Gap Year Programs

Latin America Gap Semester

An incredible gap semester program living and learning in Latin America! You’ll become a part of families in two countries and learn Spanish through study and immersion. You’ll also learn how education can empower and how new innovations are creating more sustainable communities. And, you’ll do it all with friends who will be with you for life!



Program Details

Fall Application Due

August 1

Spring Application Due

Jan 1

Program Length

13 Weeks




$1,750 (costs may vary)

Spring 2020 Dates

February 8th - May 9th

Fall 2020 Dates

September 12th - December 12th

Spring 2021 Dates

February 6th - May 8th

Group Size

18 students & 3 Program Leaders

Latin America Gap Semester

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Your TBB Gap Semester Awaits!

Apply by January 1st for this Spring!

Learn more about our industry leading gap year programs or apply now!


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Sustainability & Empowerment

Meaningful solutions to challenges facing communities require more than giving to charity or simple volunteer projects. Explore how local populations earn a living through sustainable farming in rural Guatemala and how education can lead to community empowerment in Costa Rica.



Unit 1: Environmental Justice and Sustainability - Guatemala

As communities around the world adapt to changes in climate, culture and globalization, the question of how to manage natural resources in rural areas is more pressing than ever. Maintaining quality of life, providing jobs for women and the elderly, and harnessing natural resources in a responsible manner are challenges that will determine the development trajectory of many countries. In Guatemala, you’ll live with indigenous Mayan families to learn the innovative ways rural people and governments are creating economic opportunity while preserving their environment and culture. You’ll work alongside a local farmers co-op to see how they balance daily necessities, profit, and planet in their efforts to increase sustainability. The students will spend four weeks in Tecpan, Chimaltenango supporting the community as they prepare their land for planting.



Enrichment Week: Cusco and Machu Picchu

Peru is rich with historical and natural sites to explore, from natural wonders that are dotted around the country to the majestic Inca ruins nestled in the Andes Mountains.

  • Visit the beautiful colonial city of Cusco and experience the fusion between Inca and Spanish architecture, with great restaurants, small winding streets, and vistas of the beautiful landscape that surrounds the city. Travel through the Sacred Valley visiting important Inca archaeological sites, and finally arrive via train to Aguas Calientes.
  • After a winding bus ride up to the top of a mountain, you’ll arrive to the citadel of Machu Picchu! Visit artisan workshops and cap off the trip with some stunning natural landscapes, hiking to Laguna Humantay, a glacier-fed lake with even more stunning views.


Unit 2: Education that Empowers - Costa Rica

Education can empower individuals and communities to create equity and justice. You’ll investigate how governments, nonprofits, and individuals use education to meet the needs of growing communities. Your group will work to provide support to English teachers in public schools to understand education in rural Costa Rica. You’ll live with local families and learn how parents and their children are affected by education. TBB students work in schools in the Guanacaste Province, alongside English teachers in classrooms as teachers’ assistants. Program Leaders teach seminars on Education to contextualize what students are seeing in local classrooms, to provide a global back drop, and to connect student’s experiences in Costa Rica to their personal experiences in education back home.  Combined, the unit creates a dynamic picture that highlights the complexities within education that can make it either an oppressive or liberating force around the world.



Culmination: Washington, D.C.

There is no city in the world with more people working to create change than Washington, DC. You’ll meet representatives from the World Bank, UN Foundation, and leading international organizations to discuss how we can create more empowered and sustainable communities.

In the final days, you will meet with political representatives on Capitol Hill to discuss issues you have explored while abroad and finally, TBB hosts a graduation for you and your family to attend to celebrate your year’s accomplishments.

Unit 1: Environmental Justice and Sustainability - Guatemala

Enrichment Week: Cusco and Machu Picchu

Unit 2: Education that Empowers - Costa Rica

Culmination: Washington, D.C.

Latin America Gap Semester Reviews

Success Stories

“Anyone wishing to have a gap year experience that gives them the chance to marvel at the world’s wonders, make a rewarding community service impact, and learn more about oneself should do TBB. It transformed how I see the world, my country, and myself. Now, I feel more fulfilled and know how I want to cultivate a meaningful life as an agent of change.”

Meg Stolberg

Latin America Gap Semester

“I had the most wonderful, enriching, mind-widening, and memorable three months of my life. Not only was I able to dive into new cultures and become parts of 2 wonderful families, but I also learned the importance of asking questions and got inspired by seminars about education and sustainable agriculture. This program definitely covers all spectrums you would want a gap year program to cover and can make your gap year meaningful!”

Pauline Groth

Latin America Gap Semester


Interested in taking this Gap Semester?

Fill out the form below and we will reach out to you with more information


Call Us

(203) 993-0236


Email Us


Send Us Mail

Thinking Beyond Borders
PO Box 102075
Pasadena, CA 91189


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