- Cross-cultural understanding / Peace
- Environmental Conservation
- Art, Music and Culture
- Health & Wellness
In Hojancha, our normal schedule of activities in the community is:
- English / Spanish Language Exchange: Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10am to 12pm and again from 7pm to 9pm. We pair up our staff and volunteers with folks from town who are trying to learn English. We work generally 30-60 minutes with the volunteer helping the community member with their English conversational skills. Then, in turn, the community member helps the volunteer with their Spanish for 30-60 minutes.
- Cinema night: Every other Wednesday night we host a movie in our town hall. We often have upwards near 60 young people. We choose a fun movie with an important theme and before the movie we chat a bit and color or do crafts relating to the theme. Themes usually revolve around the environment, conservation, wildlife or recycling. Volunteer activities are made up of setting up the town hall with tables and chairs, helping people to get situated, setting up the a/v equipment, going to the store to buy the food we sell, helping to sell the food, helping the kids to color or do their pre-movie arts & crafts activities (related to the theme of the evening), watching the movie with the kids and then helping to clean up afterward.
- Science Classes: Mondays from 1:00-1:40pm and Fridays from 9:20-10am. We are currently working with the 4th, 5th and 6th grades. The school has no science teacher, so we are helping them with this coursework and with related, fun activities to enforce their learning. It’s really a lot of fun!
- Botanical Garden: We are happy to say we have a special relationship with the Botanical Garden of Hojancha. It is a pretty amazing place that came out of the combined efforts of the City of Hojancha, CATIE University and the Ministry of the Environment. They have now invited Tropical Adventures & Casa Milagro Foundation to join them and have donated the space for our new office and videoconference center. At the botanical garden we plant and water trees and flowers, keep the trails clean and do trail maintenance, we fix things such a broken bridges, we help visitors get acquainted with the garden, sometimes need to paint, etc. It’s quite a lovely place to work!
- Youth activities: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons we work with kids in the town library on issues of conservation, wildlife, cooking, sports, etc. We most often work ahead of time with the volunteers to choose a particular subject for the days they will be with us. They usually come up with some pretty creative ideas of their own, buy some supplies to do crafts or whatever activity we come up with. For instance we had someone from France who made crepes for the kids at the end of the day. Many times we also have sports activities or games in the park.
- Music Program: Hojancha is filled with musical talent from people of all ages. Volunteers enjoy practicing, learning, teaching and performing with local musicians.
- Distance Learning Project: We are in the process of finalizing the details of our project connecting our local schools with schools around the world. For more information, see Virtual Neighbors: Social and Educational Networking Program.
If you are interested, we also have a fantastic local tour. This is a community-led tour. The charge is $75 per person, with the money going to the families instead of a big agency. The tour doesn’t really even have a name yet, but we’re temporarily calling it “Campesino Tour.” Here are the details. Everyone who has gone has totally fallen in love with it!
“I absolutely loved the time I spent in Hojancha, while volunteering and during my free time. Volunteering with kids was such a special and rewarding experience, and the Tropical Adventures staff were very friendly and helped me become familiar with the town. I would recommend this trip to anyone!”
- Christina, recent Hojancha volunteer
Volunteers can expect to:
- Meet many local people and get immersed in the daily life of rural Costa Rica
- Have the opportunity to live with a host family
- Participate and assist us with all the daily activities with our community program
- Teach or present some of their own skills and talents, where appropriate
- Explore the local area and its wealth of beautiful destinations and activities
This is an incredible family experience! Many families find that this project in particular has been beneficial in not only exposing their children to the lives of those from other cultures, but also find their children have improved socialization skills, as well as their Spanish language skills. A large number of our volunteers and families return to Costa Rica to visit their new “family” and to help out again.
There is absolutely no charge to volunteers who would like to join us. The fee of $195 for one week and $370 for two weeks covers no more than the cost of lodging with a host family and a criminal background check.
Because we do not charge anything to participate, volunteers are encouraged to make a donation of $200 or more to the Casa Milagro Foundation. Our overhead expenses are extremely low. But in order for us to continue the work we are doing here in Hojancha, we rely on donations from our kind and generous supporters.
To view pictures from our Hojancha Community Program, please click below:
Hojancha is a small town located in the Province of Guanacaste. In pre-Columbian times the territory that now is the canton (county) of Hojancha was part of one of the provinces of indigenous people called Chorotegas, located on the Nicoya peninsula, whose domain extended all the way to Lake Nicaragua. It consisted of several towns and manors. Electricity wasn’t installed until 1972.
The origin of the name Hojancha comes from a tree located in the region, which the Indians called broad-leaved, because of the very special characteristics and the size of their leaves. The county of Hojancha is located along the route of the Tempisque River and has several areas of tourist interest. Local production focuses on forestry, coffee and cattle. Almost all the inhabitants were born in this region, though the last 20 years has seen an increase in population by people originally from the Central Valley areas of San Ramon, Palmares and Grecia.
Because Hojancha is a small town, it’s easy to start meeting people and to make new friends. Our volunteers are welcome in town and are taken care of very well by our host families and community members.
Those who have traveled to other parts of Costa Rica are often impressed by the fact the town is so sparkling clean, well-organized and well maintained. Residents there take a lot of pride in their town — and it shows. It’s still one of the safest towns in the country: there are yet to be found many bars on the windows and many residents still leave their doors unlocked day and night.
You’ll no doubt meet new friends for life and really enjoy getting to know what life is really like in a typical Costa Rican community.
Guanacaste is normally known to be hot. But because the altitude of Hojancha is 1,300 feet above sea level, the weather is quite marvelous year-round. Expect to find temperatures averaging 79 degrees F.
View Tropical Adventures Foundation Map – CR in a larger map
|Complete Project Information|
|Type||Community Development & Children, Conservation & Wildlife, Education|
|Length||Minimum: 1 day
|Start||Any day of the year|
|Cost||$195 for one week, $370 for two weeks.|
|Also available||Spanish Lessons with our Spanish professor for $15 per hour.|
|Schedule||Volunteering: A minimum of 4 hours per day.|
|Accommodations||Local Host Family or Hotel|
|Materials or Preparation Needed||We will work together ahead of your arrival to come up with a plan on what workshops we will be doing and what materials would be great to bring with you.|
|Hojancha Canton (County)
Creation date: November 02, 1971.
Extension: 261.42 km2 (26,142 hectares)
Limits: north and west: Canton Nicoya; south and east: Canton of Nandayure
No. of towns: 28
Population density: 23.2 habitantes/km2
Urban population: 18%
Rural population: 82%
Literacy Rate: 9.32%
Economic activity: agricultural and livestock
District: 4 Districts:
01 Hojancha 02 Monte Romo Carrillo Puerto 03 04 Huacas
Women 3,161 Foreign population: 109
Tours and activities in the area include a coffee plantation tour, Tempisque River tour, ATV tours, zip-line (canopy) tour and horseback riding.