Monday, March 26, 2012

Environmental Leadership Alliance

Youth Environmental Leadership Alliance- Bahia Ballena
Luis Diego, Jackie, Luis Angel 

Arriving and ready to learn to:
promote environmental protection in the community,
execute a recycling program, swim with dolphins and surf!

Raquel and Daniella cooling off- 

Welcome! Bahia Ballena National Park, Costa Rica

Luis Diego enjoying the beach!

Designing a project to educate and motivate the community
to start a recycling system

Learning what type of leaders we are...

Los Tigres
Designing an environmentally friendly community
Ready to see some dolphins, turtles and whales!

Luis Angel catching his first wave!

Luis Angel and Luis Diego are developing a rural eco-tourism project
in San Cristóbal Norte- so I took them on a tour of
a local eco-hostel, Flutterby.

I'm going to miss this guy- Beto playing with his soon to be brother, Dobbie

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Numbers, books and coffee! (& NYC)

With one month left in San Cristóbal Norte, I am wrapping up projects, beginning to say goodbyes and enjoying my beautiful environment as much as I can-

Here are a few photos from the last couple of weeks which included picking coffee, a quick visit to NYC (beautiful weather, friends and an inspiring conference on empowering women in microfinance!), a women's personal finance course, more books for the library and an almost finished multi-use salon (the new home for the library and other community groups/projects).

Helping my counterpart, Don Ananias, with the final  coffee harvest of 2012

 Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women's World Banking
at the International Women's Day breakfast in NYC. 

Daisy in Central Park


Personal Finance Course: Sprouting the seed for reaching our financial goals!
These women's plans include: a store, a jewelry workshop,
a clothing manufacturing shop and a catering business (among others!)

Don Ananias and Vinyela (CED, Peace Corps) admiring
the multi-use salon that the CR-USA grant helped fund.

Karen and Sidey looking through boxes of a recent book donation.

The library, which will soon be moved to the new multi-use salon.
We are planning monthly  story telling, plays and movies along
with a big event before I leave to make sure all the
school children are making use of all these great books.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Community Bank Inauguration!

Founder of FINCA, Maria Marta Padilla, swearing in all the members

O Tyler, Nathalia (Treasurer), Melissa (Vocal), Sharlyn (Secretary), Nelson (Fiscal), Elieth (Vocal), Me

Last Sunday marked the inauguration of the community bank I have been forming in Cristo Rey, Costa Rica. After 22 steps, meetings and countless phone calls and text, the community bank is complete, legalized and operating!

We have 48 members, a stock capital of 815.000 colones (or $1,706.73) and access to 1,100,000 colones in credit.

The inauguration even got a mention in FINCA-Costa Rica's NEWS.

ALSO! I've been working with a veteran community bank in my town, SACRIN, to build a multi-use center for the community. The building will house the library that Blake (the previous Peace Corps volunteer) started, computers, study areas and local events. It's huge! We are just completing a beautiful ceramic floor, and before I leave on April 22 we are hoping to inaugurate the multi-use center so the community knows it is available to them.

This multi-use center was made possible with a $5,000 grant that I solicited through the organization CR-USA.

The materials

View of the multi-use center from my garden! 

The multi-use center with roof