Photo Stories


Each story, captured in beautiful imagery, reflects unique encounters made possible by IACR’s mission of offering community-based, multi-disciplinary experiences. Each photo represents 1 of 3 categories: People, Culture, Nature.

Thank you to all those who participated in this year’s contest. Stay tuned for future photo contest opportunities. If you have a story your itching to tell, please contact us and tell us more. Your story might be next on our page!

This was my favorite day in Costa Rica. I went with my friend’s host family and they took us on an adventure through a coffee farm and a small forest. After a small hike, we all sat together and had a picnic off the trees. It was so simple, yet one of the best days of my life. I love this family and being with them was a blessing. This particular picture I took was of my friend, Jake, with 11 year old Jose calling out to his older brother Juan Diego as we were walking up to the coffee farm. I think this photo captures the beauty of Costa Rica, and for me this day captured the essence of “Pura Vida.” – Casey Marlin
Interested in learning more about IACR’s homestay experience? Click here for more information.

The door is in a restaurant called Doña Julia. On our way back from visiting Volcano Poas we stopped there for lunch. The restaurant had several painted doors and posts with hanging onions and garlic. A very rustic environment. The atmosphere in the restaurant was very Tico and down to earth. Great food and friendly service. I loved the hand-painted art work. If I could, I would have brought this door and a couple of the posts home with me! -Saeed Rahmanian
Interested in learning more about Costa Rican artwork? Click here for information on IACR’s cultural immersion programs. 


Our group had visited a coffee plantation. Everybody was able to walk around the farm and see all of the plants that were planted, but few were ready for harvest. Even though the farm was mainly for harvesting coffee, the farm had integrated a system of permaculture, which was the planting of other fruits around the crop that you want to harvest. These passion fruit flowers were some of the most beautiful flowers I had seen the entire trip. If only we were able to eat some passion fruit or maracuyá. There were not many others flowers around the entire coffee plantation, only a lot of trees, so this was an amazing discovery. -Sarah Israel
Interested in Costa Rica’s nation-wide efforts in sustainable agriculture? Click here for more information about IACR’s newest Food and Sustainability Programs.