Applications closed for 2024.

Costa Rica:Conservation

Conservation & Ecotourism
see info below

Course Details

DATES
I. June 14-June 27, 2024
II. July 13-July 26, 2024

14DAYS

Departure City
Miami
TUITION
$5499* (Plus Airfare)

*SEE DETAILS

 

AVAILABILITY
I. Available
II. Available

Alongside our partners, Rancho Quemado and Reserva Cloudbridge, you will learn about conservation, reforestation, climate change, and sustainable tourism while exploring two unique locations: the tropical rainforest of the Osa Peninsula and the cloud forest of the Talamanca mountains.

Note: This program has two sessions to choose from (Costa Rica I or Costa Rica II). The only difference is the dates. 

Program Overview

Your program will begin in Rancho Quemado, on the remote Osa Peninsula, named by National Geographic as “the most biologically intense place on earth.” As you delve into life at Rancho Quemado, you’ll witness conservation in action and actively partake in the daily routines of dedicated residents-turned-conservationists. You will meet former hunters and gold miners who have become passionate environmental advocates and immerse yourself in Spanish. In addition, you will participate in cultural activities (cooking, dancing, arts), meet with resident entrepreneurs, partake in biological monitoring hikes, and visit the “crown jewel of Costa Rica’s national park system,” Corcovado National Park. 

After a week in Rancho Quemado, you will embark on a scenic drive from sea level to Cloudbridge Reserve, a hidden gem nestled over a mile high (5500 ft) in the majestic cloud forest. This private nature reserve is dedicated to the conservation and reforestation of the cloud forest. During your time here, you will learn about the work of this biological research station through daily hikes, reforestation work, and performing your own small research project. While engaged in these activities, you will deepen your understanding of wildlife conservation, sustainable tourism practices, and the far-reaching impact of climate change.

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

Program Highlights

Practice speaking Spanish while staying in rural cabins owned and operated by a local family

Experience the rich biodiversity of Costa Rica, from the cloud forest of the Talamanca mountains to the tropical rainforest of the Osa Peninsula.

Deepen your understanding of conservation, ecotourism, and the far-reaching impact of climate change.

Course Elements

1 is the least rigorous, 5 is the most rigorous

5
LEARNING SERVICE
You will join local leaders in their day to day activities, participate in wildlife monitoring expeditions, and support reforestation efforts 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
While in Rancho Quemado, you will participate in a number of day hikes (2-3 miles). In Cloudbridge, you will do a number of hikes (2-3 miles) in hilly terrain.
3
LIVING CONDITIONS
While at Rancho Quemado, you will stay in rural cabins operated by a local family. In Cloudbridge, you will be staying in a locally run hostel.
3
ON THE MOVE
After arriving in San Jose, you will fly to Rancho Quemado. While in Rancho Quemado, you will do a day trip by bus and boat to Corcovado National Park. After your time in Rancho Quemado, you will drive by bus (5 hours) to Cloubridge before returning to San Jose at the end of your program by bus (2 hours).
3
REMOTENESS
You will spend your time in Rancho Quemado, a small town located on the Osa Peninsula. Cloudbridge is located in the area of San Gerardo de Rivas a small town in the Talamanca Mountains.

Itinerary

1

Depart from gateway city, begin group orientation in San Jose.

2

Fy from San Jose to Rancho Quemado. Introduction to the project.

3

Learn about the sustainable production of organic cacao and participate in a community rally.

4

Participate in a biological monitoring expedition. Learn how to cook a traditional Costa Rican meal.

5

Learn about the impact of gold mining on the environment. Explore the area and learn about conservation efforts.

6

Visit Corcovado National Park, the "crown jewel of Costa Rica's national park system."

7

Tour a traditional sugar cane mill and meet with local entrepreneurs balancing conservation and economic prosperity. Support a community development project.

8

Participate in a wildlife tracking expedition to learn about local plants and animals in the forest.

9

Drive from Rancho Quemado to Cloudbridge. Introduction to the project.

10

Introductory hike in the reserve. Presentation about research methods, biodiversity and camera traps.

11

Tree planting or maintenance / set up butterfly traps. Night hike

12

Check butterfly traps/volunteer work. Climate change discussion. Cooking class with Doña Leila

13

Animal survey and pick up camera traps. Begin the journey back to San Jose and spend the last night in San Jose.

14

Return home.

NOTE

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

Costa Rica:Conservation : 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 on and processing your experience.

Important Details

TUITION*

Tuition (students from partner schools): $5299
Tuition (students from non-partner schools): $5499

*Students attending a partner school receive a tuition discount. Click HERE to see partner schools. Please note that tuition does not include airfare.

AIRFARE*

Estimated Flight Cost (Session I): $1135

Estimated Flight Cost (Session I): $850

*All students travel to their program destination on a group flight booked by Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder. Participants are responsible for any increase in airfares imposed by the airlines. All participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation to the departure city. SStS will confirm airfare and connecting travel information approximately 60 days before travel.  

FINANCIAL AID

SStS is in search of curious, compassionate, globally-minded students from all backgrounds. We will do all that we can financially to support students who require assistance. If you would like to be considered for financial assistance, please indicate this on the application.  Resources are limited and tend to be less than 50% of tuition.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

For a full description of our Terms and Conditions please CLICK HERE.

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