Program Details

Costa Rica Community Development Experience

Support long-term initiatives in Costa Rica

Program Information

Travel to Costa Rica and contribute to our long term conservation and community projects while learning Spanish. Immerse yourself in authentic Costa Rican community living, eating and working with the local families all while enjoying life on the Pacific Ocean's coastal town of Manuel Antonio.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals



Immerse yourself in a Costa Rican community while supporting our long-term projects and experience a unique opportunity to live and work with local families. Your students will be contributing to both construction and sports education projects, working in the community of Quepos and living in picturesque Manuel Antonio.

Project Aims and Objectives

GVI has been operating in Costa Rica for almost 10 years. As well as community development work in Quepos, GVI focuses on wildlife conservation projects near Jalova and within the Torteguero National Park. In Quepos the teams are involved in construction, childcare, teaching English, sports and healthcare initiatives.

Our projects are well established and respected amongst the communities. GVI’s long-term involvement, capacity building and commitment to our projects, ensure that the service elements of your students’ trips are contributing to long-term sustainable projects helping to achieve our partners’ objectives. These local partnerships along with stakeholder discussions drive the service elements of our trips to ensure they are fully focussed on the most prevalent issues and produce the results required locally.

As a group, you have the opportunity of contributing to on-going construction projects. This may be in the form of mural painting, classroom maintenance and painting, playground maintenance, floor laying or building construction from scratch. The exact work will greatly depend on the needs of the childcare centres at the time. This is a great opportunity for students to work as a team in achieving an overall goal that will have long-lasting effects for the community members and local partners.


Contribute to our long-term conservation and community projects while learning Spanish. Experience life in an authentic Costa Rican community living, eating and working with the local families all while enjoying life on the Pacific Ocean.


Our projects are located in the beautiful town of Quepos, in the Puntarenas Province of Costa Rica. Quepos is about 157km south from the country’s capital city of San Jose and is known as the gateway to the world-famous Manuel Antonio National Park. Surrounded by palm plantations and rainforest, the town contains an array of wildlife with monkeys and toucans in plain sight most days. In and around the national park, the whole area is famed for its beautiful beaches and hiking trails, making this location an exceptional place to visit and be a part of the Tico way of life.

Quepos' short, mid, and long-term objectives

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.Upon arrival to

Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.
 Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Quepos:

1. Improve access to education and wellness to El Cocal community

2, Increase environmental awareness in the local community

3. Improve English literacy levels in Quepos community and surrounded areas

4. Ensure that GVI Quepos base provides volunteers and interns unique, safe, responsible travel experiences, exceptional training and career development opportunities, and facilitate the ability to make a real difference


- Tai Macpherson (Canada)

Program Details

Program Type Schools , University

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Health & Safety

At GVI we take health and safety very seriously. We run comprehensive risk assessments for each of our activities, in each of our locations, and are prepared for any eventuality, no matter how unlikely.

We have over 150 expertly trained staff members who live alongside the local communities in our locations year-round. This means that we know the areas intimately, and have dedicated, experienced professionals available to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

We keep in regular contact with relevant embassies and foreign offices, ensuring that we’re able to give you the most up-to-date information and travel advice regarding our locations.

Our Risk Assessments and Emergency Action Plans follow a comprehensive quarterly review process and can be provided to you upon request.



Teacher Info

Additional Teacher Info

GVI runs curriculum, CAS and experience focussed service learning opportunities around the world on multi-award winning trips. With over 25,000 travellers since inception, GVI’s know how to ensure safe, life-changing challenges that make a real difference, fostering global citizenship and intercultural understanding. Staffed and resourced by GVI all year round, our projects offer unique opportunities to engage in long-term, high impact work, whilst experiencing deep cultural immersion and some adventure.

A teacher travels free with groups of ten or more students!

GVI provides 24/7 support from our experienced staff who are based full-time on the ground, as well as support from HQ. An experienced group leader will accompany the group, taking overall responsibility for the safety of the group.

Please note prices are subject to seasonal fluctuation and will vary depending upon the needs of the group.

**Optional extras include travel insurance and flight services

Example Itinerary 

Day 1: Arrival at San Jose Airport and Transfer to Base

On arrival, the group will be met at San Jose’s International Airport by a GVI representative or staff member. Students and accompanying teachers/chaperones will be transferred to their hostel accommodation and given time to settle in and rest before meeting in the afternoon for familiarisation with Emergency Action Plans and Health and Safety Risks as well as an overview of GVI and what our overall aims are globally as well as locally.

Day 2: Arrival in Quepos

Accompanied by a GVI staff member or representative, the group will journey by bus 3,5 hours to Quepos where the trip will be based. The group will meet for an afternoon orientation and welcome session. The week’s logistics, duties and responsibilities will be explained and the GVI staff and local partners introduced. Materials and tools will also be prepped so as to maximise productivity for the next 4 days.

Days 3-5: Construction based service and reflective learning

The exact construction project will be based on the requirements of our local partners at the time. The group can expect to be involved in building renovation and maintenance of a local school or community centre. The days are long and volunteers should expect to be working in a hot and humid climate. Don’t worry this is often interspersed with refreshing downpours! It is important to be flexible and adaptable to the changing nature of life in Costa Rica.

Each evening the students will come together for group and individual reflection work. This is time set aside for a discussion on the day’s achievements and how make the following day as constructive as possible.

Day 6: Presentation of work and a bit of fun

A special day for the group as they present their work to the local partners set to benefit from their time spent in the field. To celebrate the group will spend the afternoon enjoying the beautiful beaches of Manual Antonio National Park. The group may wish to take part in a surfing lesson or perhaps a trek through the rainforest for a chance to spot local fauna and flora.

Day 7: A Fond Farewell

GVI field staff transfer the team back to the airport and bid them a fond farewell! GVI will endeavour to keep the group informed of any updates there might be in the field and with particular reference to the projects volunteers contributed to during their time in Costa Rica, through "GVI Live" on social media.

**Your trip can be extended to include additional side trips and / or further service work.

What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • 24/7 back up and support
  • A dedicated trip co-ordinator
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Access to local medical facilities
  • Accommodation
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Comprehensive health and safety procedures (Emergency Action Plans and Risk Assessments)
  • First aid equipment
  • Flight booking service on request
  • Food and drinking water
  • Group leader
  • Highly experienced and well qualified GVI field staff
  • In-country support
  • In-country transport costs
  • Insurance on request
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Pre-departure information
  • Risk assessments
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Up-to-date safety and country information
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Additional spending money
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal kit
  • Police or background check (where necessary)
  • Vaccinations
  • Visa costs
  • Visas

Why Choose GVI?

There are many reasons why you should consider GVI for your group trip. Allow us to take you through some of the important points:

  • GVI has over 15 years of experience - Since we began in 1997, we have sent over 20,000 young people on trips all over the world. Most describe their experience with us as life-changing with a 95% approval rate from our customers

  • We are a ground operator - We run and staff our projects 24/7, all year round which means we understand and know the area you will be visiting enabling us to deliver a high quality level of support, safety and training at very competitive prices

  • Our variety of programs is unique and unrivalled - We offer language courses, community and conservation projects, leadership programs, cultural immersion, adventure activities and mountain trekking.

  • Peace of mind - You know that our projects make a real and positive impact on the local communities you visit. Since we started we have developed over 150 projects around the world.

  • Project ownership - We run our projects in partnership with local communities, according to the needs on the ground, so you know they are genuinely worthwhile

  • We are different from most other school providers - We already have projects and programs in place. We have been working in these countries for over 15 years and are working hand in hand with the host communities to ensure their needs are being met.

  • Teachers/Educators travel free

  • Safety is our priority - We have comprehensive safety and back up procedures in place.

  • Flexibility - Our trips are available all year round so you tell us when you want to travel.

  • The GVI Charitable Trust - Enables your school to stay involved with your program after you return home.

  • Students will automatically become GVI members, enabling them to benefit from discounts on any future GVI trips.

  • There are opportunities for students to be GVI Ambassadors – excellent for university and college applications.


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Enquiry Details

Speak to us about Scholarships, available if you book before the end of August.