Teach a student to fish, and you’ll change her whole town.
Train students in sustainable fish farming, turning them into small-business owners and conservation leaders in vulnerable areas.
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Train young people in sustainable fish farming, providing jobs and hope for their families.
Costa Rica’s Southern Pacific is a region of unfulfilled potential, especially when it comes to sustainable food production. The potential of its extraordinary natural resources to support local communities has not been tapped; for example, conditions are ideal for sustainable fish farming, but local agriculture has focused on higher-impact crops and livestock instead. In part because of these missed opportunities, devastating poverty maintains a stranglehold on many communities, driving many young people in the area into informal labor in the rising drug trafficking industry, or mining or poaching in the region’s world-famous national parks.
The Costa Rica-U.S.A. Foundation for Cooperation is working to address this urgent problem through the project “Fish Farming as an Element of Education and Social Development,” providing training that will give students from seven Vocational High Schools and their families an alternative to illegal or environmentally harmful economic activities. What’s more, by showing students the importance of protecting water quality in order to support fish farming initiatives, the project will produce closely linked economic and environmental outcomes for the region.
This initiative has:
- Built a fish breeding laboratory, primary and secondary tanks, an underground canal and electrical energy supply for a fish farming instruction module at the project headquarters, the Guaycara Vocational High School.
- Developed the pedagogical material necessary for offering a ten-month fish farming certification training course to CTP students from around the region.
In addition, this initiative will provide school’s cafeterias with fish and fish products cultivated through the project, adding an important key to the value chain that the project seeks to generate and creating huge savings for the schools.
While only three CTPs were initially selected for the course – CTP Guaycara in Río Claro de Golfito, CTP de Corredores and CTP Puerto Jiménez – the Vocational Education Department (Educación Técnica) of the Ministry of Public Education has shown tremendous interest in the project and asked that four additional high schools be incorporated into the project. These four additional schools were the CTPs of Osa (in Palmar Norte), Sabalito, Meloni (San Vito de Coto Brus), and Pittier (Coto Valley). To fully serve students from all these schools, the project needs to broaden its range of partners and secure additional support.
Help us take this project to the next level and give thousands of students in these seven Vocational High Schools the opportunity to build a better future for themselves and their families.
Fish Tank, Training for Women, Training Materials