This flagship project in Costa Rica aims to improve the economic prospects of a remote indigenous village by making infrastructure improvements that will support their vision of sharing their culture with travellers. The project will offer an exclusive and remote volunteer experience in a way that very, very few have ever done. Tsinikicha borders the Barbilla National Park which recently allowed the use of some of its trails for hikers. There is great potential to appeal to visiting hikers and the community has plans to offer a comprehensive traditional experience that would bring valuable new sources of income.
Six villages in the territory are involved in this initiative. A new ceremonial hut has been built. Near here is the site for a hikers’ camp and small soda (restaurant). DWC volunteers will assist in developing camping facilities for hiking visitors of the El Camino Trail as well as facilities for sustainable small business that supports tourist experiences. This will increase village commerce and offer improvements for residents.
When DWC started in 2005, it existed to send volunteers to work on development projects in the third world. We have since broadened the scope of to do a lot of development projects that don’t require volunteers, but still, our volunteer program is integral to who we are as a charity. This last year and a half during COVID has marked an existential shift for us and we are hungry to get back to sending volunteer teams. This exploratory trip will be crucial as we ramp up for a couple reasons:
o A lot has changed since we sent our last team. International travel now looks totally different. We want to experience and understand that before we send a team.
o DWC has taken the breathing space COVID allowed us to update a lot of our backend processes, such as a new website, new CRM system and registration process. We need to test this before we start recruiting and sending volunteer teams. This exploratory trip will serve that purpose.
o Lastly, because Costa Rica is further ahead than many of our other countries and we have a really strong partner there, we are going to focus a lot of our volunteer program over the next year on Costa Rica, so we really need to map out our strategy in the country.
Before we leave Canada, we will have tested DWC’s registration and trip orientation processes. We will understand how to do a pre-covid screening test. In Costa Rica, we will travel as much of the trail network as possible, visit various communities, identify projects, meet beneficiaries and try to capture their stories.
A typical DWC trip usually involves building something. This trip is going to be a bit different. Through hiking, rafting and driving, we are going to explore some of the most remote and rugged regions of the country and see parts of the Costa Rica that few tourists ever get to see. Please see the itinerary below for an idea of what each day will look like. This will most likely change on the fly.
Nov 22 : Arrival in San Jose and overnight in the hotel of choice.
Nov 23: Early start to Quepos- End or Beginning of El Camino de Costa Rica. Drive through first 23 km to Villa Nueva and Esquipulas stay at Esquipulas Rainforest Lodge and visit Esquipulas Bird Paradise (meeting with entrepreneurs from Esquipulas and Villa Nueva). Night tour of reptiles.
Nov 24: Early start the drive to Naranjillo and Camp [original DWC project], lunch at Rancho Turistico Buena Vista Tarrazu and continue driving the next three stages of El Camino to Palo Verde Rainforest. Stay at Jose Masis’s brother’s new cabins in the forest ( discuss needs of forest reserve trail maintenance)
Nov 25: early start hike through forest to Navarro de Muñeco ( cars rerouted via Cartago) meet hikers in Navarro de Muñevo ( quick inspection) and drive via Tucurrique to Pejibaye. Late Lunch with community and drive to Pacayitas to stay either at Rita’s in Pacayitas or continue after coffee there to Montaña del Pacuare.
Nov 26: Raft to Tsiobata Andarivel and hike up to Tsiobata community ( lunch and meeting with the community) and back. Raft to Ave Sol Andarivel stay Ave Sol and discuss needs of indigenous trail maintenance. Cars drive to Andarivel near Ave Sol.
Nov 27: Cross Andarivel and drive around drop things at Hotel Pacuare and drive up to Tsinikisha. Visit Las Brisas de Pacuarito and contribute to the work being done at church. Visit Barbilla Rainforest lodge and have dinner there. Return late to Hotel Pacuare.
Nov 28: Drive up again and meet with the indigenous community of Tsinikisha. Visit the site of construction. Drive down and meet the Cimarrones community At Salon Comunal before returning to Hotel Pacuare.
Nov 29: Early start to visit Barra de Pacuare and DWC’s clinic project. Lunch at Aventuras del Caribe and return for the long drive back to San Jose. Hotel of choice in San Jose.
Nov 30: Relax on a beach or fly back to Canada – TBD
Do I need construction experience and how much will we work?
You don’t need any special skills or training. We hire local skilled labourers who will give training onsite for construction and team leaders. You will work at your own pace five days a week from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Your evenings and weekends are free for cultural activities and relaxing.
What are meals and accommodations like?
The team will stay at a local hotel that is comfortable and clean. The food is prepared hygienically and dishes range from local to standard Western fare.
How much does it cost?
The cost of each trip varies for each country, and the approximate cost of this trip is displayed at the top of the page. All costs will be finalized closer to the departure date. This cost is the in-country cost, including accommodations, meals, in-country transport, program costs and a donation to our Host Partner in their respective country. It does not include airfare. The entire program and flight costs are 100% tax deductible when paid through DWC.
Why should I volunteer?
Volunteer trips take you to places you otherwise might never go, to do things you otherwise might never do and to meet people you might never otherwise meet. You’ll make a difference in others’ lives and they will make a difference in yours. Simply put, there is joy and self-discovery that comes with giving to others. And you’ll have fun doing it, too.
Carbon offsets are used to compensate for the greenhouse gasses that we create through certain activities, such as flying. For every tonne of carbon released into the atmosphere, an ‘offset’ is a carefully designed project that absorbs or stores the equivalent CO2 emissions. You can choose to offset your own flight, your whole family’s, or do this as a gift for a friend.Offset Your Carbon Footprint