The kitchen is the heart of any home. It’s where we celebrate. It’s where we cry. It’s where we learn to love and dislike certain foods. It’s where family traditions take life. It’s where we discuss our lives, the lives of others, what’s going on in our communities and around the world.
So, what better place to experience a new country or culture than – in the kitchen! Here, you taste their traditional food, watch it be prepared and participate in the family dynamic of meal time. That’s why we always look for opportunities for our travelers to spend time in the kitchen with our local host families.
In Costa Rica, we are fortunate to work with family-owned and operated lodges and stations that are happy to open up their kitchens (and their lives) to our travelers.
At Estacion Las Tortugas, our sea turtle conservation project located on the Caribbean Coast, students from Thailand traveling with a U.S. school group, were welcomed into the kitchen to prepare (and share) their own traditional Thai food. Another group of adult volunteers took a break from protecting leatherback turtles to prepare cajetas de coco, a traditional Costa Rican treat. At Francisco’s Lodge, located in Atenas, the local family invited a student group into their home to prepare their farewell dinner and celebrate a birthday.
“The food was the BEST EVER! Francisco’s Lodge helped turn our last evening meal into a special experience and made our trip end wonderfully! “- Student Traveler
Many of our travelers fall in love with traditional Costa Rican food. Many of them do not. But the ones who jump into the kitchen and help make tortillas, pico de gallo, gallo pinto or fried plantains, will remember the experience for a lifetime. As you plan your next adventure, be sure you’ll have a chance to experience the local cuisine and spend some time in the kitchen.
Our Costa Rica Service Work itineraries are packed with conservation and culture.