Our Law Journey will take us to Costa Rica and Nicaragua for a 9 day enrichment experience that will provide insights in to Central America's legal systems, government and culture! Meet with legal professionals and learn from representatives of the Legislative Assembly in Costa Rica. Visit with lecturers and educational professionals at a Law School in Nicaragua.  Join a local community and participate in a project that provides shelter for abandoned youth. Explore the wonders of the rainforest as you glide above and through the tree-tops on a zip-line adventure; relax and soak up the thermal waters of a Costa Rican hot-spring; ​explore the historical city of Managua in Nicaragua and see how the town is still rebuilding after the earthquake that devastated the city in 1972.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Depart for Costa Rica
Depart from Houston and arrive in San José, Costa Rica. The stunning beauty and friendly people alone are worth a visit! Upon arrival the group will be met and transferred to your local hotel for check in. Relax this evening and settle into your lovely five star hotel located in the heart of Escazú, the most prestigious area of San José. Ideally located for business or leisure, the hotel is within Multiplaza, the city’s most important mall, where you can find a variety of stores, bars and restaurants. Time permitting you might make use of the four unique restaurants and lounges, interior and exterior Spa facilities, and beautiful pool area surrounded by tropical gardens. Depending on flight arrival time, dinner is on your own tonight (if not provided in flight)
OvernightReal Intercontinental

Day 02: San Jose City Exploration
Start your morning with a group meeting and welcome orientation session at the hotel. Your local guide will go through your schedule, answer questions and provide some tips for travel in Costa Rica before you get started! Make your way to lunch and then off to explore Costa Rica’s capital city, San José. Visit some of its historic residential areas, La Sabana Metropolitan Park, and the National Theater, an icon of the San José of the late 19th century. You will also visit the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, one of the few that exists worldwide. The exhibition consists of 1,000 original pieces that date from 300 to 1500 A.C. The Pre-Columbian Gold Museum has an extraordinary collection of gold objects that reflect the gold working techniques of the Pre-Columbian people of Costa Rica. Enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant
Overnight:  Real Intercontinental
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 03: San Jose – ​Introduction to legal systems in Costa Rica

Today‘s activities will focus on interaction with local speakers who can provide an overview of the legal system of Costa Rica. A meeting has been requested with the Legislative Assembly. Learn how the legal system works, how a legislative period is composed, what types of legal procedures are submitted to popular vote for laws or administrative acts, and the requirements to be a delegate in the Assembly.

The Legislative Assembly is the unicameral legislative branch of the Costa Rican government and is responsible for approving laws. Composed of 57 members who are elected by popular vote according to a majority vote, they enact, dictate, reform, derogate and interpret laws regulating national life.

Lunch will be provided this afternoon with dinner by individual arrangement (own expense).

This afternoon meet with a local law firm. Learn about the role of lawyers within the court system and observe how the legal system in Costa Rica works while discussing how it reaches a balance between punishment and rehabilitation. Explore how the legal system affords access to the underprivileged and under-served.

Guest program:
Today, guests will visit a working coffee plantation. Costa Rica produces outstanding coffee and guests can learn about the roasting process as well as the history of this famous export, dating back to 1779. Of course the visit wouldn’t be complete without sampling some coffee! After lunch, spend time shopping alongside locals at a bustling marketplace.
Overnight:  Real Intercontinental
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 04: Community Service 
This morning the group will participate in a social service project to benefit a local organization (this could be a local school, orphanage or NGO). We are working with Obras del Espiritu Santo, a project lead by a Catholic priest who is in working on funds to build a huge shelter for abandoned children and teenagers, to arrange a project for the group.

Depart later today for Arenal. En route, see La Fortuna Town—a charming town located in the valley of the Arenal Volcano and nestled among lush vegetation and waterfalls.

This afternoon, relax and reflect in the mineral-rich waters of a local hot springs. Volcanic hot springs result when rainwater heated by magma in the Earth’s interior rises to surface, bringing important minerals found in the earth’s rocky crust with it.

Overnight: Hotel Royal Corin
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 05: Rainforest Adventure
After breakfast, visit Arenal Natura Ecological Park. A local expert will guide the group to discover exotic frogs, birds, and reptiles living in a magnificent tropical rainforest at the base of the majestic Arenal Volcano. During this guided exploration, learn about the more than 30 species of Costa Rican diurnal and nocturnal frogs; see a reptile lagoon; and witness a snake exhibit.

Later, enjoy local wildlife living in the trees during a gondola ride rich with fantastic views of Arenal Volcano, a nearby lake, and the Tilarán mountain range. Next, fly across the forest on zip lines for a thrilling look at even more tree-dwelling creatures—or return to the bus via the slower-moving gondola!

Overnight: Hotel Royal Corin
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 06: Nicaragua
After an early breakfast, make your way by motor coach to the border (approximate 5 hour drive). After border procedures and payment of the visa fees (less than $20 currently), enter Nicaragua and make your way to Granada. Lunch will be provided in route today.

Check-in to your hotel, Real La Merced in a renovated mansion and has 18 rooms that are fully equipped for the comfort of any business or leisure traveler. The hotel has a private pool, gym, and onsite restaurant. 
Overnight: Real la Merced Granada
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 07: legal systems overview Nicaragua

This morning meet with a local law school to get an overview of the legal system in Nicaragua and to learn about the country’s legal education programs.

After lunch meet with attorneys at a local law firm.

Today guests will explore the highlands of the Pacific Region of Nicaragua. In today’s adventure, visit some picturesque “white towns”, given their name in the early colonial period as part of Nicaraguan folklore. Each town has its own specialty when it comes to art, food and tradition. Today’s tour through these towns will give you a chance for stops to learn how the locals make bamboo baskets and furniture. Time will be made to stop at a market in San Juan de Oriente and Catarina (check out their lovely pottery).  Enjoy a photo opportunity to see the view from Catarina of the surrounding water and volcano landscape.

Dinner is by individual arrangement this evening (own expense).
Overnight:  Real la Merced Granada
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 08: legal systems overview Nicaragua
After breakfast the group will explore Managua including stops at the old city center which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1972, and the new downtown area where the city is continuously rebuilding and investing for the future.

Get to know the story behind their national hero Augusto Cesar Sandino and the Somoza dictatorship. See the ruins of the old presidential palace, also destroyed by the earthquake that leveled the city. Continue your drive down to the old city center to visit the “Park of Peace”, a very important symbol of the peace Nicaraguans are now enjoying.

Explore “El Malecon”, for a closer look at Lake Managua and the surrounding areas.  We will see the monument to Simon Bolivar, in the avenue of the same name and also the National Theater Ruben Dario, New Presidential House, Palace of Culture and other buildings.  The tour will take us to the enigmatic human footprints of Acahualinca, (6000 years old).

Return to Granada for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight:  Real la Merced Granada
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 09: Time to say goodbye
Say goodbye to Costa Rica and all of your new friends! Your guide will accompany you to the local airport for your flight back to Los Angeles.
Meals: Breakfast

Please note: All itineraries are subject to change based on availability of hotels, flights and hosting organizations at the time of finalization of booking. Comparable meetings and activities will be arranged should an itinerary change be necessary. 30 days before departure, a finalized itinerary will be available and reflect final details.

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​​​Dates:   Oct 22 - Oct 30, 2016

Cost:      USD $4,299 per person

Days: ​    9

Leader Spotlight: 

Gregg M. Herman

  • Gregg serves on the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the Wisconsin Chapter of the AFCC.
  • Author of Settlement Negotiation Techniques in Family Law: A Guide to Improved Tactics and Resolution, published by the ABA Family Law Section. 
  • Former chair of the American Bar Association Family Law Section from August, 2007 through August, 2008.
    Founder of the Cooperative Divorce Institute, Inc. and served as its first chair from 2003-05 and the founder of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin, Inc. and its first State-wide Chair from 2000-01.

  • Former President of the Milwaukee Bar Association (1998-99), the Wisconsin Chapter of the              American Academy of Matrimonial                         Lawyers (1999) and is a past chair of the State Bar of     Wisconsin Family Law Section (1996-97).
  • A former a member of the Board of                      Governors of the State Bar of Wisconsin                   (1999-2003, 2004-06) and a member of                      Council of the ABA Family Law Section                       (1996-2003).

Law Journey to Costa Rica & Nicaragua led by Gregg M. Herman


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​What's Included

Costa Rica & Nicaragua | 9 days | October 22-30, 2016