With the purpose of promoting sustainable local development, this July nine and ten-year students of the La Uvita High School, will participate in a program that seeks to connect training, ecological awareness, environmental conservation, English and leadership with employment options especially in the local economy. The program SELAL (Environmental Leadershiwp and Language Program at Stanford University), is a collaboration between Stanford University and coastal communities. It is an intensive two-week program that is implemented in January and July. Activities are also held twice a month during the school year.
The days are full of events and learning. In the mornings we have English lessons that have conversational emphasis The topics contain useful tools for success. Every day community leaders give talks and workshops on themes such as the preservation of natural resources and ecotourism. Meanwhile they motivate participation in community processes and activities, while sharing their work and personal experiences.
The most attractive thing for students is when we go on tours to different places including businesses, Eco lodges and natural areas. Students have said, “Numerous doors have been opened to us. We have met many people who may be able to support us in the future. Through our experiences we have met people we would never imagined. We are a family.”During the program, communication and teamwork skills are developed, as well as abilities for project analysis and planning, labor market insertion and entrepreneurship. It is a training program that invites you to leave the comfort zone and explore possibilities for the growth and strengthening of self-confidence.
We need the help of the communities of Costa Ballena so that the program remains and is truly a program of the community. Thank you to the people and organizations that support it.
By Ericka Sibaja Arcia - Katherine Dennis
INFO: Ericka Sibaja, coordinadora local, - inogo.stanford.edu/selal - [email protected]