Our mission

Our mission is to design, promote and execute projects and programs that include the Costa Rican population in sustainable development in rural and urban communities. We aim at improving the quality of life of these communities, involving young people and thereby forming young leaders, increasing their skills and abilities.

In 1988, a group of college and high school students recognized the need to conduct environmental education in Costa Rica, to enhance the safeguard of protected areas (private or public), and to assist in community development. This group of students felt that they could accomplish these objectives more easily in an organisation than as mere individuals. Hence, they founded the Asociación de Voluntariado, Investigación y Desarrollo Ambiental VIDA (Association of Volunteers, Investigation and Environmental Development) in 1988 (www.vida.org).

Since then, VIDA has steadily worked to bring these objectives forward. We have more than 20 years experience in conservation issues (Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge where we work for sea turtles, cetaceans and community forest reserve management), environmental education (projects are related to the great green macaw, migratory birds, house-waste management and recycling), community development (creation of forest reserves, building of water pipelines, bridges, schools, community halls) and exchange programs for teachers and young people.

Vida’s Mission

  • Provide the Costa Rican population – by means of courses, exchanges programs, volunteer activities, workshops and seminaries – with information, reflection, and feedback on local, national and global issues and encourage thereby active participation of the society.
  • Enhance habitat and wild life preservation efforts so that present and future generations have the opportunity to grow in harmony with nature.
  • Create an opportunity for exchange and cooperative work for people from different contexts, with diverse resources and interests in order to create mutual understanding and common action.

Benefits for our participants

Volunteering makes important contributions. It brings benefits to both society at large and the individual volunteer who can grow personally, thereby:

  • increasing his/her organization capacity, skills and self-esteem;
  • developing a personal opinion about local, national and global environmental problems and being encouraged to search for concrete and direct solutions to such problems in his/her daily life;
  • channelling scattered voluntary work towards a voluntary service program that benefits the environment in rural and urban communities and offers a stimulating educative experience to the participants;
  • creating a mechanism, which connects young people within the organization and with different companies and institutions.

Profile of the institution

VIDA is a non-governmental and non-profit organization, working in three specific areas: environmental education, conservation and voluntary work. We undertake formal and non-formal education programs in order to cover the necessities of the population.

VIDA promotes activities, programs and projects to raise the population’s awareness about the importance of the ecosystem and how to handle and use natural resources rationally. We aim at improving the quality of life of the concerned population, working for and enhancing sustainable development.

VIDA develops educational activities, programs and projects that harness the human development through sustainable growth. We especially take into consideration the environmental and socioeconomic dynamics of Costa Rica. In agreement with its philosophy, VIDA seeks to involve the different sectors of the civil society, specially the youth, in decision-making. In this manner, the different actors become multiplying agents, spreading what they learn to other sectors that have less access to formal or non-formal education. VIDA hence forms active agents for sustainable regional development.

Our structure

General assembly – it is the highest instance of the Association

Board of directors:

President: Adolfo Rojas Breedy ado.breedy@.gmail.com
Vice-president: Frank Garita Alpízar cetus@vida.org
Secretary: Luis Diego Calderón Masís luisdiegocalderon@yahoo.com
Treasurer: Leonardo Morales Morales morales@vida.org
Fiscal: Victor Hernandez Cedeño hernandez@vida.org
Carlos Trejos Jiménez trejos@vida.org
Executive Director: Leonardo Morales morales@vida.org
Staff: Carlos Zeledón zeledon@vida.org
Staff: Carolina Somarribas somarribas@vida.org
Coordinator Cetacean Program: Frank Garita Alpízar cetus@vida.org
Knowledge Management Specialist: Andres Morales amorales@vida.org