The mission of La Asociación CREAR is to provide supplemental educational, recreational, and career opportunities for community members, primarily youth with limited resources, in the rural beach communities surrounding Playa Sámara in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, by offering a wide variety of innovative programs focusing on academic and artistic education, environmental consciousness, health, and socio-cultural development.
Our vision is a well-educated, socially conscious and enriched community with strong partnerships between families, schools, and community members.
The CREAR Association, founded in 2005, is a non-profit organization in the rural beach communities in and around Playa Sámara in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. CREAR offers a wide variety of services to the local members of the community, primarily children, all completely free of charge. We seek to provide a venue where children and young people can develop their artistic talents through creative art-education initiatives, while simultaneously learning life-long skills that will offer them a wider and more fulfilling range of employment opportunities in the future. We aim to enforce an environmental and social consciousness in our students so that they may take that awareness back to their homes and continue to educate future generations.
Although good primary and secondary schools do exist, both private and public, children often attend school for only 3 to 4 hours per day and are frequently left without adequate supervision, as many parents must work full time to maintain their families. Our program utilizes this free time by providing not only fun activities, but an opportunity for personal, social, academic, and career growth. La Asociación CREAR thus provides the children with new learning opportunities that not only enhance their own educational and personal growth, but that of the town's future.
- After-School Program
CREAR offers art, critical thinking classes, and many more wide-ranging topics to two local communities four days per week, enriching the lives of 200 students from Sámara and the surrounding areas, including El Torito, Matapalo, Cangrejal, and Cantarrana.
- Day Camp
CREAR offers a day camp during Costa Rica's summer and winter seasons. Each day, 30 to 50 children participate in fun and educational activities and excursions.
- In-School Assemblies and Community Presentations
We provide in-school assemblies and community presentations to hundreds of residents in Playa Sámara, El Torito, San Fernando, and Santo Domingo on critical environmental issues, such as energy and recycling.
- Teen Club
In 2013, CREAR began hosting a fun, laid back Teen Night on Thursdays from 6-8pm. The concept is to offer teens (ages 13 to 18) a safe and welcoming environment to hang out and be themselves. Due to the maturing of our students and their increased social commitments, the program has evolved into once a month Saturday activities. The goal is to integrate the teens into a healthy routine and eventually offer internship positions.
- Pre-teen Afternoons
Due to the success of the teen program CREAR began an additional program in February of 2014 for our pre-teens who fall between the ages of 12 and 15. This course is offered on Tuesday afternoons from 4:30 – 5:30 pm. CREAR has put together a program that serves this crucial and constantly developing group of children that focuses on independent and critical thinking. Furthermore, this group has shown the most enthusiasm and excitement about the CREAR program, with an average daily attendance of 20 kids! CREAR is so excited to offer them age appropriate activities such as art, cooking classes, yoga, dance, music, language, hikes, surfing, beach bonfires, and much more.
- Manos a la Obra "All hands on Deck"
Through a collaboration between La Asociacion CREAR, IMAS (Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social), and Intercultura, CREAR is the facilitating organization of the program, Manos a la Obra, in Playa Samara. This is a program that helps support local development. Its purpose is to employ local residents and accomplish community tasks. In September of 2014, 13 local individuals received part-time work through the program, and they maintain the Samara beach free and clear of any debris. Whether it is man made or nature made, they are working hard for the community. CREAR is proud to sponsor them!
- Girls Empowerment
CREAR is proud to announce the newest addition to our after-school programming: The "Las Divinas" Girls Empowerment course with the high school girls from El Torito. Based on experiential learning, CREAR aims to implement a course for 6th-10th grade girls from the El Torito community that primarily focuses on self-esteem. Due to CREAR's close involvement with these girls over the past 6 years, the program has the keen insight to see the areas in which these girls are vulnerable. It has come to light that our girls need education in regard to self-love, internet safety, exercise/nutrition, and should be encouraged to finish high school. CREAR's "Las Divinas" course will take inspiration from the group Let Girls Lead based in Guatemala (www.letgirlslead.org) utilizing curriculum that has been made accessible to the public. From a place of caring, friendship and non-judgement, the CREAR staff will attempt to inspire these girls and motivate them to finish high school and focus on a fulfilling career.
La Asociación CREAR gains a larger presence in the community every day. As we grow, our programs and services will continue to be offered to the community at no charge. A key objective is to increase funding and staff so that we may implement future projects and expand our existing programs.
Our goals for the future include:
- Continue to provide after free school program with classes in the arts, languages, technology and the environment
- Offer summer day camps with fun and educational activities and excursions around the country.
- Develop scholarship and internship programs for local high school students.
- Develop a community garden
- Establish own office/building/space and recreational center for CREAR
- Obtain U.S. Non-profit Status 501(c)(3)
- Expand outreach to more schools in the area surrounding Sámara
- Increase partnerships with other non-profits, National and International: Abriendo Mentes, CRUSA, Omprakash network and more
- Collaborate with National and International volunteer groups: Student Cultural Exchange, GS Learners, Travel for Teens, Putney Student Travel and more
- Implement large scale volunteer community improvement projects in surrounding communities
- Receive grants to help fund program expansion
- Obtain permanent transport in order to expand program outreach and increase opportunities for the local students in the surrounding community,
- Increase involvement with Costa Rican University TCU *Trabajo Comunitario Universitario, students (*mandatory community service projects)
- Develop and implement plans for a Cultural and Sports Complex, including skate park and other recreational activities in Samara.
If you would like to help us realize these goals, please click here.