It's the best of both worlds! Become part of a new community and live with a host family in Costa Rica. On weekends, travel around the region to meet up with other volunteers and Costa Rican students for fun, interactive workshops!
Work with local youth in your community to design and carry out a project that meets community needs while learning the meaning of "pura vida" with your new tico friends. In addition to leading day camps and working on your service project, you may spend your days leading English conversation circles, hiking around your town, exploring a coffee farm, learning to make tortillas, playing soccer, spending time with your host family, and becoming part of a new community.

About the Region

Climate

Tropical

Terrain

Mountainous

Slang

pura vida = life is good, cool
sendero = trail

Food

Gallo pinto (rice and black beans), plantains, tortillas

Example Service Projects
  • Fixing up a school playground
  • Founding a community library
  • Working with health professionals to plan a conference on community health.
Weekend Workshops

The Palmares Project is unique in that you’ll get to know different communities in your area through weekend workshops for AMIGOS students from the U.S. and Costa Rica. You’ll get to travel around the region as you plan and lead these events with your fellow volunteers.

Project Features

AMIGOS volunteers increase their language ability through immersion that goes beyond what can be achieved in a classroom. They improve their fluency, learn local slang, and increase their confidence with real-world practice.
Living with a host family is central to the AMIGOS experience. All host families volunteer to open their homes to young people from another culture. Volunteers and host families build long-lasting relationships and often stay in touch after the project has closed.
While in country, AMIGOS volunteers work on a community-led service project. Every service project is unique, but each channels young people's ideas to create positive change.
The opportunity for independence and self direction makes AMIGOS unique. Volunteers shape their time in country according to their passions. the possibilities are endless - what each volunteer takes out of their experience is up to them!
Every Amigo is mentored by a member of our project leadership team through regular check-ins and personalized feedback. This allows volunteers to experience the independence hat sets out programs apart, with the support of a passionate facilitator.
Volunteers build their leadership and community development skills through hands-on training. Not only is AMIGOS training fun and engaging, it gives volunteers the necessary tools for success in the field and beyond.
  • National Chapter
  • Length
    6 weeks
  • Training Dates
    Group Pre-Departure Training: July 5–9
  • In-Country Dates
    July 9–August 17
  • Ages
    15–22
  • Price
    $6,350 (includes international airfare)
Want to go to Costa Rica?

Start your application today!

APPLY NOW
AMIGOS is such an incredible program for a cultural immersion experience because they incorporate the opportunity to live and work within a Latin American community. I learned a lot of Spanish and had a blast with my new Tico friends!
Lily, Costa Rica Project Volunteer
Program Requirements
  • Meet the health criteria for AMIGOS participation and follow the mental health procedures if necessary
  • Receive required immunizations and medications
  • Be at least 15 year old by project start date
  • Have two years of Spanish study or the equivalent

PALMARES Project EXAMPLE Itinerary

*Itinerary may be subject to change.

First Day – Volunteers arrive. Project staff pick them up at the airport and the group travels to the briefing site in San Isidro.

Week 1 – Briefing. Project staff members lead all volunteers in a country-specific orientation to AMIGOS and the Palmares Project. On the last day of briefing, we will host a ‘bienvenida,’ where host families will pick you up and take you to your host community.

In Community – Lead fun sessions for local youth that focus on specific topics that relate to the environment. Start talking to local residents and your AMIGOS partner about your service project.

First Weekend Workshop – Travel to a town in the region to join in a weekend retreat with other AMIGOS volunteers and Costa Rican students. This gives you a chance to visit multiple communities in the area and expand your opportunity for cultural exchange.

In Community – Lead day camps for local kids and start putting your community service project into action.

Second Weekend Workshop – Get to know a different community during the second community service retreat.

In Community – Lead day camps and continue work on your community service project.

Final Week in CommunityDespedida – host families and members of the community have a goodbye party for volunteers in San Isidro.

Last Week in Costa Rica – Debriefing. AMIGOS volunteers come together at the end of the program. Reflect on your experience, prepare for going home, and go on fun excursions with your group!

Last Day – Fly home!

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