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Pura Vida BioCAPs


​Program: "PURA VIDA BioCAPs"

(Click on picture at left to see sample program brochure)


Destinations: San Jose, El Roble de Sarapiqui, La Fortuna & Guanacaste      


Duration: 11 days


Program Elements: Historical Tour of San Jose, Host Family Stay, Hands-on fieldwork/research (BioCAPs), under the guidance of biologists Chad Johnson and Gina Hupton*, at the Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center, Braulio Carrillo National Park Canopy Zip Line, Organic/sustainable farm visit, Cano Negro Boat Tour, Baldi Hot Springs, Arenal Volcano, Wildlife Rehabilitation Volunteer Activities, Reforestation Volunteer Activities, Butterfly Sanctuary, Independent Exploration Day at the beach and HOST's Signature Closing Reflection Banquet.


Inclusions: International Travel insurance, international round-trip flight, service learning project coordination, lodging at three and four star jungle lodges/hotels, all meals with a beverage, itinerary-specific entrance fees and transportation, certified guided tours with at least one professional tour guide/naturalist and at least one 24-hour on call HOST director.


2019 Program Fee: $3,950.00 + $150.00 registration fee


*Learn about this program's BioCAP directors below.

Visualize this program and learn about the BioCAP site, the SCLC.

Meet the Pura Vida BioCAP directors.

Gina Hupton and Chad Johnsonme.

Husband and wife team, Gina Hupton and Chad Johnson have been exploring and studying  the natural world together for more than a decade. While they were graduate students in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, the pair pursued independent research on the mating behavior of fishing spiders,  red-winged blackbirds and Monarch butterflies.   Gina and Chad love to extend their passion for science and an appreciation for biodiversity to students of all ages. Their investigations have taken them across many biomes in North America and tropical ecosystems in Peru and Costa Rica.

Gina has lived and conducted research in several Central American locations, such as the Smithsonian Institute in Panama. She participated in two formal extended courses in tropical ecology in Costa Rica. Her undergraduate thesis was on the behavior of the Hoffmann's woodpecker in Monteverde. Gina's interest in teaching and learning has helped foster her commitment to improving science literacy in our society. She has worked with students of all ages at a variety of institutions across the country, Including ASU.

As an ASU faculty member, Chad has led courses in animal behavior and ecology for nine years.  In addition, he has collaborated with over 30 undergraduates and high school students in his research program, which focusses on the behavioral ecology of urban and desert organisms, including black widow spiders. His research team regularly visits local K-12 classrooms and community venues to share his work with the public.

Jackie Garciame.

Jackie Garcia, HOST's Pura Vida director and guide, has worked in the tourism sector for over 10 years and has 6 years of guiding experience. She is certified by the Costa Rican Tourism Institutie and the National Institute of Biodiversity. Jackie particularly enjoys BioCAPs and HOST groups because her main interests are nature, the protection of the forest and helping students to discover the wonders of the forest.

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