Volunteer at the Cloud Forest School in Costa Rica

A friend was talking this morning about an upcoming trip to Costa Rica, making me green with envy. The small nation has long been at the forefront of green travel and eco-consciousness (that doesn’t mean the record is perfect–no nation’s is) and they understood environmentalism and sustainability long before most of their neighbors in either of the Americas.

One of the many facets of creating a nation that prioritizes the environment, is education. The Cloud Forest School in Monteverde has been teaching kids for 20 years how to explore the world “from the ground up.” Their mission is to nurture generations of ecologically aware, academically well-rounded, bilingual individuals. The “three Rs” are not given more importance than fostering a genuine and enduring sense of wonder. Ahhhh, if only schools in the US were more skilled at THAT. The mostly young, inspired, and energized staff (about half Costa Rican, half North American—Students, too, are culturally diverse) makes learning an adventure, and hands-on, interactive exploration in the classroom and outdoors is the methodology.

Here’s why you care (in addition to being inspired)…you can volunteer there! Visiting volunteers commit to at least 3 weeks, and “typical volunteer tasks include gardening, working on our campus reforestation projects, trail maintenance, building maintenance, assisting with Environmental Education and Land Stewardship classes, as well as any miscellaneous tasks needed on campus.  Past volunteers have also worked on computer networking, teaching music lessons, leading yoga classes, making brochures, working in our library, or helping out in our development office.” Your transportation to and from the school is provided and you’ll live with a host family, be given 3 meals per day,  and Spanish lessons twice a week. Sweet deal, currently $525 for 3 weeks (super cheap by service travel standards).

One response to this post.

  1. Our optional Add-On 4 Day Expeditions have proved incredibly popular in the past 5 years, offering you and other hard-working volunteers a perfect balance of adventure and relaxation. While trekking to hot-springs and white water rafting you will also get to stay with the local indigenous communities giving you the perfect chance to learn further about the people, sites and diversity that exist in Manu.


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