Making a difference in Costa Rica

Making a difference in Costa Rica

Olivia Griffin, Staff Reporter

In an area of privilege, one student is looking to help the less fortunate. Annie Tadvick’s senior project, iEducate CR, has been organizing student volunteers at our school with one common goal: help the children of Costa Rica.

With the iEducate CR (International Educators Donating Unifying Contributors And The Enduring Costa Ricans) community service project, Tadvick plans to support students at the Santa Maria School in Nosara, Costa Rica, by organizing a mission trip to Costa Rica, where students from the school will volunteer at the “Escuelita” (“little school”) summer camp program.

“I have always wanted to do a mission trip, but, unfortunately, my church only does mission trips for adults,” Tadvick said. “I’ve always wanted that life and perspective changing experience. To be very honest, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with my life. I was hoping that by doing something for others, I would get closer to God and that may give me a little more direction.”

Tadvick is working under the guidance of Dina Gundelfinger, who has previously organized projects for the town of Nosara.

“When I heard about Dina Gundelfinger and the work she’s done for the elementary school, Santa Maria, I immediately emailed her my story ideas,” Tadvick said. “This was back in January of my junior year. I wanted to get started as soon as possible so that I wouldn’t be too stressed out my senior year. Mrs. G [Dina Gundelfinger] agreed to mentor me on my project. So, I began planning. I thought what Mrs. G had done was amazing and I have always wanted to do something like she did.”

Students from the school will join Tadvick and Gundelfinger to volunteer at the Escuelita day camp for the children of Nosara.

“The service trip is January 15-22 in Nosara, Costa Rica, where we will help run the camp, Escuelita,” Tadvick said. “The main reason for this camp is to give the children one good meal during the vacation months away from school while their parents are away at work. The mornings are reserved for side projects. If we raise enough money, we will be building a walkway for the school, and possibly a playground.”

Students will also have an opportunity to spend time having fun while on the trip.

“Saturday will be our ‘reward’ day for doing all of the volunteer work,” Tadvick said. “We will go to the beach, zipline, and really just do whatever Costa Rica has to offer.”

Tadvick is working closely with the Friends of Nosara Foundation, a U.S. based non-profit organization whose mission is to support the residents, children, and local rainforest of Nosara by organizing charitable events and projects.

“We thank you for taking time out of your day to reach out to our children, whom attend schools with bare concrete floors, open windows, and a few books,” Sarah Antonson, a representative of the Friends of Nosara Organization, said. “To children who can sometimes only rely on the meal that the school provides at lunchtime, this is a great program. Thank you all for giving a voice to the children in our small pueblo of Nosara, Costa Rica.”


For more information on the iEducate CR project, see the iEducate CR page on Facebook, or email Dina Gundelfinger at [email protected]