2018 DC International Costa Rica Program

2018 DC International Costa Rica Program

Program Highlights

2018 DC International Costa Rica Program

Dates: July 23-August 3, 2018   |   Tuition: $2590 Learn More

On this program...

  • Live with a Spanish-speaking family in the Costa Rica highlands.
  • Visit the gorgeous beach and National Park of Manuel Antonio.
  • Surf the perfect waves of the Pacific.
  • Work on an engaging service project alongside fellow community members.

Group Organizer/s: 

Alison Auerbach, alison.auerbach@dcinternationalschool.org

WTT Contact: 

Luke Mueller, 303-898-5135, luke@walkingtree.org

Deadlines: Enrollment opens on January 22, 2018.

Enroll 

Dear Travelers & Families – Welcome to the homepage for the 2nd annual DC International Costa Rica Program! If this is your first time on this page, please read through the categories under Pre-Enrollment to learn more about this unique travel opportunity, or peruse the other categories as you like.

Once you have enrolled, please check out the Post-Enrollment information. Around one month before departure, we will post the remaining information under Program Prep to review on a call with the entire group. We hope you will join us on the adventure of a lifetime in Costa Rica!

Click on the sections above to learn more

Program Itinerary

DateDayLocationDescriptionLodging
July 23Monday
USA & San JoséToday the group will travel from the USA to Costa Rica. After arrival, the group will settle into their hotel for the evening and have an orientation meeting where the group will discuss the upcoming trip in detail. Casa Tago
July 24TuesdaySan Jose & Pura SuerteAfter breakfast we will depart for Pura Suerte, an ecological farm in the heart of the rain forest, about four hours' drive south of the capital city. We will tour Pura Suerte's organic farm for an introduction to the bountiful flora and fauna in the area, visit a nearby coffee plantation and enjoy a delicious dinner made from ingredients sourced directly from the forest and nearby farms. Throughout the program, we'll have the opportunity to interact with community members in Spanish, participate in cultural exchanges, and explore Costa Rican culture.Pura Suerte
July 25WednesdayPura SuerteAfter breakfast we will hike down to the Nauyaca waterfall, one of the most beautiful in the entire country. We will spend the morning swimming and relaxing by the riverside and enjoy lunch at the waterfall before returning to the farm for some free time before dinner.Pura Suerte
July 26ThursdayPura Suerte & Host VillageToday we will head to the host community to meet our host families. Upon arrival, students will tour the community and learn about our service project. Students will have dinner with their own individual host families this evening.
Host Families
July 27 FridayHost CommunityEach day in our host community will include a full day of work at our community service project. Lunch will be either be on-site or at home with families. In the afternoon and evening, activities will vary, but typically include spending time with host families, group excursions around the village, or activities with people from the local community. Throughout the program, we'll have opportunities to interact with community members in Spanish, participate in cultural exchanges, and explore Costa Rican culture.Host Families
July 28SaturdayHost CommunityToday, we will continue working on our service project and spending time with host families. Evening activities will vary.Host Families
July 29SundayHost CommunityToday, we will continue working on our service project and spending time with host families. Evening activities will vary.Host Families
July 30MondayHost CommunityToday, we will continue working on our service project and spending time with host families. Evening activities will vary.Host Families
July 31TuesdayHost CommunityToday we will finish our service project and celebrate with our new friends and family with a fiesta de despedida!Host Families
August 1WednesdayHost Community & Manual AntonioAfter breakfast and goodbyes, we will head west to Manuel Antonio on the central Pacific coast. We will settle into our hotel before heading down to the beach where students can take surf lessons on a stretch of coastline that has a reputation for being great for beginners.Mono Azul
August 2ThursdayManuel Antonio & San JoseToday we will explore Manuel Antonio National Park which bursts with wildlife. Inside we will find idyllic beaches and winding trails that lead through dense jungle. Students can relax, swim and do some souvenir shopping. After lunch we will make the drive back to San Jose for a farewell dinner before of our international departure the following morning.Casa Tago
August 3FridaySan Jose - USAAfter breakfast, we will head to the airport for a morning departure back to the USA.Your Own Bed!

Philosophy Of Travel

Our mission is to inspire the next generation to become global leaders by taking an active interest in the world around them. With a dedication to learning, along with an enduring passion for exploring the world, Walking Tree Travel designs transformative and meaningful travel programs that uncover the authentic culture of each destination and inspire students to take action in their local and global community.

Walking Tree Travel stands for a more open, curious, and compassionate approach to travel. We partner with select schools around the world to provide memorable small-group experiences, and invest in cultivating and maintaining longterm relationships with our partner communities. If you are interested in our organization and philosophy of travel, click here to learn more about us.

Accommodations

In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for our students, teachers, and staff, Program Leaders and Country Directors follow strict guidelines when deciding on lodging, making reservations, and assigning program participants to rooms.

Students will always be grouped in rooms and/or sleeping areas by gender, and will never share rooms with people who are not associated with Walking Tree. Group Organizers and Program Leaders will be roomed separately from each other and from other students. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three star or equivalent hotels that are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled.
Below are a few examples of our partner hotels. Although these are our preferred providers, they are subject to change based on availability. Your final itinerary will provide complete information on your accommodations in the cities you will be visiting.

San José: Casa Tago

Pura Suerte: Pura Suerte

Manuel Antonio: Mono Azul

Tuition & Fundraising

Program Tuition Includes

more tuition information

Program Tuition Excludes: Baggages fees, airline minor fees, personal shopping, passport or visa fees, and activities not listed in the itinerary.*

*NOTE: If you are traveling on a program that is completed before September 1, 2018 your basic travel insurance is included. If you are traveling on a program that departs after September 1, 2018 you must purchase travel insurance if you want to have any supplemental coverage beyond what your family’s package may provide. This change is due to new federal regulations.

Estimated Airfare*

International Airfare: In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. We will provide full transparency in cost so that families pay what the flight costs and nothing more. You will be invoiced for the flight once we are able to secure the group’s airline contract.

Standards of Behavior

WTT provides fun, safe, and meaningful programs for our travelers. In order to achieve this goal, it is important that we create an environment of trust, security and respect. All individuals participating in our programs are required to take responsibility for their actions and adhere to a high standard of behavioral conduct. Any of the following are grounds for early dismissal or in-country consequences at our discretion.

ABSOLUTE DISMISSAL

  1. Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  2. Associating with participants while they are in possession of or are consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  3. Behaving in a way that consistently damages the group dynamic or jeopardizes personal or group safety. This includes consistently displaying a negative attitude, intimidating or excluding other participants, sneaking out, disobeying group leaders, and any other behavior that is not conducive to an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.

GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL OR IN-COUNTRY CONSEQUENCE

  1. Getting a piercing or tattoo
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials
  3. Threatening with or using weapons such as firearms, knives, explosives, etc.
  4. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle
  5. Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew
  6. Breaking group rules

These standards of behavior are essential for the successful completion of a travel program. Please take the time to review these rules as a family and make sure everyone understands and agrees to them before choosing to travel with WTT.

Continue to the next section

Passport & Visa Check

Passport & Visa Check

US CITIZENS
Passport must be valid for six months after the final day of your travel program, including one open visa page.
No Visa Requirements for US Citizens traveling to Costa Rica.

NON US CITIZENS OR THOSE TRAVELING FROM A COUNTRY OTHER THAN THE USA
Non US citizens should check with their country’s embassy abroad to verify vaccination and visa requirements.
US citizens traveling from a country other than the United States should check the State Department website (www.travel.state.gov) for more information regarding additional visa or vaccine requirements.

Please contact us for further information regarding vaccination and visa requirements.

Health and Safety

We strongly recommend visiting the CDC Costa Rica website to get the most updated information on health and vaccination considerations in your destination country. In addition, we encourage you to consult with your personal family physician so you can be as informed as possible when making important decisions about vaccinations and other necessary health-related preparations before travel.

Our in-country staff prepare meticulously for all programs. Walking Tree will register our programs and travelers with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in case of emergency. In country staff also verify the safety records of our partner organizations, vendors, and transportation providers, thoroughly vet homestay families via in depth interviews and home visits, and keep up on important current events in the region.

Program Leaders are seasoned travelers who are CPR and First Aid certified, undergo thorough training in crisis management, and participate in a multi-day leadership training retreat. We do our best to prepare for any eventuality and have detailed emergency protocols for our leaders, in-country staff and U.S.-based staff.

We receive medical disclosures from all participants to ensure we are able to meet every students’ needs during the program. Please inform us immediately of any additional health issues that you did not list during your initial registration process. Program Leaders will also hold an online information session before your departure, as well as an arrival orientation in-country, in order to give participants important instructions on food safety, hygiene and preventing injury and illness. Leaders and in-country staff always respond immediately to any mental, physical or emotional health issues and follow comprehensive emergency protocols.

 

Travel Insurance

If you are traveling on a program which departs before September 1, 2018 the following travel insurance is included in your tuition:

PLAN COVERAGES

$500 Return Airfare for Trip Interruption
$750 ($150 per day) Trip Delay of six hours or more
$500 (Three or more hours) Missed Connection
$1500 ($250 per article) Baggage/Personal Effects
$300 Baggage Delay – 24 hours
$25,000 Accident & Sickness Medical Expense
$100,000 Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation
Emergency Assistance Non-insurance Worldwide Emergency Assistance Services Included

If you are traveling on a program that departs after September 1, 2018 you must purchase travel insurance if you want to have coverage beyond what your family’s package may provide. This change is due to new federal regulations.

While we work hard to ensure the safest experience possible for our travelers while on program, experience has taught us that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we strongly encourage families to purchase travel insurance which would cover you in the event your student needs to withdrawal before travel due to a covered reason, loses baggage in route or encounters an emergency while traveling, among other unforeseen circumstances. Please see a summary of a recommended plan below and follow the link for a more detailed explanation or to purchase the plan for your traveler.

Classic with Trip Plus*
Trip Cancellation Up to 100% of Trip Cost
Reimburses your prepaid, non-refundable expenses if you must cancel your trip due to a covered reason.
Maximum coverage: $100,000.

Trip Interruption Up to 150% of Trip Cost
Reimburses for the unused, non-refundable portion of your trip and for the increased transportation costs it takes for you to return home or to continue your trip due to a covered reason. Maximum coverage: $150,000.

Missed Connection $1,600
Reimburses for covered expenses resulting from a covered delay that causes you to miss your scheduled flight or cruise.

Travel Delay $1,600
Receive up to $200 per day per person to cover additional accommodation/travel expenses and lost prepaid expenses due to a departure delay of six or more hours.

Medical Protection: 
Emergency Medical and Dental $50,000
-This primary coverage provides reimbursement for expenses incurred during your trip due to covered medical and dental emergencies. No deductible.
-$750 maximum for emergency dental care.

Baggage Protection
Baggage Loss/Damage $2,000
Covers loss, damage or theft of baggage and personal effects.

Baggage Delay $600
Covers the reasonable additional purchase of essential items during your trip if your baggage is delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for 24 hours or more. Receipts for emergency purchases are required.

Assistance Services
Emergency Medical Transportation $1,000,000
Provides medically necessary transportation to the nearest appropriate facility following a covered injury or illness. Also covers the cost of your transportation back home following a covered injury or illness.

24-Hour Hotline Help Included
Help is just a phone call away with Allianz Global Assistance. Our staff of multilingual problem solvers is available to help you with any medical, legal or travel-related emergency.

*Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Insurance benefits underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated “A­” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101­C series or 101­P series, depending on your state of residence. Plan(s) may not be available in all jurisdictions. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are marks of AGA Service Company or its affiliates. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of this plan and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson InsuranceCompany. Non­Insurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company. Consumer may be responsible for charges incurred from outside vendors for assistance or concierge services. Contact AGA Service Company at 800­284­8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233 or customerservice@allianzassistance.com.

Global Leadership Curriculum

WTT has developed a curriculum that helps each of our travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple, engaging tools are meant to spark discussion, frame the experience, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on our programs and in the future.

For more information about student learning objectives and the format of the curriculum, click on the ‘learn more’ button below.

Learn More About the GLC

To view and complete the Pre-Program Activities, visit our online portal at the button below.

Pre-Program Activity Portal

Language Resources

DUOLINGO

Want to learn a new language and be better prepared for your travel program? Duolingo is the easiest, most entertaining way to start learning and using a new language right away! The more you practice, the more you’ll be able to communicate with locals in your host country and help your fellow travelers navigate a foreign environment.

Tap the Duolingo owl to get started, or download the app to your mobile phone.

duolingo owl logo

Continue to the next section

Travel Day Details

Group Flight Information

Walking Tree will provide a group manifest – complete with reservation codes and ticket numbers – to the group organizer before departure. Nevertheless travelers will need to check in at the airport and we recommend arriving no later than three hours prior to the scheduled departure. For details on exactly where and when to meet on the day of departure, please contact your teacher/Group Organizer.

DEPARTURE FROM USA
Airline:  Southwest
Flight: WN2490
Date:  July 23, 2018
Departs:  Virginia (DCA) 6:45 AM
Arrives: Florida (FLL) 9:25 AM

Airline: Southwest
Flight:  WN303
Date: July 23,2018
Departs:  Florida (FLL) 10:45 AM
Arrives:  Costa Rica (SJO) 11:40AM

RETURN TO USA
Airline:  Southwest
Flight: WN304
Date:  August 3, 2018
Departs:  Costa Rica (SJO) 12:35 PM
Arrives:  Florida (FLL) 5:44 PM

Airline:  Southwest
Flight:  WN1245
Date: August 3, 2018
Departs:  Florida (FLL) 7:30 PM
Arrives: Virginia (DCA) 10:00 PM

A NOTE ON FLIGHTS
Air travel is unpredictable. Although we can ensure that our groups arrive to the airport with ample time and follow all airline instructions, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to weather, mechanical problems, labor strikes, etc. Please note that in such an event WTT is not financially responsible for unexpected costs incurred by travelers. Our programs officially begin and end in our host countries. That being said, our travelers’ well-being and safety is our number one priority, so please know that should flight delays/cancellations occur we will do everything we can to get travelers home in a timely manner and will do our best to keep family members updated on developments.

WTT is not responsible for fees associated with checked baggage. Please also make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the final day in country.

To see more about Southwest’s baggage policies, please click here.

UN-ACCOMPANIED MINORS
Please confirm with your air travel provider as some airlines may require that travelers under a certain age have completed an unaccompanied minor parental consent form. Please consult the airline website to confirm if this is required on your flight.

Program Staff

WTT will send a minimum of one experienced Program Leader on every program. In addition to this Program Leader, we also have a support staff in our host countries that are available to the group for additional help when necessary. Please read below to see who will be part of the support team on your program. Below you’ll find a list of the Walking Tree staff involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program.

  • Joel Garza
    Joel Garza Program Leader

    Oral Roberts University:  B.S. Global Environmental Sustainability, Minor: Psychology   

    I was born and raised in Laredo, Texas (a.k.a Texico) after my family migrated from Mexico. Growing up, I spoke Spanish at home and learned English at school. I moved to Tulsa to pursue my degree in environmental sustainability and started teaching last year. During college, I was first exposed to teaching on a trip to Guatemala where I taught English for a couple of weeks. I travelled to Brazil for a month on a poverty alleviation trip and from there developed an interest in urban planning and community development. I have travelled to Mexico, Costa Rica, Zambia and Canada along the way.

    I currently live in Tulsa where I teach Spanish to crazy teenagers and adopted a beautiful boxer-pit-bull mix dog named Valentina.  I highly enjoy camping, backpacking, everything about soccer and meeting new people.

    • Chela Crinnion
      Chela Crinnion Program Leader

      Baldwin-Wallace College – B.A. Studio Art and B.A. Spanish

      Cleveland State University – M.A. Spanish with Specialization in Latin American Studies

      While at Baldwin-Wallace College, Chela spent a trimester abroad in Central America, studying biology, religion, and Spanish throughout Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Belize. After completing her undergraduate work, she lived in Costa Rica for three years, working for a non-profit and teaching ESL at the university level. Back home in the U.S., Chela has taught Spanish at the middle school, high school, and university levels. Her passions as an educator include girls’ empowerment, fostering character and camaraderie in the classroom, and teaching about global and social issues. Chela is also a freelance photographer, documenting events in an array of settings — from school campuses to the U.S. Open to the United Nations. She enjoys leading and photographing trips, and has traveled with students to Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, and Sweden. When not in the classroom or behind the camera, Chela enjoys going to concerts, comedy shows, and movies.

      • Esteban Arguedas Country Operations Manager, Costa Rica Country Director, Panama Country Director

        Earlham College – B.A. Non-Profit and Business Administration, Minor in French

        Born and raised in Costa Rica, Esteban has spent the last seven years of his life traveling around the world and fostering his education in the U.S. Esteban has a strong background in cross-cultural education and developing business projects that strive for sustainable and social development. While attending college in Indiana, Esteban spent a semester abroad in France. During his free time Esteban loves reading, playing soccer, surfing, hiking, drinking a good cup of coffee and dancing to Latino rhythms. These days Esteban has moved back to Costa Rica and loves leading awesome SSA programs in his home country!

        Group Roster

        Please have all travelers check below to ensure their name is spelled correctly. For corrections or edits, email lacey@walkingtree.org.

        1. Luisa Juarez (Group Organizer)
        2. Denise Lyons (Group Organizer)
        3. Laura Benitez Arenas (Group Organizer)
        4. Ashley Romero
        5. Alyson Contreras
        6. Alyssa Cuff
        7. Amiyah Simpson
        8. Ana Isabel Flores
        9. Anthony Vargas
        10. Antonio Roberson
        11. Asa Selassie
        12. Brian Ford
        13. Bruno Hernandez
        14. Dorian Clary
        15. Franklin Arevalo
        16. Gustavo Arellanos Hernandez
        17. Jaiden Jones
        18. Jasmine Gallion
        19. Javier Simpson
        20. Jazzlyn Avery
        21. Jibril Davis
        22. Jordyne Boykins
        23. Jose Carballo-Mendoza
        24. Kaya Brown
        25. Kayla Wilson
        26. Kenneth Carter
        27. Marvin Buenaventura
        28. Meredith Jordan
        29. Menelik Workneh
        30. Paola Almendarez
        31. Rosalyn Duran
        32. Vanessa Herrera-Miguel
        33. Wade Weddington

        Community & Project Details

        The DCI group will be broken into three sections and travel to one of three neighboring communities which are no more than 15 minutes driving from one another. Project details for all three groups are forthcoming.

        San Gerardo de Rivas
        San Gerardo de Rivas is situated in the misty mountains above San Isidro de General in the province of San Jose, about three hours south of the capital city. This village of 800 people will host a Walking Tree group for a fourth consecutive year. San Gerardo is a friendly community of coffee and agricultural farmers and has proven itself a perfect fit for an energetic group of young volunteers. Unknown to most travelers, San Gerardo is only occasionally home to foreign visitors and thus provides an idyllic example of rural Costa Rican village life. Set at the foot of the mighty Mt. Chirripo, it also happens to be picturesquely beautiful.

        Herradura
        Herradura is a small and very beautiful town situated in a valley near the entrance of Parque Nacional Chirripó, which is home to Costa Rica’s tallest mountain. The nearest sizeable city is San Isidro (Pérez Zeledón), which is located about 20 kilometers, or 45 minutes away. There is a very beautiful river (Rio Blanco) that runs through the center of town and runs parallel of the main road. Walking Tree has been working in Herradura since 2009, and we continue to send groups here because of it’s beautiful scenery, great contacts and creative projects that are proposed. The town has a rustic feel to it, which is amplified by the fact that there is no cell phone service here. Electricity first made its way to Herradura in 1986.

        Cannan de Rivas
        Cannan de Rivas is situated in the misty mountains above San Isidro de General in the province of San Jose, about three hours south of the capital city. This village of 800 people will host a Walking Tree group for a fourth consecutive year. San Gerardo is a friendly community of coffee and agricultural farmers and has proven itself a perfect fit for an energetic group of young volunteers. Unknown to most travelers, Cannan is only occasionally home to foreign visitors and thus provides an idyllic example of rural Costa Rican village life. Set at the foot of the mighty Mt. Chirripo, it also happens to be picturesquely beautiful.

        Living Conditions in our host communities

        The heart and soul of our Costa Rica programs is the time in the host village. For the duration of our time in the community, students will live with homestay families where they will significantly improve their Spanish and experience firsthand an intimate snapshot of Costa Rican family life. While we understand the thought of living with another family can be intimidating, we believe that homestays are extremely rewarding. Walking Tree has carefully selected each host family to ensure a safe, nurturing and enriching environment.

        Typical homes that are constructed nowadays are made of concrete and cinder blocks with tin roofing. They are made this way in order to withstand earthquakes. Traditionally, houses were made of wood with clay tile roofing. In rural areas, it is much more common to see traditional style housing whereas in the city it is very hard to find. Generally, homes are sized modestly with a living area, kitchen area, cuarto de pilas (utility room) and 2-3 bedrooms. Generally, parents will share a private bedroom, but depending on the size of the family and income, kids may share a bedroom with parents. Kids will often share a bedroom, especially when they are younger. It is considered normal to live with your parents until you get married, meaning that it is not strange for someone in their late twenties or early thirties to live with their parents. It also may be common for elderly family members to live with their children if they cannot take care of themselves. You will find that in small towns, family members will construct their houses very close to their other family members, which creates a greater sense of family within the community.

        Kitchens are generally very basic in small towns. Gas or electric countertop stoves are most common nowadays, but you may find that some families still stick to the traditional wood burning stoves. The kitchen will almost always be found within the home unless a wood-burning stove is used. In this case, the kitchen may be partially outside the home. Ovens, toasters and dishwashers are not common in Costa Rican kitchens. All dishes are hand washed. All houses are equipped with electricity, running water and indoor plumbing, but it is important to note that you should not flush toilet paper or other paper products down the toilet. This will clog the toilets and can eventually cause the overflow of septic tanks.

        Communication & Blog

        The easiest way for students to keep in touch with family and friends at home while traveling will be using Wifi (available at most hotels and some restaurants) via Viber, Whatsapp, Skype, and Wechat for free.

        WTT tries to keep families and friends updated as frequently as possible with text and photo blogs. If parents would like updates regarding the group beyond these blog posts and email updates, they should direct all general inquiries to info@WalkingTree.org. We are always checking this email inbox and will respond promptly to inquiries. You can also reach us by dialing 303-242-8541 from the U.S.

        Click here to access your program’s blog page.

        Packing List

        What follows is a sample packing list, which will be updated for each program. We recommend you bring a larger piece of luggage like a roller, duffel bag, or backpack, as well as a smaller backpack that you can bring on hikes, weekend excursions and shorter activities.

        Most importantly, be sure to remember your PASSPORT and STUDENT ID.

        Costa Rica Packing List

        CLOTHES:

        6 pairs of underwear
        6 pairs of socks (a mixture of good hiking socks and casual socks)
        4 t-shirts (some quick dry)
        2 long sleeve shirts
        1 sweater
        1 rain jacket
        2-3 pairs of travel/athletic shorts that are breathable and light
        2 pairs of comfortable/hiking/everyday pants (NOT all jeans)
        1 nice shirt/top to be worn to more formal dinners (girls might want a skirt or something a little nicer for such occasions, boys may want to opt for a polo shirt or button up shirt with jeans)
        1 pair of durable athletic/hiking shoes
        1 pair of sandals (Chaco/Teva/Merril sandals are great to have for water activities)
        1 pair of work gloves – required for service work
        1 hat

        TOILETRIES: BRING THE BASIC TOILETRIES YOU NEED PLUS:

        Sunscreen (you will use a lot)
        Mosquito repellent
        Band Aids and Neosporin
        Hand Sanitizer
        Medication in properly marked original container. It’s important that medication travel in its original container, as customs officials have the right to confiscate it otherwise.

        MISCELLANEOUS:

        Sunglasses
        Journal and pen
        Book
        Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
        Power Converter
        Alarm Clock and watch
        Debit card/US Dollars (we recommend about $50-$150, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
        Durable water bottle
        Swimming suit
        1 quick-dry towel
        Flashlight/headlamp
        Batteries
        Deck of cards or other portable games
        Host family gift
        Spanish/English Dictionary

        HOMESTAY GIFTS

        Travelers often contact us regarding what an appropriate gift might be for their student’s host family. Host families are often curious about where our students come from and their families in the U.S. As such, we recommend a simple gift that describes, represents or depicts your home. Well-received gifts in the past have included calendars or picture/coffee table books from your city or state, a framed picture of your family, paraphernalia from a local sports team, toys, soccer balls, school supplies, or something produced or grown in your hometown, like chocolate, local candy, t-shirts, etc. The most important thing to keep in mind is not to worry about this…  Anything, no matter its value, will be well received!

        Tuition Details

        Program tuition includes: All accommodations, 3 meals per day, drinking water, ground transportation, group activity and entry fees, full-time leadership team,  taxes, tips and estimated airfare*.

        Program tuition excludes: Baggages fees, airline minor fees, personal shopping, passport or visa fees, and activities not listed in the itinerary.

        *Estimated Airfare: In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. We will provide full transparency in cost so that families pay what the flight costs and nothing more. You will be invoiced for the flight once we are able to secure the group’s airline contract.

        Insurance:  If you are traveling on a program that is completed before September 1, 2018 your basic travel insurance is included. If you are traveling on a program that departs after September 1, 2018 you must purchase travel insurance if you want to have any supplemental coverage beyond what your family’s package may provide. This change is due to new federal regulations.

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