December 26, 2018 - January 1, 2019 // 7 Days
August 6, 2019 - August 12, 2019 // 7 Days
Ideal for active, adventurous families who are looking to learn from and give back to the global community, our 7-day family community service trip takes us through the tropical Costa Rican countryside. This family-fun service adventure is a delightful introduction to the peaceful, green, and mountainous nation of Costa Rica and is a great way to get to know like-minded folks. Immerse yourself in the rural Costa Rican countryside, whitewater raft alongside tropical toucans, and give back to the community. Costa Rica is a natural playground for visitors of all ages!
Please note that this trip can be customized. We've had families and groups of all backgrounds join us in Costa Rica. If you have specific requirements or trip needs, please send us an email and we will do our best to accommodate your group!
Take your family on the volunteer service adventure of a lifetime! Pura Vida!
Making ourselves at home in a mountainous Turrialba community, we work alongside local families on renovation projects and language exchange. Sipping coffee straight from local farms (parents only), and sharing traditional gallo pinto around the breakfast table, our days are filled with sunshine and a true sense of global community.
#2. Adorable Slow Poke Sloths
The best game of eye spy you have ever played is waiting for you in Costa Rica. With the help of our guides, we will scan the tree tops for these two- and three-toed slow pokes. These friendly guys are a bit hard to see as they blend in so well with their surroundings, so look hard!
#3. Empanada Making!
After an adventurous day on the river, learn to make empanadas, a fried pastry filled with refried beans, cheese, and other ingredients, at an outdoor kitchen in the rainforest. Learn to make this coveted treat so loved in Costa Rica!
Adrenaline-charged whitewater rafting on the Pacuare River combines the tropical landscape and power of water into a Central American fantasy world.
The Costa Rican ticos (locals) breakfast is just what the doctor ordered. Cooks in every region tout their own special recipe of beans and rice, which is never shared or written down anywhere. Instead, it is made by sight, feel, and smell just as it has been for years or even generations.
In the evenings following our service project, we enjoy the stunning sunset over the Turrialba Valley. If the weather is clear, you can even catch a glimpse of the Turrialba Volcano on the horizon!
Even if they aren’t seen, they definitely are heard. Pound for pound, the howler is one of the loudest animals on the planet!
#8. Practice Your Spanish
Costa Rica is the ideal place to hone Spanish language skills with the warm and friendly ticos!
Costa Rica is a picture perfect example of conservation. Rich with roaring rivers, jungle waterfalls, lush rainforests, and a mind-boggling assortment of wildlife, this small Central American country is a vacation paradise. Despite all the natural beauty, many indigenous communities lack the resources to improve homes, schools, or hospitals.
Upon arrival into San Jose, we are quickly whisked away into the countryside about two hours from the capital city. In the shadow of the Turrialba Volcano, we partner a local families on a number of home repair and community oriented projects.
We work together side by side, familia con familia, on construction projects and community renovations. During breaks, we share empanadas, gallo pinto or plántanos, immersing ourselves in the culture, language, and history of the community.
Our evenings are spent at a rustic lodge, with views of the Turrialba Valley mountains and plantations of coffee, sugar cane, and fruit.
Once our time in Turrialbla is complete, we move to the Pacuare River for a whitewater rafting adventure that takes us down 18 miles of Class III and IV rapids through the magnificent rainforest.
On this quintessential tropical river, our route leads us through virgin rainforest and river-carved canyons which shelter jaguars, ocelots, monkeys, sloths and an incredible variety of birds. We steer through crystal clear rapids and take breaks to hike to hidden cascading waterfalls in the lush, green treetops. We sleep overnight at El Nido del Tigre--a jungle oasis--for an afternoon relaxing in hammocks and playing games, eating a candlelit dinner and listening to the murmurs of the surrounding jungle.
Finally, with traditional tropical fare, we feast, celebrating Costa Rica as we spend our last night sharing a meal with our newfound friends, swapping stories of our time on our sendero (journey), and reflecting on what drew us to share our time and our efforts.
Bienvenidos!! Today, our Costa Rican Adventure begins. Arriving into San Jose, we take the opportunity to meet fellow travelers and adjust to Tico time at our city-based lodge.
Today we transfer to the mountainous Turrialba province, where we spend the next three days working alongside local community members to repair homes and community spaces. Speaking Spanish, teaching English, and playing futbol alongside Costa Rican families, we celebrate and learn from the local community during this exchange. While here, we stay in a rustic lodge with views of the Turrialba Valley (and excellent birdwatching!)
Making ourselves at home in the lush Turrialba valley, we continue working alongside local families on renovation and restoration projects. Sipping coffee straight from local farms (parents only), and sharing traditional gallo pinto around the breakfast table, our days are filled with sunshine and a true sense of global community. Evenings are spent playing futbol with local families, hiking through the cloud forest, and enjoying la Pura Vida.
Transitioning into the adventure portion of our trip, we pick up our paddles and raft the legendary Pacuare River! Paddling alongside colorful toucans and keeping our eyes peeled for monkeys and sloths, we take in all this Costa Rican paradise has to offer, while getting our adrenaline up, and stopping at a secret river lodge for the night.
On our last day in Costa Rica, we make time to explore the tropical fruit stands and textile booths in San Jose's Mercado Central before departing home. In the past, families have chosen to head directly home at this point, or extend their stay on their own.
2.5 Days of Service in a Rural Village near Turrialba
Exposure within Community and Country (No Spanish experience is necessary)
Whitewater Raft: Pacuare River
Explore: Pacuare Nature Preserve, San Jose, Turrialba Valley
While in San Jose and Turrialba, we sleep in rustic lodges/hotels with beds. During our overnight at El Nido del Tigre (during the whitewater rafting portion), we stay in platform tents with mattresses and blankets. Typical, "frontcountry" showers are available in San Jose and Turrialba; private, outdoor showers are available at El Nido del Tigre. All rooms/tents are separated by family group. Electricity is available at each location except for El Nido del Tigre.
Airfare to and from San José is not included in the cost.
San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO)