Grantee: Abriendo Mentes – Costa Rica
Project Title: Eight Week Ecology Science Unit
Grant Type: ecoSolution
Abriendo Mentes, a nonprofit in rural Costa Rica, purchased ecological materials for an eight-week lesson on water with the help of a Captain Planet grant. The organization focuses on teaching English to youth and adults to improve their chances of finding fulfilling work in an area with high unemployment. Eleven fifth- and sixth- graders analyzed water samples from local sources and gained hands-on experience with water filtration and sanitation.
The project featured deep engagement with the local community. As part of the project, community trash cans were purchased, painted by the students, and placed in the town plaza. The students hoped to reduce the amount of trash dumped in the town, much of which ends up contaminating the Pacific Ocean and nearby rivers. Abriendo Mentes was able to partner with Hotel Bahia del Sol, a local hotel. Victoria Bonila, the general manager, says, “As a local business, we are delighted to work together with Abriendo Mentes to protect the environment and keep our community and local beaches pristine for all to enjoy.”
Abriendo Mentes is optimistic about the future. The bountiful natural resources nearby make the relevance of environmental science clear to the students. They plan to continue to partner with Bahia del Sol through monthly beach and town clean-ups. They can reuse the curriculum and manual developed for the unit for years to come.
Continuous impact/Community engagement:
The project is eminently sustainable. There are two water quality kits for the only two schools in the county. The schools plan to use them over the next five years, sharing as needed.