Costa Rica

Unparalleled biodiversity. Social justice. Sustainable agriculture, innovative solutions to complex challenges.

Thoughtful Preparation

Thoughtful preparation is the foundation on which the transformative expedition stands. It gives vital context allowing you to experience your expedition more fully; it teaches you about the people and places you’ll visit, providing deeper connections; it pushes you to grow, giving you a toolbox of skills you’ll use the rest of your life.

No Barriers Youth provides a variety of resources to help ensure the preparatory process is as impactful, informative and efficient as possible:

Fundraising Travel is expensive. We understand the burden of increased costs in airfare and program fees on families and that fundraising usually needs to be a priority during the preparatory process.  We also believe that working to raise funds can be a vital step in the personal growth and development among participants, resulting in increased commitment and investment in their experience. To that end, we have developed a user-friendly online fundraising tool which enables groups to customize their own messages and share them seamlessly. Simply visit this site and follow the step by step instructions. Once registered, the tool provides a variety of fundraising strategies, ideas and support.  

Support Embarking on a program of this nature can seem intimidating… but rest assured you won’t go at it alone! Every group is assigned a Group Manager or Liaison who is always just a phone call or email away. From booking airfare to questions on the packing lists, he or she supports groups through every step of our program. For groups traveling with a lead teacher (or chaperone), a set of additional resources is also provided on top of the Curriculum to aid in the preparation. Sample items include: destination-specific materials (books, maps, wildlife guides, etc.) and a series of No Barriers Youth program handbooks outlining everything from required forms to packing lists to parent meeting agendas and recommended immunizations.


Transformative Expedition

The lush mountains and thick humidity surround you as the city’s hustle and bustle catches you by surprise. You notice traces of familiarity of home, but blanketed in new flavors. You see smiling faces and hear the phrase “pura vida” around every corner.  You wonder what the “pure life” even means but in your bones you feel it: you sense the harmony, the simplicity, the contentment.

You’re welcomed into communities with open arms. You witness richness of spirit amongst the most dire of living conditions.  Stories of social injustice cause you to ponder why you’d never heard of this side of Costa Rica before. You see beauty beyond landscapes in the eyes of orphaned children and selfless volunteers. You feel unexpected compassion, conviction and curiosity… and you’ve only just arrived. You decide you want to understand. You decide you’re ready to unleash your potential and discover the power you have to make a difference.

Meaningful Return

You’ve been home for a while and the stories have all been told, the photos all shown. Just when it feels like your experiences could have all been just a dream, you’re at a coffee shop with a friend and the smell of the freshly roasted beans immediately transports you back to Costa Rica.

It reminds you of the Pura Vida mindset, the joy in the simple things. The smell fills you with memories of not just coffee farm tours, but of the responsibility you have as a consumer. You remember your promise to use less plastic and to buy organic when possible. You pause reflecting on how your experience gave you new confidence to tackle life with. With just a whiff of coffee beans, it all comes flooding back, and it dawns on you: this really was about far more than just a cool trip. This was a fundamental shift in perspective, a new mindset, a new path to travel.

Just as the preparation lays the groundwork for the expedition, the return process is fundamental in rounding out the transformative journey. To help with integrating the experience into day-to-day life, every No Barriers Youth participant creates and implements a Global Citizenship Project after their return home. And now what?! Well, it’s time you start looking for your next call to adventure!

OK, I'm excited! Tell me more.