Volunteers

Green Dreamers

Italian, 37, passionate about my Pit bulls, keen on nature and travel, I am always learning and trying to get the most of each experience. My name is Maria and I´ve been volunteering with Casa Pampa for 3 weeks with the project “Santa Teresa Community Garden”.

I left my job as Project Manager to start my personal project: find an alternative way of living, closer to nature with less needs and in a more sustainable way. I was looking for a project in the environment field, and in particular with permaculture. I wanted to contribute to protect the environment, learn how to recycle in a smaller scale as individual, share my thoughts and ideas with people who had the same concerns as me.  

At Casa Pampa I found exactly what I was looking for: open-minded people, passionate about their job and eager to share their knowledge. I had the chance to meet other volunteers, make new friends and learn from their experiences too. Each one of us is here for a reason and sometimes you discover you are here for the same reason.

We work at the horticulture site, the so-called “Santa Teresa Community Garden”. The aim is to create a vegetable garden at disposal of the community, where people can learn to grow vegetables in a sustainable way, by using compost and just nature, without pesticides and in a simpler, more natural way.

This site works also as support of the recycling process. We receive organic waste from restaurants and we use it for making the compost. We also do beach cleaning; we separate what we collect and we give it to recycling centers.

I learn something new every day: how to seed, transplant, how to make the compost at home, what can be recycled and be used for new purposes. Creativity is our guide and everyone is free to express her/himself. I also love our brainstorming time. We just sit together and we chat at the shadow of the garden. We try to figure out how we can improve things and do a better job for the community and it's a very powerful moment, where you feel like one team of superheroes ☺

I am very proud of the results we achieved, even if the path is still long and there is a lot to do. But we don't give up, we are dreamers and warriors and we already work to achieve the next step for a better greener future!



Grace’s experience volunteering in Costa Rica with Casa Pampa

My experience during my the trip to Costa Rica has surpassed my expectations. I decided to come on this trip because I saw it as an enjoyable experience, but I am leaving with greater intentions to better the environment around me. As our trip here is coming to an end, I am leaving with a changed mindset about the world and the effects of our careless decisions regarding plastic pollution. At the beginning of our service, I was not too fond of picking up the plastic on the beach, but now I look forward to doing the same thing back in the United States. I have learned a multitude of ways to solve this problem locally and nationally. There are simple solutions such as building compost piles, recycling plastics, and repurposing trash instead of throwing it away. As an upcoming college freshman, I am challenging myself and my generation to put these easy solutions into effect from wherever you are reading this.

Grace Laws

Cabo Blanco Beach Clean up

Hello,

 My name is Hayley and I am a jewellery designer from Brighton in England. 

The jewellery I design is ethically produced in England made by hand from Fairtrade, Fairmined and recycled precious metals and traceable diamonds and gemstones. For me it is crucial to understand how something is made, by who and where, and the impact it has had on the environment and the people involved at each step in the process.

I came to Costa Rica to undertake my yoga teacher training in Montezuma and spend some time travelling the Pacific coast of Costa Rica afterwards.

My first stop after Montezuma was Santa Teresa where I stayed in Casa Pampas surf cottage. During my stay I found out about the Casa Pampa beach clean in Cabo Blanco and asked if I could help, and am so glad that I did.

We walked through the exquisit Cabo Blanco nature reserve until we reached the isolated beach which had been chosen for this clean. The idyllic beach is one of the most beautiful I have seen, with untrodden white sand spilling out from the dense jungle into the wild ocean. At a first glance the beach looks clean, then on closer inspection you start to find all sorts of plastic washed up on shore with the tide and tangled in the mangroves.

I am so pleased that I was able to offer my hands in helping collect some of the rubbish, to make the beaches which I am here to enjoy a little cleaner.

I grew up by the sea In England and feel most at home when I am by the water. My experience with Casa Pampa has inspired me to organise an beach clean at my local beach in England when I get home and I will continue to share my experience with other travellers as I continue in Costa Rica.

Volunteer Experience: Rodrigo from Brazil

CasaPampa-Volunteer-Rodrigo.jpg

Hi, my name is Rodrigo and I am from Brazil!

I am 25 years old and have been working with IT and Web Developing for around 6 years now, I have experience on game and web development.

The programming world is already challenging by itself and has so much to offer, but I reached a moment in my life that i needed something more, something for myself. I had a lot of ideas about travelling but nothing was like water clear in my mind, it’s pretty hard to take a decision like that when you were a first time traveler like me. After some research in the web and some friends advice I applied to a few places and got an answer from Casa Pampa.

I got a pretty fast response in the social media, and from there the care and attention just increased, it was really amazing the time it was put for answering my questions. Each time we talked I just felt more secure of the decision and to take the next step which was to finally travel.

Being a part of the Project has been pretty cool, I have worked with kids in the school and saw what they do by themselves to help the community which was really amazing, learned a bunch about permaculture and I still feel that it I can learn so much more, and for me to be able to bring my web development and projects experience to use in Casa Pampa has been a great opportunity and seeing it grow had a huge impact on a lot of things i was used to before sharing this much time with people involved on it.

After almost 5 months working with the project and experiencing the permaculture lifestyle, I can say that I have changed a lot of things about myself, each person that I worked with or either met in this city had a different the way I see certain things, but overall I had the time of my life and the positive energy I received from Casa Pampa made everything turn out as smooth and relaxing as it could be.

Volunteers Interview - Casa Pampa / Santa Teresa July/2017

Montezuma Waterfalls day off !

 

 

Ecobrick Challenge Santa Teresa Costa Rica

One of our volunteers tells her experience with the eco-brick:

‘Before my visit to Santa Teresa, I had never heard of an eco-brick; however, it was only a matter of time until I was surrounded by discussions and sights of eco-bricks on the beach. An eco-brick is a large plastic bottle filled with small pieces of non-recycable trash, such as chip bags and cigarette butts. These bricks help build things for the community. For example, eco-bricks are being used to build new classrooms in surrounding towns near Santa Teresa.’

‘It is really nice to see so many people share the same passion of keeping the beaches clean while giving back to the community. I learned a lot about eco-bricks. My friends and I had an active roll in the creation and distribution of eco-bricks at beach entrances. I was surprised to see how quickly the eco-bricks filled with trash. It was really nice to see how other people in the community, locals and tourists, participate in the project. People help by filling designated eco-bricks located on the beach or by filling their own bottle and dropping it off at the specific drop-off locations.’

‘After the completion of my first eco-brick, I was shocked by the amount of trash on the beach. Having the task of looking for and collecting trash made me really pay attention to how much litter there was. Most of this litter washes in from the ocean, which makes me think about how much trash there must be in the ocean. It is really sad to see how poorly we treat the environment and endanger wildlife.’

‘The eco-brick project of Santa Teresa provides the opportunity to care for the environment and help protect the beaches. It helped me to see that with a little bit of help from each person, we can remove a lot of trash from the ocean and beaches. This is beneficial not only for the environment, but also for people visiting the beaches. I especially like how the eco-bricks are created completly by man-power, no machines are needed for recycling these items. Unlike many other recycling processes that use fuel, eco-bricks only benefit the environment, they have no negative side affects.  I think the eco-brick project of Santa Teresa provides hope for environmental recovery and I feel lucky to have been a participant. It feels good to do my part to protect the environment.’