Location
  • Costa Rica
Length
2 to 6 weeks

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
Sep 06, 2022
Oct 01, 2022
9 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.

Perez Zeledon

Experience the incredible biodiversity that Costa Rica has to offer on the Pérez Zeledón project! You’ll live with a host family and 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, earning 48 service hours.

Program Reviews

4.89 Rating
based on 37 reviews
  • 5 rating 91.89%
  • 4 rating 5.41%
  • 3 rating 2.7%
  • 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 37 reviews
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
6 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
13 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
13 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.

10 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 :-(
16 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Sydney
5/5
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.
32 people found this review helpful.
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
5/5
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.
36 people 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
5/5
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.
37 people 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

Questions & Answers