Costa Rica

COSTA RICA 2017 Blog


Day 1 - Arriving to Costa Rica
Depending on the arrival time of your group, we will either spend the evening in San Jose or head directly to the La Fortuna. Settling into your hotel, the group will be given a chance to settle in and refresh before a group orientation and a good night’s sleep.

Enjoy your first glimpses of this spectacular country. From its rainforests to its volcanic peaks to its two coasts, Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful nations in Central America. Home to some of the most biodiverse swaths of land and sea on the planet, Costa Rica is famed for its natural environment – and its commitment to that environment! Costa Ricans – or Ticos, as they’re called here – are intensely proud and protective of their lands, and have put their country on the map as the world leader in ecotourism and environmental protection. In addition to its stunning flora and fauna, Costa Rica is also world renowned for its adventure activities, some of which you may be sampling in the days to come! Welcome to Costa Rica!!
Overnight: Hotel in San Jose

Day 2 - La Fortuna Rainforest
Wake up early for breakfast before departing with your group to La Fortuna, one of Costa Rica’s most scenic towns. After a beautiful three hour drive, arrive at the Volcano and Rainforest Service Base in time for a fresh Tico lunch. There will be time to settle into rooms and get to know The Base before going to a cultural presentation at a nearby school. In the evening get together with your new friends and enjoy card games, good music, and new stories. Enjoy dinner and in the evening learn about the country and the town of La Fortuna.
Overnight: Volcano Rainforest and Service base.

Day 3 - Community service
After an early breakfast the group will head out to the nearby waterfall of La Fortuna. Spend the morning enjoying the beauty of the waterfall and swimming in the river it feeds into. Head out to work on the community service projects. La Fortuna is famous for the towering Arenal Volcano and the rural communities that surround it rely heavily on tourism as well as agriculture. Rustic Pathways has partnered with a number of schools and rural communities in the region to support education facility improvements, infrastructure development and environmental initiatives.

During the summer of 2015, Rustic Pathways students undertook the following initiatives:

Education: Upgrading of school facilities at four elementary schools in the La Fortuna region. Projects included the upgrading of classrooms at El Carmen School; construction of a storage room at San Rafael School; creation of a school garden at El Bosque School that will provide fresh food for school lunches and opportunities for agricultural education; and, construction of a greenhouse at San Francisco School to expand the school's agricultural training program and increase production of food for school lunches and to generate funds for school programs.

Education: English language tutoring at San Francisco School to support the school’s English curriculum and provide opportunities to practice with native speakers.

Infrastructure: Upgrading a multipurpose gym in partnership with the Chachagua Development Association to support efforts to promote sports education and provide space for community events.

In the evening get together with your new friends and enjoy card games, good music, and new stories.

Community service hours: 3
Overnight: Volcano Rainforest and Service base.

Day 4 - Community service
In the morning after breakfast, leave The Base to work on one of the exciting and rewarding projects in the surrounding communities. Work will be divided into community improvement projects, educational facility development, and green initiative projects.

After a productive morning return to The Base for a fantastic lunch. Take a siesta or jump in the pool for a quick swim before leaving again to work on a different afternoon service project. After dinner, head into town for a field trip to learn about local coffee production, and a chance to use the internet!

Community service hours: 6
Overnight: Volcano Rainforest and Service base.

Day 5 - Community service
Continue with the community service during the day. In the evening, there is no better way to unwind after a long day than visiting the hot springs and treating your body to its naturally replenishing effects. The natural volcanic hot springs have created 5 elegant pools with temperatures ranging from 99° to 106° F (37° to 41°C) in addition to one freshwater waterfall and pool; all forming part of our exotic natural therapeutic spa.

Community service hours: 6
Overnight: Volcano Rainforest and Service base.

Day 6 - Zip Lining in the Rainforest
Wake up for an early breakfast, and then you will zip line through the rainforest canopy. After lunch, you will work on an environmental initiative such as reforestation, helping in a recycling center, or helping in local gardens.

Community service hours: 3
Overnight: Volcano Rainforest and Service base.

Day 7 - Last day of service and return to San Jose
After breakfast spend the last few hours of service at the community and say all the good byes to the people you have met, You will be able to pack, swim in the pool, and enjoy some down time at The Base. After a final lunch and closing activities, say your goodbyes and head back to San José.

Community service hours: 3
Overnight: Hotel in San Jose

Day 8 - Departing Costa Rica
You’ll have just enough time today to pack away your belongings before departing for the airport. We hope the people you’ve met, perspectives you’ve gained and lessons you’ve learned will serve you well as you head home to use your new Spanish skills in your own community.

After some final group photographs and high-fives with the Tico team, you’ll head through immigration and board your flight home. We trust you’ve had an incredible time in Costa Rica and hope to see you again soon. Pura Vida!

Program Includes:

  • 7 nights of accommodation
  • All meals all days
  • All transportation
  • Rustic Pathways fulltime international and local guides
  • All activities as detailed in your itinerary
  • Single point of contact from Rustic Pathways for support leading up to the program
  • Rustic Pathways 24hour emergency support throughout program
  • International SOS emergency evacuation insurance
  • All airport taxes and departure fees
  • All fees, community service donations, and guide tips

Rachel Gemo is the Head of Parish School of SBPS. She has been “on the block” for thirteen years serving as capacity of Principal of the Elementary school and now CEO.  Prior to coming to St. Ben’s she taught Middle School Language Arts, Religion, Social Studies and Science.  In recent years she has traveled to Greece, Turkey, China, Israel, Spain, Italy and Ecuador learning about cross-cultural education. She has experience leading students in international travel and is looking forward to this journey.  

Mr. Érico Ramírez is beginning his second year of teaching at St. Benedict. As part of the Foreign Language Department, he teaches Spanish to all grade levels. This will be his first international Agora trip; however, last year, he accompanied the 8th grade Agora as they discovered Washington, DC. In the past, he has toured across borders throughout Spain and Mexico.