The Simple Beauty Of Frog’s Heaven

Our first Learn to Travel team visited a small family owned project, The Simple Beauty of Frog’s Heaven, located in the foothills of the Caribbean slopes of Costa Rica. It is found in a small community named Sarapiqui about an hour and a half away from the capital, San José, owned by a local family which for a long time relied on agriculture as their main income.

green frog costa rica

Where it all came from

One of the members of this family is José, who hosted and guided us during our visit to their project. His father was a heart of palm farmer for a long time. He had his ups and downs because of changing weather. Some years the prices for the product fluctuated so much that there was barely any profit after a long year of hard work.

José involved himself in tourism in the area after finishing high school. He became a local tour guide for foreigners that visited Sarapiqui. After a few years he went to a year long course by the Costa Rica Tourism Institute and got his accreditation as an official national tour guide. This has become a profession that he has being practicing for more than ten years. He does tours of all kind with many companies all over the country.

How Frog’s heaven came to be

José suddenly got interested in learning about nature and biodiversity. He realised that even his backyard was quite diverse. There were many birds visiting his garden during the day. Sloths came from the trees and during the night the songs of many species of frogs were all around their house. That’s when he asked for his father’s permission to take control over a small area of the farm which his father was planning to clear of vegetation. His father agreed and they started working together on adapting the garden to attract as much local wildlife as they could.

Frogs in Costa Rica

At the beginning they started planting trees and bushes to attract birds. There were mainly hummingbirds, butterflies and a few different types of mammals. Later on they started to recreate ponds around their house hoping that frogs could find a suitable place to mate and reproduce. The area grew in diversity and the amount of frogs in their property greatly increased.

Since then this family has being supporting its agricultural activities together with tourism. They receive groups from different companies and tourists that just see their sign. Tourists get curious and stop for a quick visit to enjoy nature and take a break from driving from San Jose to the Caribbean coast.

Frog’s heaven is going strong

The project has being open now for the past six years and Jose’s family is going strong. They get more and more visitors every year. They improve their garden with toilets for their guests and give a complementary coffee and fruit for visitors.

Stories like this is what makes us believe in the importance of education. When people realise the full potential of what they have and how to exploit it in a sustainable way. This gives hope for a more green and clean future for Central American countries.

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BTP period – 3 months

Returning to school with heads and hands full of new knowledge and energy for Bringing it to the Public. Meeting with the team, showing, telling, exchanging experiences and making it common knowledge.

Producing articles, pamphlets, videos, presentations, exhibitions, speeches for debate forums, books and more. Studying further the curriculum in Fighting with The Poor, bringing the truth to the public. 

Going to different schools around Europe to spread the new knowledge in various creative ways – speeches, newspaper articles, lectures at universities and colleges, debates and other public events, exhibitions – leading to a better understanding and inspiring to take an action.

Passing the final exams in Fighting with The Poor. Using the last months together to conclude our future perspectives and possible ways of improving The Poor’s quality in life with humble ways of sharing knowledge.

Volunteer period – 6 months

The Project Work in Africa or India in cooperation with Humana People to People. In this period, you can work at:

  • Teacher training colleges
  • Educating teachers for rural areas
  • Vocational schools for young people
  • Schools for street children.Preschools
  • Sanitation and hygiene in rural areas
  • Tree planting campaigns
  • Raising funds for social projects by forming partnerships and selling second hand clothes and shoes
  • Stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS (following the program TCE/Total Control of the Epidemic)

Arriving at the project in Africa or India, having left behind a courageous journey where fundamental human capabilities have been turned around, refreshed and energised by knowing that things such as travelling can be done in a totally different way than the mainstream tourist travelling.

Ready for doing the work needed at the project, bringing plans and materials from the previous periods. Getting to know the people at the project, the vision and idea of the project and the many concrete tasks to be carried out.

Carrying out the tasks as defined within the necessities of the project and by the Project Leadership. Fighting shoulder to shoulder with The Poor: building preschools, starting Garden Farming, doing literacy campaigns, eradicating malaria, teaching about big issues of our time while working as a teacher at DNS, starting income-generating activities, working as a TCE Special Force in the fight against HIV/AIDS – as a few examples.

Studying and working with your Specialisation in Fighting with The Poor, finalising with a People’s Exam and a written thesis at the end of the period. Acquiring skills in information work: making interviews, taking notes and pictures, writing summaries and reports, recording videos.

Living together with the people at the project, being a good example of living a humble life while improving things with small means to make daily life better.

Travel period – 3 months

Living on the road, being on the move, finding means of transport and places to sleep, talking to people on the road, being curious to understand and know about the countries you are traveling through.

Making investigations, meeting people, visiting their workplaces, staying in their homes, understanding their problems, meeting their culture and values and sharing thoughts with them about the world and the future.

Telling people about your venture to a third world country, trying out bringing it to the public what you have so far experienced and learned. Putting up investigations on a higher level, asking tough questions to self and to the group, getting hold of more answers and putting up new questions.

Taking notes and pictures, writing reports and discussing the seen and the experienced.
Finding good ways of sticking together in the Trios and in the group as such during the travel period.

Study Period – 6 months

At this school, you will find that learning is not first and foremost about listening to the teacher.

The school’s Program consists of a range of intense and spirited activities, theoretical studies and experiences that constitute the sum of learning and life processes carried through by a group of people who for a considerable period of time share a Program with each other that demands cooperation and efforts, and which at the same time is sprinkled with elements that are inspiring and also quite out of the ordinary.

Thus, learning will also take place through communication, deliberations, through working out your plan for learning and sticking to it, and putting to use what you learned, the methods you used, the ideas you got from it and the results you harvested from the training.

You will train yourself in being adventurers and survivors, living and traveling under very humble conditions, not using much money and always finding a way out by ingenuity, being smart and sticking together with your teammates.