Monteverde, Costa Rica

Bocas del Toro, Panama

Yucatan, Mexico

Climate Change Makers in Central America

Click to scroll down and read more

Information for term Climate Change Makers in Central America

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

March 15, 2022

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: March 15, 2022
  • Dates: Jul 3 – 23, 2022 (3 weeks)


Click to Open

Embark on a 3-week STEM adventure across Central America to confront climate change and take action!

Calling all change makers at heart! Traveling from Costa Rica’s Monteverde cloud forest to the Panama coast and further on to Mexico’s Yucatan, you’ll get to survey, study, and compare various tropical ecosystems as you discuss the effects of climate change and workshop new mitigation and adaptation strategies.

With a biologist as your lead instructor and program leader, explore some of the worlds’ most biodiverse ecosystems. Get ready to snorkel in coral reefs, hike national parks or zipline through the rainforest! Learn by doing and meet local experts and community leaders as you experience firsthand progressive initiatives that strive to balance the economy, the environment, and society.

Bond with a tightknit group of peers and put your common experience to good use! Start by planting trees to offset your carbon emissions traveling to Central America. Then dive into your project in small teams where you’ll compare climate change mitigation strategies and discuss how they apply to different contexts and scenarios.

Gain perspective on the complex responses of ecologically diverse regions to climate change and how communities can organize to mitigate and adapt. Come home ready to make a difference in your home community!

Please note: There is no scholarship funding available for this multi-destination program. If you are passionate about this topic but require a scholarship to travel, check out our Climate Change Mitigation program in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

CIEE is requiring all participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling on programs. Read more ›

The Take-Aways


    Learn by doing: you’ll spend your days in the field with your lead instructor and chief biologist to learn how to collect data in a scientific way and synthetize it.


    Witness and understand the impact of climate change on various ecosystems while you travel across Central America. You’ll see local, regional and global dynamics and do the work to show that you understand them.


    Your portfolio of work will go home with you, ready to share with your teachers, friends, and future college admissions officers.

Location & Culture

Click to Open

This program takes you to three different countries in Central America!

Start your journey in Costa Rica, a global leader in environmental sustainability. Get to know your peers on our Monteverde eco-campus, at the footsteps of the cloud forest.  Here, the quetzals, monkeys, and orchids still abound but the local scientists understand that their future is uncertain. Biologists and others have organized around the cause of climate change mitigation and lead local carbon-smart initiatives to help Costa Rica stay at the forefront of sustainability and carbon neutrality.
After a week in Costa Rica, cross the border to Panamá on a boat and experience the coastal ecosystems of Bocas del Toro. Snorkel in coral reefs and explore the island ecosystems for three days before taking off to Mexico.

End your journey in Merida, Mexico, and explore one of the seven world wonders, the ruins of Chichen Itza in Yucatan. Along with world-class museums, monuments, historic buildings, cultural centers, theaters, and sports facilities, Merida has botanical gardens, a zoo, and plenty of green space to catch some shade. Just 20 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico, it is surrounded by biodiverse nature reserves, UNESCO archaeological sites, and historic Pueblos Mágicos, authentic villages which look like something out of a storybook. 

Costa Rica (Day 1 - 10)

Click to Open
  • Day 1: Land in Monteverde, Costa Rica and met your new friends.
  • Day 2: Attend program orientation and topic introduction.
  • Day 3: Hike the Monteverde cloud forest reserve, visit a permaculture project and form teams to complete your project.
  • Day 4: Help on the farm work and follow your leader in the forest for group activities.
  • Day 5: Zipline through the cloud forest in the morning, work in teams on your project in the afternoon.
  • Day 6: Visit Santa Rosa National Park, learn about the history of conservation.
  • Day 7: Explore Naranjo beach and debrief about conservation.
  • Day 8: Walk forest trails, learn about parataxonomists!
  • Day 9: Explore lake Arenal to learn about renewable energy sources. in the afernoon, transfer to the town of La Fortuna.
  • Day 10: Explore Arenal Volcano national park and hot springs.

Panama (Day 11 - 14)

Click to Open
  • Day 11: Travel to Panama by boat. Settle in Bocas del Toro.
  • Day 12: Snorkel in coral reefs!
  • Day 13: Explore the town of Bocas del Toro. Work on your project in teams.
  • Day 14: Fly off to Mexico.

Mexico (Day 15 - 21)

Click to Open
  • Day 15: Visit the Ria Celestun biosphere reserve and learn about local animal species including pink flamingos.
  • Day 16: Attend a guest lecture and visit to the El Corchito nature reserve.
  • Day 17: Visit Merida's Technological and Scientific Park to learn about human impact on mangrove ecosystems.
  • Day 18: Visit communities impacted by climate change.
  • Day 19: Explore Chichen Itza's historical site.
  • Day 20: Finalize project and team presentations.
  • Day 21: Travel back to the U.S.

Daily Life

Click to Open

Daily Life

Every day brings new discoveries and fun, but you can always count on a perfect balance between interactive instruction, excursions and free time! Here's what to expect on a typical day:

  • 7:00 am: Get up and have breakfast at your dorm/hotel
  • 8:00 am: Walk or take public transportation to CIEE for morning instruction
  • 9:00 am - 12:00 pm: Interactive class with a local teacher. Format may change to workshops or guest lectures, depending on the day.
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00pm: Find a fun spot to grab lunch with your friends (your program tuition includes a stipend for lunches).
  • 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm: Gather back at CIEE to go on today's cultural activity or excursion.
  • 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm: Each activity or excursion is designed to echo what you learned in class that morning.
  • 5:00 pm - 7:00pm: Free time! Hang out with your friends and shop. Commute back to your hotel/dorm.
  • 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Dinner
  • 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Wrap up any homework. Usually just readings or personal research for your project.
  • 10:00 pm: Lights out!

Learn more about daily life on a high school study abroad program by reading our blog posts.


    Dorms and Hotels


    24/7 Support from your CIEE program leader in-country and from CIEE staff online


Click to Open

Sample Activities

  • Explore Costa Rica's diversity of landscapes from the Pacific to Caribbean Coasts (including pristine beaches, active volcanoes, hotsprings, the continental divide and primary forests) particularly its three most important terrestrial ecosystems: Mountain Cloud Forest, Dry Forest, and Wet Forest, learn about their conservation history and future challenges adapting to climate change.
  • Zipline above rainforest!
  • Visit bioenergy, hydroelectric and geothermic projects in the vicinity of CIEE's eco-campus.
  • Cross the border to Panama on the water, experience Panama’s beaches, coastal and island ecosystems.
  • Explore one of the seven world wonders, the ruins of Chichen Itza in Yucatan,
  • Take a boat ride over pink waters at Ria Celestun and learn about climate conservation through seeds bank in Merida’s Technological and Scientific Park.

Dates & Fees

Click to Open

Dates & Fees


  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. 
  • This program can be physically demanding, including hikes in the rainforest, snorkeling in a coral reef. Ability to swim is required.
  • There is no scholarship funding available for this program

Application Fee


Tuition include iNext Travel Insurance and all transportation between locations once on program. It does not cover the cost of flights to and from the program. More details about tuition inclusions can be found here.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Sessions I, II and III 2022 3 weeks Mar 15, 2022 Jul 3, 2022 Jul 23, 2022


Looking for funding?

Ready to change your life?