Costa Rica

The CIE was very excited to announce this brand new short-term program in partnership with the Institute for Central American Development Studies (ICADS). This program focused on first-hand learning, with the major areas of study related to global sustainability, local environmental and agriculture issues, indigenous culture and the struggle for representation, and rural development. Nazareth has had a long-standing partnership with ICADS (we offer semester long and internship opportunities with ICADS), so we were very excited to offer this spring break program so that students have an opportunity to experience some this vibrantly beautiful country in just over a week.

Program Details

Program Itinerary

Sample itinerary from a past program:

Day 1 - Arrival: Arrival in San Jose. Orientation meeting.

Day 2 - Intro to Costa Rica: Experience life as a local in the capital city, including lunch at the Central Market. Learn about modern Costa Rica, its history, and the ongoing struggle to balance economic development with environmental sustainability goals. Spend the evening getting to know the family that will be hosting you for the first few days.

Day 3 - Costa Rican Economy: Visit Cafe los Volcanes, a family-run coffee farm in the mountains. Explore the farm, see how coffee is harvested and processed. Gain a first-hand understanding of the important role coffee has played in Costa Rica's development, economy, environment, and culture. Return to host families for dinner.

Day 4 - Costa Rican Environment, Coastal Wetlands: After an early breakfast, head to Tortuguero. On the way, visit coffee, banana, and pineapple plantations. Arrive mid-afternoon to the coast in time to learn about the wetland ecosystem, and discuss rural vs. traditional tourism.

Day 5 - Cultural Diversity and Social Justice in the Caribbean: Leave rural Tortuguero and head to Limon, the provincial capital of this region known for its rich AfroCaribbean and indigenous cultures. Discuss historical marginalization and poverty of the region in contrast to its richness in natural resources. Explore the developing city in the afternoon and enjoy a AfroCaribbean cultural activity and dinner in the evening.

Day 6 - The Costa Rican Indigenous Experience: Visit ACOMUITA. Meet indigenous leaders who will share their worldview, and explain the struggle to preserve their cultural heritage in a developing economy. Have lunch at the community. Visit a sustainable cacao cooperative.

Day 7 - Industrial Impacts on Coral Reefs: Visit Cahuita National Park, learn about coral reefs and the effects industry and agriculture have on this ecosystem. Enjoy a free afternoon swimming, hiking the park, and monkey-watching.

Day 8: Return to San Jose: Free morning, and midday drive back to San Jose. Final dinner and reflection at retreat center.

Day 9: Depart Costa Rica

Housing & Accommodation

This program included all housing costs, which ranged from host families, hostels, and local community shelters/centers with shared rooms.

Views from Costa Rica:

    Views from Abroad:

      Cahuita National Park
      Pacific Coast of Costa Rica
      Playa Negra

      At A Glance

      Term: Spring Break

      Program Level: Undergraduate

      Program Types: Experiential Learning