Costa Rica, San Isidro de El General

Pura Vida Skateboarding

The situation

Costa Rica is developing - in regional comparison - well above average. The economy of the Central American country is relatively stable. Yet the country faces the challenge to deal with inequalities in the distribution of the wealth acquired.

The place for our project, the provincial capital of San Isidro de El General is located in the region Brunca, which is one of the poorest regions of Costa Rica. The structural transformation from an agrarian economic structure to modern types of employment led to an extreme rise in unemployment.

Along with the economic problems social problems arose. Drug abuse has become an increasing problem. Reports of domestic violence and crime increased as well as the rate of school dropouts.

Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to these problems. Hopelessness and lack of meaningful leisure activities are fueling the risk that children and young people fall into negative structures. Therefore it is essential to provide the adolescents with a leisure activity that promotes their development and shows them ways out of the seemingly hopeless situation in a playful manner. Because children and adolescents are mostly affected by these circumstances. Lack of worthwhile leisure activities makes living on the streets seem more attractive – and increases the risk of children and youths entering the cycle of drug abuse and crime.

The initiative "Pura Vida Skateboarding" founded by Christian Petzold, the Costa Rica organisation “Vida Nueva” and skate-aid have decided together to build a sports facility for skateboarding to offer a safe and appropriate leisure activity for kids and young people and to accompany them on their way to becoming self-determined and responsible human beings.

The project