Pura Vida: Harmony & Balance

Costa Rica

Duration 10 days
Suggested group size 12 - 20 students / 2 Envoys Field Staff
Suggested ages 14 - 18
Experience Peace
Understanding Nature & Wellness


Pura Vida: Harmony & Balance in Costa Rica

Costa Rica I

Costa Rica is celebrated for the kindness of its people, diverse ecosystems, and natural beauty, and also for having no standing army in an effort toward peace. Still, it faces challenges in rural development and services for indigenous communities. This program guides students to explore their individual values, in moments of peace, and of turbulence. Then we look outward, delving into Costa Rica's diverse animal kingdom, featuring sloths, monkeys, turtles, and iguanas.

“Rainforests hum with life and volcanoes paint the horizon, a haven for biodiversity, inviting all to tread lightly on nature's stage.“


“Pura Vida' in sloth's laze, waterfalls cascade, Costa Rica's natural wonders beckon.“


Impact Statement Everywhere we go, we carry a promise – to engage with respect, act with purpose, and leave a positive imprint. As envoys of our journey is more than travel; Our footprint is light, but our impact is profound, creating bridges of cooperation and mutual growth across the globe.

Day 1

Students are greeted by Envoys educators. After checking in, they engage in a safety briefing, group activities, and a welcome dinner, fostering camaraderie and shared agreements for their time together. From there, we head out to explore the surrounding area and have a welcome dinner together.

Day 2

Morning at the University for Peace in Ciudad Colon includes a tour and workshop by ConversABLE, teaching conflict resolution and empathic listening. Followed by visits to a coffee farm in Puriscal and an organic farm, providing hands-on experiences in coffee cultivation and cheese-making.

Day 3

After a traditional breakfast, students embark on a volcano hike, practicing Leave No Trace TM principles. Mindfulness experiments enhance the journey. In Limón, they taste local cuisine, discussing global economics en route to Cahuita. At the hotel, they set goals for the next four days.

Day 4

We visit Cahuita National Park for a guided tour, observing diverse wildlife. Then we explore Tree of Life Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, with resident scientists, with an optional mangrove kayak tour. Students engage in communication challenges, practicing Spanish with locals.

Day 5

We reflect on our growth as travelers and then visit Bonifacio's Sloth Sanctuary, learning about sloth rescue. Then, we pack for a bus ride to Tortuguero National Park, our next destination for a two-night stay.

Day 6

At Tortuguero National Park, we learn about turtle habitats and biological processes. After lunch, we engage in a workshop on navigating complexity, focusing on environmental conservation challenges posed by tourism. We interview locals, and build a map of stakeholders, conflicts, and resources.

Day 7

Early start to travel to Monteverde Cloud Forest. We lunch en route, later arriving at a hotel high above the jungle. After check-in, we embark on an afternoon hike in the Monteverde preserve, guided by a naturalist. Dinner and debrief follow, allowing for rest at the hotel.

Day 8

Morning at a yoga retreat with breathing exercises and asana movement. The, a simple lunch at the center, followed by an afternoon of zip-lining through the cloud forest. Interviews in Spanish with local guides precede a group meal and debrief in the evening.

Day 9

We start with a birding tour in the cloud forest. The, we travel to Puntarenas, have lunch on the beach, and an afternoon of plastic cleanup and swimming. Day ends with a debrief and reflection workshop, allowing students to process experiences and prepare to share learnings with family and school.

Day 10

We celebrate over lunch before heading to San José. After a few hours drive, depending on flight times, we either head straight to the airport, or stop in Cartago to learn about the country's previous capital city, diving into the history of the earthquake that changed the city forever.

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Lenses of Inquiry


Environmental Protection and Stewardship

Students explore Costa Rica's sustainability commitment, studying ecosystems, biodiversity, and the consequences of disrupting balance. The program delves into cultural and historical factors shaping environmental values, policies, and the role of community for a sustainable future.


Agents of Peace

Students explore peace as a foundation for sustainable communities. They learn about Costa Rica's history and factors for peace and delve into nonviolence and activist strategies, aiming to inspire active citizenship for positive change and more peaceful societies.


Mindfulness and Wellness

Students explore cultivating a mindful, healthy lifestyle for a sustainable future. They learn mindfulness, meditation, and practices for well-being, as contributing factors to a balanced life. The goal is to inspire active agents of health and advocate a holistic approach in their communities.


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