La Cruz is a fishing community of about 5,000 residents along the Northwestern coast of Costa Rica. While small business has been the source of income for many, tourism is now crucial to the survival of La Cruz. The building of several hotels and increased interest in kite surfing have made the learning of English essential to cater to tourists.
For two years, JumpStart La Cruz has worked with at-risk youth and made an incredible impact on their high school experience thus far. In 2015, we will be working with 4 schools: 2 "urban" schools, and two very rural schools with little exposure to English. One of the schools was closed for several months due to structural damages and the others have had infrequent access to English teachers. These young learners are at a pivotal crossroads between dropping out of school or seeing the benefits an education could bring to their future as successful working adults.
While La Cruz was the site of a former Peace Corps Volunteer, this JumpStart has been planned and organized by the community in its entirety. For the month of January, three volunteers from Partners of Oregon will travel to La Cruz to teach the camp!
Amidst a town that suffers with social problems such as drug use and teen pregnancy, La Cruz is a community that wants and needs opportunities like JumpStart Costa Rica for its youth. Parents, teachers, and community members are highly motivated to offer these young learners a chance to enjoy learning a language and give them a chance at a better life with a little outside support!
Below: JumpStart graduation 2014 with PCV Taylor