|Language||Spanish (official), English|
|Religion||Roman Catholic (76.3%), Evangelical (13.7%), Jehovah's Witnesses (1.3%), other Protestant (0.7%), other (4.8%), none (3.2%)|
|Climate||Tropical and subtropical; dry season December to April; rainy season May to November|
|Ethnic Groups||Mestizo and white (94%), Black (3%), Amerindian (1%), Chinese (1%)|
|Motto||"Vivan siempre el trabajo y la paz" (Spanish: "Long live work and peace")|
|Group Registration Fee - Not included in participant cost:||
|35+ Hours of Ministry:|
|Safe Drinking Water:|
|Transportation to/from Airport and Ministry Sites:|
|Participation in Local Church Services:|
|Sleeping Accommodations:||Floor-sleeping lodging in a secure church or school in the area||Hotel accommodations|
|Meals:||Homemade Costa Rican and American meals||Homemade Costa Rican and American meals|
|Recreation or Local Cultural Experience:|
Prior to the trip you will receive a group leader manual, which includes fundraising ideas, online trip handbooks and resources for participants, promotional materials, and unlimited pre-trip consultations with your trip leader.
Once in Costa Rica you will receive transportation to and from the airport, transportation to and from ministry sites, three meals a day, safe drinking water, sleeping accommodations, group t-shirts, customizable ministry options, an opportunity to attend local church services, evening worship, prayer, debriefing meetings, and a local sightseeing or recreation activity.
Airfare, passport, vaccinations, spending money, offering at church services, construction and/or ministry materials, personal insurance, and optional recreation (ex. zip lining, snorkeling, surf board rental)
Spanish is the national language. Your team will have local PPM staff who will serve as translators as well as aid in leading your trip.
Praying Pelican Missions holds safety as a top priority. PPM staff are trained and equipped to provide a safe and incident-free mission experience. PPM staff will be with your team for the entire trip and will have access to transportation, cell phones, hospitals, and first aid kits at all times.
Costa Rica has its share of these, as does every tropical country, however, the chance of seeing anything dangerous is slim. In the event that one of these creatures is encountered our staff is well prepared and equipped to handle such a situation.
PPM staff will be waiting for you at the airport when you arrive in Costa Rica. We will then provide transportation from the airport to the ministry location and back again at the end of the trip.
All transportation within Costa Rica is included in the cost of the trip and will be arranged by PPM. Most often, teams will be riding in buses, church vans or something similar.
There are two international airports that Praying Pelican teams fly into, Juan Santamaria International in San Jose (SJO) and Daniel Odubar International in Liberia (LIR). Please talk with your trip consultant as to which airport your group should fly into.
All food and drink provided by PPM during trips is safe for consumption. Purified drinking water will be provided for the team and for the cooks to use while preparing meals.
During the final day, we will have the opportunity to shop for souvenirs.
While serving in Costa Rica, a variety of meals will be offered, from local cuisine to American food. A typical meal in Costa Rica consists of chicken and rice.
No. Praying Pelican Missions will provide all meals from the time you arrive to the time you depart. You may wish to bring snacks, but all main meals will be provided by us.
Please see our general FAQ page for answers to questions not specific to Costa Rica
Bordering both the Caribbean Sea ( to the East) and the N. Pacific Ocean (to the West) Costa Rica lies between Nicaragua (to the North) and Panama (to the Southeast). It is a beautiful country of mountains and rainforests, and even more beautiful people.
Climate is tropical and subtropical. Due to its close proximity to the equator, Costa Rica receives over 12 hours of sunshine per day. Year-round the sun rises around 5am and sets around 6pm. The average annual temperature is 70-81 degrees F, with no real summer or winter. Coolest months are November-January and hottest are March-May. Climate varies with elevation and proximity to coastlines.
Spanish is the official language. Less than 11% of the adult population also speaks English. It will be helpful for your group to learn some basic Spanish phrases in preparation for their ministry there.
Costa Rica is considered a relatively safe place to visit. You will have a Praying Pelican staff member with you at all times while in the country should any concerns arise.
Major economic resources are the country's fertile land and frequent rainfall. It is an agricultural country, but tourism (eco-tourism) and industry (pharmaceuticals and software) are developing. Exports are bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons and sugar. According to www.cia.gov site, unemployment stands at 6.5% (2011 est.) and 24.2 of the population live below the poverty level (2010 est.).
The currency is the colon, which exchanges at a rate of approximately 500 colons to 1 US dollar. Your group will have an opportunity to exchange money once in the country, though most souvenir vendors will happily accept US dollars.
Food is flavorful, but fairly mild. Rice and black beans are a staple. Meals rely heavily on fresh fruit and vegetables. For lunch, the national dish is a casado - rice and beans served separately with a meat (fish, pork chop or chicken). A popular dish is Arroz con Pollo (rice with chicken) accompanied by Russian salad (w/beets, potatoes, hardboiled egg and mayo).
"Pura Vida" (pure life or good life) is the unofficial motto of Costa Rica. It is an appropriate response to the question, "How are you?" and can be used as a form of greeting.
Costa Rica was explored by the Spanish in the early 16th century (Columbus in 1502) but there was no permanent settlement until 1563 (Cartago) due to mosquito-borne illness, extreme heat, resistance by the natives and pirate raids. The country gained independence in 1821 and became a republic in 1848. It is a democratic country and dissolved its armed forces in 1949.
The religious makeup of the country is 76.3% Catholic, 13.7% Evangelical, 1.3% Jehovah's Witness, 0.7% Other Protestant, and 4.8% Other.