Pip and Donald from Casitas Tenorio Bed and Breakfast have been volunteering in the region for over 15 years and have recently partnered up with the Pack for a Purpose program. Pip is an English teacher from Australia and Donald is an eco-tourism operator from Costa Rica. This is their story about being involved in the PfaP program.
It only took four days after we became Pack for a Purpose participants before we were contacted by Chris Tozier, a traveler who planned to visit our local area in rural northern Costa Rica. We live between two volcanoes, and many people come to the local area to explore the Rio Celeste, a bright blue river in the Volcano Tenorio National Park.
Chris Tozier is an award-winning author of a middle grade fantasy series “Olivia Brophie and the Peal of Tagelus.” He told us that he has just submitted another novel to be printed. Chris has participated in PfaP before and was highly impressed with the program. We were super excited to hear from him after only four days of being PfaP participants!
It turned out that Chris and his wife had a reservation at a different hotel in our local area. We always knew our guests would get involved and make a donation, but imagine a guest staying somewhere else making one! How wonderful! Chris found us on the PfaP website using the map—just goes to show how important the internet is for connecting people.
So after a few email exchanges, last week we facilitated the first donation to our local community as part of the Pack for a Purpose program! It was a pleasure to meet the famous author Chris Tozier and his wife Melissa, who is a professional photographer. They brought many supplies that are much needed in this area.
We live in the poorest region of Costa Rica, close to the Nicaraguan border. Schools here find it hard to have enough supplies for their students. There is a need for resources to teach English, too. We were incredibly impressed by Chris and Melissa’s generosity and initiative. They managed to bring 75 pounds of supplies to our community. That’s a whopping 34kg! AMAZING!
What’s even more impressive is that they took the initiative to drive through the rainforest on an unpaved road for an hour to hand-deliver the supplies to us at our Bed and Breakfast. They spent time with us and our children and were able to take a tour of the property. We were able to spot a sloth in the garden together. It was wonderful to get to know such dedicated and caring people who wanted to make a difference to a community during their vacation.
Unfortunately, they were unable to join us when we presented the supplies to the students and members of the school board. The supplies were distributed to a local primary school in an area of high unemployment and extensive poverty. For the first time this year, the students are receiving formal English language classes as part of the curriculum. The supplies that Chris and Melissa brought are incredible, and the teacher was so happy she cried with joy. It’s really important that our community members learn English. Many see it as being essential for their future—by being able to speak English, more opportunities and doors are open. This is especially true for our local area where tourism is a growing industry in the region. Through the generosity of Chris and Melissa’s donation, they are helping the future of our community. We and the school community are most grateful for their generosity. The director of the school made a speech about how important the support was to her students and community.
Chris and Melissa wanted to give back to the local community, and Pack for a Purpose made it easy for us to connect to make this happen. The supplies were also shared with Pip’s English language class. Pip teaches primary school children on a weekly basis. The class focuses on English conversation, and the flash cards and school supplies will be really useful.
We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Chris and Melissa for contacting us and bringing much needed supplies to rural northern Costa Rica. The Pack for a Purpose initiative is incredible. It’s meaningful and easy. We are proud to have become involved in this initiative. Thank you on behalf of our local community. We encourage all travelers to get involved in this wonderful initiative. Pura Vida from Costa Rica!