Pack for a Purpose

Pack for a Purpose

Apr 8, 2013| by administrator

Interested in making a difference while on your trip to Costa Rica? Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve has partnered with Pack for a Purpose to encourage travelers to carry with them five pounds of school or medical supplies that can benefit the communities they will travel to.

Pack for a Purpose is a non-profit organization that assists travelers who want to contribute to the local communities of the countries they visit. Visitors to Selva Verde can leave their supplies at the lodge and know that they will be delivered directly to a project with the Sarapiquí Conservation and Learning Center. Here is a list of the projects and supplies that are needed:

Project #1: SCLC After-School Program

This program serves 120 children between the ages of 6 and 12 years old.

General School Supplies:

  • Craft scissors
  • Notebooks
  • Pencil cases/bags

Wall Charts:

  • Science educational wall charts (in Spanish)
  • World maps (in Spanish)


  • Connect Four

Sports/Outdoor Activity

  • Frisbees

Project #2: English Classes

The SCLC offers English classes to local children, teenagers, and adults. It is a popular program that is run by international volunteers who commit to a 6 months minimum length of stay.

 Flash Cards:

  • Alphabet flash cards (in English)
  • Scrabble

Project #3 Public Library

The Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center started originally as a public library, a scarce commodity in rural Costa Rica. While the SCLC has evolved into a community center trying to link conservation efforts and community development through education and ecotourism,the library remains. The books, both in English and Spanish, can be checked out by community members as well as visitors. The library is also equipped with computers.

Text/Reading Books:

  • Age-appropriate story books (in Spanish)


  • Band-Aids

Project #4: Community Activities

The SCLC offers community-based rural tourism activities that promote cultural exchange and provide community members with an additional source of income. Through cooking and dance classes, chats with locals, visits to schools and farms, and community service projects, visitors learn about local culture through direct contact with the community itself.


  • Serving spoons


  • Hand cream
  • Plastic gloves
  • Washing powder

These are items that are easily found in local grocery stores and pharmacies. Five pounds in your suitcase equals 400 pencils or five deflated soccer balls with an inflation device or a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff and 500 Band-Aids.

Travelers interested in the Pack for a Purpose program can learn more about the program at