Archive | Families

Recent shout-outs for Costa Rica Holiday Homestays!


When you’re making a decision about your vacation plans it’s always good to hear from other people. All the more so with homestays that are, let’s face it, a new and edgy way to visit a country and learn about its culture.

We collect voluntary comments from our past visitors encouraging them to tell us just what worked and what didn’t. Here’s a sampling from recent stays:

“Dona Leyla was a wonderful host – warm and generous. I really enjoyed talking to her about the village and her family.
The house was beautiful and characterful. Small thing – would be good to find a way to hold open the window shutters in the bedroom, which kept closing in the wind.
Also I hadn’t realised how incredibly beautiful San Gerardo was until I arrived!” James, UK, 2016

“Dona Graciela is an excellent cook and was very accommodating when our children requested some alternatives to the traditional meals. Dona Graciela and her family were very gracious and we felt very at ease in their home. We were all interested in learning more about each other. Graciela spoke with us patiently and tried to find other words to use when we didn’t understand. We especially enjoyed Nancy’s company, since she reminded us so much of our niece. It was lovely spending time with her and she showed us the ropes of the town, helping us find a ball, so that we could play soccer in the plaza. This was another highlight of the trip for our children. Julie, Canada, 2015

About volunteering through CRHH, one of our activities available:
“I really enjoyed [the] volunteering [arranged] with Proyecto San Gerardo. The students were really dedicated to learning English and it felt good to be able to help out and be part of the local community. There was plenty of support and advice available and it was great experience to put on my CV.” Elfie, UK, 2015

About volunteering with the community:
“I learned how make tamales and how to cut fruit and vegetables muy rapido and how to prepare food for large groups of people efficiently. The village women were helpful and friendly and working with them made me feel like a part of the community. [Some of the other CRHH volunteers envied me the kitchen assignment.] Mimi, New York, 2014

About learning Spanish:
“Spanish Conversation with Karol went very well. I was surprised at how quickly the sessions went. She was very accommodating and reliable” Daniel, Colorado, 2014

“Karol was obviously very well prepared for the lesson and succeeded in adapting it to make it interesting for both adults and children. We found that we remembered some of the useful things she taught us, which came in handy during our stay! Thank you, Karol.” Julie, Canada, 2015

“My homestay was amazing, I had a great time! The family were lovely, their house was really nice and the gardens were beautiful. Bernan was so funny and Shirley was incredibly kind, I didn’t feel like an outsider at all and they made me feel really welcome in their home. They were very helpful with my Spanish and they frequently corrected me 🙂 The food was amazing and I loved the cookery classes, Shirley can really cook! The Spanish teacher you provided was lovely and I enjoyed our relaxed conversation lessons. The visits to the schools have restructured my masters postgraduate project completely, wonderfully invaluable visits- thanks so much for organising those.” Cathy, UK, 2014

If you like what you’re reading contact us at We can promise you the welcome of a lifetime!

Cheese! Homestay family falls in love!


Recently one of our visiting homestay families decided to tour ‘Quesos Canaan’ – a small handcrafted cheese farm that produces a Swiss-type cheese from their small dairy herd. They milked the cow, listened to the weird and wonderful story of how Wilberth Mata and his family got started in hard cheese-making and then helped to make it themselves. Afterwards they bought some and returned to their homestay at Dona Graciela’s to enjoy it with their hosts.

Well, they liked that cheese so much that they’ve been ordering it up from anyone who happens to travel back to their hometown in Canada! The rules state that up to $20 worth of hard cheese can be brought into Canada and so that’s what they arrange. Only Costa Rica cheese will do! We bet that wasn’t an outcome they expected from their Costa Rica Holiday Homestay. Pura vida Quesos Canaan!

PS To include a similar tour in your homestay itinerary simply let Jenny know and she will reserve it for you. The tour lasts 2 – 3 hours includes a walk around the farm to milk the cow, view the biodigester and organic composter, making the cheese from scratch and, of course, a chance to taste it! Although Wilberth speaks Spanish Costa Rica Holiday Homestay provides an interpreter. See: Cheese Factory for more pictures. Tour price: $17 per person includes tour, transport there and back, guide and interpretation – tasters free!


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