Location
  • Costa Rica
Length
2 to 6 weeks
Need-based funding, 529 Plan eligibility
Health & Safety

Program Details

Language
Spanish
Age Min.
15
Age Max
19
Timeframe
Summer
Housing
Host Family Hostel Hotel Lodge
Groups
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30)

Pricing

Starting Price
4375
Price Details
Financial assistance is available.
Fee includes all in-country costs like food, private transportation, lodging, COVID-19 tests, PPE, park entrance fees, etc.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare
Jul 19, 2024
Sep 20, 2023
19 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Since 1965, AMIGOS provided has provided volunteers age 15 to 19 the safest, most authentic service and immersion experiences in Latin America. Living and working in a new community gives you the chance to improve your Spanish, make an impact, gain confidence, and build leadership skills. You'll get to see the world in a truly unique way!

AMIGOS has worked in Costa Rica for more than three decades.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Explore a critical issue and meet local activists, business owners, and community members
  • Service - Earn 12 service hours per week while you complete hands-on projects with local organizations
  • Live with a host family and experience authentic cultural immersion
  • Excursions - Explore Costa Rica's natural beauty!
  • Improve your Spanish by using it in everyday conversation

Program Impact

Focus on the AMIGOS pillars of ethical service, leadership, and cultural humility in Costa Rica! Explore an issue you're passionate about and learn how local communities are responding to the impacts of that issue.

Popular Programs

Coffee production in Costa Rica

Live with a host family for six weeks in the Los Santos region of Costa Rica! Explore different farming practices in Costa Rica from the mountains to the valleys! What impact does international demand for Costa Rican coffee have on local communities? What does local food production have to do with agroforestry practices? From cultivation to consumption, dive deep into food systems by learning from communities in Costa Rica. Volunteer at women-owned coffee farms, earning 72 service hours.

Costa Rican coast

Spend 2 weeks exploring community efforts to adapt to climate change in Costa Rica! From the mangroves of the Caribbean coast to the cloud forests of Monteverde, we will examine local conservation initiatives that have persisted despite challenges due to a changing climate. We will also dig into the root causes of climate change and how international actions can have a profound effect on local communities. Earn 24 service hours volunteering for environmental conservation agencies.

Waterfall hike

From farming and coffee growing to conservation and wildlife corridors, explore how local communities in southern Costa Rica practice sustainable development. Volunteer with women-led community organizations that are transforming the buffer zones of protected areas, earning 36 service hours! Immerse yourself by living with a host family and learning how farmers support conservation. Two spots on this program are reserved for students from Costa Rica.

Hiking in Costa Rica

Explore community efforts to adapt to climate change in Costa Rica! From sea turtle protection on the Caribbean coast to the cloud forests in Valle Central, you'll get hands-on with local conservation projects, earning 36 service hours. Dig in to the root causes of climate change and how international actions affect local communities. And, get to know Tico culture by living with a host family on the Caribbean coast! Two spots on this project are reserved for volunteers from Costa Rica.

Costa Rica - Pezeta

Experience the amazing biodiversity that Costa Rica has to offer with AMIGOS! Volunteer at a nature reserve and learn from community entrepreneurship projects. Spend your time in Central America getting to know your host family in a rural community. Relax in the region’s tropical cloud forest and learn the true meaning of pura vida!

Costa Rica: Montanas y Mar

Experience the abundant biodiversity that Costa Rica has to offer! Explore ecosystems, sea turtle protection, and natural resource management while spending time on the coast near Marino Ballena National Park and in the rolling hills near Chirripo National Park. Earn 24 service hours while focusing on biodiversity and conservation. Then, volunteer with a private reserve that protects sea turtles (among other local wildlife) in the Uvita region.

Program Reviews

4.90 Rating
based on 40 reviews
  • 5 rating 92.5%
  • 4 rating 5%
  • 3 rating 2.5%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.75
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.75
  • Value 4.65
  • Safety 4.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 40 reviews
Default avatar
Sofia
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Loved my Amigos Trip to Costa Rica!

The Amigos program gave me a social and cultural experience I couldn’t find anywhere else and I am still infinitely grateful I had the opportunity to go. On this trip I got to meet a bunch of new and amazing people, from other volunteers and supervisors to host families and locals. I am still in contact with the other volunteers and my host family and message them daily! Every day on our trip was an amazing time getting to participate in volunteering and exploration activities and creating a tightly knit group of volunteers. The experience was also a great chance to actively speak Spanish in a real life situation and be able to communicate with people in my second language. I am so glad I chose to go on this trip and I would recommend it to every young student looking to broaden their world view and have an experience like no other!

50 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Toby
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amigos C.R. Olas y Cerros 2023

I had an amazing experience with Amigos this summer. I took part in a 3 week program called Olas y Cerros, which was focused on environmental sustainability, conservation work, and youth leadership. We traveled to 3 main locations and stayed in a homestay with local "parents" for a large portion of the project, and my homestay experience was great. My "parents" were very understanding of anything I needed and our conversations every meal definitely helped my Spanish. I loved the projects we participated in with partner agencies, especially our work with ASTOP in Parismina, where we helped clean up beaches and watched turtle eggs hatch. I had very few, if any, negative experiences on my program and I came out of it with a better grasp of Spanish language, knowledge of Costa Rican culture, and self-awareness.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I had the awesome opportunity to try termites (live!) on a walking tour of the rainforest in Parismina.
55 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Penny
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica: La Brunca Session A 2023

My experience on the Amigos de las Americas La Brunca project was extremely valuable and transformative. I met so many people from all over Costa Rica and the United States that became my family for three weeks. My time with my host family in community was so special, as I was able to connect and bond with my host siblings and improve my Spanish skills. I learned so much about sustainability and agriculture in Costa Rica and was able to become close with the other volunteers. It was an overall amazing experience and I will cherish it for the rest of my life.

Pros
  • Improved Spanish skills
  • Learned about sustainability
  • Met so many new people
60 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Staci
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

AMIGOS de las Americas- A Transformative Experience

Our fifteen year-old son participated in AMIGOS de las Americas Cartigo Y Caribe service program this summer and as my title states, it was a transformative experience. He was immersed in the culture, experienced multiple cities in Costa Rica and was able to provide service. AMIGOS did an amazing job of preparing him and us for his three week experience. He came home with such an appreciation for Costa Rica and learned invaluable skills. Safety is of the utmost importance in AMIGOS and we knew that we could trust the organization with him.

Pros
  • Training and Spanish brush up provided
  • Safety first
  • Complete on-boarding experience
93 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Scott
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

AMAZING

The amount that I gained from this program went way beyond my expectations. My spanish improved to the point where I was much more confident in speaking spanish to others. But perhaps the largest gain was the ability for me to open up a lot more, and become so much less introverted. By living with 20 other members for 3 weeks, I was able to become more social and create close bonds with my fellow AMIGOS members. Finally, I was also able to deeply appreciate the community of Costa Rica-- their fun and loving culture, amazing food, and large commitment to sustainable development.

Pros
  • Spanish improved
  • Greater knowledge and appreciation of Costa Rican culture
  • Long lasting friendships with amigos members
Cons
  • pretty unorganized due to this being the first year of launch
  • miscommunication from upper AMIGOS management
99 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Jonah
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica - Olas y Cerros

I enjoyed our volunteer experiences (cleaning up a beach, painting benches at a park, and creating a garden). I also met great people from Costa Rica and different states in the US. I lived with a host family and loved eating all of the typical Costa Rican food. We went to a local middle school and interacted with the young students. We made cheese on a dairy farm, which was fascinating. I wrote in my journal every day. It was a good experience not having my phone. I learned a lot of card games and became really good friends with my roommates.

Pros
  • went to cool places
  • met nice people
  • volunteering opportunities
Cons
  • woke up early
  • had a false-positive COVID test (my PCR test was negative!)
  • tropical storm
108 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
ruby
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience ever!

I would 100% recommend this program to anyone interested in trying it out. I was beyond satisfied with how much I grew throughout this program; whether it was improving my Spanish, learning about the culture and people, or even just creating lifelong connections and bonds with others in the program. The AMIGOS coordinators and staff were very respectful and kind, as well as hard-working. My experience with AMIGOS was probably one of the best experiences of my life. I especially appreciated how comforting the people and environment there were. Beyond grateful to have been able to attend this program.

104 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Lauren
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Well Organized and Educational Trip

My trip to Los Santos with AMIGOS was a memorable experience for sure.
The dining and lodging accommodations were very high quality and super enjoyable, and the project staff were nice. Although, it seemed as though some of the first year staff members could’ve used more training. The social aspect of the trip was rocky. I would’ve appreciated better communication skills from the project staff.
The educational aspect was great. We got to tour farms and build relationships with families from the area. I really appreciated how the activities were strategically and effectively planned, plus the fact that we got free days.
AMIGOS also took great care to educate all of the volunteers about the country and its history, stressing the importance of cultural humility and educating us on social Justice issues as well.

Pros
  • High quality food and lodging
  • Authentic cultural experience
  • Spanish language immersion
Cons
  • Project staff slightly underprepared for the social aspect
  • We had to evacuate due to a tropical storm :-(
106 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers