Location
  • Costa Rica
Length
3 weeks

Program Details

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

Pricing

Starting Price
$5,875 USD
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
Sep 07, 2021
Oct 10, 2021

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. All programs will operate in a pod model of 15–20 students. You'll live, volunteer, and travel together.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Explore a critical issue and meet local activists, business owners, and community members
  • Service - Earn service hours while you complete hands-on projects with local organizations
  • Health and Safety - Enhanced COVID-19 protocols including testing and a Health and Wellness Coordinator onsite
  • 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

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. This experience will be led in Spanish and English and two spots on this project are reserved for students from Costa Rica.

Costa Rican coast

Explore 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.

Costa Rica: Montañas & Mar

Are you ready to jump into adventure in Costa Rica? Travel to a volcanic valley to explore how climate change is agriculture. Spend time on the Caribbean coast volunteering with a wildlife and ecological conservation initiative. Immerse yourself in the lush wilderness of Costa Rica's forests, rolling hills, and tranquil Caribbean while you unplug with us this summer.

Program Reviews

9.47 Rating
based on 32 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 90.63%
  • 7-8 rating 6.25%
  • 5-6 rating 3.13%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 8 of 32 reviews
Default avatar
Sydney
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

AMIGOS Costa Rica Monteverde y Costa Atlántica

My experience with AMIGOS this past summer changed my life. I realize that that this phrase is often thrown around on review websites to the point that it has lost its weight, but I honestly cannot think of a better way to describe the impact this program had on my life. Being someone who is very passionate about social and environmental justice, this program taught me so much. Getting to learn from the locals in Monteverde about how they are implementing sustainable practices in their everyday lives was absolutely inspiring and gave me so many new ideas about ways to live more sustainably when I returned home. Additionally, AMIGOS has crafted an incredible curriculum centered identity and privilege that we got to experience through group conversations. Both of these factors contributed to an incredible learning environment where I learned so much about the world that I was never taught in school. As wonderful as these aspects of the trip were, the most impactful part of this trip has to be the way this program put things in perspective. Everyday life on the trip looked much different than it does at home in the states. We hardly used devices of any sort, and only had access to the clothing and materials we carried with us in our bags. Though some may put this factor off as a slight inconvenience that is made up for through the other aspects of the trip, to me, this was one of the most empowering parts of the trip. I proved to myself that I did not need my phone or constant access to air conditioning to truly live and learn. In a lot of ways, I was able to fully immerse myself in the moment because I was not itching for my phone or worrying about the heat. In addition, being in a different part of the world with its own unique culture really put things in perspective for me. The people I met on the trip did not immediately ask me about my schooling or what college I wanted to attend upon meeting me. Having perfect grades and a perfect resume was not how we weighed one another's worth, which is a much needed reminder for many American teenagers. AMIGOS taught me that making an impact is not about how much money you make or how "successful" you look on paper. At the end of the day, our impact lies in how we treat the world around us— both human and natural. Thanks to AMIGOS, I plan on using my impact to its fullest.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
1) You don't need as much as you think you will! Pack conservatively (but do bring a jacket; it gets cold!)
2) Forget about the phone! I promise that you will get so much more out of the experience if you don't spend the whole time counting down to your next opportunity to use your phone.
3) Take advantage of the opportunities to meet new people! Everyone on your trip is there for a reason, and they all have so many good stories to share.
Response from Amigos de las Americas

Hi Sydney,

We are so happy to hear that your AMIGOS experience this summer really impacted your life. Thank you for sharing this!

-Amigos de las Americas

Default avatar
Raine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing!

Hi There! I attended the Costa Rica Monterverde and Costa Atlantica program this past summer. I can honestly say that it was the best 3 weeks of my life. I fell in love with Costa Rica and would have stayed for ever if given the opportunity. I think the lessons on sustainability, diversity, conservation, etc. were really valuable, especially with the hands on approach. My favorite part was partnering with ASTOP, a turtle conservation agency in Parismina, and seeing baby leatherback sea turtles get released into the ocean. I could not recommend AMIGOS more because it allowed me to immerse myself in a new language and culture in ways I probably would never have been able to. From cooking, dance, and bracelet making classes to beach cleanups and ziplining, it is clear that the program offered really unique experiences. With amazing food, activities, and people, it was better than I ever could have imagined.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would try to reach out to the community more. It was difficult because of COVID restrictions, but I would have loved to have more conversations with the locals because they have so many valuable things to teach us.
1 person found this review helpful.
Response from Amigos de las Americas

Hi Raine,
We are glad that you enjoyed your time in Costa Rica, especially volunteering with ASTOP!
Thank you for recommending Amigos!
-Amigos de las Americas

Default avatar
Sophie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Join Amigos if you want an impactful social and educational experience

I was a Montañas y Mar 2021 volunteer. I did not do one of the home stays but instead travelled with a group of 19 youths. The staff were great, very approachable and hardworking. They listened to the volunteers and adapted the trip as needed to make sure everyone was safe and happy. What really made the trip a memorable experience for me were the connections I built with fellow volunteers and the things I learned, both about Costa Rican culture and about the program theme. There are also plenty of opportunities to interact with the local communities while being COVID safe. I came home feeling like I'd actually accomplished something.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take initiative! Being in a group of majority Americans on the trip, it could be very easy to spend the majority of the time speaking English on the trip. You have to be able to push yourself to speak Spanish and interact with guides and/or locals if you plan to learn something.
1 person found this review helpful.
Response from Amigos de las Americas

Hi Sophie,

Thank you for sharing your AMIGOS experience in Costa Rica. We're glad you had a good trip!

-Amigos de las Americas

Default avatar
Jasmin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing learning experience!

This was an amazing experience. I learned so much about Costa Rica and sustainable coffee production which I found very interesting. My Spanish has definitely improved from this trip and I got to meet so many amazing people. I highly recommend this trip to anyone who enjoys traveling, learning about a new country and culture, and connecting with people from across the country. I came back from this trip with so many new perspectives and ideas that I am so grateful to have. This is such an exciting and amazing opportunity.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
At the beginning of the trip I was given a fruit I had never seen before. It looked like and orange but was as hard as a watermelon. I didn’t know how to eat it so I just took a bite out of it, the only thing you weren’t supposed to do. I later learned you had to crack it open and then eat the seeds inside, like a pomegranate. It was very cool to be introduced to a new food!
1 person found this review helpful.
Response from Amigos de las Americas

Hi Jasmin,

Thank you for sharing your AMIGOS experience! We're glad you had a great summer in Costa Rica.

-Amigos de las Americas

Default avatar
Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great opportunity to foster connections and get out of your element!

I was a staff member for this program in summer 2020, and I was so impressed by not only the communities we immersed ourselves in and the curriculum we taught, but also the group of teens that participated. Get involved with AMIGOS if you want the best opportunity possible to step outside of your comfort zone, learn about the region with a heavy dose of cultural humility, and experience what true collaboration with partner organizations looks like. In this project, we spent 10 days in a cloud forest community, learning about sustainability and conservation through a combination of local tours, impactful volunteer opportunities, in-house workshops, and ecotourism excursions. We then ventured to a remote town on the Atlantic coast, accessible only by river boat, where we worked with a partner organization to protect the local sea turtle population against poachers and other threats. We built upon each work or volunteer opportunity with interactive lessons on power and privilege, intercultural exchange, climate justice, and youth leadership. Students who choose to do AMIGOS care deeply about the world and their place in it, and this trip has the power to widen their perspective even further! I would strongly recommend it to those who are traveling to the region for the first time, as Costa Rica is an easy country to travel through, and has a very developed ecotourism base to learn from.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take every opportunity to practice Spanish! Every one!
3 people found this review helpful.
Response from Amigos de las Americas

Hi Emily,

Thank you for writing about your AMIGOS experience this summer! We're glad you had a good summer.

-Amigos de las Americas

Default avatar
Alex
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An exceptional experience :)

I had the time of my life on this trip. Not only did I get to learn so much about the community and about coffee farming, but I made so many new friends and I learned a lot about myself. I can tell you that spending over a year in quarantine as a 15-16-year-old was not fun. Other than the company of my wonderful family, I was really deprived of social interaction. Being on this program introduced me to 22 other people that I am proud to call my friends and AMIGOS family. This trip connected me with so many people that I would have never gotten to meet. I learned so much from the other participants and from the community members that I got to meet. Personally seeing how coffee farmers lived was an eye-opening experience. Hearing and learning about their struggles highlighted what it is truly like to be a farmer. I gained invaluable knowledge and had the experience of a lifetime. This summer was one of the best summers I've had in a long time and I got to let loose a little. I wasn't pressured by other people to appear a certain way or act a certain way, I could be myself and let out some of my inner child. It was an entirely different experience. Not having to worry about what the people in my life think about me, what I'm going to make for breakfast, and what I'm going to do that day allowed me to truly soak up the opportunity. Every day was filled with activities and excursions that always left me in awe. I am so extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to experience this and I hope you choose to experience this as well. Pura Vida!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I got to see a danta (a tapier) in the forest. It just truly made me realize that I was on that trip and got to see this hard to spot animal.
2 people found this review helpful.
Response from Amigos de las Americas

Hi Alex,

Thank you for writing about your AMIGOS experience this summer. We're glad to hear you had a good time on your trip!

-Amigos de las Americas

Default avatar
Micaela
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Los Santos Volunteer

This experience changed my life. Not only did I make new friends but I learned lessons that I will keep with my throughout the rest of my life. It gave me a new understanding of a different culture and improved my Spanish so much. I went in with no idea how it was gonna be and this experience definitely exceeded my expectations. Trying new food, meeting new people, and learning more and more Spanish were some of my favorite parts of the experience. I would definitely recommend AMIGOS to anyone!!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
My most nerve racking moment was speaking in Spanish while up there. Fully talking in Spanish was so scary but it definitely helped me improve!
4 people found this review helpful.
Response from Amigos de las Americas

Hi Micaela,

We're so glad to hear you had such a good experience with AMIGOS this summer. Thank you for sharing!

-Amigos de las Americas

Default avatar
Nico
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I Recommend Amigos

First off I recommend amigos to anyone remotely interested in getting an international experience. My year was unique due to COVID so that meant I did not do a home stay but instead traveled in a group of 19 volunteers. Because this was the first year they tried this type of program there of course were a few unforeseen challenges but the staff worked hard to overcome these. Overall the activities were meaningful however the hands on work was much better than the activities conducted in the hotel basement. It overall was a great experience in large part due to my fellow volunteers.

What would you improve about this program?
I would cut the social activities done in the hotel basement and replace them with real world activities that have more meaning.
2 people found this review helpful.
Response from Amigos de las Americas

Hi Nico,
We are happy to hear that you found the hands on activities in your program valuable!
Thank you for recommending Amigos!
-Amigos de las Americas

Questions & Answers