Puerto Jimenez Community Center

If you build it, they will come . . . Our small town of Puerto Jiménez is full of wonderful children who need a place to learn and grow!

Located at the tip of Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, we are rich in biodiversity, natural beauty and 'pura vida' simplicity. This special place attracts visitors from around the world who pass through on their way to ecolodges, but almost none of their tourist dollars reach the collective, local community.

Right now, parents face an educational crisis because their only option is a public school mired in dysfunction and stuck in the dark ages of rote, 'teacher-trickle-down' methods. 

Our local families, working subsistence-level jobs have dreams for their children as we all do. When these parents were children, they didn’t have electricity or paved roads, much less computers or books. Now they find themselves in a multilingual, technological world of ecotourism, and they are at a loss to give their children the empowerment needed to keep their small-town values and culture alive.

We propose to build a community center that will bridge that gap! We already have a great start.
Thanks to local benefactors and our own prerogative, we have renovated our town's small library. The building we plan to renovate is adjacent to the library.

Over the past year, in partnership with ASCONA, a local non-profit, Eric and I have worked to clean and organize our small local library. We have been holding free classes for children filled with songs, stories and arts activities. Though hard work, we have seen our library go from unused by the community (many had no idea there was a library) to having a committed group of families who take advantage of the simple offerings.

Now is the time to take the next step and push ahead to build on what we have achieved with little or no money.  The children deserve more, and we want to expand our programs into the arts and sciences, with cultural activities, including music and theater.

We're asking for $5000. Here's where your money will go:   $3000 will be used to knock down existing walls to create one larger classroom, replace the roof, re-install electrical wiring, and paint.   $1500 to buy a microscope, a collection of bilingual science books, overhead projector, ping-pong table, and rug. With the remaining funds we can offer field trips to our local butterfly garden, or pay musicians and theater groups to play for the community.

We will create a simple and beautiful space inviting children to explore, wonder, play, learn and simply have access to experiences that otherwise would not be available to them. There will be welcoming, interesting indoor and outdoor spaces for children of all ages, and at least one space designated for more formal classes that will include arts, music, the natural world, English as a second language, and space for local meetings.

There is nothing remotely like a community center here and it will bring immeasurable value and opportunity for the people!

$5,000 doesn’t sound like a lot. But, one advantage to where we live is that people are used to doing a lot with a little. The kids here need this. Please support them and support us in this endeavor. And then come down and visit, and see what good your donations have done!

rewiring here
and here
remnant of better days (and what can be again!)
one of the existing classrooms
exterior of building to be renovated

children outside library
street view
english class
interior of library
  • John & Jackie Egglishaw 
    • $250 
    • 14 d
  • Jackie and John Egglishaw 
    • $400 
    • 1 mo
  • John & Jackie Egglishaw 
    • $250 
    • 2 mos
  • Jackie and John Egglishaw 
    • $250 
    • 3 mos
  • John & Jackie Egglishaw 
    • $250 
    • 4 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Chelsea Silber 
Eric Gelsinger 
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