This Winter Term service-learning course immerses students in Costa Rica’s commitment to sustainability, reflectively engaging with concepts, people, and the natural world. Service projects include: volunteering with a conservation group, supporting sustainability projects, and experiencing mutual mentoring with Costa Rican students about environmental sustainability. Goals include: improving environmental and ecological understanding (specifically rainforest ecosystems), building knowledge of sustainability and ecotourism, developing a personal stance toward the commons (nature, community and culture), and increasing intercultural competencies through near-peer mutual mentoring. The goals are met through course readings and assignments, first-hand experiences, and notably an immersion in living unplugged and off the grid – which includes extended periods with limited cell service and/or internet access as well as solar powered electricity and no hot water.


4 sh


Acceptance into program and completion of GBL 1680

Course Types

Society; Experiential Learning Requirement; Latin American Studies Elective


Offered winter.


  • Winter

Previous Course Number

GBL 268


Spanish language skills will be helpful. Students are encouraged to take Spanish classes at Elon prior to the course in January. Counts as an elective for the Latin American Studies minor.

It should be noted that this is a physically demanding course that takes place in a remote place with potentially challenging conditions. Although no prior experience or training is necessary, students will be expected to hike, kayak, walk and generally be outdoors. It is important that students be in good health and physically fit.

This is an approved service-learning course. 

Application, acceptance and additional travel fee required. 

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