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Youth Activities

Our exciting new Costa Rican initiative is well underway!

IAT is in the process of creating an Eco-Community and Global Youth Training and Development Centre on 175 acres of farmland and rainforest in Soccoro, near the west coast of Costa Rica.

A core community of full time resident staff and volunteers will offer short term (six to ten months) residential programs to globally-recruited, high-potential, youth leaders from around the world. Skills and leadership training will be provided to young people between the ages of 16 and 26.

The program will focus on providing cross-cultural youth with opportunities to connect with the land, to gain self-awareness, a sense of purpose, and to acquire the values, confidence, leadership and practical life-skills that will enable them to play key roles in creating positive social, economic and environmental change in their respective communities. There will be a strong cultural, spiritual (not church-centered) awareness and connection.

The establishment of the Centre on farmland, will propagate the values of sustainable organic farming, forestry conservation and environmental restoration and preservation. Permaculture and Biodynamic farming techniques will be featured.


Youth will interact with each other, have opportunities to participate in local community initiatives and in the operations of the Centre. Training modules will be developed based on the needs and interests of the participating youths and local communities.

As a country renowned for its leadership in peace and environmental conservation, Costa Rica serves as an ideal location for the proposed program.



to take a VIRTUAL TOUR
of our Global Youth Training and Development Centre


A strong sustainability component will provide entrepreneurial training to youth while generating ongoing funds for program operation and expansion. Program participants will also have opportunities to become involved in IAT's Canadian and Philippines projects.

Participating youth will be encouraged to initiate eco-projects and other community initiatives in their own communities. Program successes and experience will be shared with other youth-driven projects via the Internet.

Program Objectives

Youth working together
  • To establish an Eco-village and Global Youth Training and Development Centre at Socorro, Costa Rica;
  • To offer short term cross-cultural experience (six to ten months) and residential environmental and leadership training to youth;
  • To initiate small social, economic, and environmental community projects in response to local requests as a way of introducing youth to community development;
  • To encourage youth to initiate or contribute to positive change in their countries of origin and to support youth in such efforts through a communications network maintained by the program;
  • To link the youth training in Costa Rica with youth training in Canada and the Philippines.

Program Structure

IAT Plans an Integrated Program built on nine linking areas:

  • Leadership -- Development of leadership and practical life skills.
  • Sustainable Entrepreneurship -- Helping to fund the program through initiatives such as eco-tourism and marketing farm produce.
  • Sustainable Agriculture -- Organic farming, fish ponds, seedling nurseries
  • Holistic Health -- Alternative and complementary health techniques, personal growth.
  • Community Outreach -- Working with Costa Rican communities, street youth, environmental concerns, as part of experiential training.
  • Indigenous Awareness -- Cultural exchange, knowledge of indigenous practices.
  • Program Management -- Project development and monitoring skills.
  • Communication -- Multi-media production, computer networking, development of print materials.
  • Spiritual and Practical Vision -- Future visioning and strategic planning.


Recent activities:

New youth training centre

Between January and March of 2009, a group of six Canadian volunteers, along with five local workers, began erecting a unique building designed and led by volunteer Ron Wilson of Saturna Island. The same volunteer group returned to Costa Rica for three months in early 2010 to continue work on this two-story 2,400 square foot structure.

This building will serve as the main facility for IATís Global Youth Development and Training Centre which will focus on equipping young people, from the Americas and other countries, with the confidence, competence, knowledge and life skills to take leadership roles in working to co-create a pollution-free world of peace and integrity with an abundant living standard for all. The group plans to complete the building in 2011.

In order to complete this facility, funds are needed to cover the following costs:

  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Exterior and interior and doors
  • Electrical wiring and fixtures
  • Interior partitions, cabinets & closets
  • Interior finishing and painting
  • Finish on floors
  • Landscaping
  • Driveway, sidewalks, other
  • Commercial kitchen appliances
  • Miscellaneous
$ 9,000

Anyone making a donation of $500 or more will be entitled to one weekís accommodation as a guest at IATís Eco-village and Youth Training Centre. Click here to make a donation to the building fund.

In addition to working on the Youth Centre, the volunteers were involved in:

Kate and her new garden
  • Erecting a small dam and laying over 1,500 meters of pipe to bring gravity-fed water to the building sites, as well as for irrigating present and future orchards and gardens.
  • Constructing three ponds to hold water on the land and to provide new habitat for fish, animals and birds.
  • Planting more than 300 forest seedlings, donated by Costa Ricaís electrical company, ICE.
  • Developing access roads.
  • Creating an organic garden which served to nourish the group who worked 10 to 11 hours a day.
  • Building a prototype Earthbag hut.

Program Sustainability:


Low impact structures such as Earthbag and representative indigenous dwellings from around the globe will be constructed over a period of several years. Construction will be directed by representative elders and youth from various countries, and be part of the practical, experiential training of the participants.

Philippines Nipa Hut

These dwellings will be situated throughout the property and will be available to tourists or Costa Rican families seeking a unique experience and an opportunity to attune with nature. Visitors will be encouraged to take part in youth-organized activities and to share their knowledge as well as to learn from youth about ecology and environmental preservation.

Revenue generated from rent or lease of these indigenous dwellings will go towards supporting the overall program. The Centre will undertake other revenue generating activities such as eco-tours, cross-cultural experiences, trail rides, retreats and mini courses, as well as farm produce sales. Core staff and participants will design and implement other revenue producing ventures.

Trail rides

Promising graduates of the training will be encouraged to remain at the Centre as hosts and as members of the core staff for ongoing programs.

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