Location: Atenas, Costa Rica
Length: 11 days
Audience: Nursing and health services professionals
Highlights: Authentic homestay experience; Spanish lessons; collaborative projects and discussions with local healthcare professionals; organic coffee farm, national parks; public and private hospital tours, 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).A late afternoon lesson and discussion will focus on Costa Rican education, health, and the economy.
DAY 3 Health Clinics and San Jose
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. This afternoon we will 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.
DAY 4 Community Service
Today you will have a unique opportunity to learn and serve at San Jose charity organization serving low socio-economic communities through programs in education, food distribution, health services, housing and more. Our work with concentrate on children ages 4-10 on dental hygiene.
DAY 5 Hospital Visit and Medical Tourism
This morning we will spend time at the San Vicente de Paúl Hospital in Heredia. Following lunch you will attend a presentation by CIMA hospital physician on the rise of medical tourism in Costa Rica. The CIMA hospital in San Jose is a highly respected treatment and research center that attracts the best trained and most specialized medical staff in the Central American and Caribbean region. This hospital is the main reason why Costa Rica has become a premier international destination for medical tourism.
DAY 6 Round-table: Nutrition/Environment and Latin Dance Workshop
Today we will visit Costa Rica’s Institute of Social Assistance and Promotion (IMAS). With over 40 years of experience, IMAS develops, finances, implements and evaluates social service and investment projects in order to alleviate extreme poverty in the country. This afternoon you will have a unique opportunity to learn and serve at a local women’s prison.
DAY 7 Farmer’s Market – Poás Volcano
Prepare for a colorful and delicious morning as we explore the farmer’s market in the heart of Atenas. You will have a chance to purchase and sample some of the most exquisite tropical fruits and vegetables. Following the farmer’s market we will enjoy an unforgettable visit to Poás Volcano by hiking to the rim of this world’s largest and most accessible volcanic crater.
DAY 8 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 Pacific blue waters. Before arriving at the beach we will stop for a unique zip-line tour through the rainforest. On the way home we will observe native crocodiles on the bridge over the Tarcoles River.
DAY 9 Nursing Student Exchange
This morning you will engage in a special exchange with Central American nursing students from the University of Alajuela.
DAY 10 Round-table Discussions: Immigrant Healthcare
We kick off the morning with a round-table discussion by local community public healthcare representative from the immigrant community. This evening we will enjoy a final meal together, receive program completion certificates, and share reflections on our incredible learning adventure.
DAY 11 Departure
IACR staff will take you to the San Jose International Airport where we will say our final adiós.