The Alianza Nacional Rios y Cuencas de Costa Rica (ANRCCR) is committed to protecting Costa Rica's waterways and creating a united, sustainable effort across levels of government to respect and protect Costa Rica's rivers and streams. ANRCCR recognizes that the nation's wellbeing depends on the goodwill of all Costa Ricans to maintain healthy rivers and streams and development decisions made on a daily basis. Never before has the need to preserve Costa Rica's bounty of flora and fauna, its rich and fertile land, pure water and clear air, been made so evident. ANRCCR works alongside Indigenous communities in the region to ensure the protection of Costa Rica’s rivers and streams.

While sharing with its neighbors the experiences of colonial exploitation and commodity-export dependency, Costa Rica has managed to rise above. Instead of recurring cycles of dictatorship and poverty, Costa Rica boasts an enduring democracy and the highest standards of living in Central America. Despite Costa Rica's leading global role historically in the promotion of human rights, indigenous communities, particularly in the Talamanca region, have been involved in conflicts over land claims. ANRCCR is working closely with the Bribri Cabecar Indigenous Network (RIBCA), an organization with the mandate to empower and strengthen institutional participation of the Bribri and Cabecar peoples. This partnership will ensure that the intern’s work will be carried out with the guidance and participation of Indigenous groups in the region who are underrepresented in other institutions. ANCRCCR also works with the Association of Indigenous Women of Talamanca - Asociación de Mujeres Indígenas de Talamanca (ACOMUITA), whose mandate is to increase the recognition of the economic, political, cultural and social roles of female cacao workers in the region. The association is made up of 75 women from 11 communities, who, in addition to producing artisanal cacao and selling it across the country, aims to reaffirm the cultural and historical value of cacao and preserve Indigenous Bribri culture.

The Bribri are Costa Rica’s largest Indigenous community and are one of the few groups in the country who have maintained their language. As many young people are increasingly interested in discovering the outside world, there is a general concern amongst community members about conserving local culture. For this reason, ANRCCR is seeking interns who are community orientated with experience in community engagement and mobilization and recognize the importance and value of preserving culture and traditions. Through their work and attitudes, interns will help youth see the value of preserving their identity and culture; the importance of being proud of one’s origins; and the need to protect the rivers, land and environment.

Watch a video about the Costa Rica internship.

ANRCCR is looking for energizing individuals with strong work habits and communications skills, and a willingness to develop a sense of ownership over the project. 

Placement Characteristics:

In the area few people can communicate in English, so learning Spanish as an ongoing activity is very important for this assignment. Previous Spanish knowledge is considered a strong asset and willingness to improve is required during and throughout the placement.

ANRCCR is looking for energizing individuals with strong work habits and communications skills, and a willingness to develop a sense of ownership over the project.

Interns will be living together at the cacao cooperative in the town of Shiroles, province of Limón. The local people of Shiroles are the Bribri and Cabécar, whose economic livelihood is based upon traditional agricultural practices. The cooperative is known as “Mujeres de Chocolat” in Spanish and in the local language, it is called "Tsirushka" which is the Bribri word for chocolate.

The communities are close to many spots that are very popular amongst tourists, including Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, a coastal town known for surfing and beaches on the Caribbean Sea. The area is surrounded by waters, rivers and the Talamanca mountains. Situated near the Panama border, interns can easily visit the well-known Bocas De Toro province and will have ample opportunities to experience Costa Rica’s beautiful landscape on weekends and during Christmas break.

Monica CR

Kayla Costa Rica

Cohort 1 intern Monica Johnson takes a photo with her home in Shiroles, Costa Rica (top). Kayla Arey pictured with bananas! The community where interns live is surrounded by banana palms.