Program Purpose

Although you will visit many of the premier tourist spots in Costa Rica, the primary purpose is to learn about the culture, history, and way of life of the Costa Rican people.  This trip is meant to be a true cultural exchange and is not a typical tourist trip.  By doing that together, we develop long-term relationships with them & vice versa; they/we very quickly become much like ‘a very closely knit, caring family’.

Requirements

Prior to approval for travel to Costa Rica as part of this program, you must first participate in the activity planning and hosting for Costa Ricans who have been approved for Oregon homestays, usually shortly after after Labor Day each year.  See Oregon Host Ambassadors

Once approved for travel to Costa Rica, participants should be able to negotiate uneven sidewalks, potentially steep stairways in homes and transportation modes (buses), moderate mountain trails, and small bus seats with sometimes limited leg room. In Costa Rican infrastructure, including some homes, there may be limited accommodations for physical disabilities, though every effort is made to accommodate guests.  For travel approval, please complete and submit this application Travel Ambassador Application

Length of Trip

Generally, the trip is in February for 28-30 days, often late January to late February, or the first week of February to the first week of March. You will spend one week in each of four different homestay locations in Costa Rica, from the Caribbean to the Pacific, and a couple of towns in-between.  See 2018 Travel  for known information on the 2018 trip.

Homestays

Homestays will range from modest to elegant, and ALL will welcome you while staying with them in their homes.  Each home will have been vetted for safety, security, and cleanliness by the local Partner homestay coordinators.

Planned Weekly Activities

Exchange program days are generally spent with the group, visiting area tourist spots or projects of interest with the area Partners members, and you usually have a free day with your own host family in each location.  Note that there is very little ‘free’ personal time on this program, since so many activities have been scheduled for you.  If you absolutely need some free time alone, you can discuss this with your trip leader and Tico host.  But trust that the Ticos will absolutely spoil you, so that you probably won’t miss your usual hours on the internet with friends back home!

Costs

About $1200 per traveler, which pays for all activities, entrance fees to museums, resort spas, etc.  You do not pay for any housing or meals.  All meals are provided by either the host family or by the member committee, even if meals sometimes occur at a restaurant.  And while Costa Rican Partners members will typically go with your group to daily events and activities, they pay their own costs for everything.   The fun thing about this program is that you bond by exploring the culture together.

Testimonials

Everyone who travels on this exchange says “it is the trip of a lifetime” and “you have to experience it to believe it”.  But if you do not like group travel, this would not be the trip for you, as you will be with the group every day, and have very little – if any – time on your own during the program stay.

For more information, check out our FAQ’s here …  Travel Ambassador – 10 Most Frequent FAQ’s