WLS Programs in Costa Rica
World Leadership School provides student travel and school volunteer opportunities in host communities and schools in diverse locations throughout Costa Rica. A typical School-to-School Partnership program allows students to work on a community project at a local school and gather a rich and unique glimpse into daily life in Costa Rica. World Leadership Foundation started a TabLab in Chilamate, Costa Rica in 2013. Students on a TabLab Partnership program shadow local students and local TabLab Teacher Trainers in order to deepen learning and bridge the digital divide. On a typical NGO Partnership program, students will learn from and work with local leaders that are doing inspiring, environment-focused work in the Osa Peninsula.
Costa Rica ranks among the top 20 countries worldwide for biodiversity, despite the fact that its land area represents less than one third of one percent of the planet’s surface. This staggering biodiversity stems from Costa Rica’s function as a land bridge between two continents and its combination of varied ecosystems and geographic features. These include rain and cloud forests, savanna, mountains, volcanoes, two separate ocean coastlines, beaches, and mangrove swamps.
No country in Latin America has been more successful than Costa Rica in creating long-standing economic and political stability. Costa Rica has aggressively protected its natural resources and, in the process, become a global model for the rewards of sustainable tourism. A quarter of Costa Rica’s land has been officially protected, and off the coast, ten times that area has been set aside as marine reserves.
Despite its economic and political progress, Costa Rica’s biodiversity remains under threat from the same economic pressures that have deforested much of Central America. Foreign investors have sparked a real estate boom, dislocating farmers and resulting in widespread development alongside many of Costa Rica’s protected areas. The Costa Rican government has made sustainable tourism the cornerstone of its long-term economic strategy. In order to support sustainable tourism, Costa Rica has focused on preserving its environment and improving the quality of education for Costa Rican youth.
The safety of our programs rests on the experience and skills of our Staff, Country Coordinators and Instructors, who convene at our annual training in Colorado’s Arkansas Valley.
- The Staff of World Leadership School have decades of experience working in different educational environments. Their focus is logistics, risk management, program design, professional development, and consulting.
- Our Country Coordinators live and work year round in our overseas countries. They screen our homestay families, evaluate our transport and other service providers, and provide ground support for our groups.
- Our Instructors are veteran educators with extensive international experience. They have wilderness first responder training and often have past affiliations with Peace Corps, Outward Bound, NOLS, and/or independent schools.
We strive to responsibly manage risks. Our itineraries minimize highway travel and maximize immersion in rural communities that we know well. We update our risk management protocols, integrate feedback into program design, and invest in safety and communication equipment. Despite these efforts, World Leadership School cannot guarantee safety nor can it eliminate the inherent and other risks of international student travel. For information regarding program activities and associated risks, risk management, and student and parent responsibilities, please contact our office.
“The program had a tremendous impact on our daughter. She gained a new perspective on life, “Pura Vida!”, and she gained insight on her own abilities to overcome obstacles, like language barriers, to find common interests and understanding.”
— Parent from Blair Academy
“From our perspective and our daughter’s, we felt the trip was perfectly executed. Especially the student to teacher ratio. The small numbers kept it intimate and focused! I’m totally grateful and absolutely jealous. In addition, as a parent, my number one concern is my child’s safety, and I never questioned it for a minute.”
— Parent from The Berkeley Carroll School
“This trip inspired me to go out in the world and make change. You can’t wait for change to find you, you need to go look for it.”
— Student from Colorado Academy
“I feel like I grew more as a person in the last 10 days than I have this whole school year.”
— Student from Pingry School