In the rural town of Santa Cruz, children are predominantly supported by single mothers working long hours to provide basic needs for their family. As such, daycares are a centerpiece of a child’s life, providing nutrition, education, and developmental care. These centers, often small buildings with poor infrastructure, may support as many as 75 children under the age of 6, with few caretakers to attend to the children. These centers often lack the resources to provide important activities and crafts to stimulate the imagination, motor skills, and creativity of the youngest and most vulnerable children of Costa Rica. Volunteers provide the support, individual attention, and activities required to empower young children to meet their development goals and enter primary school with the skills needed to succeed.
Volunteer work takes place each weekday morning for 4-5 hours, and Cultural & Learning Activities are provided most afternoons. These activities provide unique insights into the local community and culture, and include language lessons, reflection sessions, excursions to local points of interest, guest speakers, cooking lessons, and dance classes, among others. Volunteers have free time available most evenings and all weekends to explore the local community and country.