that they can handle the occasional hiccup and learn from it.
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Yes, I recommend this program

hands down the best summer of my life

During the first half of my trip, I lived in a tiny community of 20 people called Macho Mora (mora=blackberry or “berry” for short). Macho Mora is located next to the tallest mountain in Costa Rica so it has amazing views of the valley, waterfalls, colorful sunsets. I lived with a host family with one ten year old girl and one sixteen year old boy. Additionally, my two Amigos partners lived in the same community, and we all worked on the same project. Our project was to paint an entire community center inside and out. With community input, we selected a bright blue color for the walls and red for the columns, and we also designed a mural that had important symbols of our community such as trout, waterfalls, and flowers. Finally, we added our own handprints as well as the handprints of the past volunteers in Macho Mora to illustrate the collaborative effort in our project that will hopefully benefit the entire Macho Mora community for years to come.

For the second part of the trip, my partners and I, as well as other Amigos volunteers and Costa Rican youth, traveled to Marino Ballena National Park located on the southern Pacific side of Costa Rica. If you look up Marino Ballena on Google Maps, you’ll see that it’s in the shape of a whale tail which is where the park got its name (ballena = whale). We spent our time in Marino Ballena cleaning and repairing the visitor trail.. In our free time, we would play volleyball, slip ‘n slide in the rain, swim in the ocean, and dance to Spanish reggaetón.

Over the course of my trip, I learned to be flexible, collaborative, and confident in my Spanish. I love having so many connections with people not only from all over the United States, but also from Costa Rica. I will never forget my experience because it was probably the best summer of my life. Thank you, AMIGOS!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I wish I had gone for more than 4 weeks because I the last thing I wanted to do was go home.