Costa Rica is one of the travel, volunteer, internship and study abroad destinations in the International Volunteer Travel program. Costa Rica is in Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama. It has a total size of 51,100 sq km (i.e. slightly smaller than West Virginia in USA). Although still a largely agricultural country, Costa Rica has expanded its economy to include strong industry and tourism sectors.
The majority of Costa Ricans are in the middle class. The GDP (or purchasing power) of Costa Rica is USD 9,100 per year (2003 estimate).
Costa Rica is a country rich in ethnic, cultural and religious diversity. It has beautiful geographic features that include a gorgeous coastline of 1,290 km. Rugged mountains with over 100 volcanic cones surround the coastal plains.
San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city surrounded by mountains, and coffee plantations. It has numerous internet cafes, shopping malls, fast food chains, rental car agencies and much more. The city is also home to a number of international businesses.
Costa Rica has a number of other major cities including, Puntarenas, San Isidro and Golfito.
Considered one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world, Costa Rica boasts of 20 natural parks, 8 biological reserves, and a series of protected areas that captivate ecotourism lovers. Costa Rica offers a variety of activities including horseback riding, hiking mountainous paths in the cloud forests, and guided bird-watching tours.
Deforestation and land use change, largely a result of the clearing of land for cattle ranching and agriculture. As an international volunteer, some of your placements may be with organizations working towards protecting the environment and also promoting environmental consciousness among the local people are some of the major environmental issues facing Costa Rica.
The people of Costa Rica are most welcoming; the landscape spellbinding nature lovers and those fascinated by diverse Latina cultures will have an awesome experience.
There will be time to practice out Salsa and other Latina dances, to laugh with children, try out your Espanol in the market, and let your eyes feast on breathtaking geographical features. This is the beckoning land of Costa Rica in Central America.
Map of Costa Rica
More information about Costa Rica