STUDENT SAFETY

Risk and uncertainty are central to adventure and personal growth. By embracing this philosophy, Outward Bound is committed to systematically identifying, assessing and mitigating hazards, while at the same time providing real challenges for our students. Outward Bound Costa Rica programs take place in medium and low elevation rainforest, dry forests, rivers, tropical beaches, and at sea which present different types of hazards. The majority of our courses take place in remote regions far from the distractions of modern society. These areas can be hours, or even days away from emergency medical care.

STAFF TRAINING

Outward Bound instructors are experienced and qualified outdoor professionals committed to their students’ well being through their values, judgment, words, and actions. Outward Bound Costa Rica staff are trained to identify, assess, and approach risk as a learning tool, to be managed but not eliminated, with the goal of providing our students with the opportunity to gain insights and perspectives into themselves and the capabilities of their group, inherent qualities that are unique to Outward Bound courses.

Outward Bound Costa Rica has partnered with several internationally-recognized organizations to provide our staff with the needed training and certifications to prepare them to manage groups with the highest level of safety and risk management. Our field staff is highly trained and certified specific to their area of expertise.  The majority of our staff is certified Wilderness First Responders.  In addition, Outward Bound Costa Rica provides extensive ongoing training in group management, and identifying and appropriately managing risk.

Examples of applicable staff training are the following:

  • Wilderness First Responder and CPR for Professional Rescuer issued by Outward Bound Costa Rica and the American Red Cross for staff working with students in remote locations
  • Whitewater Rescue Technician for our river staff issued by Rescue 3 International, the industry leader in training river guides and rescue professionals
  • Technical Rope Rescue Operations Level for our staff who lead vertical activities such as climbing and rappelling, also issued by Rescue 3 International
  • Raft guide training for our capable river staff, issued by International Rafting Federation
  • Scuba diver certifications for our scuba instructional staff, issued by National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) Worldwide or Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)
  • Waterfront lifeguard training for our staff who teach surf or oversee safety of our groups while on the beach, issued by the American Red Cross

Locally, Outward Bound Costa Rica has become a Costa Rican industry leader in training National Park Guards, Scout leaders and local guides. To date, we have trained over 750 park guards and Scout leaders in First Aid and CPR, search and rescue, and beach safety/rescue.

INSECTS BITES & STINGS

Outward Bound Costa Rica has been welcoming students to Costa Rica and Panama for more than twenty-five years, so we’re on top of everything related to safe travel. We understand concerns over Zika and other mosquito-born diseases, so we want to let you know that none of our courses take place in affected areas.

We have also combined the best ways to prevent bites and stings on our blog, so that you can prepare yourself and and arrive on course with everything needed to protect yourself. Read our recommendations here.

PROGRAM REVIEWS WITH OUTWARD BOUND INTERNATIONAL

Outward Bound has been a leader in wilderness safety and risk management for 70 years worldwide; and its member schools continue to be industry leaders in risk assessment and risk management, resulting in an exceptional safety record. As part of an ongoing effort to monitor and improve safety, Outward Bound programs are regularly reviewed and audited by Outward Bound International as well as by our safety committee which is a group from our Board of Advisors with professional training in safety and risk analysis and management. This helps us to proactively identify and assess potential hazards as well as areas of commendation.

Outward Bound Costa Rica has been operating programs for hundreds of participants since 1994 and has never had a debilitating injury, or death. This is a testament to our stringent safety and risk management systems supported by our professional field staff.

If you have any questions regarding safety, please contact our Executive Director, Jim Rowe PhD by emailing: jim@outwardboundcr.org .