By Shannon Farley

The Veragua Foundation in Costa Rica, EcoTeach Foundation and EcoTeach in the USA have joined forces once again to gift much-needed school supplies to children in the rural community of Las Brisas de Veragua de Limon in Costa Rica.

Project Backpack 2019 was a huge success, reports Daniel Torres, Site Manager at Veragua Rainforest Eco-Adventure.

On Feb. 19, 27 schoolchildren at Las Brisas School received a colorful, brand new backpack filled with notebooks, colored pencils, pens, pencils, a geometry kit, carrying cases, scissors, folders, erasers and other items. The materials were distributed according to the children’s grade levels, which ranged from kindergarten to sixth grade.

This is the third consecutive year that Veragua Foundation, EcoTeach and EcoTeach Foundation have united to help the small community of Las Brisas, located near Veragua Rainforest Eco-Adventure Park. The rural area is home to dozens of families who can’t easily afford to pay for both school uniforms and supplies each year, especially if they have several children in classes at the same time.

It often happens in rural areas in Costa Rica that students have to make-do without supplies, and the schools themselves are limited in resources. Las Brisas is a typical small school that combines students in kindergarten to sixth grade all together with one teacher, who usually doubles as school director.

“This project is very important for Veragua Rainforest because through helping, we can motivate the children of the community to continue studying and get better grades,” said Torres. “These basic supplies are extremely important for children to achieve better performance in their studies. The residents in Brisas have very limited resources and, in some cases, the parents do not have money to buy the supplies that the children need.”
Since its opening in 2008, Veragua Rainforest and the Veragua Foundation have worked with their local communities in education, conservation, and improving residents’ quality of life.

Together with EcoTeach Foundation – a nonprofit organization related with EcoTeach Student Travel, which leads educational trips to Costa Rica among other countries – they have adopted the Las Brisas School, and other schools, to give support, teach environmental protection, and do maintenance and other projects.

EcoTeach has been giving to schools in Costa Rica for 22 years, said Carlos Viquez, EcoTeach Operations Manager in Costa Rica.

In addition to the children’s school supplies, EcoTeach Foundation donated an additional $1,000 to repair a floor in Las Brisas School and to remodel a surplus room to be used as a library, said Nick Jewett, Executive Director of EcoTeach Foundation.

“Giving is part of our mission and commitment with the destinations we visit,” said Viquez. “Everyone in our organization will continue to support this type of effort, because we all have the same vision and commitment to helping children everywhere.”