Abriendo Mentes offers innovative education and community development programs to children and adults living in rural and underserved areas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Abriendo Mentes offers free after school English classes to local elementary school children. Our curriculum is based on the public school’s English program so that we can help our students perform better in school, while also improving their pronunciation, reading, and writing skills. The majority of our teachers and volunteers are native English speakers. Our teaching philosophy is to incorporate games, art, music and experiential learning into the classes as much as possible. Both of our sites feature computer labs with Internet connections so that our students can improve their technology skills. While some of our students are just learning to use a keyboard and mouse for the first time, others are learning programming or how to use a 3D printer with our talented IT teaching team. Our primary goal with this program is to teach basic computer skills and expose our students the many possibilities the IT field has to offer.
General School Supplies:
Book Bags, College-Ruled Paper, Colored Pencils, Crayons, Dry-Erase Markers, Erasers, Glue Sticks, Handheld Pencil Sharpeners, Markers, Pencils, Pencil Cases/Bags, Pens, and Rulers
(English and Spanish) Dictionaries and Age Appropriate Encyclopedias on CD
(English and Spanish) Alphabet, Math, and Word
(English and Spanish) Age-Appropriate Story Books, Biology, General Science, Health, Language/Grammar, and Math
Scrabble, Stuffed Animals/Soft Toys, and Puzzles
Tambourines, Triangles, and Xylophones
Frisbees, Jump Ropes, Team Uniforms/Kits for Soccer, and Whistles
New Bras, New or Gently Used Children’s Clothing and Shoes, and New Underwear
Bath Towels, Bed Linens, Light Blankets, Linen Sets, Mosquito Nets, and Pillows
Bowls, Pans, Plastic Serving Bowls, Plastic Serving Cups, Plastic Serving Plates, Pots, Serving Spoons, and Spatulas
Art Supplies for Artist Initiatives and Community Produced Projects:
Acrylic Brushes and Paints, Craft Glue, Craft Scissors, Sewing Needles, Sewing Scissors, Sewing Patterns, Tape Measures, Thread, Watercolor Brushes and Paints, and Zippers
Barbara’s rescue center receives abandoned, very sick, and poorly nourished animals. We do organize regular neutering clinics for dogs and cats. We try to help these strays find a loving forever home by finding nice families to adopt the animals.
Alcohol Gel, Gauze, Sanitary Napkins, and Tweezers
Antifungal Cream, Chloromex (Eye ointment), Ear Ointment, Iron Tablets, Vitamins, Wound Cream, and Wound Spray
Bathing Towels and Hand Towels
Babycat Milk Powder, Blankets, Collars, Leashes, Pet Bedding, and Rugs
Listed on this page are the specific needs requested by the community project(s) so you can choose exactly what to pack for a purpose and express your gratitude to the local community with the supplies you take them. If you prefer, you may reach out directly to them to inquire about items which may be available for purchase locally. Arranging visits to community projects is beyond the scope of our mission. If you wish to visit a project, contact the participant and they can let you know what is possible.
Candy and balloons are not on the needs list as they are harmful for the children and the environment for the following reasons:
• Few of the children benefiting from these projects have access to toothpaste, toothbrushes, or a dentist. The candy promotes cavities.
• The balloons once they become deflated are a choking hazard for local wildlife.
Instead of taking candy or balloons, use that space for additional requested supplies, as they are priceless.