Orotina is a semi-urban community of around 20,000 people, located less than an hour west of San José. Its strategic location halfway between the capital and Jacó, one of the most popular tourist beaches in Costa Rica, means that there is a wealth of employment opportunities within commuting distance of its residents. However, the vast majority of these entry-level positions in restaurants, hotels, shops, and the tourist industry require some level of English mastery.
As a larger town with many resources and organizations, Orotina has seven elementary schools that feed into the local public high school. Although each elementary has an English curriculum, some schools have more than 900 students per English teacher. This shortage of teachers, combined with erratic class schedules, often results in disjointed and ineffective learning opportunities for the students.
Outside of school Orotina lacks sufficient engaging activities for youth, and the high rates of school dropout and teenage pregnancy continue to rise each year. As a result, JumpStart 2015, the first of its kind in Orotina, has everyone from students, parents, teachers, and community members at large excited for this new opportunity! We cannot wait to get started working with students from three elementary schools and a 7th grade English teacher from the local high school.
As a YD Peace Corps volunteer leading the English camp, Montana will bring able to bring great new perspectives: