Costa Rican Kids Explore Local Wildlife

Alliance Member: Elevate Destinations

Everyone deserves the chance to travel. Yet, all too often, seeing the world is a privilege reserved for the global elite. At Elevate Destinations, we bridge the divide. Our goal is to connect local youths to their own environments, as travelers and as stewards.

The Travelers: This trip benefited the kids of Altos del Roble School in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The total came to 23 kids from first grade to sixth grade, ages seven to 12, plus two teachers and the school principal. Because the school is so small, and this is a unique opportunity for them, all the school’s students were invited.

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The Excursion: On Friday, April 22 2016 (Earth Day!), the kids were treated to a day of adventure on the water at Rio Bebedero, in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

The Details: Rio Bebedero is a special place in Costa Rica. Located in the well-preserved Guanacaste region in the country’s northwest bay area. The river is a lifeline that runs through the spectacular Palos Verdes National Park. A dry tropical rainforest, the area is replete with verdant flora and a huge spectrum of wild fauna. Its visitors enjoy species as peccaries, armadillos, deer, monkeys, coatis, jaguarundis, reptiles and amphibians including a large concentration of crocodiles.  Different species of insects and bats, butterflies and moths also inhabit the forest. This deep ecosystem is best experienced by boat trips along the river for a close-up view of the animals.

Through the Buy a Trip, Give a Trip program, this group of local kids had the pleasure of living this travel experience for the first time. Two guides lent the kids high-powered binoculars for an intimate look at the bird life as the boat floated down the river. Palo Verde is home to at least 250,000 birds. Other highlights were spotting a crocodile on the shore with its sharp jagged teeth.

The kids were enthusiastic, curious, and energized from the start of the day to the end. Their bus was greeted with a fresh fruit snack, and after the boat ride they sat down to a scrumptious tourist lunch. Afterwards, the final stop was a recycling collection center, where they deposited plastic bottles and learned about the importance of handling waste correctly.

Firsts: 

  • Seeing familiar wildlife from the new perspective of binoculars, guided by a naturalist expert
  • Enjoying a nice restaurant lunch that is usually reserved for foreign tourists
  • Learning about recycling and how recycled plastic is processed in Costa Rica 

Quotes from the day:

“Thank you Elevate Destinations! I loved it. I really liked it because I discovered a lot of things at Rio Bebedero. It’s beautiful – the animals in the river, and the boat ride was really nice too. Thanks to you, we were really well taken care of for the day. P.S. I’m in grade six and almost finished.”

~ T.K.M.

Partner Organization:

Altos del Roble School serves the Altos del Roble community, which is located in the heart of the Papagayo area in Guanacaste. The community is made up of around 40 families with many needs. Elevate’s local partners in Costa Rica have worked with Altos de Roble since its beginnings in an effort to pass on the benefits of tourism to the rural areas, assisting them with school supplies, uniforms, and a playground. The larger goal is to educated local youth to care for nature, love and respect it, so as to preserve these natural assets not only for tourism but for all the kinds of life that depend on the local ecosystem.

For more success stories from Elevate Destinations, visit http://elevatedestinations.com/blog/