As a Media and Journalism Intern with Frontier, I have the opportunity to design my own project and focus. At the beginning, I wanted to write about everything, but I learned that doing everything is neither attainable nor healthy. Working with the schools was definitely something I wanted to focus on, so I rode the Collectivo (a bumpy and expensive truck service) from Playa Piro to Puerto Jimenez to commence my unknown project.
As soon as I stepped foot in the school, I quickly noticed the colors green, blue and brown. From the two weeks I have been here, I believe those three colors are representations of Costa Rica. This country is known for its biodiversity, oceans, and agriculture. Even though the presence of these colors in the school may have been a coincidence, I believe they were chosen for a reason. These colors act as a constant reminder for the children of the natural wealth and beauty of their country.I was introduced to Leah the secretary who is very nice to the children. We spoke about the school for a while, but in realty it was only thirty minutes of dialogue because she kept leaving during our conversation. Although it was hard to stay focused, I managed to get some questions answered. I asked about the curriculum, the children, the country, and her goals for the future in regards to the school.
Initially, my focus was to see if tourism has any effects on the education system here, but the administrator said after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 tourism has not been the same. I felt as if there would not be much to write about on the topic of tourism in relation to the schools here, but I did want to incorporate it somehow in my project. After coming home to the staff house, I generated a list of possible topics of interest, and decided to do a little research on the history of Costa Rica.
Costa Rica’s education system is very good. The public schools are free, and the government provides the curriculums and pays for the teachers. However, many teachers and parents invest so much money in order to keep the schools running. Toilet paper, school supplies, books, and uniforms have to be paid by parents or teachers. The school I am working with is private, which means the parents have to pay for their children to attend school.
Leah, the secretary of the school, says that the school relies heavily on sponsors or donors in order to buy supplies, pay the teachers, and even have enough funds to finish an academic school year. Besides the fact that the school needs more funding, they do everything in their control to make the children happy and worry free, which is one of the many amazing things this school does for the children.
The children are learning how to teach themselves, and the teachers are mainly there to guide them along the way. This is what makes this school vital for the future of Costa Rica; it is truly focused on the children’s futures. As a media and journalism intern, I will create a documentary showcasing the importance of the school. Alongside this, I will be generating a number of articles that talk about important issues of education.
By Estrella Vargas - Intern
Find out more about the Costa Rica Teaching project.
Check out what volunteers in Costa Rica are up to right now!