Waterfalls, rainforests, and tropical birds.
Written by Shaun Swartz
The picture of Costa Rica that most people see is a crafted, curated vision of a tropical paradise. But beneath this veil lives thousands of Costa Ricans – “Ticos” as they’re referred to in-country – who struggle under crippling unemployment rates and life below the poverty line. Reaching their zenith in 2019, unemployment rates jumped to a startling 12%, forcing thousands of families into poverty. In many cases, the community of La Carpio becomes the only option for keeping a roof overhead.
In an effort to maximize the humanitarian efforts of our students during their Costa Rica volunteer programs, GoBeyond began working with the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation in 2005. Under the guidance of Gail Nystrom, the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation works to improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable populations in Costa Rica. In operation for over 30 years, the foundation now manages more than 50 projects throughout the country, with a focus on education, community development, health care, and support services for women, at-risk youth and indigenous groups.
In looking forward, GoBeyond is proud to partner with Gail and the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation as we work together during our volunteer trips to create a brighter future for all of Costa Rica.