ISV Costa Rica Tour Leader Spotlight: Irene Arce

by isvolunteers on Tuesday, 7 July 2015


Irene on ISV’s Tour Leader training earlier this year. (c) International Student Volunteers

Meet Irene Arce, a highly experienced ISV Tour Leader who is passionate about taking ISV volunteers around her spectacular home country of Costa Rica.  

What was your background before working for ISV?

CR Tour Leaders 2015

Irene with Erick Castro and Daniel Fernandez, two of ISV’s other Tour Leaders in Costa Rica. (c) International Student Volunteers

I was born and raised here in Costa Rica, and have been working as a full time tour leader for the past seven years. I’ve also been studying education at university part-time to fulfill my dream of becoming an English teacher.

Where have you traveled overseas, and what is your favorite place? 

I’ve traveled to the USA, the Dominican Republic, Perú, Nicaragua and Panamá. I would have to say that New York is my favorite destination because I have family there. It’s also incredibly multicultural and so different from where I am from!

What do you do when you’re not leading tours with ISV or studying? 

My main hobbies are cooking, spending time with my family, exploring Costa Rica (and all of its secrets!), sharing my culture and learning about different ones, and a good soccer match!


An ISV participant tubing through Rincón de la Vieja National Park, one of Irene’s favourite activities on the ISV Adventure Tour in Costa Rica. (c) International Student Volunteers

How many seasons have you led tours for with ISV?

Eight seasons so far!

What are your favorite activities on the ISV Adventure Tour?

I absolutely love all of the ISV activities – but if I had to choose, I’d pick horseback riding and tubing with Hacienda Guachipalin nearby Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park! They’re so much fun.

What’s the best part about leading tours with ISV? 

I can tell you that ISV and the participants on our program have become an important part of my life and  I can call many of them my friends. I genuinely look forward to getting to know every single ISV volunteer when they arrive each season, showing them my country, and watching them fall in love with Costa Rica.

To learn more about ISV, our responsible travel principles and adventure tour please visit our website at



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