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Costa Rica Community Service

14 Days

  • Experience everyday life in a traditional village.
  • Restore a community building, plant trees, or teach English to children.
  • Go kayaking or horseback riding in the shadow of Arenal Volcano.
  • Snorkel amid brilliant marine life.
Costa Rica Community Service
Costa Rica Community Service

Dates & Tuition

June 26-July 9, 2015
July 3-16, 2015
July 10-23, 2015
July 17-30, 2015


Airfare is not included. We have arranged a round-trip group flight between Houston and Liberia, Costa Rica. Click here for information on transportation to and from programs.

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Itinerary — 14 Days

Costa Rica is known for its biodiversity and its pioneering conservation efforts. Steaming volcanoes poke out of thick, green jungle; and protected tropical rain forests, teeming with wildlife, reach all the way to the pristine coast. Immerse yourself in a mountain village and work alongside community members on a variety of service projects, documenting life in the village through photos, journals, and video. Then set off to explore Costa Rica's most active volcano and the breathtaking western coast.

Community Service Village

Days 1-8. After a day of orientation at the beach, travel to our village in the mountainous northwestern province of Guanacaste, and settle into everyday life. Our days start with a typical breakfast of rice, beans, eggs, and fresh fruit. Then split into teams and head out with members of the community to work on a variety of service projects. Clear forest trails, teach English to students at the elementary school, or paint a health center. Help build local housing, or pitch in on the restoration of a community building. Organize a village cleanup, plant trees, or develop a conservation project that the local youth can continue.

In the afternoon, take a break from your projects to explore this lush, mountainous area. Hike to a nearby swimming hole with your new Costa Rican friends, or arrange a game of pickup fútbol. Go for a walk in the tropical forests to look for monkeys and unusual flora. Join some of the local women in the kitchen to learn how to make tortillas and gallo pinto, or try your hand at milking at the town dairy farm. Throughout your time in the village, record your service project work through photographs, journal entries, and video. With the guidance of your leaders, craft a story about your experience, the challenges facing the community, or of the impact of your work.

Arenal Volcano

Days 9-11. After wrapping up our community service projects, we'll move on to Arenal, the most active volcano in Costa Rica, flanked by thick rain forest. Our home here is a small, sustainable, family-run ranch that has its own organic garden, a reforestation corridor, hot springs, and a rehabilitation center for injured or abandoned wildlife. Spend an afternoon exploring the rain forest on horseback, or go kayaking on Lake Arenal. Take a day trip to the Catarata de la Fortuna, a spectacular waterfall located at the base of the dormant Chato volcano. Go for a swim in the natural pools of crystal-clear water below the falls.

Northwest Coast

Days 12-14. Descend from the mountains to the pristine Pacific coast, where we'll spend our final days in a small beachside village. Snorkel amid spectacular marine life, kayak across the bay, and enjoy an afternoon at one of Costa Rica's white-sand beaches.


Accommodations in the village are simple. The group sleeps in sleeping bags on the floor of the community center. Boys and girls have separate spaces, and bathrooms are shared. We prepare our meals alongside volunteers from the community. At Arenal, we sleep in private bungalows and eat buffet-style meals in the open-air restaurant. At the beach, we stay in a family-run villa.
Apply now for this program or call us for more information at 877-877-8759.

Proceeds from our student expeditions help fund the National Geographic Society's core mission programs. By traveling with us, you are helping support our grantees and explorers in their efforts to preserve species and habitats, protect cultures, and advance understanding of our incredible planet.
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