Ticos on Blades
In Costa Rica, young people have limited employment opportunities and are regularly faced with gang violence, temptation to drop out of school, and bullying. This project will provide young people in Siquirres with a skate park, allowing them a safe outlet to congregate and skate together. The park is being built in collaboration with the municipal government, and the young people have committed to keeping it clean and maintained. They have already started fundraising and have implemented recycling campaigns in collaboration with the local police. In addition to the improvements to the physical park space, the project includes workshops on leadership, civic responsibility, and volunteerism, and the youth will form a group in order to plan and do service work in their community.
The youth took complete ownership of the project by designing the park's blueprint, holding fundraisers, and soliciting donations from local businesses. As a result of their dedication and motivation, the youth raised enough money and identified a reliable construction team to design the new skate park. The youth meet everyday to skate and are responsible for helping to keep the area clean.
"With the addition of the skatepark, we are proving to the community that we are dedicated to providing for our youth, so long as they are involved in that process, and we care about their futures. Had we not pushed them to fundraise in their high schools, ask their parents for support, speak with the local authorities, they would not have developed those fundraising and advocacy skills which they can use for future endeavors as well." - Brenedeth, Project Leader
"You can see the impact right before your eyes. There are kids on roller blades, on skateboards, on scooters and bikes taking advantage of what we now have. Who knows where they would be right this moment if this park were not built." - Marcos, Project Participant
"In all honesty, there isnt much diversity in sport here in Siquirres, there are very few public places where one can go and compete seriously - outside of soccer, of course. It's very likely that more youth will begin to visit the park and try new things and therefore drift away from being in the streets, being susceptible to bad avenues." - Fabian, Project Participant