San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Jacó Happenings

Proficiency in English is considered almost requisite to take career strides in Costa Rica. With continued foreign investment by predominantly North American companies, the need for employees with a firm grasp of English is essential for job consideration at the several Fortune 500 businesses present in Costa Rica. As a result, there is a continued need for travelers, recent college graduates and retirees to move to Costa Rica and teach English as a second language. 

Global TESOL College Costa Rica, a recently launched institute located in Jacó beach on the central Pacific, aims to be the country’s primary source for English teacher education. The center will offer courses in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and result in certifications that are internationally recognized and guarantees employment for aspiring ESL teachers. The Global TESOL College has certified more than 40,000 graduates globally and continues to be a popular vocational choice that provides teachers the opportunity to explore the world. 

The Global TESOL College Costa Rica is the only accredited college on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. As the first training center in Jacó beach, it offers five different certificate and diploma certifications that range from 120 to 700 hours, depending on the program chosen. Included in all program packages are accommodations, meal plans, health care, weekend excursions and guaranteed job placement worldwide. Jacó beach is only an hour and a half from the Costa Rican capital of San José and offers all needed amenities, such as health clinics, shopping centers and affordable living arrangements.  

Global TESOL College originally arrived to Costa Rica in 2009 when franchise owner Andre Sigourney, a Boston native, launched a center in Coronado, a suburb of San José. After deciding to relocate to Jacó this year, Sigourney hired two new instructors, Corey Coates and Andrew Woodbury, who combined have more than 10 years of ESL experience in Latin America. Both served as the academic director of prominent private language institutes in the Central Valley of Costa Rica and will manage the Jacó site to cater to the town’s large English need.

Courses at the institute are available every month and the college gives students the flexibility to choose when they want to begin the course.  The most popular program, the Advanced TESOL Program, runs for four weeks, Monday through Friday, with in-class sessions in the mornings and practice teaching sessions at a local language institute in the evenings. On weekends students are free to enjoy the beautiful country as they see fit. At the end of the program, the college books in-person job interviews for all students. 

“I have talked to many people that have done a TESOL or TEFL course and no one I know has told me of a course that covered as much information,” said Jessie Usselman, a former student and program graduate. “It instructs you on how to be a great teacher and gives you the opportunity to implement the techniques learned at Global TESOL College Costa Rica.”   

You can find more info at or by emailing or calling 2643-0366.

For July 13 and 14, Teatro Jacó with be featuring the Novio en fuga (Runaway Groom) at 7 p.m. General admission is $10, VIP is $20 and includes two drinks. For more info, call 2630-9812.

Nadzyra Calonius from the McKee project reports that this month marks 10 years of dedicated service to the community and animal needs by the McKee Project Jacó. Special thanks goes to Alberto Zevallos (Tito) for handling the website free of charge. Since 2003, McKee Jacó has been dedicated to improving animal welfare through public awareness campaigns, education, animal population control and medical aid. Its mission “to end pain and suffering of all companion animals in our county” still stands strong! Looking back, it’s amazing to see what the organization has done with so few members and volunteers: Doris Schluckebier, Arusha Pabisch, Leo Hogan, Silvina Goren and Katja Bader. They are urgently looking for more! It all began when founder and Jacó resident Katja Bader, a fierce animal lover, was on her way to San José with her husband and they saw a taxi driver hit a dog and drive off. They took that dog to a veterinarian in San José and connected with the Director of McKee Costa Rica, Christine Crawford, who asked Katja to join forces and with the McKee family and start McKee Jacó. With the help of veterinarian Dr. Sergio Brenes, McKee Jacó was able to set up a spay-neuter program to control the growth of stray animals and provide assistance with veterinary costs to low-income families. Over the years, McKee Jaco has held events in rural areas aimed at helping stray animals or pets from very poor owners. More than 1,000 animals are successfully treated every year! In response to the increasing amount of injured dogs on the roads, McKee Jacó decided to approach the Animal Hospital at the University of Heredia and ask the veterinarian team there for help. They were more than willing to provide their assistance and have been doing so until this day. “This incredible vet team, headed by Dr. Mauricio Jimenez helps with all the difficult cases that cannot be treated in Jacó. The Mckee foundation gives special thanks to Dr. Yayo Vicente, Dr. Blas Rivas, Dr. Bitter, Dr. Carlos Morales, the Vet team @ UNA in Heredia, Dr. Sergio Brenes, Dr. Rosalinda Alvarez, Dr. Shirley Hernandez, Dr. Roger Alfaro, Dr. Victor Quesada, Dr. Carolina Rodriguez, Dr. Gini Bermudez, Dr. Becky Mora Rojas, Dr. Esteban Soto, Dr. Jose Manuel Jimenez, Dr. Wendy Villalobos, Dr. Yessenia Alpizar, Dr. Federico Chaverri Suarez, Dr. Yeimi Nunez Herrera and Dr. Bernabe Berrocal all from Costa Rica, and Dr. Sean Beck, Dr. Robin Stronk, Dr. Richard Righter, Dr. Lee Wilson,  Dr. Ellen Gray and Dr. Kyle Farrell from the U.S. and to Marco Rodríguez from Laboratorio Jacó! One of McKee Jacó’s most important education programs, “Sharing the world with the Animals,” started in May 2009. Together with psychologist and teacher Cynthia Lizano, McKee Jacó reached more than 1,200 students. These days it’s Angela María from Art School ‘Mire Vea’ who does a wonderful job working with the kids. The goal was, and continues to be, to reach as many children in the community as possible and create a sense of “irreversible responsibility” by educating children about the needs of all animals, the relationship between the animal and its environment and the ways in which all animals, the environment and humans are related. The McKee Project is currently looking for sponsors and donations for this education program and for the “I Brake For Animals Program” that will feature bigger road signs. If you wish to support this cause or wish to connect your business with McKee and become a sponsor, please e-mail to find out how you can get involved!

Mark your calendars for two cool upcoming surf events in the central Pacific zone: Saturday June 20: The Hurley Pros will be in town for Hurley’s Grassroots “Rip My Shred Stick Tour” to be held in Jacó Beach in conjunction with Hurley’s retail partner – Mango Surf Shop. This will be a free event for kids 16 and under and kids get the chance to ride Hurley’s professional surfers’ surfboards and get tips and advice from the pros out in the water as well. Anyone from a first-time, two-year-old surfer to a 16-year-old ripper is welcome and soft tops will be provided for the beginners. This event will be a little different than your normal surf contest – the surfing is judged primarily based on fun. So whoever is having the most fun (dance moves, headstands, wipeouts or good-old-fashioned ripping) will win. 

The following weekend, the Last Olympus 2013 National Tour presented by Adrenaline Rush will feature the best surfers in the country in Playa Hermosa, beginning Friday July 26 with day one of the competition commencing at 7 a.m. at the Backyard Bar, followed by the Reef Girls Parade at 4:30 p.m. on the beach and a sunset DJ Party with Sweetbo. Saturday July 27 features day two of the competition from 7 a.m.-4 p.m., followed by the weekly Saturday Surf Series and a 6 p.m. concert with Lemon Haze at the Backyard. Later on, the Imperial Closing Party moves to Morgan’s Cove Hotel in Jacó at 8:30 p.m. featuring Sleepwalker, Between the Line, DJ Shonetto, Reef Girls + 150 calendars, Photobooth Olympus, Lounge Adrenaline Rush (VIP Area) and electronic music DJ 979.  It will all be capped off with the Grand Finals Sunday July 28 from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Backyard, including the Tag Team Competition and the 4 p.m. awards ceremony.  For more information, visit

-Christina Truitt

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