COMMUNITY COMMITMENT - HOW DO WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Intercultura Costa Rica uses approximately 3% of students’ tuition fees to fund community commitment initiatives, environmental projects, cultural outreach events and also to provide supplemental educational opportunities to local communities and staff members.
We operate on the principals of the United National Global Compact and Corporate Social Responsibility. We do not simply donate to charities, but rather get involved in meaningful ways to develop projects in literacy, arts, children’s education, women’s protective services, gender issues, animal rights, conservation and the environment.
Intercultura Costa Rica focuses on supporting local micro-business development, environmental sustainability and improves community-wide infrastructure and working conditions.
Our Spanish immersion programs are designed to facilitate students’ participation in and utilization of local services during their program. In addition, our volunteer programs provide a venue for foreign students to experience life-changing situations as they grow and learn while working in culture very different from their own. It also enables students to contribute in a meaningful way to the various sustainable development and educational programs we participate in, and to expand their own perspectives and horizons.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO VOLUNTEER?
Join Intercultura Costa Rica in this important experience and help in giving back to our community. Learn more about our volunteer opportunities at both campuses.
In addition to our community commitment and involvement, we have a few special initiatives:
INTERCULTURA GOES GREEN
In 2015 we started an exciting initiative at our Samara Beach Campus . Solar paneles were installed on our school roof in order to enable us to completely switch to this renewable energy source. The savings generated from the solar panel installation have been used to contribute to funding of community association development projects. Some of them are speed bumps on the main roads for child and adult safety, improving management of waste waters, rebuilding of roads, increased garbage and recycling collection, and funding of local education projects. In 2018 we began the switch to solar power in Heredia. We are proud to announce that Intercultura is 100% solar powered at both the Heredia and the Sámara campuses.
HOMESTAY FAMILY PROGRAM
Our homestay program is a non-profit branch of the school. In accordance with our philosophy of creating ethical economic programs we give back to the communities that host us. By keeping our margins very much smaller than the industry average we ensure fair treatment for our families. When participating in the homestay program you will directly help your host families with the upkeep of their houses and with supporting their family members. It is a particular important program for families with young children and many single mothers as it allows the parent to stay home with their children instead of having to leave them with care-givers full time.
COMMUNITY COMMITMENT IN TERMS OF FREE EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS
Providing life-changing educational opportunities to local families and at-risk communities.
Intercultura founded CREAR in 2005. The objective was to provide the children of Sámara with supplementary education in English, art, music, technology and sports. Intercultura provided infrastructure, staff, funding and free classes were offered at our campus. In an area where unemployment and reduced social and educational opportunities are common, the services were a huge benefit to the community. CREAR was able to develop into a self-sustaining local organization, with its own location, administrative staff, teachers and board of directors. It has grown to offer a tremendous number of vital programs and services to local community members of all ages. CREAR receives several international volunteer groups each year and won various awards and grants. Intercultura continues to support CREAR in any way possible, and we fully believe the programs it offers contribute to a tangible increase in opportunities, prospects and quality of life for many local people. Read more here.
Puertas Abiertas (open doors)
In 2013 we began the Puertas Abiertas free ESL program for single mothers from the low-income area of Guararí and other at-risk communities in Heredia. The classes are all run on a volunteer basis by ESL staff members, while Intercultura provides administrative staff, facilities and funding. Participants are recommended by social workers, and must qualify through a needs-based assessment. Each year more single mothers graduate from the program, putting their knowledge to good use in new employment opportunities that result in improved socio-economic standing and life circumstances for them and their children.
In 2016 Intercultura created a new scholarship program for teenage girls from a home for girls who have been rescued from situations of abuse, abandonment and sex-trafficking. We offer classes at the shelter and on campus in Heredia, receiving an average of 10 to 15 girls per semester in our ESL and Portuguese programs at no cost, where we also provide them educational and employment advising. In conjunction with local volunteers, we also participate offering extra-curricular workshops to the 35+ girls living at the shelter, in areas such as emotional development, self-empowerment and artistic expression. To read more about Hogar Siembra’s mission.
Additionally Intercultura offers local students approximately 50 need- and merit-based scholarships every year for English and Portuguese classes. We are pleased to be able to contribute to the advancement of Heredia’s community members.
We believe in nurturing our staff, and in giving them every opportunity to learn new skills. Since our inception, Intercultura has provided funding for professional development, technical and continued education programs to our employees. As well as free language training to employees and scholarships for their children. To that end, we also provide flexible schedules to enable employees to take full advantage of these opportunities, and offer our staff free participation in personal development activities such as yoga, zumba and dance.
- CREA Drug Rehabilitation Project for Young People, Heredia
- Oxford University Costa Rica Conservation Expedition
- Public schools in Torito, San Fernando, and Heredia
- Sámara Community Development Association
- Carrillo Wild Animal Refuge Centre
- Heredia Domestic Animal Shelter
- Heredia State Orphanage
- Sámara Sports Associations
- Heredia Homeless Groups
- Nicoya Environmental & Sustainable Farming Project
- Turtle Refuge Project
- Alajuela Clinic & Hospital
- Children's Hospital Teletón
- Heredia & Sámara Emergency & Medical Relief & Police Force
- Rahab Foundation: rehabilitation for victims of sexual commerce and exploitation