A worldwide leader in eco-tourism, Costa Rica is recognized for its rich biodiversity while also well known for its warm and welcoming people who live by the expression ‘Pura Vida.’ In the heart of the Nicoya Peninsula, the town of Santa Cruz is a short drive from stunning beaches, rainforests, and a warm, tropical environment. However, among the palm trees and sandy shores, the community rural towns like Santa Cruz struggle with over 25,000 residents living in extreme poverty and the highest unemployment rates Costa Rica. Your work to support health and education initiatives within elementary schools in Santa Cruz help lift access to opportunity and resources for a community struggling to meet their most basic needs.
The Home-Base is located in a quaint and peaceful rural area that is a short walk from the bustling city of Santa Cruz. The historic center, grocery stores, bakeries, banks, and markets are a short walk away. The renovated house has been transformed with five bedrooms accommodating four to eight volunteers in each. It includes a hangout area with hammocks, common reading room, dining room, and kitchen. There are gender specific bathrooms located on each end of the facility with multiple stall toilets and showers. There is also wireless internet access available in the Home-Base. Delicious meals are provided by local cooks and include typical local dishes such as gallo pinto, a breakfast combination of rice and beans and eggs. Enjoy lots of fresh fruit and juices such as cas, passion fruit, mango, pineapple, or cantaloupe juice. The food is great for volunteers who are vegetarians.
Cross-Cultural Solutions’ local staff designs and runs each program; the staff will make you feel at home acting like a second family during your stay and helping you better understand the culture. They help facilitate your placement and activities and are always available to handle any questions that may arise.
Costa Rica Country Director, Franklin Torrez Ruiz has a passion for social development and founded Global Brigades Nicaragua, where he worked as a business brigade coordinator and technician before coming to CCS in 2018. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology from Zamorano University in Honduras and did a study program in Sustainable Agriculture at Minnesota University. Previous to his work with Global Brigades, he was involved as a volunteer with non-profit organizations in Ethiopia, Uganda and Ecuador. Lastly, he is a student of apologetics and loves to play chess!
Each weekday afternoon our professional staff guide the group on Cultural & Learning Activities in the local area. In Costa Rica these Cultural activities include: a community tour and scavenger hunt, chocolate workshop, cooking lessons, a pottery workshop, latin dance lesson, cow milking and cheese making workshop, chocolate making class, visit to a monkey sanctuary, and level appropriate Spanish lessons. Enjoy strolling, swimming, and sunsets at a local beach. Optional add-on afternoon activities include zip-line, surf lessons, or kayaking.
On the weekends your group may choose to explore other areas of the country through our guided overnight packages. Spend one or two nights exploring beaches, marine parks, rainforests, cloudforests, national parks, and more.
Embark on a weekend day excursion to the Pacific Coast Beaches of Playa Tamarindo and Playa Samara! Participate in professionally guided surf lessons, kayak excursion, snorkeling and more. Enjoy additional beach time, gift shopping in local markets, and gorgeous Pacific sunsets
Explore one of the most well-known cloud forest in the world for its biodiversity, conservation efforts, and scientific research. Take a guided nature walk through the park to experience this unique ecosystem. The following day, explore the rainforest further with an exhilarating Skytrek adventure, an extensive system of suspension bridges and zip lines through the canopy.
Take an overnight excursion to La Fortuna-Arenal Volcano Natl Park. Explore the rainforest and wildlife through a canopy tour at Hanging Bridges Park or alternatively through an exhilarating Skytrek zip-line adventure. Trek to the stunning La Fortuna Waterfall for a swim and then relax in the one of La Fortuna’s many restorative natural hot springs.