The director and founder of SEPA Spanish School and Environmental Protection Center, Nidia Gamboa, has two major loves in her life: bringing the Spanish language to others and protecting the environment. She has been able to combine the two in a brilliant strategy that activates them both! Students learn Spanish 5 mornings a week at the SEPA Spanish School site. In the afternoons, students participate in environmental protection projects that magnify their Spanish progress while they make a difference in the world. The “pow factor” of this synergistic combination can’t be beat!

“I found the community service really meaningful.”  Daisy Parker, OVERLAND 2015

Here are just a few of the Environmental Protection Projects you can get involved in.


1) Centro Biológico Las Quebradas – FUDEBIOL:

As Spanish program volunteers at FUDEBIOL you work in the small village of Las Quebradas, located close to the city of San Isidro. The land plays host to over 222 species of birds and is nestled within the beautiful El General Valley next to the mighty Chirripo River. Your job is to assist in the work of the Biological Center of Las Quebradas, managed by FUDEBIOL (Fundación para el desarrollo del centro biológico Las Quebradas).

This organization’s mission is to:

  • Stop the destruction of the Quebradas River Basin.
  • Develop environmental education for children and community.
  • Establish different sustainable systems to conserve flora, fauna and water resources in the area.
  • Seek ways to become independent financially through eco-tourism.
  • Promote and perform in environmental research projects.

Your highly appreciated volunteer work will consist in such activities as:

  • Assisting in the biological center.
  • Conducting research and performing studies of plants in the cloud forest.
  • Maintaining and improving trails.
  • Cleaning the green areas.
  • Working in the butterfly farm.
  • Maintaining the nursery for medical and ornamental plants.
  • Provide essential general maintenance of the rustic mountain lodge and its surroundings.

2) Rivas Community River Basin Project:

Rivas is a small town situated at the base of Cerro Chirripó, the highest mountain in Costa Rica. It is well known for its ecological wealth. It hosts critical areas of the Talamancan Mountain Forest and Costa Rican Páramo with high endemism (creatures that are unique only to this area) and an extremely high biodiversity.

Unfortunately, Rivas has been affected by severe flooding due to its proximity to the Chirripo River. You will be working alongside Spanish-speaking persons in projects to solve these problems by such activities as reforesting the river basin. It is a treat to work with the people of Rivas, who are known for their humility and simple farming roots.

The area hosts several public schools who need a hand to complete important projects that will substantially improve their students’ quality of life and education. SEPA Spanish School is proud to provide this service with your help, as well!

3) Volunteer and enjoy Osa Peninsula:       

Unique sustainable experience in a small village near Corcovado National Park. This park has been declared one of the most biologically intense places on earth by the National Geographic Magazine. The region is a paradise, home to nearly a 100 species of birds, including the endemic mangrove hummingbird, found nowhere else on earth. Nice beaches and abundant wildlife. Some animals you can have the opportunity to see are howler monkeys, squirrels (Titi), and white-faced capuchins monkeys, as well as sloths, coatis caimans, crabs, crocodiles, tree frogs, iguanas, river turtles, scarlet macaws!, amongst other reptiles, amphibians and birds.  You will have a unique experience of a beautiful ecosystem.

Be prepared to enjoy nature and volunteer in the village of Sabalo.

-Teaching English in a public school. Also, to local people in the village.

-Working on the landscape of the school.

-Environmental conservation:

– Educational activities on protecting mangrove ecosystems.

Also the program is open to students who want to research about the mangrove ecosystems of the Sierpe  river.


_You must have a basic knowledge of Spanish.

_You must spend at least one week at SEPA school in San Isidro de El General,  before starting the Volunteer program at Sabalo in the Osa Peninsula;  this in order to be prepare and give you a better orientation of the program.


If you have a dream, and it is to make a difference in the environment, you have come to the right place! 

Click HERE to enroll now!


“I had a great time in Costa Rica. I liked the service at Fudebiol the best.  I loved all the activities that we did during class and the teachers were so nice!” Emilie Garner, Louisville, Kentucky, 2015



Sepa Spanish School is made for your age, your time frame, your focus:

  • Your age: Age is not a limitation for learning Spanish! Students of all ages, from second grade through their 70’s have flourished in SEPA Spanish programs.
  • Your time frame: We offer Spanish programs that last anywhere from one week to several semesters – just tell us what week you want to start and how many weeks you want to stay.  It’s as easy as that!
  • Your focus area: We offer a huge variety of Spanish programs: a standard Spanish program;  Spanish for university credits; technical Spanish for professionals; summer programs; survival Spanish for travelers; Spanish classes for residents and expats; family and kids programs; Spanish online programs; and Spanish language personal trainer programs. We have designed additional programs for environmental experts, medical professionals, real estate agents and more.  We pride ourselves on matching our training to the vocabulary you need in order to be successful in your life and career!
  • Spanish college credits:  Need Spanish language college credits? Here at SEPA we coordinate with colleges and universities to offer college credits in Spanish, Environmental Protection and Sustainable Economic Development.
  • Spanish high school credits: You can participate in our Spanish for University Credits to complete your high school language requirements AND to get a running start on your college or university language credits!

Ready to sign up for YOUR Spanish program?  Click here!

You get Sepa Spanish School's proven track record:

In operation since 1998, SEPA Spanish School, recognized as one of Costa Rica’s premier Spanish language schools, comes highly recommended by former students and their teachers, as a school that ‘gets results.’ Just read their Testimonials to find out what they have to say.

Ideal location and adventure hub of Costa Rica:

Security, accessibility and friendliness, as well as the beauty of the region, create the ideal conditions for your unforgettable Spanish-learning experience at SEPA Spanish Language School.  Bask in San Isidro’s small-town flavor or relax in the quaint beach village of Matapalo while you soak up sun and Spanish.

ADVENTURES!  Many adventures are at your finger-tips just minutes away from SEPA Spanish School: you can choose from river-rafting, hiking, going to the beach, whale-watching, surfing, fishing, zip-gliding, mountain trekking, kayaking, butterfly farms and reptile zoos just to name a few.

A place where you can leave your mark:

OUR VOLUNTEER PROJECTS are wide-ranged, casting a large net to capture your interests, as well as help you explore future career arenas.

Here are just a few:

  • Volunteer in the water basin protection project (FUDEBIOL)
  • Help in the local orphanage
  • Assist in sustainable economic development projects
  • Provide technical support, material and labor in a wide range of community benefits
  • Participate in local school projects
  • Partake in reforestation projects
  • Interact with the Indigenous Native Costa Rican Tribe (The Bribri People)
  • Work with the sea turtle conservation project (building nurseries; helping with night patrols to protect turtle eggs; measuring and tagging turtles for tracking and protection).

At SEPA Spanish School we want the volunteer experience to match to your interest!

Want to focus entirely on volunteer work?  Check out our outstanding volunteer programs!

Beautiful SEPA Spanish School campus:

Our campus includes comfortable, well-lit classrooms, a beautiful terrace surrounded by gardens and wildlife, and relaxing chat areas with Wi-Fi and internet where you can visit with friends, email, study or just ‘chill’ after a rewarding day of work and study.

Enjoy the impact of the unique Costa Rican culture:

It’s more than just visiting another country. Costa Rica offers a unique, life-changing perspective on living.  See how you are affected!

The Homestay Program: There is no better way to absorb the culture than to live with a Costa Rican family through our Homestay program and participate in cultural simplicities.

Dance Classes: Three times a week you are offered a choice of yoga, Zumba, or Latin Dancing.  Learn Spanish while the music moves you!

Cooking Classes: Delight your friends back home with flavorful Costa Rican foods and recipes!

“I’m not afraid to speak anymore. The confidence I gained during my time at SEPA is something I don’t think I could have gained anywhere else.” Mt. Hood Community College student, 2015

We are happy to say that after attending SEPA Spanish School, you’ll be speaking Spanish with far more fluency and confidence. We look forward to meeting you!

“Coming to Costa Rica to study at SEPA was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made by far.” Mt. Hood Community College student, 2015

Click here to enroll now.

Spanish Language and Environmental Protection Center,
Proud member of Costa Rica’s premier Spanish Language Schools