Costa Rica Service Learning

Costa Rica Service Learning

Group of students in Costa Rica

Make a real impact and learn more about the sustainability efforts in the Cloud Forest.

Eller has partnered with Dream Volunteers for a 10-day service learning opportunity.

Providencia, Costa Rica

May 13 - May 22, 2024

Costa Rica Overview

Costa Rica is one of the most cosmopolitan countries in the region with diverse cultural heritage and traditions drawing from many countries all over Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Costa Rica is also a leader in environmental sustainability. However, like any emerging economy, opportunities are not always evenly distributed and many of the smaller villages and more remote regions of the country are much less developed. You have the opportunity to make a very real and immediate impact working in Costa Rica. 

The region that we'll be serving and staying in over the course of the program is called Dota (known locally as Los Santos). It is two hours southwest of San Jose (the capital city). Dota is a mountainous, lush, tropical environment full of wildlife and foliage. The chief source of income throughout the region is coffee. There are several villages within Dota that our partner organization, Santos Tour, supports. We will be in a village called Providencia. Providencia is a beautiful, forested village with approximately 150 inhabitants.

Program Details

Dates: May 13 - May 22, 2024

The Eller College partners with Dream Volunteers for this program. Dream Volunteers is recommending that all participants to be vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to travel. 

The program will focus on sustainability, ecotourism, recycling, and learning more about organic farming practices. We will spend approximately 50 hours volunteering in Providencia. The following are the tentative service projects that we have planned:

  • Assist local farmers in converting conventional coffee farms to organic
  • Engage with locals and learn more about their culture, traditions, and customs
  • Promote recycling efforts within the community and gain a deeper understanding of the environmental impact of plastic

Included cultural activities: Cooking and dance lessons, zip-lining, hiking and an overnight to Dominical (surf lessons, beach time and tour of Manuel Antonio National Park).

Accommodations and Meals

You will stay in the Tami Ecolodge in Providencia de Dota. You will share a cabin with one to three other people, and you will have your own bed. Tami is a peaceful, beautifully decorated “green” lodge. There is no electricity in the cabins, however, there are solar powered lanterns for lighting the rooms.

A few steps from the lodge is the Cascadas Savegre Restaurant. This is where you will have all of your meals, and where you can re-charge your phone and other devices. A typical breakfast usually consists of homemade bread or tortillas with sour cream and eggs or “gallo-pinto” (seasoned rice and beans) with eggs. A typical lunch or dinner consists of rice, beans, a salad, mixed vegetables (squash, potato, carrots), and many times accompanied by an egg or meat (chicken or pork). Special arrangements can be made for vegetarians or those with restricted diets.

Sample Day

  • 6:30 - Breakfast
  • 7:30 - Service work
  • 12:00 - Lunch
  • 1:30 - Presentations/Discussions about sustainability topics in Costa Rica
  • 5:30 - Journaling & Group reflection
  • 6:30 - Dinner

Program Price


  • Includes: Round trip international airfare from Tucson, housing, most meals, cultural activities, and local transportation
  • Not Included: International Health insurance ($3/day), personal expenses

*Subject to change

Application and Deadlines

This program is on a first come, first serve basis. Please do not wait until the Final Enrollment Deadline to apply, as the program may already be full. The deposit is $745 (25% of the program fee), and it is due upon acceptance into the program.

  • Deadline extended to April 11 - Final Enrollment Deadline 
  • April 12, 2024 - Final Payment Due 

For more information, contact Corey Laurence, global programs advisor.

Apply Online

Upcoming Information Sessions

Please schedule an eSMS appointment with a Global Advisor below, or reach out directly to Corey Laurence


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