Explore different farming practices in the Los Santos region of Costa Rica! What impact does international demand for Costa Rican coffee have on local communities? What does local food production have to do with agroforestry practices? From cultivation to consumption, dive deep into food systems by learning from communities in Costa Rica.
Length Requirements Dates Ages Application
Deadline
Price
Session A 4 Weeks

Minimum 2 years of Spanish

Passport valid 6 months after project end date

Pre-departure training, online or in-person

Attend Health and Safety and Project webinars in the Spring

June 11–July 9, 2024

15–19 National Chapter: April 16

$6,175 – National Chapter

Fees include all in-country expenses

Fundraising Support Available

Flight costs are not included

Session B 4 Weeks

Minimum 2 years of Spanish

Passport valid 6 months after project end date

Pre-departure training, online or in-person

Attend Health and Safety and Project webinars in the Spring

July 16–Aug 13, 2024

15–19 National Chapter: May 14

$6,175 – National Chapter

Fees include all in-country expenses

Fundraising Support Available

Flight costs are not included

Session C 9 Weeks

Minimum 2 years of Spanish

Passport valid 6 months after project end date

Pre-departure training, online or in-person

Attend Health and Safety and Project webinars in the Spring

June 11- Aug 13

15-19 National Chapter: April 16

$6,275 – National Chapter

Fees include all in-country expenses

Fundraising Support Available

Flight costs are not included

  • Session A
  • Length
    4 Weeks
  • Requirements

    Minimum 2 years of Spanish

    Passport valid 6 months after project end date

    Pre-departure training, online or in-person

    Attend Health and Safety and Project webinars in the Spring

  • Dates

    June 11–July 9, 2024

  • Ages
    15–19
  • Application Deadline
    National Chapter: April 16
  • Price

    $6,175 – National Chapter

    Fees include all in-country expenses

    Fundraising Support Available

    Flight costs are not included

  • Session B
  • Length
    4 Weeks
  • Requirements

    Minimum 2 years of Spanish

    Passport valid 6 months after project end date

    Pre-departure training, online or in-person

    Attend Health and Safety and Project webinars in the Spring

  • Dates

    July 16–Aug 13, 2024

  • Ages
    15–19
  • Application Deadline
    National Chapter: May 14
  • Price

    $6,175 – National Chapter

    Fees include all in-country expenses

    Fundraising Support Available

    Flight costs are not included

  • Session C
  • Length
    9 Weeks
  • Requirements

    Minimum 2 years of Spanish

    Passport valid 6 months after project end date

    Pre-departure training, online or in-person

    Attend Health and Safety and Project webinars in the Spring

  • Dates

    June 11- Aug 13

  • Ages
    15-19
  • Application Deadline
    National Chapter: April 16
  • Price

    $6,275 – National Chapter

    Fees include all in-country expenses

    Fundraising Support Available

    Flight costs are not included

RSVP for an Info Session

Click here

About the Project

Project Type

Community Immersion

Who is this project good for?

Students who are looking for a high level of independence and cultural immersion. Volunteers will spend either 3+ (Sessions A or B) or 8 weeks (Session C) in their host communities with a weekly staff visit and check-in. This project is good for people who like to do physical activity.

College Credit

Receive college credit for joining this project! Learn more here.

Food and Dietary Restrictions

Most meals will be home cooked typical Costa Rican food which can include a plate with meat or eggs, rice and beans, vegetables, and salad. This projects is vegetarian friendly.

Homestay and Lodging Info

Volunteers will all be together at the beginning and end of the project and will stay in dormitory-style lodging. The majoirty of the project lodging will be with a Costa Rican host family.

Climate and Terrain

This project is primarily located in the central highlands, a major coffee growing region (Zona de los Santos). Rain is common in during the project and temperatures are more temperate than the costal areas, ranging from the low 60’s to the low 80’s. The terrain is hilly.

Slang

pura vida = life is good, cool
tuanis = cool

Service Hours

Earn 48 (Sessions A or B) or 108 (Session C) service hours while supporting local conservation initiatives.

AMIGOS History in the Region

AMIGOS has operated in Costa Rica for more than 35 years and in that time has built strong relationships with our partner agencies and host families. We are so excited to be continuing these relationships in the summer of 2024!

What makes this project unique?

Live with a host family in Costa Rica! Live like a local by participating in their day-to-day activities. This immersive experience will give you a chance to use your language skills in Costa Rica. Four spots on this project are reserved for students from Costa Rica so you’ll have the chance to make friends across borders. You’ll also dive deep into the topic of food justice, exploring how international demand for Costa Rican coffee impacts local producers and communities.

 

Chirripó National Park, San José Province, Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica
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Dive Deep into Costa Rican Coffee

Zona de Los Santos

Surrounded by Chirripo National Park, the Los Santos region is well-known for its coffee quality. Conservation initiatives, community-led development, and coffee production go hand in hand. As a group, we will explore food justice with the coffee sector, including the production and processing of coffee, gender inequality within the industry, how coffee farms rely on ecotourism, and the contribution of coffee farms to environmental protection.

 

Partner AgencY

We will support an NGO that provides training and market connections to smallholder women farmers in remote agricultural communities in Costa Rica. Earn 48 service hours while volunteering.

You will volunteer at women-owned coffee farms and learn directly from them about the challenges of food production and adaptation to climate change, and you will contribute to a community project. Plus, four spots on this project are reserved for participants from Costa Rica so you’ll have the chance to make friends across borders. You’ll also dive deep into the topic of food justice, exploring how international demand for Costa Rican coffee impacts local producers and communities.

 

Example Activities

  • Develop a service project with local youth and implement it together
  • Volunteer with a local coffee non-profit supporting activities such as gardening, coffee farm maintenance, tree planting, etc.
  • Tour a women-led coffee co-op
  • Hike in the beautiful mountains of the Zona de Los Santos

SAMPLE ITINERARY

SESSIONS A & B (4 Weeks)

Day 1: San Jose – Arrive to Costa Rica, stay with the cohort in a hostel
Day 2-5: Los Santos – Dormitory style lodging. Breifing activities, on site orientation to the project, Spanish classes, and cultural activities. Introduction to food security and convervation initiative in the ares. Meet your host family!
Day 6-25: Los Santos – Volunteers paired up in community, each with their own host family. Workshops and community service activities with our partner agencies. Design and implemnt a service project with local youth. Engage with the local community and your host family.
Day 26-27:  Cartago Province – Dormitory style lodging. Excursion to a volcano! Debriefing actvities and reflection with the group.
Day 28: Fly home, adios AMIGOS!
*Itineraries are subject to change.

 

Session C (9 Weeks)

Day 1: San Jose – Arrive to Costa Rica, stay with the cohort in a hostel
Day 2-5: Los Santos – Dormitory style lodging. Breifing activities, on site orientation to the project, Spanish classes, and cultural activities. Introduction to food security and convervation initiative in the ares. Meet your host family!
Day 6-25: Los Santos – Volunteers paired up in community, each with their own host family. Workshops and community service activities with our partner agencies. Design and implemnt a service project with local youth. Engage with the local community and your host family.
Day 26-27: Los Santos – Hostel-style lodging. Mid Term break, rest and relax. Enjoy time with the cohort and project staff.
Day 28-60: Los Santos – Return to your host family and community projects.Continue the service project you started in weeks 1-4 and begin working toward the project goals. Deepen your relationship with your host family and the community.
Day 61-62: Cartago Province – Despedida with host families, debriefing activities with the group, and excursion to see a volcano!
Day 63: Fly home, adios AMIGOS!
*Itineraries are subject to change.

Field Notes

Los Santos: Despedidas

Los Santos, Costa Rica


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Los Santos: Checking In!

Los Santos, Costa Rica


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Los Santos: Morning Routine

Los Santos, Costa Rica


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We say goodbye to Session C of Cartago y Caribe 🌳🌳🌸🌸🌱🌱🌊🌊✨
We hope you return home safely, thank you very much for your energy, attitude and motivation throughout the project! From Zyro, Steven, Lucy and Silvia ❤️‍🔥
We are the last group to leave Costa Rica this summer of 2023. Thank you all for your work
Pura Vida Mae ❤️❤️❤️🇨🇷🇨🇷🇨🇷

Le decimos adiós a la Sesión C de Cartago y Caribe 🌳🌳🌸🌸🌱🌱🌊🌊✨
Esperamos regresen bien a casa, muchas gracias por sue energía, actitud y motivación durante todo el proyecto! De parte de Zyro, Steven, Lucy and Silvia ❤️‍🔥
Somos el último grupo en dejar Costa Rica en este verano 2023. Gracias a todos/as por su trabajo
Pura Vida Mae ❤️❤️❤️🇨🇷🇨🇷🇨🇷
...

I had an amazing experience meeting lots of people and doing fun new activities. I always felt safe but was challenged and put into situations that helped broaden my worldview.

—Annie, Costa Rica Volunteer, 2022

Program Requirements
  • Meet the health criteria for AMIGOS participation
  • Receive required immunizations
  • Be age 15–19 on the project start date
  • Have taken 2 years of Spanish or the equivalent
  • Passport valid 6 months after project start date
  • Complete pre-departure training, online or in-person
Apply Now

Program Pillars

Ethical Service

Learn how to create ethical service initiatives by working with–not for–a community, engaging local organizations and partners, and evaluating the impact of your work. AMIGOS works with trusted local partners that are passionate and committed to working with our volunteers on community service projects.

Cultural Humility

Cultural humility is a process of both self-reflection about your own culture as well as learning about other cultures. You will examine your own beliefs and cultural identity and gain an understanding of how structural racism has impacted societies and the roles that communities can take to lead systemic change.

Leadership

Learn, grow, and discover your leadership potential! Explore your sense of purpose and start to establish your personal goals and values through introspection and inquiry.

Why Choose AMIGOS?

Practice Spanish

AMIGOS programs provide a unique opportunity to experience a new culture. Volunteers report increased fluency in Spanish after completing our program. Activities go far beyond the classroom — you’ll lead activities in Spanish, learn local slang, and increase your confidence with real-world practice. You will not believe how fast your Spanish improves when you use it in conversation every day!

Have an Adventure

Travel to must-see spots in your host country! You’ll travel as a group to experience unique destinations like volcanoes, ancient ruins, national parks, and historical sites. You’ll get to see these places from the distinct perspective of someone who has spent time in that country and learned about the culture firsthand. Plus, you’ll bond with their fellow volunteers and have fun!

Travel with Trust

AMIGOS is the industry leader in health and safety management. Our staff is prepared to help you with any situation that may arise. Each volunteer receives a personalized emergency plan, as well as support from local staff teams and a professional 24-hour On-Call Safety Team of travel specialists, doctors, and mental health specialists. A Health and Wellness Coordinator is on staff with the group throughout the duration of their stay. AMIGOS also has an established network of vetted medical clinics and hospitals throughout the region.

Find out more about our programs

Join an online info session!

RSVP HERE

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