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About Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Being only about the size of West Virginia it has a population of 5 million. The official religion of Costa Rica is Catholicism. Costa Rica is one of the world leaders in environmentalism and the country runs completely on clean energy. The country is home to over 500,000 species of wildlife, and with a landmass that takes up only 0.03% of the planet’s surface, it hosts more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Costa Rica is unique place for all to see and experience. Pura Vida!

Meet Your Guides

Trip Includes

  • Daily Mass
  • Flights
  • Mission Project Materials
  • Adventure Kayak Day
  • Ground Transportation
  • Creatio Guides
  • All Lodging
  • All Meals

Fundraising

Participants are asked to respect and follow all Campus Ministry fundraising initiatives.

Click here for some helpful tips from Creatio!

Lodging

Creatio partners with local communities to host the missionaries and ensure all accommodations are satisfactory throughout the trip. Because this is a mission trip, conditions may not exactly be 5 star, but basic needs for missionaries will always be met.

Spirituality

Creatio’s spirituality is focused on strengthening the four relationships: relationship with self, with one another, with nature and with God. We encourage all of our missionaries to be open to experience a deepening of these relationships while on our trips.

Creatio takes a holistic approach to improving lives by addressing material and spiritual well-being of the people we serve. We do this with a Catholic worldview as our foundation, however we encourage Catholics and non-Catholics to join us in encountering the beauty of creation and our Creator. All participants are encouraged to join in group activities such as discussions on faith-based topics or visiting Holy sites, but nobody will be forced to participate in specifically Catholic traditions and practices.

Health & Safety Information

Health Information

We recommend you undergoing a medical check-up before traveling to make sure you don’t have any kind of medical condition that could obstruct your participation in the mission trip.

Food safety is an important issue when traveling internationally. Most local tap water is potable in Costa Rica. Mission guides will inform participants when only bottled or treated (disinfected) water should be used for drinking. In general, do not use ice, avoid getting tap water in your mouth when showering and brushing teeth, and do not use tap water to wash fruits and vegetables. Meats and fish should be thoroughly cooked. Avoid cheap restaurants or food sold in the streets. If you don’t follow these instructions, you will probably go through an episode of diarrhea that can make traveling in the Central America a rather uncomfortable (and memorable) experience, to say the least.

Vaccinations recommended and common diseases found in Costa Rica can be found at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/costa-rica

Medical Care

Medical care in San Jose is generally adequate, but services can be limited in areas outside of San Jose. While on mission clinics and hospitals while be accessible. Creatio guides all have WFR (Wilderness First Responder) training for medical emergencies.

For more country-specific health and safety information, visit www.travel.state.gov for details.

Creatio trip leaders have years of experience leading trips in Latin America. The local guides have all lived in Costa Rica, are fluent in Spanish and English, and are knowledgeable about Costa Rican geography, history, culture, and safe travel procedures.

During our trip, we will not visit areas that either the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Embassy in San Jose has categorized as dangerous. In Costa Rica, the U.S. Government is able to assist American citizens through their Embassy in San Jose. Click here for access to the Embassy website containing the contact information of the Embassy and Consular Agent.

Costa Rica is a Level Travel Adviosry by the U.S. Department of State. This is the lowest level of advisory meaning to exercise normal precautions in Costa Rica. Some areas have increased risk.

Crime: In areas frequented by tourists, including national parks, theft and pickpocketing are the most common crimes targeting U.S. citizen travelers.  You are advised to keep your credit cards, cash, and identification in your front pocket or a secure money holder. You should not carry your original passport unless you are traveling by train, bus or plane. If the police request identification, a copy of the passport is acceptable. You don’t want to waste time replacing your driver license, passport, or other identification during your trip. You should limit your cash in hand (just carry what you will need for the day) and unnecessary credit cards. It is better to avoid handbags or objects that hang freely, because those are easy targets for pickpockets.

For additional security information about Costa Rica, you can go to the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/CostaRica.html or the U.S. Embassy in San Jose at https://cr.usembassy.gov/

Required Documents

US Citizens:
  • Passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the final day of trip. Passport must have at least one blank visa page.
Non US Citizens or those traveling from outside of the US:
  • Visit travel.state.gov to understand visa and vaccine requirements regarding the country from which you are coming.
  • Please contact us to confirm non-US citizen visa requirements.

Packing List

*List is subject to change 

Try to pack light and take into account wearing things more than once, remember that we are in solidarity with the people around us, and thus will adopt a spirit of material poverty 

Packing List and Luggage Information

Double-check what’s allowed for weight/dimensions as a carry-on and checked a bag.  These details seem to change frequently and can result in high fees if not followed.

Clothing 

Modesty is key! 

  • [1-2] Pants (something to keep clean for Mass and some for work)
  • [2-3] Shorts – no shorter than your knees 
  • [4-5] T-shirts (Short-sleeve no tank tops – both girls and boys)
  • [1] light/ wicking long sleeve shirt (for kayaking day)
  • Sleepwear
  • Rain jacket/water-resistant jacket 
  • [2] Shoes:
    •  closed-toe for work 
    •  sandals that can get wet/muddy;(we are in a jungle, do not just bring flip flops. Tevas, Chacos, Keens or the like are good options) 
  • [4] Socks
  • Underwear
  • Ball Cap/hat (ability to shed water/rain a plus)
  • Glasses if you wear contact lenses

Toiletries

  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Soap 
  • Medium-sized towel or Backpacking Towel
  • Shower shoes/sandals for showering and beach day
  • Deodorant
  • Chapstick
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray 
  • Medications – in original containers. Bring any special or over-the-counter medications you need with you from the U.S.
  • Hand sanitizer

 

Travel Papers & Documentation

  • Passport (as well as a photocopy kept in a separate bag)
  • Copy of Traveler’s Insurance – Will be given to you by PVI
  • Credit/ Debit card: Call your card company and let them know your travel plans. (Know your PIN. You can’t use your debit card in Costa Rica without it.)

 

Misc. 

  • Spiritual materials – Bible, journal, Rosary, spiritual reading, etc.
  • Rosaries for Donation / House Visits
  • Earplugs (great for the plane and sleeping amidst snorers)
  • Camera
  • Small day backpack for touring (perhaps your “Personal Item” bag
  • Cash for some purchases/gifts.  (Costa Rica’s national currency is the Colon, however many places will accept US dollars if they are in mint condition) ATMs in Costa Rica likely offer the best exchange rate but check with your bank regarding foreign transaction/withdrawal fees and let them know you’re traveling.
  • Lightweight sleeping bag or sleeping bag liner.  It will be warm!
  • Snacks 
  • Reusable water bottle (with wide mouth is best) 
  • Headlamp
  • Small card game or deck of cards
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