The Rich Coast Project, Costa Rica

Media School students
Fourteen students visited Costa Rica in 2016 with The Rich Coast Project, an initiative dedicated to preserving stories of different communities around the world. The trip was part of a service-learning initiative through The Media School. (Audrie Osterman | The Media School)

Your media skills can make a difference in the community of Puerto Viejo, Limón, Costa Rica.

Join The Media School on its second annual alternative break service-learning program to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica during spring break, March 11-18, 2018. Students will travel together to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, to partner with The Rich Coast Project, a nonprofit community storytelling project founded by Katie Beck, The Media School’s associate director of student services, experiential education.

Media School students will help the people of Puerto Viejo produce multimedia content for a participatory archive called the South Caribe Roots Archive. They will continue the development of the ongoing media project, “Stories from Caribe Sur,” which was initiated by Media School students in 2016 with a series of podcasts. This year, students will create a photo/voice campaign by reporting on the everyday stories of Puerto Viejo residents, combining audio storytelling with documentary photography to elevate the voices of this community and help document their stories for future generations.

From left: Tirza Morales Sanchez, Hailey Hernandez, Courtney Veneri, Greg Gottfried and Teaira Charlton
Tirza Morales Sanchez, who volunteered as a local facilitator for one student reporting team, shows seniors Hailey Hernandez, Courtney Veneri, Greg Gottfried and Teaira Charlton raw cacao in the forest. (Audrie Osterman | The Media School)

Puerto Viejo is a bilingual English and Spanish-speaking community, so Spanish language skills are not needed (but are helpful). This is a non-credit-bearing international service-learning opportunity; it is not a component of a Media School class. All Media School majors are eligible to apply.

The cost of the program is $1,850. This includes round-trip travel between IU and Puerto Viejo, lodging, all meals in Costa Rica, ground transportation, group activities and travel health insurance. It does not include the cost of meals on travel days, passport costs or other personal expenses.

If accepted, you will be required to participate in two pre-departure meetings and one post-trip meeting at IU and do some outside preparatory work.

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