Location: Atenas, Costa Rica
Length: 9 days
Audience: Education faculty and students
Highlights: Authentic homestay experience; Spanish lessons; collaborative projects with locals; hands-on lessons and discussions with local experts; organic coffee farm, national parks; K-12 and higher education visits, 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 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
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).Prepare for a fascinating afternoon discussion on Costa Rican education, health, and economy.
DAY 3 Rural Public School
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 including math, geography, art, and literacy. All activities will have a bilingual component guided by IACR staff. We’ll wrap up the day with Spanish class followed by an evening with your host family.
DAY 4 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. Following our visit to the coffee farm we will head back to Atenas for a lively real-world conversational Spanish class amidst the local shops and vendors.
DAY 5 Farmer’s Market, INA, University of Peace
Prepare for a colorful and delicious morning as we explore the farmer’s market in the heart of Atenas. After the farmer’s market 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. This afternoon continues with a visit to one of the most unique institutions around the globe – The University for Peace.
DAY 6 San Jose and Latin Dance Workshop
Following a morning Spanish class we will travel to capital city San Jose for a visit to the National Cultural Museum. We will then walk through the beautiful Metropolitan Cathedral and have time to shop at the vibrant artisan market. We will wrap up the day with an energizing Latin dance workshop for a better understanding of Costa Rica’s rhythmic culture.
DAY 7 Poás Volcano – Chilamate
After breakfast enjoy an unforgettable visit to Poás Volcano by hiking to the rim of this world’s largest and most accessible volcanic crater. Following our visit we will begin our overnight adventure to Chilamate in the Sarapiqui North Caribbean region. We will stop along the way for a taste of authentic Costa Rican cuisine. After checking in to the hotel you will have a relaxing tube ride down the Amarillo River.
DAY 8 Organic Coffee Farm
This morning we set out for Braulio Carrillo National Park. Here you will enjoy a moderate hike with a naturalist guide for an expert understanding of the park’s five ecosystems. Afternoon excursions include a chocolate tour and zip-lining through the rainforest canopy. We wrap up the day at the breathtaking Costa Rica Nature Pavilion, a National Geographic destination site and central home to over 225 bird species.
DAY 9 Community Service
Today we will tour the Atenas Alternative Technical School and engage in instructional conversations with students studying English as a Second Language. This evening we will enjoy a final meal together, receive program completion certificates, and share reflections on our incredible learning adventure.
DAY 10 Departure
IACR staff will take you to the San Jose International Airport where we will say our final adiós.