Punta Banco Preschool and Primary School

Punta Banco, Costa Rica

Punta Banco Preschool and Primary School


Project Details

Minimum Fundraising Commitment: $2,500

Location: Punta Banco, Costa Rica (3 miles from Pavones)

Project: Preschool & Primary School Construction

Community Partner: Rancho Burica 

Community and Project Description: 

Punta Banco is located at the southwestern-most point of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, not far from the border of Panama. Although it has yet to be overrun by tourists, the area has long been a secret surfers' paradise. The tiny village has a population of about 200 people and is just three miles from the famous surf destination of Pavones. Known for its friendly locals and laid-back lifestyle, Punta Banco is a great place to mingle with locals. They take pride in their community as well as the wildlife in it. Our community partners at Rancho Burica have been working hand-in-hand with the governing committee of Punta Banco for almost 20 years, and they have always supported community development initiatives.

Punta Banco's current school buidling is located in a very dangerous and illegal zone that is slowly being washed away. It is in an at-risk maritime zone, meaning that there is a strong probability that it will be destroyed due to continual coastal erosion. In the 1990s, the municipal government of Costa Rica established a maritime law that said that all land within 50 meters of the high tide mark is considered to be in the maritime zone. 

The local community was donated a piece of land about ten years ago that sits just 150 meters north of Rancho Burica (outside of the maritime zone.) The ideal location is a stone’s throw away from the surf camp and in a central location for the community. The entire community held a vote approving the land to be developed for this school build, but they have lacked the funds to move forward with the project. The Preschool and Primary School Construction project is a collaboration between Surf For Life, Rancho Burica and various leaders from two major governing bodies: "The Neighbor's Association" and the "Community Board of Directors." Surf For Life volunteers will build a school structure on the donated piece of land to provide a safe educational space for students that does not run the risk of being washed away by the ocean. The completed project will boast a two-classroom school and a teacher's office.

Room, Board & Activities: 

Volunteers will stay in dorm rooms (couples may upgrade to a private room) at Rancho Burica. Accommodations and three meals per day will be covered by your fundraising commitment. Rancho Burica is located right on the beach at the end of the road in Punta Banco and is a perfect jungle hideaway in Southern Costa Rica. Nestled between the rainforest and the Pacific, Rancho Burica offers hospitality, peace, quiet and beautiful natural surroundings. Whether it’s surfing, hiking, horseback riding or just soaking up the atmosphere, Rancho Burica is sure to make your stay a memorable one. Click here to learn morea about the activities offered at Rancho Burica. 

Travel to Punta Banco, Costa Rica: 

Volunteers need to first fly into San Jose (SJO) on the Saturday of the trip arrival and then take a commuter flight to Golfito (GLF). There are three flights from San José to Golfito daily for about US $120 (one-way). You can book from your own country or in Costa Rica (www.flysansa.com). The flight takes about an hour. A private shuttle will be arranged to and from Punta Banco from Golfito on the arriving Saturday and departing Saturday of the trip. 

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