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Obtaining a Grant to Volunteer in Costa Rica
(This blog entry was contributed by Kelly Wall, a 5th and 6th grade teacher who was able to obtain funding to pay for her volunteer experience with Tropical Adventures. She was kind enough to share with us how she went about it and to give us some ideas of resources for students and educators to do the same. Thanks Kelly!)
A classroom has always been a sacred place to encourage a love of traveling. As a humanities teacher, it’s been my prerogative to instill a sense of wonder about the world and I make it a goal to encourage my students to develop a desire to explore and discover it; seizing any opportunity take a risk, provide a service, and above all work hard to make that opportunity become their reality. In my classroom we often ponder how big and diverse the earth truly is. We often discuss and contemplate what our roles are as global citizens, even if it ends in a heated debate about what it means to be a responsible global citizen.
These are important questions for students, teachers and all to consider. This is after all a huge part of what the 21st century is all about. With the rise of technology, global connections are easier to cultivate any ever before. Within moments, we can skype, chat, email, listen, share and record our thoughts and ideas around the world. This is the kind world that children will grow up in, and for this reason, it’s important that we encourage them to take risks, to become responsible global citizens and above all to take an active role. It’s also important that we model this for them too, and this is where my adventure begins…
I was very fortunate to come across such an accommodating team of staff members at Tropical Adventures. I was taken back with how quickly my needs and many questions were answered. As any traveler knows, the early stages of committing to a trip are the most trying. Tropical Adventures provided all the services necessary to create my dream volunteer trip. They encouraged me to step outside of the box, and plan something that would meet my needs and fulfill me personally and professionally, even if that meant drawing up budget spreadsheets, itineraries and multiple email exchanges; this service was invaluable for me. So, here I am, ready to embark on a new adventure and travel to one of the most lush and biologically diverse areas on the planet.
Costa Rica was appealing for obvious reasons, but I was also drawn to the volunteer service opportunities. For one month, I’ll be dividing my time between two volunteer projects including the Ostional Sea Turtle Project and Hojancha Art and Music Project. I was fortunate to also to secure grant funding through my employer and it was quite a relief to know that these opportunities do exist for those in need. While it can be challenging to secure funding for volunteer service work and travel, it is possible and many individuals and organizations are willing to support motivated advocates. It’s my hope that you can become one too!
Kelly Wall (5th and 6th grade teacher)
I. Resources for Travel Grants and Scholarships:
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