Our Service Expeditions

Central American Service Expeditions take place in some of the most beautiful places in Central America and Cuba: vibrant rainforests, active volcanoes, and pristine beaches! Our service expeditions are intensive programs designed for middle school,  high school, and college students. The expeditions combine adventure travel with service work with local community organizations in rural Central America. All expeditions enjoy 24/7 guidance from highly experienced service expedition leaders. Our programs are structured to challenge and stimulate young people as they explore a new culture, practice a new language, and learn about themselves.


Central American Service Expeditions has a close relationship with a number of communities throughout Central America.  Each one is different in terms of the activities offered and the service work which is done.  However all of them reflect the CASE commitment to promote meaningful cultural exchange and challenging community service.  A service expedition with CASE is designed to ensure that it is much more than volunteer labor in another part of the world.   We strive to provide opportunities for students to learn about what life is like in the cities and villages of Central America, and to develop relationships with the people students will come to know during their travels and work.  Our goal is that at the end of the service expedition students will know more about their world and themselves.


At CASE we believe that as many students as possible should benefit from international service and we take pride in providing quality international service opportunities at an economical price.  The fee for a 9 Day Central American Service Expedition is $1395, $1495 for the Alternative Energy Service Expedition, and $1975 for the 10 day intercultural trip to Cuba. The fee includes all food, lodging, transportation, materials, equipment, professional bilingual guides 24/7, programmed activities, and a donation to the communities we visit.  Since we also believe in supporting social and economic development in Central America 10% of the total fee we charge is donated to the communities with which our students work and live.  The fee does not include international airfare, personal health insurance, airport taxes, or personal expenses.  For every six participants CASE pays the service expedition fee and $650 airfare for an accompanying chaperone.

Below is a brief description of our service expedition destinations.  The range of work and activities is very broad so contact us if you would like a detailed itinerary matched to your interests.  We specialize in designing custom service expeditions to match your needs at no extra charge.  All of the participants of a CASE service expedition plant 5 native species trees to help offset the carbon emitted by plane travel to Central America and during the trip.

Cuba!

Explore Cuba with Central American Service Expeditions! Our exclusive service and intercultural trips to Cuba fully satisfy the General License requirements for People-to-People group travel to Cuba as stipulated by the US Treasury Department so you can travel to Cuba with confidence! We meet with Cuban academics and artists to learn about the Cuban economy, environmental conservation, the arts, and music.  Highlights include snorkeling to examine reef health, painting and theater workshops, travel in classic American cars, salsa dance classes, and more! Come see Cuba and learn about a fascinating country which somehow combines a centrally planned socialist economy with tropical salsa rhythms! There's no place quite like it in the world.

What People Are Saying About Cuba

Students

-"I don't want to leave. I got to see a country that is normally presented in a negative light and I love Cuba now. It showed how people can still be so great."

-"It made me feel like I have a family in Cuba."

-"I learned so much about Cuba, but was never confined by being put in the classroom."

-"This trip taught me the value of shared experiences and what it means to represent your community."

-"Really feeling like I was a part of a different culture even if it was just for 10 days."

-"Leaving is going to be so incredibly hard. I feel so at home here. I feel so close to the leaders and my peers and I'm so lucky to have had this experience."


Teachers

-"Filled my soul and my spirit."

-"The human connection across cultures is powerful. To get the chance to connect with Cuba and people like Leyat and Rosemary is priceless."

-"I am changed for the good. My eyes are opened to new ideas and ways of life. I can't say I understand but the journey has begun."

Alternative Energy!

This trip allows you to see first hand how different types of sustainable energy are produced in Central America. The trip is perfect for teachers who want to expand their STEM/STEAM courses or provide students the chance to learn about alternatives to fossil fuels.  This innovative service expedition to the foothills of Costa Rica's grand Miravalles Volcano includes discussions with experts about geothermal, wind, solar and hydroelectric energy production, meaningful service opportunities, intercultural exchange with the local community, and recreational visits to hot springs, the beach, and canopy tour!  Please contact us for a detailed itinerary and to see how the trip can be adjusted to complement topics teachers are exploring in class.

Costa Rica!

In Costa Rica you can experience the grandeur of the tropical rainforest, help conserve endangered sea turtles, swim in pristine beaches, glide on a zipline through the forest canopy, see a big Central American city up close, or visit the crater of an active volcano with a professional volcanologist.  CASE runs trips to a community in the Yorkin indigenous territiories in Costa Rica's Caribbean, to a rural farming community in the mountains above the Pacific Ocean, and to turtle conservation beach camps on the Atlantic.  You have the choice of staying with local families or rustic lodges run by the community.

Panama!

In Panama CASE works with the Naso people in the mountains above the Bocas Islands.  The Naso are a people indigenous to the region around the Telire River. CASE groups live and work in the community where we learn about Naso history, culture, and language.  Due to the remote location only family stays are available.  Staying with a local family deepens the cultural immersion and Spanish language practice.  During the Panama service expedition you will have the opportunity to spend time on a beautiful Caribbean beach, visit an active volcano, and enjoy a zipline tour through the forest canopy or whitewater rafting down a river through the rainforest. 

Nicaragua!

In Nicaragua CASE works with two communities.  One is located in the beautiful colonial city of Granada where students learn about the Spanish colonization of the Americas.  The architecture and ancient churches in Granada provide a truly spectacular backdrop to the housing development work CASE groups do in the city.  During the Granada service expedition you will have the opportunity to visit two massive active volcanoes and kayak among the islands of Lake Nicaragua.

The other community CASE works with in Nicaragua is located in the tiny village of El Castillo on the majestic San Juan River.  The town was first established in 1673 to stop English pirates from marauding the San Juan River.  On top of the tallest hill overlooking the river stands El Castillo (fortress in Spanish), which was completed in 1675.  During the El Castillo service expedition you will have the opportunity to explore the ancient town and kayak on the waters of the San Juan River and tributaries.  CASE groups have the option of staying with families or at a local lodge.