Anna (Marr College) was supported by a SAGT Fieldwork & Expedition Grant.
Expedition to Costa Rica with Raleigh International 2019
Raleigh International is a sustainable development charity that works with youths to contributes towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. I went on one of the expeditions to Costa Rica from October to December 2019. In the 10 weeks I spent there I did three separate projects. On the expedition there were around 70 volunteers and we were split into teams of about 15 for each project.
Firstly, I trekked 260km across Costa Rica in 19 days. This phase tries to develop youth leadership skills. We lead everything ourselves, from navigation to distributing group kit. Each night we stayed in different accommodation; this varied a lot from wild camping to staying in local community centres or church halls. I got to see a lot of different parts of Costa Rica that tourists don’t usually see. This challenge was physically and mentally tough. We had to carry everything we needed ourselves. As a group we had to support each other, which meant we got to know each other really well!!
Secondly, I did a community projects. We went to the rural community of Kokotsakubata. They are an indigenous community in Costa Rica and are part of the Cabécar tribe. The community speak Cabécan with only a couple of them also being able to speak Spanish. Due to the language barrier and the remoteness of where they live, they are often left behind the rest of Costa Rica. When we were there we built a school for the community. This included a nursery and a kitchen. We also ran English lessons for the local children and action days with the community, talking about topics such as first aid, hygiene and woman’s health. We lived in the community which really helped us to understand their way of life and their traditions. Members of the community also gave us Cabécan lessons and taught us about their history and traditions.
For my final phase I went to La Marta, a nature reserve. We lived in the park and worked closely with the rangers. Due to a lack of funding there are not enough rangers to do all the work need to keep the park maintained. La Marta is not only 1500 hectares of rainforest, but it also educates tourists and locals about the importance of climate change and projecting the environment. When there we built a ranch in the park. This is for future Raleigh groups to stay in which will help build a strong link between the two groups, and to encourage Raleigh groups to continue to work at La Marta.
I had an amazing time in Costa Rica. I have helped to contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals and preventing climate change. Thank you for your support!