Thanks to our very generous donors such as yourself, the GVI Community Development Project in Quepos, Costa Rica, has been hard at work throughout July and August on a major construction initiative with our partners at the El Cocal school.
Funded by GVI Charitable Trust donations, GVI Construction volunteers and GVI Under18s volunteers, GVI Quepos vastly boosted the school’s small building repair budget and made possible this multi-part project.
The initial plans came from discussions between GVI and the school’s director regarding an old classroom that had fallen into disrepair and became a de facto storage unit for old building materials. In a school that already has very tight space and few resources, GVI staff wondered if remodeling that classroom might allow for new education initiatives at the school, such as a library and much-needed quiet space for homework help, as well as providing a much more stimulating environment for students who were using part of the abandoned classroom for extra English classes from GVI volunteers. Unfortunately, the school had no way to reclaim the classroom as they had no closed space to put the materials stored within. GVI offered to support the school to remedy this, and found a local foreman to design a plan for a new bodega (storage warehouse) within the school’s small space, and a remodel of the classroom, including replacing the entire cement floor, previously damaged in an earthquake. To this already exciting endeavor, the school suggested two further changes, making it a four-part plan: a cement floor to be poured in the covered sports area (the entire community of El Cocal is built on sand) a covered cement entranceway from the school gate to the classroom area. The sports area doubles as the assembly area for special event days, graduations, and the like, thus a cement floor would add great value to the space, as well as allow the children could play sports, such as basketball, that require a solid floor.
The school raised the money for the roof of the covered area in their annual kite festival, but did not have the funds needed for the floor. Thanks to GVI volunteers and GVI Charitable Trust donors, the school now has that floor. Putting in incredible amounts of hard work every day, GVI Under18 volunteers, GVI Construction volunteers and GVI Quepos community volunteers hauled bags of sand and rock for weeks, shoveled mountains of sand to level the floors, broke up cement floors & poured new ones and generally gave their all to make this project a reality. Thanks to them, we have already replaced the destroyed classroom floor, poured a brand new level floor in the sports area, and are well on our way to finishing the bodega. This new sports area will allow GVI volunteers to engage the children in sports, even in rainy or extremely hot conditions, adding this important extracurricular into to their daily schedule. The space will also now allow parents and students alike to enjoy a lovely, clean space for assemblies and events. GVI Arts volunteers will be working with students from the school regarding the design, décor and plans for the new classroom and library, to be finished before the end of this year. GVI volunteers will continue to give extra English support in the classroom, as well as offering reading assistance and homework help in the new library. Outside of class time, the library space will offer a much needed quiet place for one-on-one tutoring help for students and even adult English classes for parents and community members.
The covered entranceway, to keep the children dry on rainy days, is the final point in the four-part plan, and construction is scheduled to begin later this year.
Thank you so much for your support so far. I hope you are as excited as we are to see this project finally get underway. We look forward to bringing you the final product later this year.