Location: Atenas, Costa Rica
Length: 10 days
Audience: Dental faculty and students
Highlights: Authentic homestay experience; Spanish lessons; collaborative projects with locals; hands-on lessons and discussions with local experts; organic coffee farm, 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.*
DAY 1Welcome – ¡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 2Exploring Language and Community
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). A late afternoon lesson and discussion will focus on Costa Rican education, health, and the economy.
DAY 3Teen Pregnancy Center – Dental Visit
This morning you will have a unique opportunity to learn and serve at a teen pregnancy center which houses teenage mothers (12-18 years old) who need a welcoming home, a place to care for their children, and opportunities for personal development. This afternoon we will sit down with a local Atenas dentist to discuss the Costa Rican education and training requirements within the field of dentistry.
DAY 4INA and Dental Radiology
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 dental hygiene focused activities with local young adults enrolled in the INA national employment program. Later we will learn and discuss the education, training, and options of services in the field of dental radiology.
DAY 5Poás Volcano – La Paz Waterfall Gardens
After breakfast 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.
DAY 6Health Institutions
Visit the Atenas Health Clinic servicing the county of Atenas followed by a visit and discussion at an EBAIS rural clinic. We will also visit and learn more about the CEN CINAI government funded early childhood health program and the Red Cross public ambulance service. From public health to the economy this afternoon we will enjoy a presentation on the impact of Costa Rica’s powerful environmental policies.
DAY 7Organic Coffee Farm – University Visit
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 participate and assist in a basic dentistry class at the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. Here you will observe similarities and differences between class content and structure in the United States versus Costa Rica.
DAY 8Community Service
You will have a unique opportunity to learn and serve at a San Jose charity organization serving low socio-economic communities through programs in education, food distribution, health services, housing, and more. Our work will concentrate on dental hygiene education for children ages 4-10. Later, we will engage in a round-table discussion regarding protocol and radiation protection measures with local radiologist. We wrap up the day with an energizing Latin dance workshop.
DAY 9Playa 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 10Departure Home
IACR staff will take you to the San Jose International Airport where we will say our final adiós.