ABOUT THE TRIP


OVERVIEW

The Good Project’s Volunteer Trip is a biannual alternative break program offered January and May-June of every year. It is an adventure that takes you deep into Costa Rica’s Talamanca mountains where resides one of the nation’s remote indigenous group, the Cabecar.

The general objectives of this program is to collaborate with Costa Rican locals and Cabecar leaders in carrying out various projects that supports their education, healthcare, and strengthens their cultural identity. Every trip involves different activities and goals. Very quickly you will become embedded in their community and encounter different ways of living, engage in cross-cultural experiential learning, discover a new language, experience a unique ecosystem, and make life long friends. It is a true cross-cultural immersion adventure and way to serve our indigenous friends.

Dates: January, 3rd - 15th

Price: $1,100 + Airfare and Exit Tax- What the cost covers

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THE GOOD PROJECT

The Good Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education, health care, and cultural preservation of indigenous groups in South and Central America.

Over the years, The Good Project has established a strong and friendly rapport with the Sinoli community. With our partner, Voz Que Clama, we have been able to create an interchange of knowledge, wisdom, and culture while providing assistance when they request it. Every year, we gain valuable insight and knowledge of their dynamic way of life. We strive to always listen and learn and develop a more comprehensive understanding of their traditional customs and their increasing intercultural world.

THE CABECAR

The Cabecar people are an indigenous group residing in 8 protected territories in Costa Rica. With a population of over 11,000 distributed among over 80 communities, or villages, they are arguably known as one of Costa Rica's most remote and isolated indigenous group. Derivative of the Chibchan language family, they are unique in that the majority of the population (at least 95%) speak their native tongue. This is a testament to their strong and cohesive cultural identity in the face of increased integration of the Costa Rican dominant culture. However, they often feel marginalized and "forgotten" as they cope with finding their respective place in their ever increasing globalized and changing world.

The community in which we have established strong rapport and collaboration is called Sinoli. At an elevation of about 2,000 feet it is nestled in the mountainsides of the protected Chirripo indigenous territory. Not far is the Rio Chirripo del Atlantico. This river begins in the hillside of the Chirripo mountain and runs through almost 90,000 hectars covering the indigenous reserve. The nearby Pacuare river runs parallel to the Chirripo.

Projects Include

  • Solar Panel System for their high school
  • Volunteer Medical clinics
  • Needs assessment survey
  • Bridge repairs
"It's just a different experience. It's so different from home. It makes you rethink everything - we take the little things for granted, and they're so happy."

ACTIVITIES

Here is a quick overview of what to expect.


ADVENTURE

Trek through mountainous terrain of the Talamanca. Hike muddy slopes, cross rivers, traverse cane forests, hack through the jungles, and endure rocky river beds. This expedition is truly an outdoor adventure.

CULTURE

Discover the unique culture and lifestyle of the Cabecar people. You will discover how they have intimately adapted to their environment and ecosystem. Learn their customs, beliefs, and values.

IMMERSION

Experience a day in the life of a Cabecar. Immerse yourself in their day to day activities and learn some of their language, play with them, trek through the mountains with them.

VOLUNTEER

We fulfill our social responsibility by giving a helping hand that strengthens their cultural integrity. This means listening to their needs and provide collaboration and support. Help build a school, assist medical clinics, assess and document their needs, provide education materials, distribute clothes and medicines. A portion of the program fee goes directly to the Cabecar community.

NEW SIGHTS

Picture yourself standing in beautiful cloud forest terrain and swimming in the paradise like Chirripo River. Stunning Heliconia flowers, leaves the size of an umbrella, great cane forests, and plantain gardens are some of the sights you will surely treasure for the rest of your life.

SAFE AND SECURE

There are inherent risks involved in this program. Rest assured, every possible measure is taken to ensure a safe and secure experience. There will be highly experienced guides with proper first aid equipment. We will be equipped with SPOT GPS device that will continually let your friends and family at home that you are OK. It can also be used to signal for a search and rescue in the event of an emergency.

"I've visited over 40 countries around the world, and working with the Cabecar in Costa Rica has been one of the most unique, challenging, and rewarding experiences I've ever had. I'm looking forward to joining Dave again on future trips!"

COST


Inclusive Program Fee of $1,100

Ground Transportation: If leaving from East Stroudsburg University Campus, the ground transportation to the airport is included. Ground transportation throughout the entire stay in Costa Rica is covered (See exclusions below) which includes taxi rides and shuttles.

Lodging: Every step of the way your lodging is covered in the program fee. This includes the hotel in Turrialba; lodging within the Cabecar indigenous territory (keep in mind that within the indigenous reserve, we stay in a rustic hut deep in the mountainside), and two hotel nights in a hot springs resort before we head home. These final two nights allow us to recuperate, convene, and reflect on our experiences. After spending a week in the jungle, a nice hot shower will feel amazing!

Meals: You will be fed! Most meals are included throughout our trip. This includes our stay in Turrialba and throughout the entire time in the indigenous reserve. Remember, while we're in the jungle we won't be able to cook up hearty three course meals. However, we will make sure to bring plenty of food with us. The only time meals are not covered is during our last two nights at the hot springs resort.

Guides Services: This price includes the compensation of all guides and porters. You will never be alone during the expedition. There will Cabecar and Costa Rican guides along the way. On the trail, you would only be carrying your own pack. Most of our gear, food, and other supplies will be transported by porters and horses.

Additional Expenses: Not included in the program fee is airfare, country exit tax ($29 as of 2015), passport renewals. We encourage all to try and be on the same flight. However, you are welcome to rendezvous with the group at the international airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. If participants prefer to have The Good Project book and process their flight we can provide ther service for a fee of $100. Please contact us for any needed clarification.

TIMELINE


October 1st

Application opens.

November 15th

Deposit of $500 is due. 75% Refundable by December 15th. 25% Refundable thereafter.

January 1st

Remaining balance due.

ITINERARY


January 3rd-4th

Meet and depart from airport (TBD) to San Jose, Costa Rica. Rendezvous with the full team at San Jose airport. Take bus to Turrialba.

January 4th-5th

Gather supplies and food in preparation for our expedition. There will be central markets, supermarkets, and supply shops in Turrialba.

January 6th-12th

Depart for Chirripo Indigenous Reserve. Let the adventure begin! Seven days will be spent living with the Cabecar.

January 12th-14th

Leave Chirripo. Two nights at the Bio Thermales Hot Springs in La Palmera. You will be exhausted so these two nights will allow us to recuperate. Early departure on the 15th for JFK.

"At the start of the trip it was hard to follow their Spanish. But after only a week, I was able to understand and speak the language more than ever. It made me appreciate what I’ve learned in school and motivated me to keep studying Spanish when I returned home."

PHOTOS


APPLICATION


Click below to start your application. We'll review your application in the order received and be in contact soon.

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