Applications closed for 2024.

Costa Rica:Turtle Trax

VMS 2023
see info below

Course Details

DATES
February 16-February 24

9DAYS

Departure City
Denver
TUITION
AVAILABILITY
Application Closed

Alongside our partner, Turtle Trax, you will learn about sea turtle conservation, reforestation, waste management, and coastal ecosystems while gaining hands-on research experience in the remote southern Nicoya Península.

Program Overview

This program will immerse you in the rural communities around San Miguel along Costa Rica’s southern Nicoya Península and allow you to explore empty beaches, mangrove forests, rivers, and amazing forest trails.

While in San Francisco de Coyote, the group will work alongside Turtle Trax and their team of research scientists to support projects related to the protection of biodiversity and the empowerment of local communities. The project work will be focused on three of the areas in which Turtle Trax works (Reforestation, Solid Waste Management, and Environmental Education).

When not engaged in project work, the group will have the opportunity to visit a local school. In addition, the group will learn about local insects while visiting a butterfly farm home to hundreds of species of butterflies. The group will also learn about sustainable fishing practices and what makes this unique part of the world a “Blue Zone.”

Please note that programs are subject to change based on the health and safety of participants and our partners.

Program Highlights

Support local reforestation efforts

Learn about coastal ecosystems and conservation

Support environmental education programs in local schools

Course Elements

1 is the least rigorous, 5 is the most rigorous

5
LEARNING SERVICE
You will support a reforestation project, run workshops for children, and participate in wildlife monitoring expeditions while learning about balancing economic development and conservation.
5
CURRICULUM
Prior to your travels, you will complete an online curriculum to gain background knowledge for your experience. While traveling, you will learn through engaging articles, cultural experiences, and group reflections.
3
TREKKING
You will participate in two beach patrols while looking for sea turtle nests. These patrols involve long walks (2+ hours) on the beach at a relaxed walking pace.
3
LIVING CONDITIONS
While at the project site, you will be staying in a local hotel. You will be sharing a room with other members of your group. Each student will have their own bed.
1
ON THE MOVE
Using San Miguel as your base, you will be visiting various communities along the Southern Nicoya Peninsula. These visits involve bus rides of 15-30 minutes in each direction.
3
REMOTENESS
You will spend the majority of your time in San Miguel and the surrounding communities of the Southern Nicoya Peninsula. The area is less crowded than many parts of Costa Rica because access is difficult and amenities are more rustic.

Itinerary

1

Depart Denver (DEN) for San Jose, Costa Rica.

2

Travel by bus from San Jose to the project site on the southern Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica (approx. 5 hours)

3

Work at the greenhouse supporting Hogar Tierra and its reforestation program.

4

Seed collection walk supporting Hogar Tierra and its reforestation program.

5

Visit a local school in the morning. Play with students from the local school in the afternoon. Evening beach patrol at Corozalito.

6

Visit a local school in the morning. Afternoon beach clean up. Evening beach patrol at Corozalito.

7

Visit a local butterfly garden in the morning. Afternoon free time and group choice (Blue Zone tour, surf lessons etc)

8

Depart for San Jose after breakfast. Afternoon to explore San Jose.

9

Return flight home

NOTE

Itineraries are subject to change based on the health and safety of participants and our partners.

Costa Rica:Turtle Trax : In Three Phases

1

PRE-COURSE CURRICULUM

Prior to your departure, you will be guided by your course instructors through a series of interactive, online lessons designed to help you engage with other members of your group while gaining important context for your experience.

2

FIELD STUDY

The majority of the days at each site are spent learning from our local partners and serving alongside them shoulder-to-shoulder. You will learn through service and experiences designed to help you understand the local context, culture, and history.

3

LIFELONG NETWORK

Ethical leadership is a lifelong journey. After your experience, you will become a part of the Shoulder-to-Shoulder network. This network of past alumni and partners is designed to inspire and support your journey in ethical leadership.

Travel Journal

During the travel phase of each SStS course, you will spend time reflecting and processing your experience.

Important Details

TUITION*

*Vail Mountain School will bill families for this program

REGISTRATION

Registration for this program is closed.

group flight

Departing Flight (February 16)

Delta Airlines DL 2976 Denver, CO (DEN) 7:39 PM Arrive Los Angeles, CA (LAX) 9:15 PM

Delta Airlines DL 1974 Los Angeles, CA (LAX) 11:30 PM Arrive San Jose, Costa Rica(SJO) 7:10 AM

Returning Flight (February 24)

Delta Airlines DL 1972 San Jose, Costa Rica(SJO) 8:49 AM Arrive Los Angeles, CA (LAX) 1:15 PM

Delta Airlines DL 2976 Los Angeles, CA (LAX) 3:17 PM Arrive Denver, CO (DEN) 6:39 PM

WHAT TO PACK

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Immunizations

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TERMS & CONDITIONS

Please refer to Vail Mountain School’s Terms and Conditions for information on payment dates and refunds.

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