Middle School August Trip – Costa Rica
August 1 – August 8, 2022
$2,700 (*airfare included)
This trip is intended for 7th & 8th grade school students from WES. Students will spend the week working with the children and families of the hillside village of Providencia de Dota. This tranquil town lies in the middle of the cloud forest in the heart of the tropical coffee-producing region of the country. Its residents are some of the most fun-loving, warm, and welcoming people on Earth. Come help them strengthen their sustainability practices with projects including organic coffee farming, permaculture and a local recycling program.
The cost of the trip covers virtually all in-country experiences, including:
- Housing and meals
- Excursions and cultural activities
- Service project materials and coordination
- Daily transportation
- Airport pickup and drop-off
- Dedicated group leader and experienced local guides
- 24-hour emergency contact
The fee does not cover travel insurance, visa expenses or immunizations (if necessary). With the exception of meals during your free time on the arrival and departure days and any shopping you do, all trip costs are covered from the minute you arrive until the minute you return.
Housing & Meals
You will stay in Tami Lodge in Providencia de Dota. You will share a cabin with 1-3 other people, but will have your own bed. Tami is a peaceful, beautifully decorated “green” ecolodge.
There is no electricity, but solar powered lanterns are used for lighting the rooms. A few steps form the lodge is the Cascadas Savegre Restaurant. That is where you will have all your meals, enjoy coffee or a cocktail, and where you can re-charge phones and other devices. There is a weak wifi signal at the restaurant.
A typical breakfast usually consists of homemade bread, tortillas with sour cream and eggs or “gallo-pinto” (seasoned rice and beans) with eggs. All are accompanied with coffee, tea or natural fruit juice. A typical lunch or dinner consists of rice, beans, a salad, minced vegetables (squash, potato, carrot), and many times accompanied by egg or meat (chicken or pork). It is also common to eat rice with chicken or tuna for lunch. Drinks are typically homemade juices with local fruits and lightly sweetened.
Costa Rica Service Trip Sample Itinerary
|Day 1||Arrive San Jose Airport. Shuttle to Providencia||Orientation|
|Day 2||Service Projects||Group Picnic & Games with Host Families|
|Day 3||Service Projects||Group Hike to Local Waterfall|
|Day 4||Service Projects||Cooking Lessons|
|Day 5||Service Projects||Soccer Match with Locals|
|Day 6||Zipline & Rope Swing at Community Adventure Park||Farewell Activities|
|Day 7||Depart for Dominical Beach||Visit Manuel Antonio National Park|
|Day 8||Surf Lessons||Shuttle to San Jose|
|Day 9||Free Time at Hotel Pool||Depart for Airport|
Preparing to Travel to Costa Rica
We are here to help you every step of the way.
Booking Your Flight
San Jose, capital city, is at slight elevation and enjoys among the most consistent and temperate conditions year round, while Providencia is subject to big swings throughout the day with cool mornings, warm days, and breezy evenings. It is important toring layers and — during the wet months — be prepared to get wet!
- Up-to-date boosters for routine vaccinations
(measles, mumps, chicken pox, etc.)
- Hepatitis A & B
- Yellow Fever*
Zika has been reported in Costa Rica and the CDC recommends travelers to Costa Rica exercise rigrorous prevention against mosquito bites..The mosquitoes that spread Zika usually do not live at elevations above 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) and travelers whose itineraries are limited to those regions are at less risk of getting Zika from a mosquito (that would include the mountainous area of Dota where most of our service projects are located, though not the beaches).
Many of the vaccinations should be started four to eight weeks in advance so please check with your healthcare provider or Travel Medicine clinic. Please refer to the CDC website or your doctor for more information on necessary vaccinations and insect repellents.
*There is no risk of yellow fever in Costa Rica. The government of Costa Rica requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever (not the US).
What to Bring
Below are some other suggested items to bring along.
- Light clothing with layers
- Shorts, jeans, tshirts, sweatshirts
- Rain protection (jacket, boots, umbrella)
- Sturdy shoes for mud and uneven terrain
- Work gloves
- Spanish/English dictionary
- insect repellant (very important)
- Sunscreen, hat & sunglasses
- Ear plugs (if you’re a light sleeper)
- Beach towel & bathing suit
- Over the counter medicine (aspirin, ibuprofen, Pepto Bismol, Imodium AD, band-aids) !
- Snacks (granola bars, trail mix, etc.)
- Journal/notebook !
- Spending money
Spending Money: Nearly all of your in-country costs are covered on this trip, but there are a few things that you are responsible for : extra snacks and drinks, souvenirs and gifts, social spending at the beach, airport exit tax ($29) and lunch on the way to San Jose from the beach will all be up to you. We recommend approximately $200, depending on your shopping and spending habits.
Donations and Gifts
Here are some ideas about how you can contribute.
- The villages of Vuelta Grande and El Hato suffer under crushing poverty. They are in need of donations of new children’s clothing, shoes, jackets, and school supplies. We would love for you to make an effort to collect these items and bring them with you if you have the space in your suitcase.
- Monetary donations are most helpful. If each of us could raise at least $100, we would be able to send 2-3 teens to school for an entire year, as well as improve the physical structure of the local elementary school.
Due to the humanitarian nature of this trip, you may find creative ways to ask friends, relatives, colleagues, teachers, store owners, etc. for monetary and in–kind donations. We can provide you with two documents, which may aid you in your efforts:
1. In-Kind & Monetary Donations Letter for Store Managers/Owners
2. In-Kind & Monetary Donations Letter for Friends, Relatives, Teachers
All tax-deductible checks can be made payable to our 501(c)(3)non-profit, Dream Volunteers, and mailed to our headquarters: Dream Volunteers, 2221 Broadway Street, Redwood City, CA 94063.