Students are the foundation of what we do. Each student is a seed that comes and gives of itself and then disperses taking with her knowledge to be passed on. We offer programs that can last 3 hours or more, depending on your needs, as well as overnight stays.

Program Details

Every visit starts with an introduction and outline of the days schedule.Next there is a guided tour of the Center where you will learn about its history, the role it played in the trade route of Costa Rica 100 years ago, and the rich history of the district.

We then provide an overview of the current sustainability, agricultural, community and environmental projects we have going on, as well as discuss the importance of the middle zone in the Biological Corridor. We cater these sessions to the specific interests of your group. Interests we can address are:

  • Organic agriculture
    The process of converting a cattle ranch into an organic farm, the roadblocks and successes
  • Sustainability
    Some of the steps we.can take to minimize our footprint on our Mother Earth with emphasis in the rural context
  • Rural Tourism
    the differences between massive and community based sustainable development of tourism as a mechanism to economic growth and environmental protection
  • Environmental Protection
    Costa Rican government policies and the realities of the international trade agreement, emphasis on the CR equivalent of the EPA
  • Watershed Conservation
    The struggle to protect the rivers of the Bellbird Biological Corridor and the rights of people to access water
  • Community Organization
    We describe the process of how the town awakened from a deep sleep to oppose environmental destruction... how the town worked with other entities and organized against big industry. We go over the challenges, and the blessings.

Classes

  • Vegetable gardening Seed selection,.preparing the dirt, planting. Emphasis on local food production without chemicals
  • Cheese-making Visit a neighboring dairy farm, milk a cow and learn about the life of a dairy farmer
  • Traditional sugar and candy making
    Why sugar can make us sick. Different kinds of sugar. Get to taste different products. (Minimum class size is required or a fee is charged -- please inquire).
  • Bee-keeping
    Visit an apiary and participate in getting and processing honey using traditional methods.
  • Farm to Table Cooking Class
    Learn to make tortillas and something to go with it...vegetarian option available
  • Crafting with Recycable and/or seeds
  • Dance
    Fun, fun, fun! Follow your teacher to the beat of the music and learn traditional dances of this region.

We typically end our program by spending the last 1.5 hours playing in the Guacimal River. We walk through and to the river and bathe in the natural swimming holes and enjoy the gentle rapids.

 

We then provide an overview of the current sustainability, agricultural, community and environmental projects we have going on, as well as discuss the importance of the middle zone in the Biological Corridor. We cater these sessions to the specific interests of your group. Interests we can address are:

Next, 6 hour programs select one class or activity from below, while 8 hour programs select two. Each class/activity is hands on and is about two hours.

Classes

  • Vegetable gardening
    This class covers seed selection, organic fertilizers, pollinization, food production, economic justice, health & environment and of course some hands-on gardening
  • Cheese-making
    This class will take you through milking a cow, to processing and eating the cheese on a hot tortilla. It also covers the role of diary farming and it's relationship to pig farming and to the local economy and environment,
  • Traditional sugar and candy making
    Learn the process of traditional candy making from harvesting the sugar cane to making and eating the candy. Also learn the importance of traditions and health benefits of less processing and packaging foodstuffs.
  • Bee-keeping
    Visit an apiary and participate in getting and processing honey using traditional methods.
  • Farm to Table Cooking Class
    Learn about the importance of knowing where our food comes from in our health and the health of our planet. Light the fire, grind the corn and coffee, learn to make tortillas and other traditional dishes, drinks and dessert culminating in a delicious meal for all.
  • Crafting with Recycable and/or seeds
  • Dance
    Fun, fun, fun! Follow your teacher to the beat of the music and learn traditional dances of this region.

Volunteer Activity

All volunteer activities are preambled by a talk about the different aspects of sustainability in the context of the rural setting. The specific activities available will depend on the season and the current needs of the Center and the community.

  • Tree Nursery (Fundaciom Conservacionista Costarricense)
  • Medicinal & Ornamental Plants
  • Restoration of the Historic Building
  • Vegetable gardening
  • Landscaping
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Rural Tourism project (Neotropic Foundation)
  • Local Library Project (Small donations program)
  • Biodigestor
  • Gray Water Treatment
  • Virtual Communications & research (biodiversity inventories , monitoring water shed)

We typically end our program by spending the last 1.5 hours playing in the Guacimal River. We walk through and to the river and bathe in the natural swimming holes and enjoy the gentle rapids.

If you would like to spend additional time at the Center we also offer the following options for an additional fee.

  • Mejenga, an informal soccer game ($10/person - 1 to 2 hours)
  • Carreras de Cintas, a traditional game on horse back ($10/person - 1 to 2 hours)
  • Hot springs visit in the evening ($6/person - 2 hours)
  • Butterfly Garden ($5/person - 1 to 2 hours)
  • Traditional Ornamental Plant Garden ($3/person - 1 hour)
  • Traditional dances by local school children ($50 for the group - 1 hour - based on children's availablity)
  • Live Marimba Music ($80 for the group - 1 hour - based on bands availablity)
  • Horse-back riding ($40/person - 2 hours)