DAY 1: October 22, 2022
Ready, set, go! Join your Niagara College peers at Toronto Pearson International Airport to board your Air Canada flight to San Jose and prepare yourself for the trip of a lifetime! This week, you will learn all about the Pura Vida way of life and the steps that we can all take to live a greener life and protect the Earth’s environmental future.
Upon arrival in San Jose, board your private transportation to be taken to your hotel and rest up for the exciting week ahead!
DAY 2: October 23, 2022
Buenos dias! Wake up and enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast at your hotel. You will want to ensure your batteries are fully charged for the spectacular day ahead! Travel by private transportation to Paos Volcano National Park where you will enjoy a group lunch and a visit to Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center – the first rescue center in Costa Rica to be accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries with a mission to protect and restore the country’s biodiversity through wildlife rehabilitation, endangered species breeding, habitat preservation and the provision of lifetime care for non-releasable animals.
Find yourself feeling amazed and captivated by some of the success stories that the Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center will share regarding the protection of some of the most beautiful endangered species in Costa Rica. These include The Scarlet Macaw, Great Curassow, and the Spider Monkey as they all became extinct in the Nicoya Peninsula. A reintroduction project of the Scarlet Macaw will release a total of 300 Scarlet Macaws into the wild over the next 15 years. Through the Endangered Animal Reproduction Center, more than 500 Great Curassows have been bred and thanks to the efforts of the foundation, the Spider Monkey, Costa Rica’s most endangered primate, can now be seen again today in the wild.
Return to the hotel to enjoy the remainder of the evening at your leisure.
- Paos Volcano National Park
- Visit Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center
DAY 3: October 24, 2022
Fuel up on a delicious breakfast in your hotel then grab your sneakers as you set out on a walking tour of San Jose this morning! Join your tour guide at the National Park in San Jose to begin your walking tour, taking in the stories of Costa Rica’s history while passing by some notable sights along the way – Culture Plaza, National Museum, National Theater, and Democracy Plaza!
Lunch will be a treat today as you will be spoiled by enjoying samples of Costa Rican delicacies prepared by a local chef! Savour the ingredients that make these local dishes a very memorable and delicious part of Costa Rican culture.
Return to the hotel this afternoon to listen to a lecture from a member of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE). CINDE is a private non-profit, non-political agency, founded in 1982 that has attracted more than 250 businesses to Costa Rica such including worldwide leaders such as Intel, Procter & Gamble, Hospira, Baxter, St. Jude Medical, Western Union and many others.
Enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure.
- Walking tour of San Jose
- Sample local dishes
- Lecture by the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE)
DAY 4: October 25, 2022
Today we rest our feet and enjoy multiple educational sessions that will take place within the hotel after enjoying a buffet breakfast. Today’s educational sessions are kickstarted by learning about the Costa Rican Blue Zones and why Costa Rica is ranked among the happiest countries in the world!
Next up is learning all about Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST). CST was developed by the Sustainability Programs Department of the Costa Rican Tourism Board for the tourism sector so that businesses could have a sustainable model to comply with natural, cultural, and communal reserve management.
After taking a well-deserved lunch break, we continue our educational sessions with a lecture from Esteban Echavarria on “From Sustainability to Regenerative Development”. Esteban, a chemical engineer with a master’s in chemical technology and environmental change, will share his personal journey of about 30 years of experience in multinational companies in 5 different Latin American countries as a sustainability manager.
We cap off our day with a lecture from Karla Chavez, General Director of Próxima Comunicación, who developed the most successful recycling program in Costa Rica, followed by a lecture from Norberto Arce from Ad Astra to learn about zero carbon technologies and Ad Astra’s goals of building renewable energy and hydrogen infrastructure throughout Latin America and the world.
Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.
- Discover Costa Rican Blue Zones
- Learn about Certification for Sustainable Tourism
- Lecture by Esteban Echavarria – From Sustainability to Regenerative Development
- Lecture by Karla Chavez – From Próxima Comunicación
- Lecture from Norberto Arce – From Ad Astra
DAY 5: October 26, 2022
This afternoon will be a shopper’s delight! Be sure to pack a few extra dollars to spend as we will kickstart the afternoon by visiting Sr. y Sra Ese, the largest manufacturer of souvenirs. Participate in a tour of the manufacturing plant, followed by a bit of shopping time with the opportunity to purchase a few souvenirs at excellent prices.
We continue our action-packed afternoon with a visit to La Carpio. La Carpio is an impoverished neighbourhood in San Jose that began approximately 30 years ago on a piece of land that was originally owned by the Costa Rican medical system and was used as a recreational area for their members. The neighbourhood formed after many Nicaraguans sought refuge due to war and is now home to over 34, 000 immigrants. Upon arrival in La Carpio, you will be greeted by Mrs. Gayle Nystrom, head of the Humanitarian Foundation, which works to improve the lives of the families who live in La Carpio. Learn how this impressive foundation continues to assist the community and spend time with local community members in their homes and hear of their journeys.
- Visit to Mundo Rep – a circular economy industry, which recycles plastic containers from environmentally friendly companies
- Visit Sr. y Stra Ese – largest manufacturer of souvenirs with opportunity to purchase
- Visit La Carpio and learn about the Humanitarian Foundation
DAY 6: October 27, 2022
Did someone say coffee? After breakfast, we drive towards the Los Santos Valley, known for some of the most renowned coffees of the world. Save your first morning cup (or maybe your second 😊) to sample high-end gourmet coffee at a micro mill where you will learn all about coffee processes. After, hear from a former manager of Coopedota, to learn about the importance of good environmental business practices such as carbon neutrality.
This evening we enjoy a “Noche Tica”, or folkloric evening, and experience Costa Rican traditions at a hacienda farmhouse that boasts breathtaking views of the Central Valley. Listen to live marimba music, watch a folkloric dance show, dine on a traditional dinner, all with the best view in town. It will surely be an evening to remember!
- Travel to Los Santos Valley
- Tour an micro coffee mill
- Experience Noche Tica
(B, L, D)
DAY 7: October 28, 2022
No trip to Costa Rica would be complete without a little time spent at the beach. This morning, we grab our sunscreen, sunglasses, and maybe a floppy hat as we set out on a day cruise with Isla Tortuga as our destination. An island with scenery so beautiful, you will feel like you are in a dream. Isla Tortuga, known as Tolinga by local indigenous citizens, proudly bears the Bandera Azul Ecologica certification, which has been awarded for more than 5 years now. To earn this prestigious distinction, Costa Rican beaches must have their waters free of pollution, making them beautiful in colour and primed for a relaxing day to enjoy a swim and time in the sun and sand.
- Isla Tortuga Day Cruise
- Beach time
DAY 8: October 29, 2022
What an incredible week it has been, but it is time to say our farewells to Costa Rica and all the wonderful people we have met. Take a Little free time to make one last visit to the beautiful white Sands before heading back to San Jose to fly to Toronto. Hasta la próxima, Costa Rica.
Disclaimers: Be World Ready does their best to execute the itinerary as outlined above, however all elements are subject to change based on availability or requirement to adapt due to circumstances outside of our control. Cost of the overall experience may fluctuate up to a maximum of $200.00 +/- CAD due to volume of participants and local exchange rate. Students will be informed in writing as early as possible if it is foreseen that the cost will increase. Students are also reminded that it is their responsibility to research the entry requirements to the destination countries visited per their nationality and vaccination status.
* Price per student is in Canadian Dollars and reflects the Be World Ready (BWR) grant which has been applied to the total trip cost to heavily subsidize the rate per person for our Fall 2022 International Field Studies (IFS). Our future IFS BWR grants will not remain this high. To qualify for the full value of the BWR grant applied to this IFS, mandatory training and tasks are required to be completed, training and task expectations will be clearly communicated by BWR staff upon registration. Failure to complete the requirements as outlined by BWR staff will result in the value of the grant being billed back to the applicable student account, up to a maximum of $2500. Securing your seat on this trip will occur on a first come, first serve basis based on registration date, and meeting payment timelines.