2022 NWC Costa Rica Conservation Expedition

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2022 NWC Costa Rica Conservation Expedition!  We have created two webpages dedicated to this exciting program so that travelers are as informed as possible throughout the process. The first page, Pre-Enrollment, is meant to share exciting details, highlights and pertinent info that participants will want to know before enrolling. Once enrolled, the Post-Enrollment page, is meant to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead. Please be sure to review the information on the appropriate page thoroughly and we can't wait to start our enriching adventure!
Travel Dates: June 11, 2022 - June 21, 2022
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $2,790 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Confirmed Airfare: $640

What to Expect

Please read through all of the information below. More details will be added as your departure draws closer.


We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs for our travelers and given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group. 

June 12USA - AlajuelaToday the group will travel from the USA to Costa Rica, and flights usually arrive in the evening. After arrival, the group will settle into their hotel and have an orientation meeting where the group will discuss the upcoming trip in detail. Dinner will be at the hotel.La Rosa de America
June 13Alajuela - Horquetas de SarapiquíAfter breakfast the group will head for Sarapiquí, an area characterized by its lush tropical rainforest and swift rivers. The bus ride is three hours north of the capital city. The group will settle in La Selva Biological Station, owned by the world-renowned Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS). The group will get familiar with the facilities and meet the scientists and research tutors. In the evening, we will set off on a hike through some of the multiple trails in the middle of the primary rainforest where students will learn about the natural history, ecosystems, and biodiversity of the reserve.OTS Cabins
June 14Horquetas de SarapiquíToday we will begin with an introduction to the several research projects conducted but the OTS in La Selva station. After we receive the lecture and general instructions, the group will be divided into different tasks we will be completing for the rest of the day to participate in one of the several on-going projects of La Selva. Projects vary but these may include topics of water quality, plant adaptation and mammal monitoring, specially peccaries which love to hang out around the station! After lunch, will take a short break from our conservation work to learn how to dance salsa, merengue and bachata. After dinner in the station, the group will set off on a night hike through the trails in the middle of the primary rainforest to find frogs and other nocturnal creatures.OTS Cabins
June 15Horquetas de SarapiquíToday we will continue participating in the research projects. In the evening, we will collaborate with a riparian forest restoration project of the OTS. The group will learn about the different strategies scientists use to restore the vegetal area that protects and supports rivers and streams, as well as the biotic components that support these ecosystems. OTS Cabins
June 16Horquetas de Sarapiquí - La Virgen de Sarapiquí Today we will depart La Selva Biological Station to the nearby Tirimbina Biological Station but we will first make a stop for our Ethnobotany tour, where students will engage all five of their senses in getting to know different plants and learn about the scientific importance of the tropical rainforest in the medical and cosmetic fields. After settling in into our cabins we will begin learning about the history of one of mankind’s favorite foods: chocolate. Originally from Central America, this plant has an extraordinary history; it was one of the most important products for the Mayan and Aztec cultures. In the evening, students will have the opportunity to learn about the natural history of bats, their classification, diversity, adaptations, reproduction, threats. They will also be able to take a close look at the snare net and bats captured for this research.Tirmbina Cabins
June 17La Virgen de Sarapiquí - La FortunaAfter breakfast we will head to La Fortuna, a small city right next to the Volcán Arenal, an impressive volcano that stands out in the middle of the flatlands. Students will have some free time to explore the towns center and do some souvenir shopping. At night we will relax at the Baldi hot springs, where we will be having a buffet dinner as well.Arenal Hostel Resort
June 18La Fortuna Today we will hike down to La Fortuna waterfall, where students can relax, swim, and explore in the morning. After lunch, we will see the forest from a different perspective after we go zip-lining in the afternoon. Tonight, the group will take some time to reflect on our experience in Costa Rica.Arenal Hostel Resort
June 19La Fortuna - Pacuare RiverIn the morning we'll be picked up for our two-day white water rafting trip along the Pacuare River. We'll spend the next handful of hours navigating the rapids of one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. We'll stop for lunch at a lodge along the banks of the river where we'll eat lunch and then relax in the afternoon, exploring an impressive network of trails or just relaxing in a hammock with a good book.Pacuare River Lodge
June 20Rio Pacuare - AlajuelaAfter breakfast we'll enjoy a full day on the river, traveling back to Alajuela around the middle of the afternoon for our final dinner together ahead of our international departure the following morning.Casa Cielo Grande
June 21Alajuela - USAAfter breakfast, we will head to the airport for a morning departure back to the USA.Your own bed, eventually!

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In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe.  We vet and inspect the accommodations to ensure they uphold the ethos of our programs, are great values for our travelers and nice places to rest after enriching days of travel.  

Below are the accommodations we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
Rosa de las Américas

A charming ranch-style hotel on the outskirts of San José, Rosa de  las Americas is a great spot to unwind after a long day’s travels. This hotel is complete with a lush gardens, a big pool, updated rooms, and friendly staff.

OTS La Selva Research Station

La Selva’s juxtaposition of protected ecosystems and well-developed facilities is unique in the world’s wet tropics.  This is one of several field stations run  created by the Organization of Tropical Studies,  a non-profit consortium of over 50 universities and research institutions based in the United States, Latin America, and South Africa. The cabins offer bunk and single beds, shared bathrooms, bug protection on windows and fans. Students will be grouped according to gender. They offer a dining hall, wireless internet, library, all-access trail, and on-station security.

Tirimbina Biological Reserve

Timibina combines research and education with ecoturism to create a unique experience for its visitors and to promote conservation. The rooms offer bunk and single beds, shared bathrooms, bug protection on windows and fans. Students will be grouped according to gender. They offer a dining hall, wireless internet, all-access trail, and on-station security.

Pacuare River Lodge

Along a hillside overlooking the Pacuare River, this one-of-a-kind lodge sits amid exotic primary rainforest, indigenous reserves and isolated valleys, and is only accessible by raft, 4X4, or horseback. A collection of rustic yet cozy cabins, each allowing to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding pristine jungles and experience the wilderness.  Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability. Most river lodges have no electricity, wifi and cellphone reception is very limited as it is the case for Pacuare River Lodge. The rafting companies communicate by radio in case of needing any land departure from the lodge or any emergency. 


Villas Aracari

Villas Aracari is a beautiful property ideally located just twenty minutes from the airport. Close to the city center yet perched high in the mountains, the views of the Central Valley are breathtaking and the new pool is a delightful respite after a hot day. Spotless rooms and friendly staff will make you feel at home the moment you drop your bags.

Arenal Hostel Resort

Arenal is one of the great beauties in Costa Rica! With its beautiful gardens, swimming pools, and centralized location, Arenal Hostel Resort is a wonderful place to relax and unwind. Wifi and air conditioning are included, and students will be split between double and triple rooms based on gender and availability.

Group Flight

Type Carrier Name Carrier Code Flight Number Departure Airport & City Departure Date and Time  Arrival Airport & City Arrival Date and Time 
June 11, 2022 at 10:45 PM
June 12, 2022 at 05:30 AM
June 21, 2022 at 06:00 AM
June 21, 2022 at 11:30 AM

Once your flight has been confirmed, the itinerary will appear here.

Walking Tree will secure a seat on the group flight for each participant unless otherwise instructed.

Travelers are responsible for checked baggage fees. Please visit the airline’s baggage webpage to learn if you should expect to pay anything.

We will provide a group manifest – complete with reservation codes and ticket numbers – to the Group Organizer/s before departure, and travelers will need to check in at the airport in order to receive their boarding pass and have documents verified. We recommend arriving no later than three hours prior to the scheduled departure, but contact your Group Organizer for specific details on exactly where and when to meet on the day of departure.

Air travel can be unpredictable.  Regardless of proper planning, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to staffing shortages, weather, mechanical problems, etc.  Please note that in such an event, Walking Tree Travel (WTT) is not financially responsible for unanticipated costs incurred by travelers en route.  Our programs officially begin and end in the destination country, and because our staff doesn’t fly with the group, Group Organizers (the traveling faculty member/s) become the front-line advocate for the group in the event of a delay. In most cases of cancellations or delays, the airline will be the one who re-books travel or possibly arranges a hotel and food the night.  Our primary role will be to  keep families updated and provide support to the Group Organizer to reach a  quick and effective resolution.

Host Community and Project Details

LAST In-Water Project

WIDECAST is a non-profit organization that supports local sea turtle conservation initiatives in most states and countries in the Caribbean region. The WIDECAST Program originated from the sea turtle projects in Gandoca and Cahuita, initiated from Asociación ANAI back in 1986. They strive to promote and create cooperative conservation actions regarding sea turtles in all nations.

ASOCIACIÓN LAST has been working with volunteers under the WIDECAST Program since 2007. Now as an independent organization, LAST is working for the conservation and sustainable development of the coastal regions of Costa Rica, such as the north Caribbean and the south Pacific. These regions have immense biological richness, with 2.5% of the world’s biological diversity. The Osa In-Water project is open year round since foraging Hawksbill and Pacific Green sea turtles are present in the Golfo Dulce during all seasons.

Osa In-Water Project

The project Osa In-Water is located in Playa Blanca, close to Puerto Jiménez on the Osa Peninsula in the southern Pacific province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica. The surrounding landscape of Playa Blanca is a lot of flat farmland. However, most of the Osa Peninsula is under some kind of protection. This is due to the fact that this area is one of 25 biodiversity hotspots worldwide, with a vast variety of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and insects. The Golfo Dulce, is one of the four tropical fiords worldwide, hosts additionally a fascinating marine life – including sea turtles! In other words, at the  Osa in-water project you will be surrounded by a natural paradise.

The Osa In-Water project was founded in 2010, after WIDECAST was successful with the same in-water monitoring method in 2007 in Cahuita, in the South Caribbean of Costa Rica. The dynamics of the local sea turtle populations is poorly understood, and while some information on females has been gathered from nesting beaches, little is known about population structure, genetic origin and in-water habitat use.

Sea turtles spend only 1% of their lives on the nesting beaches and due to this behavioral pattern, mainly only adult females are studied. Very little information is available about juvenile populations and sex ratios of adult populations.
Therefore, more in-water work is needed to increase knowledge about
habitats used by sea turtles in different life stages in order to assess the
types of threats they are exposed to.

On the Osa Peninsula, LAST is working mainly with the Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and the Pacific Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), also known as the Black sea turtle. Both species are listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Pacific Green sea turtle is ranked as “Endangered” and the Hawksbill sea turtle as “Critically endangered”, which means if we don’t take serious measures, it is very likely that they will become extinct.

The tasks assigned to the participants will vary depending on the length of the stay, the group size and age of the participants. They will all fall under the five main volunteer activities listed below:

  1. In-Water Monitoring:

Foraging sea turtles are mainly found in shallow waters (<50m) with hard-bottom substrates or sea grass beds in coastal areas, in some cases around coral reefs. By sampling the Golfo Dulce, it is possible to gain information on the demographic structure of the population, such as abundance of immature turtles, male and non-breeding females, and their behavior.

Parameters Studies:

  • Identification of resident sea turtles
  • Determine age and gender structure of 
resident population
  • Habitat use and behavior

Methods: Surveys will be conducted twice a week (weather permitting) 
Once a sea turtle is caught it is untangled from the net and brought into the boat for transport to the beach. Once at the beach the monitoring begins. We take the weight of the turtle, the biometrics (weight, size of the carapace, plastron, and tail), tag them with metal tags (or record existing tag numbers), take a tissue sample (if no pre-existing tags), and record any injuries or abnormalities. Each sea turtle, depending on the size,
takes 10-30 minutes to complete the needed monitoring. 
Volunteers will be asked to support in:

  • Carrying material and field equipment to the boat and 
back to the storage
  • Keeping all material clean, tidy and well stocked
  • Preparing and organizing the nets
  • Measuring and recording scientific data
  • Restraining and carrying of sea turtles

Note: tasks like tagging and taking tissue samples are exclusively done by the staff to avoid unnecessary injuries to the turtles.  

  1. Rescue and Rehabilitation Center: 
If we catch a weak sea turtle or receive one from another beach, we will take it to the field rescue center at the project site. Patients are usually very stressed, so it is very important to keep the area quiet so that the patient/turtle is as comfortable as possible. Part of this is keeping the sea turtle’s water clean and the temperature at a reasonable level.

Volunteers are asked to help with:

  • Water changing
  • Tank cleaning
  • Restraining and carrying sea turtles
  • Monitoring patients progress
  • Measuring and recording scientific data 
Keep in mind, having no patients in the rescue center is a
good sign. Conditions in captivity are only done if considered to be necessary and follow international and national criteria.
  1. Overview: Mangrove Reforestation Program: 
Mangroves play a very important role in the coastal ecosystems of the Golfo Dulce. Not only are they benefitting fishes, birds, invertebrates and humans, but also sea turtles. Since the majority of the mangrove forests along the coast of Playa Blanca have been destroyed, a reforestation program was put into place to help restore some of the populations. 
Volunteers are asked to help with:
  • Collection of seeds and propagules
  • Gathering mud for the seeds and seedlings
  • Sow seeds into plastic bags in the nursery
  • Planting juvenile plants in their natural habitat when they reach 
a certain size/age
  • Maintenance work of the nursery 
All activities, except the work in the nursery, depend on the low tide. Consider that you will be working mostly in the mud and sun.
  1. Overview: Sea Grass Monitoring: 
Sea grass beds are a crucial reason why we can find sea turtles in the Golfo Dulce. Not only do they provide food for the green turtles but they also provide ecosystem services that rank among the highest of all ecosystems on earth. Among them are:
  • Support to biotic communities
  • Stabilization of sediment
  • Prevention of shoreline erosion
  • Filtering of suspended sediments and nutrients of the water column
  • Linked to coral reefs and mangroves
  • Support of nutrient cycles
  • Cycle nutrients and other chemicals in both sediment and the water column
  • Provide habitat for rich faunal assemblages
  • Provide recruitment and nursery areas for fish and crustaceans
  • Provide crucial food web resources for animals and humans
  • Important carbon sink
  • Oxygenation of hypoxic sediments
  • Natural indicators of water quality 
Every three months, we complete a sea grass monitoring study. The study consists simply of counting blades/leaves of different species of sea grass, in an effort to monitor their status.
  1. Overview: Beach Clean Up: 
LAST supports the Blue Flag initiative of Playa Blanca community and help them through regular beach clean ups. Once the garbage is collected, we select it and send it to the recycling centre located in Playa Blanca. We try to do it once a week.

Packing List

What follows is a sample packing list that is provided as a guideline. Feel free to augment as you feel necessary.  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.

“Less is more” is a packing tip we encourage for all our travelers. The list below should cover everything you would need, but know yourself and what you are comfortable traveling with.  We suggest bringing only as much as you would be able to carry on your own.

Finally, we recommend consulting a weather forecast for your destination. 

The sea turtle reserve is located between the lush tropical rainforest and the ocean and therefore humidity is omnipresent and it can take a while for clothes to dry. Keep this in mind when selecting your clothing fabric.

CLOTHES (quantities depend on your trip length) :

  • Underwear
  • Socks (a mixture of good hiking socks and casual socks)
  • T-shirts (some quick dry)
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Long sleeve quick dry shirt (for night patrols and work under the sun)
  • Rain jacket or poncho
  • Travel/athletic shorts that are breathable and light
  • 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)
  • Durable athletic/hiking shoes with good grip
  • Sandals (Chaco/Teva/Keen/Merrel sandals are great to have for water activities)
  • Work gloves – required for service work
  • Thick long socks (for the sand fleas)
  • Quick drying dark (black/dark grey) clothes to patrol
  • Bandana for work site (optional)
  • A hat that can protect your neck
  • Swimming suit

TOILETRIES (in addition to the basic toiletries):

  • Face masks
  • Reef-safe, biodegradable sunscreen
  • Deet-free mosquito repellent
  • Band Aids and Neosporin, other 1st aid
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Medications (any prescription meds should travel in the original bottle with patient’s name)


  • Sunglasses
  • Eyeglass straps (such as Croakies, Chumps, etc) for water activities
  • Journal and pen
  • Book
  • Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
  • Debit card/US Dollars (we recommend about $50-$150, depending on number of desired snacks, souvenirs, extra items etc.)
  • Durable water bottle
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Flashlight/headlamp. Please ensure the flashlight/headlamp has a red light function. This is required to mitigate our impact on wildlife during night patrols.
  • Batteries
  • Deck of cards or other portable games

Support Team

At a minimum, one experienced Program Leader will travel on every trip. In addition to this full time leadership presence, Walking Tree has additional support staff in all destinations and 24/7 support from our headquarters in Denver, Colorado. Below you’ll find a list of the team members involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program.

Gabriel Duncan
Gabriel Duncan
Co-Founder of Walking Tree Travel and Business Lead - Denver, CO

Colby College – B.A. International Relations and Government

While at Colby, Gabriel spent a semester in Spain at the University of Salamanca studying contemporary Spanish politics and Spanish language. He also lettered for four-years on Colby’s lacrosse team and earned All-American honors. After graduating, Gabriel hit the road. He fished commercially in Alaska, taught in Chile and China, led programs for students in Spain and Costa Rica, and traveled to over 50 countries and all 50 states in the USA. Regardless of where Gabriel is located, he is constantly haunted by his naive faith and unconditional love for Denver sports teams.

Juan Pablo “JP” Rabanales
Juan Pablo “JP” Rabanales
Global Country Operations Manager

Earlham College – B.A. International Studies, Minor in Economics

Born and raised with a big family in Guatemala, JP spent seven years living and studying in the US where he was exposed to highly diverse communities. JP worked as a Wilderness Leader guiding expeditions in the Southwest of the US. After spending two years in New Mexico studying the International Baccalaureate, he moved to Indiana where he spent the next four years at Earlham College. His passion for international affairs brought him to spend a semester in China, and several other Southeast Asian countries. During his time abroad, he spent his summers traveling and backpacking through 15+ different countries, and participating in several service projects. Today JP is based in Costa Rica where he works full time with the Walking Tree team.  Juan Pablo also enjoys hosting friends and travelers coming to visit. He’s always down for an exciting road-trip around the country, or even better, around Latin America. He is a long time art and design enthusiast, and a photography aficionado.

Savannah Johnson
Savannah Johnson
Thailand Country Director, Program Leader

Colorado College – B.A. Sociology, Minors in Global Education and Feminist & Gender Studies

Savannah grew up between Boston and Chicago before earning her degree in Sociology from Colorado College where she also minored in Feminist and Gender Studies and Global Education. During college, Savannah cultivated an insatiable travel bug that propelled her to travel extensively in Southeast Asia and South America, make documentary films in Liberia and the Occupied West Bank, and study bilingual education and social movements in Santiago, Chile. Traveling for pleasure turned traveling for business (the best kind of business) after graduation when she joined the Walking Tree Team. Savannah has worked with students of all ages around the world as an apprentice for High Mountain Institute in Leadville, Colorado, Literature faculty for Modern American School in Amman, Jordan, an Admissions Consultant for African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa, Outreach Associate and Program Leader for Pacific Discovery, and, this fall, she will be teaching Literature and Composition and Global Studies as part of The Traveling School faculty. She is fluent in Spanish, currently learning Arabic, and loves to pick up as much local dialect as she can while traveling. Savannah is particularly passionate about education equity, global/experiential/wilderness education, social justice, storytelling, and West African dance forms, and she is so excited to be heading back to both Peru and Thailand for the third time with Walking Tree students this summer.

Group Roster

Below is a list of the travelers enrolled on the program.

  • 1 Abby Kwong
  • 2 Albert Ramirez
  • 3 Alden Baughman
  • 4 Ava Dash
  • 5 Brooke Rosenkrantz
  • 6 Camila Contreras Calderon
  • 7 Casandra Campeas
  • 8 Chloe Sarnoff
  • 9 Coleman Miller
  • 10 Ella Einhorn
  • 11 Isaac Arimoto
  • 12 Isabella Sofie Petersen Shahramzad
  • 13 Jayden Moore
  • 14 Lana Marie Wurts
  • 15 Lily Soloway
  • 16 Lucy Doering
  • 17 Naomi Heimanson
  • 18 Oliver Appel
  • 19 Quincy Baughman
  • 20 Remy Tsukahira
  • 21 Ruby Gewirtz
  • 22 Samara Fattal
  • 23 Sarah Thompson
  • 24 Sofia DaVeiga Fernandes
24 Travelers

Blog and Communication

During travel we will work hard to keep families updated as frequently as possible with blogs and photos, giving you peace of mind that your traveler is safe and thriving on their program.  Students regularly contribute to these posts, giving parents a great way to vicariously track the progress of the trip. You will receive an email notification when the first blog is posted, after which we recommend you check in regularly via the black “Program Blog” button at the top of this page.

Beyond this proactive approach to communication during the trip, most destinations are wired enough to allow participants semi-regular access to WiFi so you can also expect to communicate with your traveler directly. Ask your Walking Tree representative about the degree of connectivity on your program.


GLC Curriculum

Walking Tree has developed a curriculum of activities meant to help travelers get the most out of their trip before departure, during travel and after they return home. These simple and engaging activities are meant to spark discussion, frame experiences, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on this trip and on future adventures.

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

Standards of Behavior

In order to run a safe and successful program, 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.


  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.
  4. 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.


  1. Getting a piercing or tattoo.
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials.
  3. Threatening physical or emotional harm, or brandishing a weapon.
  4. Possessing, consuming, or distributing tobacco or nicotine, including vape pens.
  5. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle.
  6. Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew.
  7. Breaking group rules.

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

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.


While we work hard to ensure the safest experience possible for our travelers on program, experience teaches that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we recommend that all travelers consider a travel insurance policy with  two additional provisions: Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) and Bed Rest. Detailed explanations of both provisions can be found on the link below.

To provide families with a quality option, Walking Tree has partnered with Travel Insured International, one of the most respected providers in the industry.  Begin by getting a quote here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: in order to secure coverage with CFAR included, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of your deposit/first payment. You must also insure 100% of your trip cost, so program tuition + flight.