I am Rebecca Demes from Amistad Institute in Costa Rica.
As it is always good to know, I'll give you our side in this whole situation, we are an established and very popular organization in Costa Rica, in Travellerspoint you can even find comments as blogs with really good comments and references about us.
We USED to work with Globalcrossroad, who charged participants a lot of money, but that money was not going to the program (of course), so as the base organization in Costa Rica, we used to end with participants wanting luxury transportation, private counselors, chaperon, etc; even worse, people wanting to come and volunteer, but with no idea about how to do it or what to do.
This particular group that BEACHLUV is mentioning, was even asking for special machines to build classrooms because they did not want to do it in the way we do it here.
Their Global's hired GUIDE, didn't know absolutely nothing about Costa Rica, our people or nothing else to the point she even said the children of the community where they were working, were not poor because they were clean and they were smiling.
Some agencies sell the idea that to volunteer is actually a great excuse to make parents pay for a vacation trip, all what they show in their websites is Costa Rican beaches, volcanoes, mountains, etc. Of course, participants are going to be able to travel, but also they have to fulfil their program.
To finish this comment, some people is saying that Global told them they were not going to work anymore with Amistad, but they are doing it. Just to be clear, Amistad stopped working with Global several years ago.