A Community Service Project in Costa Rica

March 8 – 13, 2015


Experience the beauty and spirituality of this natural wonderland!

Costa Rica offers you one of the world’s greatest collections of rain forests, wild rivers, historic culture, mountains and volcanoes. With its unique combination of beauty and spirituality, it’s the ultimate refreshment for your body, mind and soul.

Enjoy this unique “Vacation with a Reward!”
Most of us look forward to our vacations and take a traditional holiday. But how much better would it be if you could visit a great destination, do sightseeing,

Enjoy local cuisine and a unique atmosphere with an opportunity to “give back.”

We are privileged to partner with a Volunteer Project at La Carpio, one of the poorest areas of Costa Rica. The program is called “Carpio Clean … Carpio Green … Carpio Healthy … Carpio Happy.” This trip combines traditional touring with participation in a volunteering program that assists children and their families who live in poverty in Costa Rica. What a great way to spend your Spring Break holiday.


Day 1 – Sunday, March 8: To San Jose (D)
indigenous_peopleDepart JFK for Costa Rica. After Immigration and Customs, transfer to reserved accommodations. In the afternoon, meet with Gail Nystrom for discussion on the Volunteer Project at La Carpio called “Carpio Clean … Carpio Green … Carpio Healthy … Carpio Happy.” La Carpio is a shantytown of 34,000 residents that sits between a trash dump and the Tobias Bolaños International Airport northwest of San José, where a splash of paint, a small toy and something green can go a long way. La Carpio is one of the poorest areas of Costa Rica, inhabited largely by Ticos from other parts of Costa Rica and Nicaraguans who fled a bloody revolution in their home country, and later, a collapse of their economy, began settling in La Carpio in the 1980s. So here on your Costa Rica journeys, you will truly have an opportunity to “give back” and make La Carpio a better place. Meet for your welcome dinner.

Day 2 – Monday, March 9:  In San Jose- Volunteer Program (B/L/D)
school-kids1After breakfast it’s off to La Carpio. Upon arrival, today’s volunteer program will be “Carpio Clean.” Painting the front of houses. Picking up trash and promoting recycling through talking with people and showing how to sort trash. It will be an opportunity to show how pleasant it is to have something to look at that’s not trash, not gray dirt, but clean. Working with the local youth of the community through the painting of a mural with this theme. An example is a mural painted over a flap of corrugated tin shows a tree reaching into a night sky. Lunch (Box lunch will be prepared at the hotel & taken with you on your way to La Carpiuo). After lunch, continue today’s volunteer program. Pick-up at La Carpio back to hotel to relax and some R & R. Dinner at our hotel.

Day 3 – Tuesday, March 10: In San Jose- Volunteer Program & Time in San Jose (B/L/D)
After breakfast, it’s back to La Carpio. Upon arrival, today’s volunteer program will be “Carpio Green,” an initiative to improve the crude caliches roads and haphazard constructions that visually define La Carpio and to make it into something prettier to look at. Building a sense of self-worth in a community requires it to look presentable. We will create and pass out bottles to start Bottle Gardens to all the bottle gardenhouse for plants potted in modified plastic bottles, for residents who want to decorate their spaces with something green and sometimes edible. A chance to grow herbs like thyme, basil, spearmint, parsley and coriander, as well as potted cherry tomatoes, carrots and potato plants. Some plants you may be giving out are butterfly plants, the ones that attract butterflies. Lunch (Box lunch will be prepared at the hotel & taken with you on your way to La Carpiuo. After lunch, depart Carpio for San Jose city center and time to explore this wonderful city founded in 1737, San José was a forgotten backwater of the Spanish empire until the late 19th century, when it boomed with the coffee business. The city boasts some of the finest museums in Central America, including Costa Rican Art Museum, featuring a lovely open-air sculpture garden. For shopping, local craft items and inexpensive souvenirs, head to the Mercado Central, or the open-air market on the Plaza de la Democracia. Be sure to check out the extensive and impressive collection of indigenous art and craftworks on offer at Galería Namu. Back to the hotel in the afternoon. Meet for dinner at the La Gallera Restaurant.

Day 4 – Wednesday, March 11:  In San Jose – Volunteer Program (B/L/D)
voluntourism-costa-ricaOne more time to La Carpio for Volunteer program for “Carpio Healthy and Happy.” We start by pairing up with local children and youth of the community as they create their own “Dream Mat” program, which will be an opportunity to teach the children the value of dreaming: how important it is to have dreams, to wish for things, to have goals in our their hearts as they put their names on cloth (in Spanish of course). Each child will leave with two mats as a decoration that they can hang in their homes. So, bring your loving and creative self and give these children an experience that can affect them very positively for years to come. This will be followed by passing out the hygiene kits you have put together and as they are given to the children, you will be interacting with them to practice hand washing, hair care, nail care.
Local lunch at Carpio, followed by a local handicrafts program and exhibit (also for purchasing items). Depart Carpio back to the hotel in the afternoon for some “R & R” by the pool. Meet for dinner.

Day 5 – Thursday, March 12: White Water Rafting and Sarapiqui River Cruise (B/L/D)
raftingAfter breakfast it’s off for an exciting day as we depart for the Sarapiquí River rapids that are moderate class II-III (the picture is more dramatic than the rapids) and is the perfect adventure to satisfy your daily dosage for adrenaline and water splash! In addition, the clear, warm water is perfect for enjoying a swim between rapids. The crafts used are very stable, easy to maneuver and really fun! The run takes two and a half hours combining spectacular rainforest with colorful farmlands.

sarapiqui-river-boatsIn the afternoon, we will continue our tour as we navigate the Sarapiqui River on a small cruise boat past beautiful scenery river surrounded by lowlands of tropical rain forest with lush vegetation and a large variety of plants, animals and birds. Lunch will be served at a Hacienda style house at the end of the tour, and some time will be given to enjoy some of the other activities offered. Return to our hotel about 5:30 pm.
Note: Bring: Hiking shoes or sneakers, light jacket, insect repellent, swimsuit, binoculars, sun block and camera.
Meet in the lobby for dinner.

Day 6 – Friday, March 13:  To New York (JFK) (B)
Breakfast on own time. Time to relax by the pool. Meet in lobby for a late afternoon transfer to Airport for our flight back to JFK.

Note: Itinerary is correct at time of printing and subject to conditions and changes beyond our control.

YOUR HOTEL – The Best Western Irazu

hotel poolThe 325 room Best Western Irazu is located only 10 minutes from Downtown San Jose. “The prestige of a great name and the experience of a hotel… to those who deserve nothing less than the very best” is the promise of quality, friendly service and value in lodging accommodations to all its visitors. All air-conditioned rooms offer a 25″ color TV, in-room ironing board, hair dryer and full-length mirror. Guests can enjoy complimentary coffee served 24-hours a day in the lobby. Happy Hour from 5 pm to 6 pm at the “La Cantina Bar,” free local calls and Internet access. The hotels facilities include: Denny’s Restaurant, La Cantina Bar, Pizza Hut, and Burger King “touch button” for delivery service, lit tennis courts, outdoor swimming pool, laundry service, room service, exercise room, landscaped gardens. A shopping center is located next door to the hotel with souvenir shops, bank, grocery store, pharmacy and much more. All this and more from the most comfortable atmosphere of the happiest and entertaining hotel in San Jose.

• Round trip air transportation from JFK to San Jose
• Round trip Airport/Hotel transfers
• 5 Nights accommodations at the 1st Class Best Western Irazu Hotel in San Jose
• Hotel taxes
• Continental Breakfast throughout
• 4 lunches (including a special lunch at a local farm in the rain forest)
• 5 dinners
• Local transportation for Community Service programs
• White Water Rafting tour & Sarapiqui Cruise tour
• Some Free time for independent exploration in San Jose

Not included in the above are:
• Any beverages including mineral water, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks etc. unless otherwise specified
• Any items of a personal nature such as baggage handling at hotels or airports
• Any changes in the program due to conditions beyond our control

Please read our RMC Travel Terms and Conditions.

** Bonus! SAVE! You will receive a 5% discount if ALL payments are made by check or money order. This discounted price is noted below in red.

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Price Per Person:
$1,899 in double room ($1,999 via credit card] plus $50 prepaid gratuities for guides & escorts
$1,849 in triple room ($1,949 via credit card) plus $50 prepaid gratuities for guides & escorts

Single room price on request


Arianna Liveri
Campus Life Coordinator

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Travel Insurance

RMC highly recommends the purchase of Trip Cancellation/Interruption Travel Insurance, and we therefore provide you with an easy way to contact RMC’s preferred insurance provider, Allianz Global Assistance. If you need additional information or have questions, please call Allianz directly at 1-800-284-8300, and refer to code F025323.

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