Talamanca Interactive Education Experiences is a Canadian based social enterprise that makes nature your classroom. We operate out of the beautiful Talamanca mountains in Costa Rica, partnering with local tourism entrepreneurs who are trying to make a living for themselves and their families through ecotourism. Through engaging student travelers on environmental, social and economic themes, we strive to not only strengthen the local economy but inspire tomorrow’s leaders to be environmentally and socially conscious consumers and citizens.
As a new social enterprise venture, we are seeking out support to help us raise start-up funds to spread the word.
We are two young Canadians, Allison and Heather, who live and work in Turrialba, an agricultural region that is not known for the booming eco-tourism like other parts of the country. We fell in love with the region for its mountains, beautiful rivers, friendly people and authentic Costa Rican lifestyle. But we saw the challenges the region was having too, environmentally, socially and economically. Families with incomes based solely on agriculture are struggling, and the most innovative are trying to turn to tourism as a solution. At the same time, eco-tourism companies are struggling due to a lack of promotion of the region and limited marketing experience, and as result are at risk of failing.
What is Talamanca Experiences all about?
We saw that bringing the right kind of tourism to the area could make a meaningful and positive impact to the region. At the same time, providing some basic business coaching could help entrepreneurs stand on their own two feet.
Talamanca was built as a means to build the capacities of rural entrepreneurs, create a network amongst local partners, to share information and advice and promote their offerings to Canadian high schools and universities.
So far, we have brought together a group of extremely passionate, innovative and environmentally conscious rural entrepreneurs, who got engaged in tourism to help diversify their incomes while living in harmony with nature. Together, over a series of workshops, we have designed Sustainability Strategy Plans and helped strengthen each business through advice and development with the network’s synergies in mind.
Why students? Students are the government employees, business people, lawyers, foresters and consumers of tomorrow. We believe that education is key to building a more informed, conscious and sustainable global society, so our trips are dedicated to providing students at the high school and university levels with practical experiences based on the same curriculum they are learning in school. We put put textbook theory into field practice. We believe that this type of interactive learning, combined with a new culture and exciting confidence-building experiences inspires students to change the way they see the world and their place in it.
How to Contribute:
- Purchase a beautiful artisanal product from our campaign for yourself or to give as a gift. Included will be a story about the product and its maker.
- Share our page with your family, friends, and colleagues.
Your generous contribution to the campaign will pay a fair price to the local Costa Rica producers and artisans, with the remaining going towards marketing to reach out more students and schools and design more educational experiences.
Finally, each group that comes on a trip with us helps rais funds to put towards specific community sustainability projects identified with our partners, local Universities, local government and NGO groups. For example, sewage and used water treatment, green energy projects, capacity building for entrepreneurs, English skills and resume building.