Gandoca Cultural Exchange Program

Make an impact / Support family farms / Experience local Caribbean culture

This Program is for people looking to connect with rich culture and nature. It's for those ready to roll up their sleeves to provide a real, tangible impact on social, environmental, and economic levels.


Please fill out the application below to get involved

🍃Our Mission: To create mutually enriching and impactful experiences for the Gandocan Community and all who visit through sharing culture, nature, ideas, and energy. 

READ ABOUT OUR MISSION AND STORY

🍃About Gandoca:  Gandoca is a small community of 350 people tucked in the very southern corner of the Caribbean coast.  On each side of town are protected areas of high ecological importance.  To the north is the primary rainforest and wetlands of the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge and to the south is a mangrove lagoon teeming with wildlife. The town itself is fairly isolated from most western tourism and a big change of pace from many of the other beach towns; you won’t find bars or clubs or beach hotels. 
MORE ABOUT GANDOCA

The Program Details

🍃Morning Service:  Your mornings are spent in service to your family or the local community.  Many host families have a small farm.  Some are already established and some are just getting started.  Most of the work is agricultural and environmental service, but there are additional opportunities to participate in local schools, as well as to help keep the beaches and lagoon clean. It's not easy but it's rewarding. Volunteers can expect to learn a lot about tropical agriculture; sweating and getting dirty some days; and gain new perspectives on life.  Nobody is expected to work outside their comfort zone.  Expect to be helping out Monday through Friday for about 4 hours each morning. This is Regenerative Tourism.

READ ABOUT PEOPLE'S EXPERIENCES WITH THIS PROGRAM

🍃 Exploring the Area:  Afternoons and weekends are free for you to explore and connect.  There is incredible nature, a beach to enjoy, as well as plenty of peace and quiet for those looking to be more introspective.  Many people continue to get involved more community projects like beach cleanups, playing with local children, or continuing to help out their family. 
CHECK OUT SOME ACTIVITIES GANDOCA HAS TO OFFER.

🍃 Accommodation:  Volunteers live with local families and are provided three meals a day. The accommodations are rustic, but there is electricity and clean running water, and some homes have Wi-Fi.  GET TO KNOW SOME OF THE FAMILIES

🍃 Spanish Immersion:  This is a great place for people who want to speak more Spanish; immersing yourself is the best way to continue to learn! Though many families  speak only Spanish, everyone is patient with those who are learning.  Those who are still beginners can be paired with bilingual families or volunteers.  

 

🍃 Cost:  The cost of the program is $35/night, all of which goes directly to Gandocan families.  This includes your accommodation and three meals each day.  Families are happy to adapt to any dietary restrictions.

🍃 Length of Stay:    The minimum commitment is generally one week with new arrival on the weekend.  We recommend starting with one or two weeks to make sure it’s a good fit for you before commiting to longer stays.  The majority of people feel right at home and extend their stays in Gandoca.

Have a bigger group you'd like to bring to Gandoca? 
Contact us below for custom group programming with possible
additions such as yoga and many other classes.

“I couldn’t be more grateful for making Gandoca my home for a month. I felt at home and at ease. It is a very humbling experience and great to learn some more Spanish too! I would do it all over again.”

— Maylu

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“This has been a vacation for us like no other, in the way that is was meaningful and transformational in every way possible.”

- Jossi and his sons Moshe (15) and Shia (10)