Since the very beginning, Desafio has been dedicated to giving back to local communities and over the years it has developed various projects and itineraries ideal for groups looking to do team building and community service trips in Costa Rica. This week, the service trip that Adventure Specialist Daisy has been carefully organizing for months finally came to fruition: 15 inspired young globetrotters arrived at Monterrey Primary School and began making changes that would benefit generations to come.
When interviewed about her experience, this is what Daisy had to say:
Traslated from its original Spanish
1. Is this the first volunteer project that you’ve organized?
Yes, it’s the first one.
2. What are the plans for the volunteer project at this school?
Well, what we did was a little bit of garden work, so basically we fixed up a patch of land that they have there that was a bit overrun. The idea was to weed and clean up what would be the garden and at the same time we painted one of the classrooms, we restored one of the classroom walls, sealed it, and then painted it. That was the first part; then we have the second part that is installing the ceiling in the classroom and putting in a mural that we’re making for them.
3. Why did you choose Monterrey School?
Well, Desafio over the years has done different projects with local schools so our idea was to look for a school that we haven’t worked with yet in order to help them out as well. We had a couple of schools in mind: La Guaria Primary School, but we had already done our annual recycling project with them; Cerro Alegre Primary School, where we have also done several volunteer projects; as well as Zeta Trece Primary School. But we got a letter from Monterrey Primary School saying that they needed help, so we went out to visit the school and see what they needed. They did, in fact, need a lot of help, so we decided to do this project with them.
4. What impact do you think this type of volunteer project has had on the community?
To me, it really seems like something that benefits everybody. It’s really good to be able to help, and it’s something that we are leaving for the kids. When it comes to the kids, I feel that the school has a good infrastructure which allows them to study, and in turn this benefits the community itself. There´s always someone who has young children, nieces and nephews, cousins, friends—there’s always going to be someone who needs the school, so it’s a really nice project that’s going to benefit the whole community. Our idea is to finish the second part of the project by next month at the latest.
5. Are there any other volunteer projects that you’d like to see done either in that community or in another one?
Well, right now there’s still a lot to do in the school. For example, at the moment we’re restoring one of the classrooms, but the classroom next door also needs to be painted and have a ceiling installed. Normally, we have several volunteer projects throughout the year, so right now we’re working on sending incentive projects to agencies who contact us about team building-type activities. That way, it’s not just about going and doing a tour or playing some games, but about interacting with each other while also working as a team to do some kind of volunteer project. I always say that help, whether it’s small or big, is still help, so it’s really good for the community. And not just in Monterrey; there are many more schools that also need help, so the idea is to visit different places and give a little back to everyone.