Total donated in Costa Rica: $216,865
Partner since: 2000
"Visiting the school was heartwarming and revelatory, showing us the opportunities Costa Rica's schools provide and the struggles the students face."
San Francisco School
Since Grand Circle Foundation began partnering with the San Francisco School in 2003, our donations have provided the school with new classrooms (including an ESL classroom), additional restrooms, a computer room, new lighting, and air-conditioning. A portion of our funding has also enabled us to purchase the land for a microfarm, build storage facilities, and plant crops. Under the outstanding leadership of the school's principal, Eulin Chacon, we have already made a tremendous difference. The microfarm not only feeds 184 students breakfast, lunch, and sometimes even dinner, but it also impacts the entire community with its surplus food supply and lifelong lessons in sustainable agriculture. "It's a dream come true," Eulin tells us. "It's the best legacy for future generations."
This lasting legacy is the goal of Grand Circle Foundation's Invest in a Village initiative, of which the San Francisco School's microfarm is a part. When the project is complete, the microfarm will be fully equipped to sustain the community for generations to come—and in Costa Rica, this means more than just providing sustenance. It also means that children will learn how to succeed in a society that relies heavily on agriculture.
The village of Sonafluca was once home to a large hacienda, where all of the residents worked to earn their living—and when the owner of the hacienda passed away, he left the land to the community. Today, every family in Sonafluca owns a small plot to farm, and while they are too poor to support themselves individually, they all work together in a communal fashion to support the village as a whole. The atmosphere in the community is akin to an extended family, and the people are extremely proud of what they've built with what little they have.
Grand Circle Foundation began our partnership with the Sonafluca School, which serves 209 students, in 2010. Since then, Foundation support has helped replace classroom doors, re-shingle the school's roof, and purchase folkloric costumes for the students. We have also built a protective fence, a community center, additional restrooms, and a covered walkway to shield children from the sun and rain. In the future, we plan to complete several more projects together, including building a gymnasium for physical education classes and sporting events, constructing a presentation hall, and purchasing new library books.
In December of 2010, two generous travelers—including traveler and "gutsy leader" Roy Parsons—made donations of $8,000, resulting in $16,000 for the Sonafluca School.
School in session:
Year-round, with vacation period from mid-December through the end of February
Gifts to bring if you're visiting:
- Coloring books
- Board games
- Notebooks and sheet paper