Global Health Team #CR1210GH

COUNTRY: Costa Rica

ARRIVAL: December 10, 2016
DEPARTURE: December 18, 2016
COST: $1995

Just 4 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

Team #CR1210GH will be working in developing communities in Costa Rica to provide Global Health services to those in need. While in Costa Rica, they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Global Health Teams

ISL’s global health teams are interdisciplinary and able to provide a variety of general medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health, healthcare management, and nutrition services in developing communities. From urban centers to small towns and villages in remote areas, our teams work in various settings to provide field clinics in which patient needs are assessed and acute conditions are treated.

Regardless of background, volunteers are able to receive an invaluable opportunity to not only interactively observe health professionals in action, but to actively assist with important aspects of health care under careful supervision. Our holistic approach makes ISL’s global health teams ideal for students of the health professions at all education levels.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica (“rich coast” in Spanish) is a Central American country bordered by the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, Nicaragua and Panama. Costa Rica has become one of the most stable, democratic, prosperous, and progressive nations in Latin America. It permanently abolished its army in 1949, becoming the first of a few sovereign nations without a standing army. While Costa Rica is known for its coffee and tropical fruit exports, tourism is now the largest industry. 25% of the country’s land area is protected—one of the largest percentages in the world. From tropical Cloud Forests to Volcanoes to Beaches, Costa Rica is truly rich in geographical and bio diversity.

Costa Rica’s poverty rate is lower than most Latin American countries, but it has stalled at around 20% for almost two decades. Even so, according to Habitat for Humanity, more than 52% of the population lives in substandard houses or settlements. Costa Rica also has a large number of poverty stricken immigrants, mostly Nicaraguans. These are the communities where ISL volunteers serve. Costa Rica is good first country to visit for those who have not been exposed to extreme poverty before.

What ISL Provides

ISL Provides 24-hour accompaniment by professional, bilingual staff, airport pickup/drop off, all ground transportation, all lodging, two meals per day, drinking water, instruction by licensed medical professionals, project medications and supplies, tours and basic recreation.

What to Bring

You will need a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, otoscope, scrubs, donations of medications and medical supplies (optional), and funds sufficient to cover one meal per day, premium recreation, personal spending, and departure tax.

Meet the Staff

Leonardo Rodriguez Costa Rica Physical Therapist and Team Leader
Leonardo Rodriguez
Team Leader and PT

Leonardo is a bilingual Physical Therapist and Team Leader. His involvement with ISL brings him great satisfaction he says, “due to the ideals ISL stands for–Service and Learning”. He enjoys the mutual interaction that occurs with volunteers from different walks of life and the reciprocal exchange of cultures.

Abdi Acuna ISL-Costa Rica Team Leader
Abdi Acuna
Team Leader

Abdi has been with ISL-Costa Rica since 2010 and has a Master´s degree in Graphic Design. ISL volunteers love the fact that he is also certified in Massage Therapy! He enjoys traveling and playing guitar and soccer. He has always felt grateful to work with so many volunteers and to serve the underserved.

Marta Cabezas Costa Rica Team Leader
Marta Cabezas
Team Leader

Since 2006, Marta has been a Costa Rica Team Leader favorite with ISL volunteers. When she is not leading teams, she is a grandma, a hard core soccer fan, and a bilingual secretary. She has also collected over 170 Nativity sets!

Gabriela Perez
Gabriela Perez
Co-Country Coordinator

Gabriela is responsible for overseeing ISL-Costa Rica staff members and making sure everything runs smoothly for ISL teams in Costa Rica. She especially enjoys working with children and the elderly in her community. She is also pursuing a degree in Preschool Education. In her spare time she enjoys dancing, reading and spending time with her family.

Pouchi Chan
Pouchi Chan
Country Coordinator

Pouchi is responsible for overseeing ISL-Costa Rica staff members and making sure everything runs smoothly for ISL teams in Costa Rica. She graduated from the University of Costa Rica and enjoys traveling, getting to know people from different cultures and working with ISL volunteers.  Her favorite outdoor adventures include hiking and camping.

Activity Information

You will need a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, otoscope, scrubs, donations of medications and medical supplies (optional), and funds sufficient to cover one meal per day, premium recreation, personal spending, and departure tax.


ISL’s Costa Rica health teams are general medicine teams and provide opportunities for experience in the medical, nursing, public health, pharmaceutical, and sometimes optometric and dental fields.  All medical experience is professionally supervised. Seminars and/or field experiences will be offered through house and village clinics.  Students receive clinical training and training in traditional medicine, appropriate Spanish, and other subjects of interest as indicated by the team itself. In order for a team to offer dental experience, there must be at least 6-8 dental students on the team. If you are interested in traveling on a team that offers dental experience, check the team schedule or contact ISL to find out what teams are currently set up to offer dental experience.

Sample of Typical Day

7:30 am: Breakfast

8:15 am: Leave for clinic

9:00 am: Arrive and set up clinic

12:00 am – 12:45 pm: Lunch

5:00 pm: Finish clinic, travel back to hotel

7:30 pm: Dinner

Nine Day Health Team Itinerary

Day One:  Arrive at San Jose airport, attend orientation, change money, settle into guest house, rest

Day Two:  Medical Seminar – Tropical Medicine, Taking Vital Signs, Pharmacology, House Clinic-Community Triage, Spanish for Health Professionals

Day Three: Clinic at Ig. Reformada Los Cuadros, San José area. Natural Medicine Seminar in the evening

Day Four: Clinic at Ig. Reformada Los Cuadros, San José area. Afternoon – Depart for Puntarenas

Day Five: House Clinics in the city of Puntarenas

Day Six: Clinic in the city of Puntarenas

Day Seven: Clinic in the city of Puntarenas

Day Eight: Rest and recreation day

Day Nine: Depart for home



Please Note:

1. This schedule may change due to the difficult logistical conditions of our travel and service sites.  Consider it a rough draft only.
2. Briefings and debriefing will be held daily when possible.
3. As per the program outline, students will be responsible for an average of one meal per day.  Students on a budget often have the option of a snack or brown bag with ISL staff, gratis.
4. The first few days will be more closely scheduled in order to accomplish the many start-up and training tasks required on this expedition. Once we’re in the field, scheduling necessarily becomes more fluid, depending on the circumstances.