Immerse yourself in Latin culture to develop important skills in cultural competency. Live with a Costa Rica family, engage in meaningful community service projects, and participate in interactive Spanish classes.
Location: Atenas, Costa Rica
Length: 11 days
Highlights: Authentic homestay experience; Spanish lessons; collaborative projects with locals; hands-on lessons and discussions with local experts; visits to volcano, organic coffee farm, theater, Pacific Coast, and national parks; community service, and more
Due to the customized nature of each program, prices and itineraries are subject to change. For more details please contact Immersion Abroad Costa Rica (510) 315-7065 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Special discounts for groups 10 and larger.
DAY 1 Welcome – ¡Bienvenidos!
Arrive in San Jose and meet your Immersion Abroad Costa Rica (IACR) coordinator at the airport. Travel to the IACR Program Center in Atenas for an authentic Costa Rican meal and important trip orientation. Your host family will pick you up to experience your first night in your new “Tico” home.
DAY 2 Exploring Language and Community
Prepare for a colorful and delicious morning as we explore the farmer’s market in the heart of Atenas. Joined by local Costa Rican students, you will have a chance to purchase and sample some of the most exquisite tropical fruits and vegetables. Participate in fun and engaging Spanish lessons followed by a guided orientation activity of the quaint, friendly town of Atenas. Enjoy a traditional lunch experience at the colorful central market sodas (small family style diners).This afternoon includes a community service activity aimed at offering English conversation practice to students in alternative technical training programs.
DAY 3 San Jose and Latin Dance Workshop
Today we travel to capital city San Jose for a visit to the National Cultural Museum with exhibits ranging from art to pre-Columbian artifacts. We will then walk through the beautiful Metropolitan Cathedral and have time to shop at the vibrant artisan market. Learn to dance merengue, salsa, and more as we wrap up the day with an energizing Latin dance workshop for a better understanding of Costa Rica’s rhythmic culture.
DAY 4 Hands-On Learning at Organic Coffee Farm
Today offers a one-of-a-kind hands-on learning experience at a local organic coffee farm. Learn about sustainable cultivation techniques and discover why coffee is one of Costa Rica’s most important exports. This afternoon you will engage in a special cultural exchange with local Costa Rican students followed by an exciting afternoon ride in a traditional Costa Rican ox cart. Participate with local people in traditional games such as carrera de sacos, el huevo en cuchara, and rayuela.
DAY 5 Round-table Discussion and Community Activity
We kick off the morning with a round-table discussion on global issues that impact Costa Rica and its neighbors. We will discuss issues related to transportation, immigration, technology, and economy. Join local community youth for a time of recreational sports as we end the day with fun and lively cross-cultural teamwork.
DAY 6 Rural Public School and Latin Cooking Class
Today you will have a unique opportunity to serve in a low-income rural public school by working with students in subject specific learning stations. All activities will have a bilingual component guided by IACR staff. This afternoon’s Spanish class will focus on food as we learn how to prepare a few typical Costa Rican dishes.
DAY 7 Poás Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens
Enjoy an unforgettable visit to Poás Volcano by hiking to the rim of this world’s largest and most accessible volcanic crater. We will continue the day with a drive to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens to explore some of the most beautiful and famous waterfalls in Costa Rica. You will have time to walk around their on-site wildlife rescue preserve with over 100 species of animals and historic home site.
DAY 8 University for Peace and Spanish Class
Your day begins with a visit to one of the most unique institutions around the globe – The University for Peace. Mandated in 1980 by The United Nations, The University for Peace is an academic institution whose mission is to offer degrees focused on worldwide peace and security. We will tour the facility then head back to Atenas for a lively real-world conversational Spanish class amidst the local shops and vendors.
DAY 9 INA and Theater Performance
This morning you will engage in a special cultural exchange with Costa Rican students at INA (Instituto National de Aprendizaje), Costa Rica’s highly successful National Institute of Learning. You will participate in activities with local young adults about cultural and environmental focused topics. This evening takes us to the capital city of San Jose to attend a lively cultural performance.
DAY 10 Playa Herradura and Zip-Line
We begin today’s adventure with a scenic drive to Herradura Beach where you will have a chance to swim, play beach soccer, or just stroll the warm tropical sands that hug the blue Pacific waters. Before arriving at the beach we will stop for a unique zip-line tour through the rainforest. This evening we will enjoy a final meal together, receive program completion certificates, and share reflections on our incredible learning adventure.
DAY 11 Departure Home
IACR staff will take you to the San Jose International Airport where we will say our final adiós.