Social Sciences Division

Students in Costa Rica

International Social Work: Costa Rica

 Service Learning Abroad

In August Darci Graves and Sheri Weistaner took ten students to San Jose, Costa Rica, as part of the SW-492 Diversity Abroad course. The purpose of this trip was to participate in a service-learning experience at a children's home. While in Costa Rica students spent four days facilitating a summer camp for 47 children who have been taken in and cared for at Hogar Casa de Pan. Summer camp activities included parachute games, bracelet making, craft activities, and one day a full blown kids carnival! Students also enjoyed singing songs and dancing with the kids every day. 

Service Project

Photo: Painting a playground as part of a service project.

Group of Students

Photo: A group of students enjoying some down time from their service activities.

When students were not spending time with the children, they were volunteering their time to re-paint and fix up the playground at the facility. This experience allowed students to connect real world experience with classroom learning in topics such as childhood development, childhood trauma, international social work, poverty, and gentrification. In addition to our volunteer work, students had the opportunity to live with a host family and experience Costa Rican culture through dance and cooking classes, museum visits, and a daylong excursion to the beaches of Manuel Antonio. 

Painting At Casa De Pan

Photo: More students working hard on their service project.


This course is open to all majors and we will be travelling to Costa Rica again over Spring Break of 2018. Please contact Professor Darci Graves if you are interested.