August 20, 2012 by Girolama Bui
So, I’ve blogged a lot about my adventures and excursions in Costa Rica, but I haven’t really gone in depth with the service and social entrepreneurship part that took up the rest of the summer when I wasn’t partaking in an adventure of some sort! Starting on June 15, I arrived in Costa Rica, and made my way to Playa Tamarindo welcomed by an amazing, and fancy, candle lit sunset dinner ON. THE. BEACH. Here’s a picture of the mentioned sunset with the group!
Then followed two weeks worth of a crash course in Social Entrepreneurship and Business. After that, I started the internship portion of my fellowship program with CEPIA. Myself, along with the group of 12 other Sullivan fellows, were split into different internship groups where there were two groups of developing micro-businesses, an eco-tourism venture focused group, and my group, the community center project! My project was interesting because even though there would be no immediate results, the impact of building this community center (to be used by over 10 nearby villages) would be overwhelmingly great. Here’s a picture I took of the donated land and a pro-bono architect’s mock up design for what the center is designed to look like!
CEPIA (pro-Culture, Education and Psychology for Infants and Adolescents) is a non-profit organization based in Huacas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. CEPIA provides cultural development, educational and work opportunities, physical and mental health resources, and social cohesion and participation to youth and their families. All of the previous resources are provided free of charge to the children and families accepted into the CEPIA programs. Families would go through thorough inspections and interviews to be considered candidates for CEPIA’s help. Due to the size of CEPIA, currently operating in a 3-bedroom home, CEPIA is only able to help a finite amount of families and individuals with certain programs. After addressing the need for expansion, the community center project was born and has had a large amount of community support. The Village of Huacas even donated a 1,000 m² plot of land for the project, one of two plots of land left that the village completely owned. My group took on the responsibility of structuring a detailed social business plan and giving CEPIA the tools they would need, such as interest packets and marketing media to attract corporate sponsors for the project. I even made a video to help promote this project. I used footage taken throughout the 2 week day-camp hosted by CEPIA for local children for which all of the fellows helped coordinate and volunteer! I’d really appreciate it if you took the time to check it out! Thanks!
CEPIA Community Center Project (vimeo)