Costa Rica: Family Volunteer Vacation™

a GLA for Families program


Experience the pure life—or Pura Vida—while giving back to a rural beach community.
  • Live in a coastal village near a beautiful beach
  • Volunteer on educational or environmental development projects
  • Go tubing down the Rio Negro
  • Engage with locals and practice your Spanish around town
  • Zipline through the forest
  • Enjoy the ocean via catamaran and snorkel among marine life

What are GLA for Families programs?

GLA for Families are programs for adults and families to travel in the spirit of GLA. These are operated by our sister organization Discover Corps. These sessions are specially designated GLA for Families are selectively chosen as GLA’s most popular destinations and are tailored for the GLA family.

Enrollment Instructions for Family Trips

Please Note: To enroll in a GLA for Families program, you will need to use this special sign-up form linked here designed for multiple travelers.

On This Program you will...

On this program you will escape to Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, where you’ll volunteer on the project that is most needed at the time of your arrival–this could be beach cleanup, beautification projects, or other initiatives that improve the community. While it has many achievements to boast of, such as universal health care, many Costa Rican communities – individuals, families and children alike – still need your support. Volunteer efforts can be a big help to its most vulnerable citizens. Relax after a hard day’s work at our beautiful Home Base. You’ll also have the chance to enjoy water sports, fun in the sun and other activities with your new friends from all over the world.

Your Adventure is Just Around the Corner!

Community Service

You’ll live and work in a small beachside community where the ocean plays a huge role in daily life. There are many opportunities to serve the community here, and you’ll be working on a meaningful project based on what is most needed. For example, you may assist in environmental projects such as beach cleanup, planting native tree saplings, or creating signs to promote environmental awareness and sustainability. You could work on initiatives within local schools, such as improving classroom infrastructure or starting a school or community garden.

Immersive Learning

Living in an authentic community is a great way to learn about Costa Rican culture. Connect with the local people, learn to dance salsa and cumbia, taste delicious fruits, and try your hand at cooking local cuisine. Discuss current social issues in Costa Rica, including growing environmental concerns and the importance of ecotourism. You’ll also have opportunities to practice your Spanish or pick up new words with locals in the region.


Costa Rica is an adventurer’s dream! Cruise along Potrero Bay on a catamaran, go ziplining over tree canopies, and whitewater tube down a roaring river. Your location near the stunning Pacific coast allows for a variety of water sports and beach time, as well as the opportunity for impromptu soccer and field games. Take in breathtaking sunsets off the coast of pristine beaches.


Home Base is an ecolodge located in a coastal region of Costa Rica known for its beautiful beaches and protected ecological areas. You’ll have access to pools and gardens. Students stay in gender-segregated rooms with roommates, and have private bathrooms and air conditioning.

Program Type

Are you passionate about improving the communities children depend on?
  • Make a difference as a teen volunteer in the lives of children in-need through meaningful service
  • Connect with a new culture and make friends with like-minded interests
  • Go on excursions and explore everything that makes the destination you choose special
  • Leave a lasting impact that will have a positive effect on the community for years to come

Dates & Tuition

Costa Rica

Family Volunteer Vacation™

8-Day Program
2020-2021 Dates
 December 26 – January 2, 2021
March 27 – April 03, 2021
June 19 – June 26, 2021
July 17 – July 24, 2021
July 31 – August 07, 2021
August 14 – August 21, 2021
Duration: 8 days
Tuition: $2,995 Adult / $2,695 Child
Student/Staff Ratio: 6 to 1
Community Service Hours: 6
Language Hours: N/A
More Information


Tips to raise funds for your trip

Tuition Includes All In-Country Expenses Including:

  • All educational materials
  • Lodging
  • 3 meals per day
  • All in-country transportation
  • Airport pick-up/drop-off
  • Professional full-time staff and experts from the USA/Europe
  • 24/7 Parent Support Hotline during the program
  • Secondary medical and travel insurance
  • All cultural activities, lectures and weekend excursions
  • Pre-departure materials and support

Chat with Past Participants on Facebook

Custom Group Travel Option

Global Leadership Adventures offers open enrollment on this program to any high school student who wishes to join any of the summer session dates listed above. Students will meet other teens from around the country and the world who sign up for the same program dates and destination.

Alternatively, this program is also available as an option for custom group travel any time of the year for those looking to put together their own group trip.

GLA Custom Group Travel works with educators, group leaders, or self-led students to create a tailored experience for their specific group of 12 or more students. Select a pre-designed itinerary or select your own countries, themes, and learning objectives. GLA’s service-learning methodology is the vehicle through which students learn, grow and challenge themselves and their fellow travelers; our host communities welcome students’ energy and helping hands.

Leadership and personal growth are the core components of all of our programs, regardless of duration, destination or theme type and can be woven throughout every aspect of the experience through our intentional design as desired by the group leader. Our programs aim to ignite participants to become inspired to be the change.

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Free Program Catalog

Use the form below to receive a FREE catalog. Or call us now at 1-858-771-0645 or +1-888-358-4321(outside USA)