Give & Explore
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This country may be small, but it’s packed full of adventure after adventure. If you love the outdoors, the best sights are all close by … no matter where you are. Try white water rafting in world renowned national parks, exploring hidden caves or experiencing the dense rain forests by foot (or by zipline!). Try soaking in jungle hot springs, hiking to waterfalls and volcanoes and checking out some of the world’s best snorkeling. Before you leave, you gotta see white sand beaches and bustling markets for yourself. You’ll have lots to do in Costa Rica, that’s for sure.
From national parks to jungles and beaches, explore what Costa Rica has to offer. You can also jump over to neighboring Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico ... or maybe even check out a Caribbean island like the Dominican Republic.
You’ll see and hear this phrase all over — it’s plastered all over businesses and shops and heard constantly on the street, but it’s much more than just a saying. It translates to “pure life” and is woven into the cultural fabric of the country. Pure vida is a greeting, but it has also become a way of life. The people here are all about living a happy life and want to share that with others. Plan on finding and sharing your pura vida with the locals during your semester here.
Costa Rica’s culture is a unique mix of local history and wealthy expat life, a split between all-inclusive tours and a rugged paradise perfect for the adventurous backpacker. When it comes to this humanitarian experience, you’ll notice the stark halves of this country firsthand; Volunteers here get the unique experience of teaching children who fall right in the middle of that gap. The children you’ll teach are poorer than those who attend (expensive) private schools, but at the same time, they aren't lacking as much as children in our other ILP humanitarian programs. Because of Costa Rica's tourist-bolstered economy, volunteering here will mean giving children an English education they wouldn't be able to receive otherwise.