Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica – The Mangrove Ecosystem

The goal of this ecology experience is to learn about environmental challenges, experience Costa Rican culture, and gain perspective on the global landscape. With Osa In-Water, an organization located in Playa Blanca, close to Puerto Jimenez, you will have the opportunity to understand the Mangrove Project and learn about the theory of reforestation and succession, helping with tree transportation, transplantation and maintenance. You will also have the opportunity to learn about sea turtles, and support the local efforts in tagging sea turtles so scientists can track their development.

You will conclude your week with a visit to Manuel Antonio National Park where you will enjoy a park hike and some time on the beach relaxing and swimming.  


Community Partners

International Service Learning

Dates of Travel

Saturday, February 15, 2020 – Saturday, February 22, 2020 

Participant Numbers

  • 11 Student Participants
  • 1 Student Team Leader
  • 2 Team Leaders


  • Learn about the Costa Rican ecosystem and understand the importance of Mangroves to this system
  • Support the local efforts in tagging sea turtles  
  • Travel to Manuel Antonio National Park, while exploring a variety of Costa Rica’s wildlife

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the Impact Experience program, students participating in this experience will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to explore ideas, issues, and global systems from viewpoints other than their own, through reflective practice, group discussions and program activities
  • Work under conditions of ambiguity or uncertainty by engaging with community partners, community members and working as a team
  • Demonstrate an understanding of intercultural competence, sensitivity and humility by completing pre-departure workshops, activities in OWL and the Impact Experience Reflective Practice Workbook, and engaging in the 1-2 week community-based experience
  • Define the impact of climate change on sea life and the Osa Peninsula
  • Recognize the limitations of their own knowledge and abilities

Ideal Participant

Your team will be exposed to a true local Costa Rican experience. The ideal participant loves learning about new cultures, and has a well-rounded perception of the environment and healthy lifestyle. Ideal participants are flexible, reliable, and committed to learning. During this experience, you will be challenged to lean into your discomfort, and go with the flow.


Total cost (subject to change) – $3,800 CAD

Costs include:

  • Flight
  • Registration and programs fees with International Service Learning
  • Contribution to the project and comprehensive on-site support
  • Insurance (health, flight cancellation, baggage)
  • Transportation to/from airport
  • Transportation in Costa Rica
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Administrative Fee (team leader contribution, journal, buff)

Note: Impact Experience participants will be responsible for any luggage costs assigned by individual airlines, airport tax, souvenirs, or additional food/snacks during the trip.

Preliminary Itinerary

Day 1-2 (Orientation): You will arrive, have some time to settle in and explore downtown Alajuela, and be introduced to our partners from ISL. On the second day you will travel to Osa-Turtle and mangrove project. The organization, Osa In-Water, is located in Playa Blanca, close to Puerto Jiménez on the Osa Peninsula in the southern Pacific province of Puntarenas. Here you will enjoy an orientation and tour the basic facilities and learn about the project.

Day 3 (Mangrove Project): Here you will assist with the mangrove project. Learn about the theory of reforestation and succession and help with tree transportation, transplantation and maintenance.

Day 4-6 (Turtle Project): These days will be spent assisting with sea turtle tagging and beach clean up efforts.  

Day 7 - Local organization to decide where your support is needed with either beach clean up, sea turtle tagging or the mangrove project.

Day 8 (Recreation Day Manuel Antonio National Park) Head out to Manuel Antonio National Park. Enjoy wildlife viewing inside the park as well as hiking throughout the many trails in this protected area. Take some time on the beach for relaxing or swimming and end with returning to the airport.

PLEASENOTE: Itinerary is draft, and subject to change at any point in time.


More information to come. 


Meals are prepared in-house by ISL staff or at approved local restaurants and reflect a variety of local foods (rice, beans, chicken, tortillas, plantains, etc.). Students with specific dietary restrictions may wish to bring supplementary snacks.

Need to Know

  • This experience does not involve travel through the USA.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that you have the required travel documents and travel visas necessary to participate in the experience.
  • If you require disability-related accommodation, or have other special considerations, we encourage you to contact us before applying. We may require further information to determine how we can best meet your accommodation needs.