One of the things we do is lead high school students to Costa Rica for a homebuilding or Service Scholars trip. The itinerary might include a day at Liceo Ambientalista, the rural high school where the Leaf Cutter Project was born. The American high school students would be given a tour of the rainforest (on a cool nature trail right behind the high school) and their tour guides are the Costa Rican high school students. Not only does this allow them to preach what they practice (rainforest biology and conservation), but they can also work on their tour guide and English skills. Pretty sweet right? Plus the cafeteria lunch they all eat afterward is seriously delicious.
That was the first version of LCP. It's time for an upgrade.
These Costa Rican students are learning more about their local rainforest and learning English, but they want to do more. Daniel Granados runs our Costa Rica programs and he has started a "pay it forward" campaign for them. Read below to see what four of these Leaf Cutters are doing with their new resources, encouragement, knowledge, confidence, and love for their community:
She walked around her neighborhood and started looking for people who need help. She eventually found a single mother with 5 kids living in someone else's house. The homeowner is trying to sell the house, and if they do, this family of 6 won't have a place to live. Lourdes made a raffle and she used the money to buy them enough groceries to last t least a week.
She visited her old elementary school and found a big problem - garbage was everywhere. The kids were not getting a good education about how to recycle and why it is so important to protect the environment. She became their teacher for 5 days and taught the kids about recycling, the environment, and healthy living. She even started an after school club where the kids go a few times every month to pick up trash around the school and in their community.
Last month, a man in his community was in a bad motorcycle accident and will need to stay in bed for a few months. He owns a few cows and no one else in his family can take care of them. Kevin heard about this so he started going to the man's property every morning before school and even after school to take care of cows - milking them and cleaning the barn.
She went to a local hospital and helped take care of the elderly people staying there. She spent a few days serving them food,talking with them, and helping with whatever they needed.