In 2014, EARTH University received two groups of volunteers from the Whole Planet Foundation (a non-profit organization established by Whole Foods Market) as part of an ongoing collaboration to promote community development in rural Costa Rican communities.
EARTH’s Educational Tourism Office is responsible for researching and selecting projects in the area, creating a budget, providing Spanish classes for volunteers and coordinating transportation, guides and tours for the groups.
The first group of 10 volunteers arrived in July, and donated their time and efforts to the La Argentina de Pocora Elementary School near EARTH’s campus. They completed a series of much-needed repairs to the infrastructure and installed handicapped accessible ramps, rain gutters and a septic tank. The improvements made to the school will benefit more than 55 students and their families.
In August, the second group of 11 volunteers renovated a rural community health clinic in the La Argentina neighborhood, where they re-painted the entire building both inside and out, installed eight new doors and built a receptionist desk. These repairs will help improve the quality of healthcare services that the clinic offers to more than 1,000 people in the community.
The number of volunteers and projects is expected to increase in 2015, due to the positive feedback from this year.
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