In February, I am headed to Costa Rica to volunteer with Globe Aware - The Road Less Traveled Rainforest Village Experience. This volunteer travel program offers a unique opportunity to help a small community next to the Carara Rainforest Reserve improve their well being and create a sustainable future in ecologically important areas. This project was chosen with the Travelocity Travel for Good grant I won via WE tv and Ladies’ Home Journal and I am beyond grateful to be able to bring my boyfriend along for the do good adventures. He's been extremely patient and supportive of my volunteering efforts over the past eight months and I am excited to be able to share a small part of The Global Citizen Project with him -- especially in one of my favorite Central American countries.
The Carara Rainforest Reserve borders a tiny village where volunteers are immersed. Although the villagers love their natural paradise, they have struggled to make ends meet as much of their farmland was taken over by the national park. They hope to create sustainable community-based tourism, and Globe Aware volunteers will work on community development projects to help them reach this goal.
Projects will vary depending on the number of volunteers, which projects were finished with the prior group, what priorities have changed, weather conditions, which supplies are available, and often the interest and fitness level of the volunteers.
Some completed Carara Rainforest Reserve volunteer work projects:
- Built pedestrian bridges
- Buried and installed new PVC water pipe to bring new clean water source into community
- Painted school
- Built cabinas
- Planted hundreds of trees
- Built book shelves for school
- Built fence around school
- Set up First Aid center
- Made oil lamps to line public road
- Made and installed road signs to community
- Painted communal hall
- Built recycling stations
- Built waste receptacles
- Painted and installed identifying signs in rain forest