A Little Bit Goes a Long Way
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A Little Bit Goes a Long Way

Generous Traveler Barbara Adams Supports a Microfarm in Costa Rica

As a young woman growing up in New Jersey, Barbara Adams had always had a gnawing sense of wanderlust. In her adult years, she would travel up and down the east coast simply for the experience … fly to the Bahamas for the weekend … or drive across the country. Although she settled down to raise a family and establish a successful career as a speech pathologist and special education teacher, she always saved up for the day when she would finally realize her greatest dream: traveling the world.

Once her travels began in earnest, Barbara discovered OAT and Grand Circle Travel. Since her first trip with the company to China in 2003, the Granada Hills, CA resident has taken twelve trips, and there's no slowing her down.

Of all the countries she's traveled to, Costa Rica holds the most special place in her heart. Initially attracted to the country because of its recreational activities, she discovered something unexpected when she finally arrived there. "I did all these activities like ziplining and outrigging," she says. "But then I got to go to the San Francisco School and I saw their microfarm."

The San Francisco School lies in the Costa Rican village of San Francisco de Penas Blancas. Grand Circle Foundation partnered with the school in 2003, and the partnership has allowed it to expand from a traditional educational center into the first agricultural primary school in the country. And it all began with a microfarm.

Microfarming can be likened to community or home gardening, in that a small plot of land is used to grow food for not only the farmers' own benefit, but also to sell at markets. In 2006, Grand Circle Foundation saw an opportunity to benefit children, their parents, and the entire commu¬nity by creating a microfarm at the school. We purchased land adjacent to the school and launched our very first Invest in a Village project, inviting travelers to join us in donating toward clear fundraising goals. Today, not only does the microfarm deliver nutritious meals for the children and extra income for the community, it also provides young students with lessons in sustainable agriculture—a vital education for the people of this rural community.

Barbara reveals that she was emotionally moved when she saw the familial atmosphere surrounding the project. "I was very impressed because it was a traditional school, but it teaches children and their parents to become farmers. This gives them tools to survive," she says. "I just thought it was a fantastic project. When I got home, I looked up Grand Circle Foundation and decided to support it financially on a monthly basis—something I've been doing for five years."

So far, Barbara's contributions have been used to help with the continued development of the microfarm project—and more: they have also helped with the purchase of classroom desks and the building of fences, walkways, and handicap-accessible restrooms. And that's not all. In addition to the San Francisco School, Barbara donates to other international Grand Circle Foundation partners, including sites in India and Tanzania.

"One thing I like about your company more than any other is that you give back to communities and, really, the world," says Barbara. "That is the number-one reason why I'm loyal to Overseas Adventure Travel and Grand Circle Travel."

Featured in our Summer 2015 E-Newsletter.