At this time we are expanding work in four remote locations in the region of Telemunca Costa Rica. They include the regions of Puerto Viejo, Bri Bri, Hone Creek and Sixaola Costa Rica which is close to the Panama border.
While several good private foreign run schools have opened in the area for kinder-elementary age kids, a major problem facing the region is in the youth sector for kids in the 12-20 age range. There are three high schools currently operating in the Puerto Viejo region, two public and one private. According to educational experts who have been consulted in this area, there is ‘an academic gap’ between public high school and university entrance which often require private tutoring to bridge the gap. And while several reputable high schools, both public and private, exist in the provincial capital of Limon a little over a one-hour drive away, the distance and difficulty in commuting from the south Caribbean have proven a deterrent to most aspiring students. Additionally, the area is known for its nightlife and is popular with surfers, backpackers and young foreign visitors there to party, and this has created a difficult influence for local teenagers and young adults. With the lack of higher-minded alternatives many youths in the area fall into the local party scene, often as low-level drug sellers/users or hangers-on. Teen boys and young men are at particular risk, as they discover they can sell small amounts of marijuana or cocaine to the surfers and tourists at the nightclubs and have an “in” to what they see as a very hip scene and way to make a living without going to high school or college.