Costa Rica

YCI Country Information

shutterstock_1274207 Costa Rica

YCI was first piloted in San José in 2008 by the Marriott Costa Rica San José and the Real InterContinental Costa Rica and World Vision Costa Rica provided local support for the pilot programme. After a few years' hiatus due to the effects of the global economic downturn in Costa Rica, YCI was able to re-launch in 2013 with both piloting properties as well as the Courtyard San Jose Escazú. Now seven properties take part of the initiative along with other key-partners: the National Institute of Learning (INA), the National Board of Children (PANI), Council of the Young Person (Consejo de la Persona Joven) and The training cycle typically runs from February/March until July/August each year.

Aldeas Infantiles SOS Costa Rica acts as YCI's non-profit partner in the country. They are dedicated to the foster the care of children and young people at risk, supporting them to build their own future, asserting their rights, and it participates in the development of their communities. YCI is part of their employability programme.

Costa Rica’s economic system has remained stagnant for many years. Since 2011, 24% of the population have been living below the poverty line while 6.5% of Costa Ricans have been registered as unemployed. Currently, 56% of 18-24 year-olds are not working. The International Organization for Migration has linked the issue to wider social problems in the country, such as human trafficking and youth exploitation. Youth unemployment is often related to a lack of opportunities as well as a mismatch in skills. YCI’s local coordinating partner, SOS Children’s Villages Costa Rica, have listed a number of other reasons why young people might find themselves in a situation where they are neither working nor in education, including having very little or no support from their family, lacking motivation in regards to the formal education system, struggling to find career orientation and guidance, and having a certain degree of learning difficulties.

Traditionally, tourism has been core to the Costa Rican economy. In 2013 the sector contributed 12.3% to national GDP. National investment in relevant skill development can make it one of the main sources of employment opportunities for young people. Vocational programmes can be part of the solution. Official data for 2011 show a 15.2% registration rate in vocational education.

The government is currently working with the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund to implement the “Joint Programme on Youth, Employment and Migration: A One-Stop Shop for Employment”. This programme is aimed at providing access to the following areas: employment intermediary services, education, entrepreneurial advice, training for young people coming from rural areas, as well as for migrants and for socially vulnerable women.

Some interesting government statistics on youth policy can be found here (please note the information is in Spanish):

YCI Photo Competition 2017 – Request for submissions

YCI Photo Competition 2017 – Request for submissions

“A picture paints a thousand words” The YCI Photo Competition is your opportunity to tell the story of your dedicated YCI students, committed employees, and what makes …

STR sets the benchmark on youth employment opportunities

STR sets the benchmark on youth employment opportunities

STR, the hotel sector’s leading source of data for benchmarking and analytics, is supporting the Youth Career Initiative (YCI) to …

YCI Costa Rica graduate: Gregory

YCI Costa Rica graduate: Gregory

YCI Global Partnerships and Operations Manager Scott Robinson: I recently had the great pleasure of attending the Youth

YCI Costa Rica welcomes new students

YCI Costa Rica welcomes new students

  We are happy to announce that YCI Costa Rica has just launched its 2015 programme, since its

Why talent management in hospitality can drive wider community development

Why talent management in hospitality can drive wider community development

It’s World Tourism Day on 27th September and this year’s theme revolves around community development and the ability

View all Costa Rica news

YCI Locations in Costa Rica

Please note, location pins may obscure each other until you zoom into an area.

YCI Costa Rica Gallery

  • 2014 YCI Costa Rica graduates

  • YCI Photo Competition Spring 2014 - Practical training category runner-up: the Courtyard by Marriott Escazu Hotel, San Jose

  • 2008 Marriott Group Staff & Participants

  • Opening Ceremony Marriott 2013

  • Costa Rica