Last month eight of our SmithCorp employees travelled to Costa Rica to embark on a charity project. Funded by the SmithCorp Charitable Trust the aim was to build a primary school in a village 30 minutes from Nicoya, after it was ruined by an earthquake 6 years ago. Partnering with Projects Aboard to facilitate the project, we helped to improve the education and lives of the people still affected by this disaster.
The school is situated in a very rural part of Costa Rica right next to the Barra Honda National Park. Houses are few and far between and built by the families who occupy them. The area is very poor and with out the help of SmithCorp Charitable Trust this project would not have been completed for another 6 years.
The children were currently in a temporary classroom with torn plastic sheets as walls, which let in the heavy rain onto the desks.
On the first day we visited the site we would be based at for the next 2 weeks. The children were currently in a temporary classroom made from a corrugated roof and a concrete floor, with torn plastic sheets as walls, which let in the heavy rain onto the desks. The building of the new school had begun with the help of the locals who had put up the frame of the building and the concrete walls. However, it was still very much an empty shell. We knew we had our work cut out!
Most of our days were spent digging or cement mixing (or both) which I can safely say is a skill we feel we have all mastered .The sun was scorching in the day followed by thunderstorms in the afternoon. We created moats to direct the vast amount of rain so it wouldn’t flood our hard days work. Once the roof was on and the floor had set it was time to buff, plaster and paint the walls. The days were long, tiring and very hot but everyone worked their socks off! All of this work was guided by a local builder who became our legend, Jose, and a member of Projects Abroad, Oscar.
The days were long, tiring and very hot but everyone worked their socks off!
Mid completion the locals held a celebration day for the new school. All of the students, the parents, and the community came to the site and cooked us food in show of thanks for the work we were doing for them. The community were so grateful and we could tell it was making a big impact on them. Donations were given to the school; football kits, trainers, books, teddy bears, sweets, pencils and paper. We spent the day interacting with the children by playing football and playground games. The principal of the school also gave a speech, which was filled with gratitude and love for the charity they had been given.
The community were so grateful and we could tell it was making a big impact on them.
The money raised and donated went in to the building of the primary school, along with new toilets and a playground.
The team is currently creating a video to show at the Charity Ball in November, which details the full construction of the school.