Experience the true spirit, welcoming culture, and natural beauty of Costa Rica through a variety of rewarding community service projects, cultural adventures, and lots of soccer. You’ll be warmly welcomed into the hearts and homes of the people here as you become a part of a traditional Tico village.
The peaceful, rural town of La Paz is surrounded by dramatic, verdant valleys and spectacular mountains. It is an ideal location to appreciate the natural beauty and friendly culture that define Costa Rica. You’ll live with a local family and learn about the culture first hand as you cook traditional food, help out on the farm, take dance lessons, and join in soccer games. The home stay also offers an excellent opportunity to practice Spanish – there is no better way to learn a language than to live with it, speak it, and listen to it every single day.
Each morning you’ll join different cultural and community service projects in La Paz and the nearby villages. Tutoring English at a local elementary school, building drainage systems at a community soccer field, milking cows, and harvesting sugar cane are just a few of the service activities you might take part in while you’re here. You will also head out to one of several soccer fields each day for scrimmages and practice with local youth and adult teams. Spend your evenings getting to know your home stay family, practicing Spanish, dancing, and learning about life in rural Costa Rica.
Costa Ricans are crazy about soccer, and their affection for the sport is infectious. You’ll play with everyone from elementary school children to club teams and everywhere from dirt fields to an indoor arena.
Costa Ricans are crazy for the beautiful game, and their affection for the sport is infectious. This program is open to players of all levels and abilities. Whether you’re an Olympic hopeful or simply enjoy kicking a ball around, you are perfectly suited for this program. You’ll play soccer with everyone from elementary school children to club teams to seasoned adult players. And
you’ll play everywhere from the dirt field at the elementary school, to La Paz’s own beautiful grass field, to the indoor arena in the lower village.
You’ll take a break from soccer every once in a while to take advantage of Costa Rica’s many natural playgrounds on exciting optional adventure activities. Whether zip lining over the treetops or bungee jumping off a bridge, you’ll embrace the adventure-loving spirit of this diverse country.
This program is designed for students who love participating in rewarding community service projects, experiencing fascinating new cultures, and of course, playing soccer. It is open to players of all abilities. The only prerequisites are a willingness to learn and use Spanish, a love of soccer, and an interest in using the sport to create bridges of friendship across linguistic and cultural barriers.
Upon arrival at the San Jose airport, you will be greeted by your Rustic Pathways Staff. From here you will head over to the hostel Rustic Pathways rents where you will meet the other students on your trip and spend your first night. Good luck and enjoy your stay in beautiful Costa Rica!
Wake up for an early breakfast, before departing for your new home…the rural, farming community of La Paz. Meet your host family and enjoy your first taste of home-cooked Costa Rican food. Spend the afternoon getting to know the village of La Paz and playing soccer with your new teammates.
Enjoy a typical breakfast with your host family before joining your group to begin working on different community service projects. You might teach English in the local elementary school or help refurnish the town’s community center. After lunch with the group, practice Spanish with your host siblings, milk cows, make candies from sugar cane, visit local markets or join our local guide for a quick visit to a local river. Later, get ready for soccer practice and games against the enthusiastic teams of La Paz.
This morning, the group will start with a pick up game of soccer then head to the town of San Ramon for some shopping, E-mails and mall time. In the afternoon the group will have different adventure activity options and will be able to bungee jump or zip line in the area before heading back to the families for the night.
In the morning, spend quality time with your host family and help them with some household chores. In the afternoon play soccer with the locals, enjoy the company of your host family or hang out with friends from the village. In the evening participate in a community gathering full of dances, games and enjoy some local dishes for dinner.
After the usual service work in the morning the group will take on a horseback riding/hiking journey for the rest of the day and will return just in time for a final dinner in the town of San Ramon.
Wake up early to finish the service projects and play one last soccer game with your friends from La Paz, before lunch with your host family. Then its time to say your goodbyes, and head back to the Rustic Pathways base in San Jose for your last night in Costa Rica
Depart Costa Rica for the United States or go on to your next program with Rustic Pathways.
Rustic Pathways reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external tours incorporated in our trips, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of an old activity for a new activity. The itinerary shown here provides a good outline of the anticipated daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.
In addition to the general Costa Rica packing list available at http://www.rusticpathways.com/costa-rica/#packing-list all students should review the following information specific to the Soccer and Service la Paz:
Direct flight from Newark to San Jose takes approximately 5.5 hours.
Direct flight from Houston to San Jose takes approximately 3.5 to 4 hours.
Yes. All flights between Costa Rica and the USA will have a flight leader starting in both Newark and Houston. Return flights to the USA will also have a flight leader as far as Newark and Houston. Flights between Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, and the Dominican Republic are NOT escorted by a Rustic Pathways staff member.
Students from the United States and Canada will be automatically issued a 90 day tourist visa upon entry into Costa Rica.
During the Soccer and Service La Paz Program students will spend the majority of their time in the Alajuela province near the city of San Ramon. Students will stay briefly at a base hotel in the Alajuela province during arrival in country and departure from Costa Rica.
Rustic Pathways does not make recommendations regarding immunizations. We strongly suggest that you consult with a travel doctor or your family physician for medical recommendations based on the area where the student will be traveling (as listed above). You can also check the Center for Disease Control website at http://www.cdc.gov for more information. Yellow fever vaccinations may be required to enter Costa Rica if you have traveled to some international destinations including Peru prior to your trip to Costa Rica. Please check the Center for Disease control website for more information.
On Tuesday afternoon students will depart from the La Paz village. They will stay that night in Alajuela at a base hotel. Wednesday morning students will meet with their new group and guides at the same hotel where they stayed and go off to their new program.
The drive from San Jose to the La Paz village is approximately 2 hours depending on weather and other driving conditions.
The Soccer and Service program takes place in an agricultural village located in the mountains outside of San Jose. Students should be prepared for a mild climate with warm days in the 70s and cooler evenings. Students should also expect daily rain showers.
Yes! While the Soccer and Service program does not include formal language training, the students will be staying with Costa Rican host families which can be a great advantage for individuals wishing to practice their language skills. Students will also have multiple opportunities to practice Spanish with people from the village. Children at the local schools are especially eager to help Rustic Pathways students with their conversational Spanish.
Rustic Pathways works with local community leaders to identify and prioritize the needs of each community. In La Paz and other nearby villages, students will work on small scale construction projects that will help improve community and school infrastructure. Students will also be working with the local sports committee on landscape and maintenance projects that will keep up the soccer field and other sports facilities of the community. Students will also facilitate educational and cultural projects with local children and youth, with a concentration on Teaching English. During the first two weeks of July, Costa Rican school children are on vacation, so students should expect to work with students in more informal environments.
The Soccer and Service program is designed for athletic students that enjoy playing soccer and want to work hard on service projects that will involve some manual labor and moderate physical ability.
The majority of costs associated with the program are included on this trip. Students should have extra allowance money if they wish to buy additional souvenirs or snacks and sodas from local convenience stores. They will need spending money to pay for optional activities described below.
The following activities are optional and come at an additional cost:
Zip Lining - $60
Bungee Jumping - $60
Hiking - $5
Occasionally Rustic Pathways staff identify new opportunities throughout the summer that we feel will enhance the students overall experience and will offer students the opportunity to participate at an additional cost. Optional or included activities may also be canceled at the staff’s discretion.
Students will be eating traditional Costa Rican food prepared by local community members. Breakfast and dinner will be prepared and enjoyed with their host families Lunch will be prepared by local community organizations and served at the community center to the group. Costa Rican food consists of rice, beans, a variety of fruits and vegetables and different meat dishes.
Tap water in Costa Rica is potable and students should feel comfortable drinking water in La Paz unless otherwise advised. Bottled water is also available for purchase at local supermarkets and grocery stores.
Students will be staying with host families in typical Costa Rican homes. Two or more students of the same gender will stay with each family. From years of experience these home stay families have long been a favorite of our students.
All host families have appropriate bathroom facilities available to the students. The number of bathrooms per household varies by family. All have running water, American style toilets and showers, although hot water may not always be available.
There are typically more girls than boys however the exact numbers vary from week to week.
Rustic Pathways generally strives to maintain a ratio of approximately 1 guide for every 5 students. Our guides go through a rigorous selection process including interviews with our program managers and a full background check.
Because safety is our number one priority, all of our programs have guides that are certified with First Aid and CPR training. Many of our guides are also qualified Wilderness First Responders, EMTs, Wilderness EMTs, or Life Guards.
Students should pack enough clothes and personal items to last through the end of the Soccer and Service program. Laundry is not available in the La Paz village, however, if students are connecting to another Rustic Pathways program, they will have the opportunity to do laundry in the other program.
Students will have limited access to internet during the program. They will make one trip to the mall of San Ramon where they will be able to visit internet cafes. Students can purchase international calling cards in Costa Rica which can be used to call the United States from public phones in La Paz.
Contact Us: For more information about Soccer and Service in La Paz you can email email@example.com.
Soccer and Service in La Paz combines well with the following programs.
Ages: 14 to 18 years old
Length: 9 days from the USA
Hours: Up to 18 hours awarded
International airfare is not included in the above cost. Please check our Travel Desk for airfare pricing and specifics.
|Departs Tue||Returns Wed||Availability|
|18 Jun||26 Jun||Available|
|2 Jul||10 Jul||Available|
|23 Jul||31 Jul||Available|
|30 Jul||7 Aug||Sold Out|
Dates shown are inclusive of travel time from the United States. Most Rustic Pathways trips interconnect, allowing you to design your own perfect summer program.Apply Now