Costa Rica

Quepos and Jalova

Tropical jungles, exotic wildlife and the most relaxed people around.

QUEPOS

The lively and beautiful town of Quepos is located on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast in the Puntarenas Province of Costa Rica. It is south of the capital, San Jose and is the access point to the world famous Manuel Antonio National Park, home to a whole rainforest of wildlife. Surrounded by palm plantations and rainforest, the array of wildlife includes monkeys and toucans which can be easily seen most days. In and around the national park, the whole area is famed for its pristine coastline, beautiful beaches and hiking trails, making this location an exceptional place to visit and be a part of the Tico way of life. A wealth of action packed activities are found in this town; from kayaking to surfing and exploring the outdoors. This is a wonderful place to get a taste of the tropical ‘pura vida’ life and to make a crucial difference in the local communities.

JALOVA

GVI’s research station in Jalova is found in the stunning Tortuguero (turtle catcher)National Park, surrounded on three sides by protected rainforest and on the other by the Caribbean Sea and a beach that is home to one of the largest nesting colonies of Green Turtles in the world. There is no road access to this location, so all transportation is via canoe and motor boat, through the canal and river system. Students will spend their time surrounded by the breathtaking scenery and wildlife of the rich canals, tropical rainforest and Caribbean beaches.  The area was an archipelago of volcanic islands until sediments from mountains filled in the gaps and system of marshy islands was formed.  Where the river met the sea sand was deposited and so nesting beaches of the turtles were formed.  This is an area of exceptional biodiversity and those who appreciate nature will be in their element. In the freshwater canals and rivers, students may find seven species of river turtles, Southern River Otters, a number of crustaceans and many species of fish.  They might also see Spider, Howler and Capuchin Monkeys and dozens of bird species.  If  lucky, they might spot the West Indian Manatee.

Service tour student in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Community Development/Construction Experience

Quepos

GVI has been operating in Costa Rica for over 10 years. On this program students live and work alongside local community members, fully embracing the Tico way of life.  In Quepos, students will largely contribute to needs based community development projects in the surrounding township areas, primarily involved in improving the general infrastructure and learning environment for local disadvantaged children. The focus here is on improving basic human rights through educational development using activity based education to under-resourced schools. Additionally, infrastructure improvement through construction is a vital aspect of the project and students may also be involved in sports programs. There may be the chance to learn some Spanish!

Students will review their individual and collective impact on the ground by asking questions in order to evaluate their successes and areas in which they felt more challenged. They will receive continuous support from qualified staff members who will help to show the students’ the connection between the work they have done on the project and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Each projects’ objectives are based around specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Students could be involved in initiatives based around any of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals listed below:

SDG no.1: End poverty in all of its forms everywhere
SDG no.4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote     lifelong learning
SDG no.9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and forest innovation
SDG no.10: Reduce inequalities within and among countries
SDG no.16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

Please note that we have a comprehensive curriculum based around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which is available for implementation by the teacher and the group leader on the ground, if you wish.  Additionally, projects can tailored to a groups’ in-class curriculum, or one of the international programs and curricula listed on Service Learning Tours home page, however specific work will always be dependent on the needs of the community and our local partners at the time.

Service tour group in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Conservation Awareness Experience

Jalova

This program is focussed on environmental conservation and awareness and the group can expect to be involved in a variety of activities, discussions and lectures. This may include bird walks, biodiversity surveys, species identification and rainforest ecology. Current projects include monitoring of sea turtle nesting (seasonal), jaguar presence and predation, aquatic bird monitoring and general biodiversity monitoring.

Students will collect and report vital data, while also increasing their awareness of the conservation issues facing the area, improving their knowledge of the environment and learning to understand the local ecosystem and what is required to preserve its biodiversity.

They are likely to develop critical teamwork skills, while learning about and interacting with the local environment, community and partners. GVI’s partners in this project include the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment (MINAE), Sea Turtle Conservancy and Panthera Costa Rica.

To review their individual and collective impact on the ground and to evaluate their successes and areas in which they felt more challenged, students will ask relevant questions and use their critical thinking skills. The ongoing support of qualified project staff members will help to show the students the connection between the work they have done on the project and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The program may focus on other elements including water security, climate energy and access to clean energy.

Each projects’ objectives are based around specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Students could be involved in initiatives based around any of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals listed below:
• SDG no.6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all
• SDG no.7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all
• SDG no.12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
• SDG no.13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact
• SDG no.15: Sustainable manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.

Please note that we have a comprehensive curriculum based around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which is available for implementation by the teacher and the group leader on the ground, if you wish. Additionally, projects can tailored to a groups’ in-class curriculum, or one of the international programs and curricula listed on Service Learning Tours home page, however specific work will always be dependent on the needs of the community and our local partners at the time

INTERESTED IN COSTA RICA?

Contact us to discuss your unique requirements.

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