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Recreation options for youth in the Monteverde region

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Material Information

Title:
Recreation options for youth in the Monteverde region
Translated Title:
Opciones recreativas para la juventud de la region de Monteverde ( )
Physical Description:
Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Schmidt, Lauren
Publication Date:
Frequency:
normalized irregular

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Leisure activities--Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone
Recreation--Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone
Youth--Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone
Community Health 2002
Genre:
Books/Reports/Directories
Books/Reports/Directories

Notes

Summary:
A study on the recreation and activity opportunities for the youth in the MonteverdeZone.
Summary:
Un estudio sobre la actividad de recreación y oportunidades para la juventud en la zona de Monteverde.
Abstract:
In an open community meeting held Monday, July 1, 2002, members of the community in the Monteverde Zone (including Monteverde, Cerro Plano, Santa Elena, San Luis and Los Llanos), stressed that one of the major problems the community is facing is a lack of recreational activities for youth. They emphasized the fact that drugs and teenage pregnancies are an issue here in the Monteverde Zone, and it is their opinion that the lack of positive activities for youth has a direct correlation. The research team had been informed that lack of recreation and consequent alternative activities is a concern. To research the issue of lack of recreation, the research team used qualitative research methods to collect data. 25 structured interviews were conducted with area youth (ages 10-24) and adults (ages 25 and above), focusing on the towns of Cerro Plano and Santa Elena, but also including Monteverde and Los Llanos. Through the interviews information was compiled about what both youths and adults currently do in their free time for fun, and what they would like to have available for youth in the future. Informal conversations also took place addressing recreational activities for youth, as well as background research on a previous study conducted in 1996, addressing youth recreation, education and family life in the town of Monteverde. After compiling interviews, informal conversations and background information, it was necessary to analyze the findings. Lists and graphs with the most frequent responses of activities that both youths and adults do in their free time, what activities are now available for youth, what activities are most desired for youth in the future, where a new recreational area would best be physically located, if they would be willing to pay to use a recreational area, and ideas for new uses of the bullring in Cerro Plano, have been configured. The interviewees gave similar answers and suggestions, but also ranged in diversity, for the needs and wants of the community. After analysis and discussion of data, various recommendations for community action and further research are presented.
Abstract:
En una reunión abierta de la comunidad de la zona de Monteverde, (incluyendo a vecinos De Monteverde, Cerroplano, Santa Elena, San Luis y Los Llanos), realizada el 21 de julio del 2002, se expresó que uno de los mayores problemas que enfrentaban era la falta de actividades recreacionales para la juventud. Enfatizaron que las drogas y los embarazos de adolescentes son preocupaciones de esta zona, y ellos son de la opinión que esto esta co-relacionado con la falta de recreación. El equipo de investigación fue informado que la falta de recreación y las consecuentes actividades alternativas son una preocupación. Para investigar el tema de la falta de recreación, el equipo uso mótodos de investigación cualitativa para recoger los datos. Se condujeron 25 entrevistas de jóvenes (edades entre 10 y 24) y adultos {mayores a 25 años) de la zona, con énfasis en los centros de Cerroplano y Santa Elena, pero incluyendo también el centro de Monteverde y Los Llanos. A través de las entrevistas se recogió información sobre lo que en la actualidad hacen los jóvenes y los adultos en su tiempo libre para divertirse, y los que les gustaría tener disponible para los jóvenes en el futuro. Conversaciones informales también se realizaron centrándose en las actividades recreacionales de los jóvenes, tanto como una investigación histírica de un estudio previo hecho en el año 1996, sobre la recreación, la educación y el estilo de vida de la familia en Monteverde. Luego de recoger las entrevistas, las conversaciones informales y la información histírica, era necesario analizar los hallazgos. Se configuraron listas y gráficos con las respuestas més frecuentes de las actividades que tanto los jóvenes como los adultos hacen en su tiempo libre, cuales actividades estén disponibles para los jóvenes ahora, cuales serian las actividades deseadas para el futuro para los jóvenes, a donde sería el mejor lugar para ubicar un área recreacional, si estuviesen dispuesto a pagar por usar el área de recreo y nuevas ideas para el uso del Redondel de Toros en Cerroplano. Las entrevistas dieron respuestas y sugerencias similares, pero variaron en diversidad, para las necesidades y los deseos de la comunidad. Después del análisis y la discusión de los datos, son presentadas varias recomendaciones para que la comunidad las lleve a cabo, además de sugerencias para investigaciones adicionales.
Language:
EN

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
usfldc doi - M38-00014
usfldc handle - m38.14
System ID:
SFS0000208:00001


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Full Text

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Recreation Options for Youth in the Monteverde Region Lauren Schmidt Allison Hayes Sarah Adkins Nihal Hassan Globalization and Health Monteverde Institute June 23 to August 4, 2002

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Abstract In an open community meeting held Monday, July 1, 2002, members of the community in the Monteverde Zone (including Monteverde, Cerro Plano, Santa Elena, San Luis and Los Llanos), stressed that one of the major problems the community is facing is a lack of recreational activities for youth. They emphasize d the fact that drugs and teenage pregnancies are an issue here in the Monteverde Zone, and it is their opinion that the lack of positive activities for youth has a direct correlation. The research team had been informed that lack of recreation and conseq uent alternative activities is a concern. To research the issue of lack of recreation, the research team used qualitative research methods to collect data. 25 structured interviews were conducted with area youth (ages 10 24) and adults (ages 25 and above) focusing on the towns of Cerro Pl ano and Santa Elena, but also including Monteverde and Los Llanos. Through the interviews information was compiled about what both youths and adults currently do in their free time for fun, and what they would like to hav e available for youth in the future. Informal conversations also took place addressing recreational activities for youth, as well as background research on a previous study conducted in 1996, addressing youth recreation, education and family life in the to wn of Monteverde. After compiling interviews, informal conversations and background information, it was necessary to analyze the findings. Lists and graphs with the most frequent responses of activities that both youths and adults do in their free time, wh at activities are now available for youth, what activities are most desired for youth in the future, where a new recreational area would best be physically located, if they would be willing to pay to use a recreational area, and ideas for new uses of the b ullring in Cerro Pl ano, have been configured. The interviewees gave similar answers and suggestions, but also ranged in diversity, for the needs and wants of the community. After analysis and discussion of data, various recommendations for community action and further research are presented. Personal Biography of Research Team Students conducting this research project are part of the Globalization and Health Course at the Monteverde Institute in Monteverde, Costa Rica. The research team is composed of four members who have approached the topic of youth activity and recreation from varying backgrounds. Lauren Schmidt is an anthropology undergraduate student at the University of Florida. She is interested in making positive recreational options available for y oung people to combat the unhealthy, dangerous alternatives that are currently being used. Allison Hayes is currently working to earn a Masters Degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism with a specialization in sports, at the University of Florida. Allison i s interested in the often overlooked importance of recreation, specifically in a community dominated by tourism. Sarah Adkins is currently working to receive her Masters of Public Health in public health nutrition and dietetics at the University of Minneso ta. Sarah is interested in promoting activity to help combat the problems of obesity among youth. Nihal Hassan is currently working on her Masters Degree in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is interested in psychological anthropology, looking at both the physical and mental components of health. Historical and Social Context of the Research Question All animals perform mental and physical actions that are not directly related to survival; play is universal within humans an d the animal kingdom. Huizinga, a Dutch Anthropologist, believed that play did not serve some biological or psychological objective, but that its source and value was based on the experience of play. He stated that play is a safe place that must exist out of ordinary life where a player is comfortable to take chances, try on new roles, or attempt tasks that might usually be avoided due to difficulty; play is conduci ve to experimentation and learning. Play provides children with a comfortable space to learn and practice new skills, experiment with adult roles, and just be themselves. It is essential to child development. Huizinga considered play to be central for indi vidual psychology and for society as a whole. He said,

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"Civilization arises and unfolds in and as play." Huizinga credits play as the source for art, philosophy, poetry, knowledge, law, war, and most forms of culture (Roberts: 1995). Recent research sugges ts that the impulse to play is distinctly biological and related to neurological predispositions for levels of stimulation, similar to the mental activity which play produces. Humans suffer from physiological symptoms such as hallucination when they are de prived of stimulus and from anxiety and discomfort with stimulus overload. Play is the state of optimal stimulation, the middle region, where human experience lies on a stimulus continuum, 'boring sameness' at one end and 'anxiety producing chaos' at the o ther. People symbolically redefine what parts of the world are relevant to them when they are playing. (Roberts: 1995). Play can displace anger, anxiety and fear. (Roberts: 1995). Hobbies and extracurricular activities provide children with sola ce in adver sity, and promote the development of adjustment (stability) and intrapersonal support. The adjustment skills of a child are an important factor during adolescence when a child begins to select activity niches (McHale: 2001). Activities provide different op portunities for the development of social ties in children, and it is this social context not the actual activities that explain developing adjustment of a child. Free time with parents and nonparental adults is related to positive adjustment while time sp ent alone and in unsupervised contexts is related to adjustment problems (McHale: 2001). There has been a change in lifestyle in Monteverde. In the past, children typically worked on their family farms and played in the forest; now the typical child has le ss responsibility because they are not working on the farm. There is no new infrastructure to accommodate for this lifestyle change and a large generational gap is widening between youth and their parents. Before the 20 th century, family bonding took place through shared work activities. Because now people are not living the typical farm life, leisure activities are required to provide the opportunity for family bonding. Research shows t hat family satisfaction, family interaction and family stability are re lated to the co participation of family members in leisure activities (Orthner: 1990). In addition to being important for youth, areas for recreation can also be important for adults. There is evidence to suggest play reduces stress in adults and helps the m to be more effective in other areas of their life including their family and jobs. Playing, or participating in activities for the purpose of recreation, helps to increase creativity, promotes flexible thinking, and provides an avenue for healthy express ion of feelings. Having the opportunity for recreational activity benefits both adults as well as children (Estroff Marano: 1999). Providing access to recreation is important for growth and development of children. Young people enjoy playing with friends because it is fun and gives them the opportunity to socialize. In addition, providing access to activities for recreation helps fost er social and cognitive development among youth. Important skills that can be learned through recreation include: interacting with others, problem solving, teamwork, and goal setting. These skills can lead to an improved sense of self esteem and a greater awareness and appreciation of culture (Hultsman: 1999, Hamilton Brown: 1995). An important factor predicting physical activity is access. This includes access to spaces for physical activity and cultural development that are safe and supervised. Also, access to the necessary equipment and supplies for sports or other activities such as art is needed. Finally, access addresses the need for adequate transportation to be availab le so the recreation areas can be used by the entire community (Hultsman: 1999). A lack of access to areas of recreation is a problem in the Monteverde area. Only a limited number of recreational areas exi s t in the community. In recent years, the youth in Monteverde have been exposed to more sedentary activities such as television, radio, and video games which have contributed to an increase in inactivity. More often parents are working outside of the home leaving young people to spend more time home alone. Unsupervised free

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time puts kids at risk for becoming involved in unhealthy or illegal activities (Hultsman: 1999, Estroff Marano: 1999). The combination of social and physiological challenges of adolescents, environmental risk factors including more free time and lack of available recreation, and the lack of adult supervision all combine to increase the risk of young people being involved in behaviors such as drug and alcohol use and teen pregnancy (Hamilton Brown: 1995, Estroff Marano: 1999). Criminals o ften report that committing crimes provides the same sense of pleasure, confidence, and separation from ordinary life that athletes attain in sports. (Roberts: 1995). 'Hanging out' has been linked to delinquency in adolescence (McHale: 2001). The term at r isk means there is a potential for teen pregnancy, drug use, and gang involvement. Not all at risk youth are low income; they are socio economically and culturally diverse. The thing all at risk youth have in common is unsupervised free time. Unsupervised children are socially and emotionally at the greatest risk, regardless of income. The age of adolescence is a critical transition into adulthood and what occurs during adolescence can determine their future life. The goal of a recreation center should be t o provide youth with some supervision and structure at this critical time during adolescents, but not too much of either where kids will not feel they have any freedom (Gorski: 1993). Play is an activity done solely for sheer pleasure. Play is voluntary an d is often self expressive. Play can be a powerful motivator and is very appealing. Very often people play for the reasons of relaxing, spending time with kids, or taking their minds off of work, but this is not true play because true play has no end beyond itself (Roberts: 1995). Time use reflects people's priorities as well as opportunities. In the U.S. low income children watch more television, read less, are less likely to be involved in sports, spend more time playing outdoors and less time indoo rs playing quietly with games and toys (McHale: 2001). Weather is also a large factor in youth recreation, if the recreation is conducted outdoors, or if it affects transportation to the activity (McHale : 2001 ). Nine months of the year are considered rainy in the Monteverde Zone and this definitely inhibits outdoor recreation, and transportation, either by foot or vehicle because of the muddy roads. In 1996, students in the Sustainable Futures Program at the Mo nteverde Institute conducted an assessment of youth in the Monteverde area. They collected interviews from 30 young people in addition to conducting three focus groups with both youth and adults. Part of this report focused on recreational issues. The consensus from gathering informa tion from both adults and youth was that recreation was an important issue and there were not enough activities for youth to do in their free time. Of particular concern was the lack of activities for young women. Some activities young people reported wanting were places to dance or roller skate and access to sports such as soccer or basketball. They also said that they would like to have areas to simply hang out and talk with friends. While many people wished they c ould have more activities and felt the lack of access was a problem in the community, no concrete efforts were identified to change the situation. Currently, a group of students studying architecture and landscape architecture in the Sustainable Futures course at the Monteverde Institute are also working on issues of recreation in the Monteverde Zone (MVZ). Their project is to design possible scenarios for additional recreation in Cerro Pl ano. They ar e focusing their efforts on a pie ce of land owned by the Cerro Plano School. Currently this area has a bullring, a salon, a school building, and a large area of unused space. We are working to gather information about the recrea tion currently available in the MVZ and recreational opportunities the community would like to have. This information will be given to Sustainable Futures students to allow them to design areas that meet the needs of the community.

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Research Question Why study recreation and activity opportunities in the Monteverde Zone? I Strong Community Concern Based on a community meeting, informal conversations, semi structured interviews with community members, past research, and surveys with both school children and their parents it is clearly evident that the community as a whole is concerned about the lack of available recreational opportunities. The research team wanted to focus on an issue that was important to the people living within the community. 2. Alternative Activities Adults in the community are concerned that the absence of safe, healthy areas for recreation and activities are leading youth to turn to unhealthy options such as drugs and alcohol, and sexual experimentation. A lack of access to recreational needs could also con tribute to increased inactivity and obe sity related health concerns. 3. Inadequate Facilities Observations of current facilities lead to the conclusion that they a re inadequate or underutilized. The soccer field at the Plaza has many ruts, and the basketball court is without basketball hoops. The Bull Ring and Salon in Cerro Piano remain unused throughout most of the year and are in need of repairs. There is a lack of indoor or covered areas for r ecreation which are important because during the rainy season in Monteverde it rains almost every day. There is also inadequate lighting for the existing fields making them inaccessible after the sun sets (shortly after 6:00 pm.). As a research team, we s trived to: a) learn and understand the uni que needs for recreation in the Monteverde Zone, b) gather community feedback and spark some action in developing community recreation, and c) providing a forum for possible networking and act as a gel within the c ommunity by emphasizing cooperation and collaboration between various existing recreation projects and community members working in the areas of youth recreation (Waller: 1995). Together with the community, we hope to increase understanding and provide sug gestions that will lead to the development of recreation and activity options. Research Methods Phase 1 Our research consisted of asking peoples' opinions and thoughts about recreation in the MVZ. Qualitative methods were used in collecting data, while some quantitative methods were used in analyzing and displaying results. Qualitative methods included observations, unstructured interviews and conversations, and semi structured interviews. We also u sed surveys, a more quantitative method, to gather additional information from the community.

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Observations Qualitative methods include observations of existing recreational sites throughout the community including: internet cafes, La Cascada and La Taverna discotheques the Bull Ring and Salon in Cerro Pl ano, La Plaza, the down town area of Santa Elena, and the activities that took place within our homestay houses. Unstructured Interviews Researchers init ially conducted unstructured interviews and conversations with members of the Monteverde Zone Community and employees at the Monteverde Institute, as a form of exploratory research to get a better grasp of what research steps to take next. Conversations in cluded questions about present activities available to youth and the physical locations of recreational areas. Semi structured Interviews From the information gained from the unstructured interviews and preliminary investigations, a structured interview wa s constructed. Through conversations with parents and through personal observations, it was discovered that parents generally do not allow their children to leave the house by themselves at a young age. Therefore, the focus of these interviews was on youth who were 10 years of age and older. After much discussion on the cut off age for youth/adult, a conclusion was made to consider those 25 and older as adults and those under 25 as youths. Two separate interviews were administered, one for youths (ages 10 2 4) and one for adults (ages 25 and above). Our interview format is as follows and probing questions were asked to gain additional information if the interviewer felt it was appropriate. Youth Interview What do you do in your free time (when you are not in school or working)? What do you do for fun? What recreational activities exist for youth here? I know that there is a bullring that is only used one time a year. In what other ways could the community use the bullring? Are there activities that you wished that you had available, but are not? If there were a recreation center, where should it be? If there were a recreation center, what three things would you like to see available there? Would you pay to use a recreation center, and if so, how much would you pay to use it? Adult Interview What do you do in your free time (when you are not in school or working)? What do you do for fun? What recreational activities exist for youth here? Are there activities that you wished were available for youth, but are not? I know that there is a bullring that is only used one time a year. In what other ways could the community use the bullring? If there were a recreation center, where should it be? If there were a recreation center, what three things would you like to s ee available there? Would you allow your children to go to the center without parental supervision?

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Would you contribute financially to construct a center or would you pay to use it? If so, how much would you pay to use it? What is your opinion about a mul ti use facility and a recreational program with a paid director? Findings Phase 1 Observations From the observations taken of the currently available recreation areas for youths, including the plaza in Santa Elena and the bullring and Salon in Cerro Plan o, it was found that the present available areas are inadequate because of the need for repairs, inaccessibility, or a lack of activities or structures. At the plaza in Santa Elena, there is a large, frequently used soccer field, a small basketball court, and a small, covered cement floored platform. It is difficult to use the soccer field because it rains frequently and also because the sun sets at around 6:30p.m. and the field lacks lighting. The basketball court is severely in need of repairs and new co nstruction; there are no basketball hoops or poles. The Bull Ring in Cerro Plano is only used once a year for an annual festival. Both the Bull Ring and the adjacent salon have great potential to hold activities and to be a recreational area for youth. Th is possible location for youth recreation is underutilized, but has great potential for a number of different uses. Interviews Steps were taken to ensure confidentiality of community members who participated in our interviews. The research team informed participants that the information they provided would be used in the research report and presentation. Each participant was assured that no identifying information would be given in the results. Interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 25 pe ople. The majority of the interviews were given to community members who lived in either Santa Elena or Cerro Plano. Only two of the twenty five interviewers were given to people who lived outside of these two towns. Due to time constraints, the interview area was restricted to Santa Elena and Cerro Plano, which represents the central area of the Monteverde Zone. An equal representation of residents from Santa Elena and Cerro Plano were sought, as well as equal representation of youths and adults, and males and females. This was done in an attempt to get representative sampling of age, sex, and location. From the twenty five semi structured interviews, it was confirmed that there is a lack of recreational activities for youth in the Santa Elena and Cerro Pl ano areas. In fact, in response to the question of what activities are currently available for youth, nine of the twenty five interviewees answered that there was nothing for youths to do here. The responses to interview questions are listed below. What r ecreational activities exist for youth here? Listing of Perceived Activities Currently Available for Youth: Soccer, church activities, taking walks, La Cascada Discoteca, bars, volleyball, tennis, roller skating, school activities, dances, English classes a weight room, hanging out with friends, watching television, parties, going to the reserve, lectures, camping, doing art.

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Most Frequent Responses (number of similar responses in parenthesis ) (1) Playing soccer (17) (4) dancing (5) (2) Nothing to do (9) (5) walking in the forest or mountains (4) (3) Church activities (6) (6) hanging out (3) What do you do in your free time (when you are not at school or working)? Adult Responses for What They (Adults) Currently Do in Their Free Time: Talking with friends and family, playing with children, spending time on the farm, playing cards, dancing, barbecuing, bars, going out of town, stitching, cooking, watching movies, playing s occer, Bible studies, taking walks in the forest or in the farm. Most Frequent Responses: (1) Spending time with friends and family (7) (2) Dancing (4) (3) Spending time on the farm (3) (4) Going out of town (3) (5) Playing soccer (3) Youth Responses for What They (Youth) Cu rrently Do in Their Free Time: Watching movies, going to the disco, hanging out with friends, playing soccer, leaving town, camping, studying, riding bikes, roller skating, arts and crafts, taking care of animals, watching television, playing volleyball, r iding horses, listening to music, hiking, sleeping, reading. Most Frequent Responses: (1) Visiting with family and friends (5) (2) Playing soccer (6) (3) Listening to music (5) (4) Dancing (5) (5) Leaving town (4) Are there activities that you wished that were available for youth, but are not? Wants Activities that Adults and Youth Wish were Available for Youth: Indoor soccer, darts, billiards, track, classes, swimming pool, cancha (field), skating rink, volleyball, dancing, traditional games, movie theatre, gymnasium, aero bics, weight lifting, basketball, theatre group, puppet workshop park, place to meet friends, youth counseling, recreational center, video games, recreational area, large salon, cancha for women, farmers market, ping pong.

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Most Frequent Responses by Youths (1) Skating rink (9) (2) Cancha (7) (3) Park (5) (4) Soccer field (4) (5) Swimming pool (4) (6) Volleyball (4) (7) Basketball (4) Most Frequent Responses by Adults (1) Gymnasium (8) (2) Volleyball (7) (3) Basketball (6) (4) Cancha (5) (5) Soccer field (5) (6) Salon (4) Most Frequent Responses by Adults and Youths Combined (1) Skating rink (13) (2) Cancha (12) (3) Volleyball court (11) (4) Basketball court (10) (5) Gymnasium (10) (6) Soccer field (9) (7) Swimming pool (8) (8) Park (6) (9) Movie theatre (5) 10) Meeting place (3) If there were a recreation center, where should it be? Adult and Youth Suggestions for a Recreation Center*: Town (1) Cerro Plano (16) (2) Santa Elena (14) (3) Los Llanos (1) Exact Location (1) Plaza in Santa Elena (7) (2) Center of Santa Elena (7) (3) Bullring in Cerro Plano (5) (4) Salon in Cerro Plano (4) (5) Near the school in Cerro Plano (3) *The suggestions of where a recreational center should be located are most likely influenced greatly on where the interviewee curren tly resides. Note that more of the interviewees reside in Cerro Plano than in Santa Elena. Would you contribute financially to construct a recreation center or would you pay to use it? If so, how much would you pay to use it? ** **Both adults and youth wer e asked if they would be willing to pay to use a recreation center, and if so, how much they would be willing to pay. However, only the adults were asked if they would be willing to contribute to construct a center. A large number of interviewees said that it depends upon the services and activities offered by the center as to whether or not they would pay to use it and how much they would be willing to pay. Answers of how much they would pay ranged from 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 800, and 2000 colones per da y, and 5000 colones per month. However, after later consideration, it was decided that this question was ambiguous, because after answering how much the interviewee was willing to pay, he or she then stated that it also depended upon what would be offered at the center.

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Youth and Adult Responses to Whether or Not They Would Pay: (1) Yes (11) (2) No (1) (3) Depends (10) (4) Would help raise money (5) I know that there is a bullring that is only used one time a year. In what other ways could the community use the bullring? Suggestions for Future Use of the Bullring (1) Concerns (5) (2) Soccer (3) (3) Kid games (3) (4) Dances (3) (5) Skating rink (3) (6) Basketball (2) (7) Volleyball (2) (8) Marketplace (2) (9) Festivals (2) (10) Park (2) (11) Meeting place (2) (12) Recreational center (2) Discussion of Findings and Conclusion Phase 1 The results from this study also shed light on new dimensions and present new data. They add to the existing data from the previous study done in Monteverde in 1996. The findings of this resear ch project support those of the previous study done in Monteverde on youth recreation, education, and family life. As the previous study found, the community believes that there is a definite need for improved youth activities and recreational areas. Many of the responses from the community about the type of recreation they want are similar in both studies. For example, our current research and the previous study found that community members would like to have a place to roller skate, a place to play volley ball or basketball, and a place to just sit and talk with friends. Some possible limitations to the research exist. Language translation proved to be difficult and individuals who live in the community were consulted about words or phrases with unclear mea nings. Exact understanding of the meaning of answers was necessary. The interviews were not conducted in controlled situations, so distraction within the environment arose, such as the telephone and other interruptions. One major concern of the research te am did not want to convey a false sense of hope. In asking questions about uses for the Bull Ring and a possible recreation center, we did not want to suggest that the designs would definitely be implemented. The research was done to help community members get a sense of what is needed in the community and the members themselves will need to take actions to utilize our research results. Overall the research team had many positive experiences in collecting the data. Many of the adult interviewees said they t hought the project on recreational activities for youth was a very good and important

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project. Many thanked the research team for the concern for the community and inhabitants, both of which are many times overlooked due to the touristic nature of the Zone Community members who were approached were very friendly and helpful. Through qualitative research, interviews, observations and conversations, it was determined that there is a need for more recreational opportunities for people living within the Montev erde Zone. A lack of access to inexpensive recreational activities may lead to unhealthy alternatives, such as drug and alcohol use or sexual experimentation leading to teen pregnancy. However, providing affordable opportunities is difficult and it may req uire proper funding, man power, materials and the community to come together to create a common goal. There are several community groups working on individual projects, but none of those groups are working together to make a recreational program a reality. It may be helpful to pool financial and material resources to actually establish a community program. Recommendations Phase 1 The following recommendations are being made in regards to the three research foci: 1. The community should meet to discuss possible recreation suggestions and projects such as the one designed by the Sustainable Futures Program. This will allow for community feedback and input in the creation of recreational ideas and will address the current community concerns with the lack of recrea tional activities for youth. 2. The community can extend the use of existing facilities and activities to address the issue of inadequate facilities available for community recreation. For example, they can organize more soccer games to be played in the plaza as well as volleyball or basketball games. Forums may be organized to promote additional activities that can be implemented immediately in the community. 3. Health education seminars or workshops on substance abuse, sexual education and abstinence, and the i mportance of completing high school can be organized to address the communities concerns of the unhealthy alternative. Future Research Phase 1 Future research focusing on this issue should address the following: 1) Conduct more interviews to increase the sampling size. This will aid in reconfirming initial interview results and/or providing for a broader range of responses that elucidate the focus of further research. 2) Foster networking relationships between community organizations. Collaboration will help current ideas for community recreation become a reality. 3) Collaborate with the Sustainable Futures Program and exchange research information to assist in the development of possible recreation projects in the future. 4) Share research results concerning possible recreation options with the community and poll them on what they feel is the best option for recreation. Specific questions should be asked to learn more about overall administration, organization, and costs for recreation.

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Research Methodology P hase II Two students remained during Phase Two of the project. Attention was focused on the types of recreation that adults, high school students, and elementary school students would like to have in their community. In addition, we met with community grou ps and members who are currently working on recreation to get a better understanding of what types of recreation currently exist, the obstacles to increasing recreation, and to hopefully help build relationships to foster coordination among the groups in t he future. We also decided to increase our collaboration with the Sustainable Futures group and accompanied them to community meetings. We will provide them with our research results to help them better plan their project around the Bull Ring in Cerro Plan o. Surveys As recommended from Phase 1 of our research, we decided to increase our sample size and get more information in regards to the same kinds of questions we used during our interviewing. We choose to distribute surveys throughout the school system because it provided us with the greatest access to a large sample of school children and their parents. The schools that were approached were the Cerro Plano Elementary School and the Santa Elena High School. The Cerro Plano Elementary School was chosen be cause the Sustainable Futures group is designing recreational facilities to be implemented in that area. The Santa Elena High School is the only high school in the MVZ and all children, including those living in Cerro Plano, attend this school. Meetings we re scheduled with both school Directors at their respective schools and the current project and research plan were introduced. Our research plan consisted of adapting the same questions used during our interviews from Phase 1 into a survey to be used in Ph ase 2. Three surveys were designed; one for parents, one for high school students, and one for elementary school students. At the high school, both researchers went to every first period classroom, gave a brief introduction to the project and asked the stu dents to complete the survey immediately. Our introduction included a community invitation to the Cerro Plano School the following week for an evening chat with us, for anyone interested in discussing ideas or questions they had concerning our recreation p roject. We also invited the students to attend a symposium where our research would be presented. After completing the surveys, we provided the students with an additional questionnaire to be given to their parents. They were told to bring this survey back to school with them and we would return to collect it after two days. Printed on the survey was an invitation to the parents to attend the evening chat and the symposium. After two days, we returned again during first period and collected our surveys. Fou r The parent survey had the same 4 questions as well as demographic data about age, town of residence, and information about the sex and ages of their children. The survey questions were as follows: 1. What do you do in your free time for fun? 2. Which kind of recreational activities are found for children/youth in your town? Which kind of recreational activities are found for children/youth in the Monteverde Zone? 3. What activities do you wish children/youth could have, that they do not have now? 4. If there was a recreation center, which three things would you most like it to have?

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At the grade school, we asked the teachers to help each classroom complete drawings and descriptions to one we had them complete three demographic questions, age, sex, and town of residence, at the top of their drawings. We asked the teachers to distribute the parent survey to the kids after they completed their drawings. The elementary school parent surveys were identical to the surveys given to parents of high school students, with the printed invitations to the chat and the sym posium, and the request that the surveys be returned after two days. Key Community Member Contacts In addition to surveys, interviews were conducted with key community members who were involved with youth and recreation work in the Monteverde Zone. We met Escuela de Futbol, Fuerza Femenina, and Church Youth Committee. We also attended two meetings that focused on recreation. One was at the Cerro Plano School and included members of the Junta de Educacin, the school director, and Sustainable Futures student and staff. This meeting was focused on obtaining information and permission to produce recreational designs for the area near the Cerro Plano School. Background information about the area, the concerns o ver the existing facilities, and some desires for possible facilities were addressed. Another meeting we attended was the annual meeting of the Asociacin de Desarrollo, a group that plays a governmental roll for the area and is considering making recreati on a top priority. In addition, we held a chat at the Cerro Plano School to address concerns or ideas of parents and students who received surveys. One parent, a representative from the Cerro Plano School, and one community member attended. Ideas for possi ble recreation were discussed as well as the perceived consequences of lack of recreation. Based on talking to individuals involved in community activities and on attending meetings that address the issues of youth recreation, we are aware that many people are concerned with the limited access to places for recreation in the community. Activities related to church include meetings, classes, and fun activities and outings. Additional projects that are currently operating are sports teams such as the Escuela de Futbol and a Additionally, efforts are underway to raise money for a gym/basketball court in the Monteverde area. Other community members want to renovate the existing soccer field or build a new facility for sports that has a roof. A final idea was to build a large park with benches and a building that can be used for cultural events such as classes, concerts, or plays. Findings Phase II In loo king at the data, we made an effort to collapse similar answers (i.e. Nintendo and arcade) to get a better gauge of true interests (See Appendix). Surveys from High School Students

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Surveys were completed by 162 of the 290 students at the Santa Elena High School. The students ranged in age from 12 19. The sample consisted of 48.8% males and 51.2% females. The majority of the students were from Santa Elena, Cerro Plano, San Luis, or Caitas but other cities were also represented. The return rate on our stude nt questionnaires was about 55% of students. Low return rates could be due to a number of factors: a) two classrooms were missed because they were in a different building which we were unaware of, b) there was a gym class that left for the field before we arrived to the classroom c) one class was taking a test and could not complete the survey, and d) there were students that opted not to complete the forms. Age # % Age CITY # %City SEX # %Sex 12 9 5.60% Santa Elena (1) 66 40.70% Male 79 48.80% 13 31 19.10 % Cerro Plano (2) 27 16.70% Female 83 51.20% 14 43 26.50% Los Llanos (3) 2 1.20% TOTAL 162 100.0% 15 28 17.30% Monteverde (4) 8 4.90% 16 20 12.30% San Luis (5) 14 8.60% 17 23 14.20% Monte Los Olivos (6) 2 1.20% 18 5 3.10% Caitas (7) 14 8.60% 19 2 1.20% La Guaria (8) 4 2.50% unknown 1 0.60% Cabecera (9) 7 4.30% TOTAL 162 99.90% La Esperanza (10) 3 1.90% Cebadilla (11) 4 2.50 % Las Nubes (12) 3 1.90 % Los Tornos (13) 1 0.60 % La Lindora (14) 3 1.90 % La Cruz (15) 4 2.50 % TOTAL 162 100.00 % 1. What do you do in your free time for fun? Soccer, watching television and listening to music were the top three answers looking at total response, and are also listed as three of the top five responses for males and females separately. Of the top five responses, two were indoor activities (listening to music and watching television). Three out of the top five answers for males were sedentary and indoor activities, but the top answer was soccer, a physic al activity. The top answer for girls was listening to music, a sedentary activity. Four out of the top five answers for females were sedentary activities and three were indoor activities. Total: 1. Soccer (44%) 2. Watch television (37%) 3. Listen to Music (35%) 4. Spend time with friends (20%) 5. Bicycling (14%)

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Males 1. Soccer (57%) 2. Watch television (29%) 3. Bicycling (29%) 4. Playing video games/Nintendo (16%) 5. Listen to music (14%) Female: 1. Listen to music (54%) 2. Watch television (52%) 3. Spend time with friends (29%) 4. Soccer (27%) 5. Talk on the telephone (13%) II. Which kind of recreational activities are found for children/youth in your town? Soccer, nothing, and going to the plaza or center were the top three answers in total and were also on the top five responses for both sexes. After the number one choice of soccer for boys, the second response was nothing; lack of both mental and physical stimulation. Three out of the five answers for boys were outdoor activities, and two were sports. The n umber one response for girls was nothing, again no adequate mental or physical stimulation. Girls had church activities listed among the top 5 responses while no boys mentioned church. Total: 1. Soccer (46%) 2. Nothing (40%) 3. Go to the plaza or town center (10%) 4. Bicycling (6%) 5. Get togethers (6%) 6. Video games (6%) Males: 1. Soccer (57%) 2. Nothing (34%) 3. Play video games (11%) 4. Bicycling (10%) 5. Go to plaza or town center (8%) Females: 1. Nothing (52%) 2. Soccer (36%) 3. Meetings (Reuniones)(7%) 4. Dancing (6%) 5. Church ac tivities (5%) 6. Go to plaza or town center (5%) 7. Volleyball (5%) Which kind of recreational activities are found for children/youth in the Monteverde Zone? Total: 1. Nothing (36%) 2. Soccer (36%) 3. Disco (13%) 4. I do not know (9%) 5. Go to plaza or town center (5%)

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6. Skateboarding (5%) 7. Playing video games (5%) Males: 1. Soccer (37%) 2. Nothing (27%) 3. Disco (14%) 4. Skateboarding (10%) 5. Playing video games (10%) 6. I do not know (9%) Females 1. Nothing (46%) 2. Soccer (35%) 3. Disco (12%) 4. I do not know (10%) 5. Dancing/Dance hall (6%) III. What activities do you wish children/youth could have, that they do not have now? Parks were the number one mentioned desired activity among all students with other recreational facilities including cinema, g ymnasium, and sports center ranked 2 4. Following recreational facilities were sports and other physical activities. Girls ranked recreation centers such as parks, cinema and gymnasium highest and the only physical activity listed among the top responses w as rollerblading. The top responses for boys were sports related including a sports center, basketball, and football. Cinemas and gymnasiums were also among the most often listed desires for boys. Total: 1. Park (27%) 2. Cinema (25%) 3. Gymnasium (24%) 4. Sports Cente r (20%) 5. Rollerblading (19%) 6. Basketball (17%) 7. Soccer (13%) 8. Bicycling (9%) 9. Volleyball (8%) 10. Skate Park (8%) 11. Activities for youth (8%) Males: 1. Sports Center (23%) 2. Basketball (22%) 3. Soccer (18%) 4. Bicycling (16%) 5. Gymnasium (20%) 6. Indoor Soccer (16%) 7. Skateboarding (16%) Females 1. Cinema (30%) 2. Gymnasium (24%) 3. Rollerblading (20%) 4. Swimming Pool (18%) 5. Park (18%) 6. Soccer (17%)

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Drawings from Grade School Students Drawings were completed by 74 of the 85 students at the Cerro Plano School. T he children who participated ranged in age from 5 13 years. Half of the sample was male, 30% was female and 20% did not complete the question about sex. The majority of the students (82.4%) were from Cerro Plano but other towns were represented including S anta Elena (10.8%), Los Llanos (1.3%) and Monteverde (2.7%). Some children did not complete the demographic information on the top of the questionnaire and this may have affected our analysis when looking at differences in gender. AGE # % SEX # % City # % 5 3 4.10 % M 37 50.00% Santa Elena (1) 8 10.80% 6 3 4.10 % F 22 30.00% Cerro Plano (2) 61 82.40% 7 8 10.80 % Unknown 15 20.00% Los Llanos 1 1.30% 8 18 24.30 % TOTAL 74 100.0% Monteverde 2 2.70% 9 6 8.10 % Unknown 2 2.70% 10 13 17.60 % 74 99.90% 11 12 16.20 % 12 7 9.50 % 13 4 5.40 % Total 74 100.10 % I Please write and draw three fun things you wish you could do when you are not in school. Only one answer was listed that was indoor activity (toys cars, playing house). Football was listed as the top choice for males and females. Basketball and playground were both listed on the top five answers for males and females. Only one of the top five answers was an indoor activity (recreation center). All female responses were ou tdoor activities. Four of the five top answers for both boys and girls were sports, with non sport answer being a playground. Total: 1. Soccer (62%) 2. Playground (31%) 3. Toys cars, playing house (26%) 4. Basketball (26%) 5. Swimming pool (20%) 6. Bicycling (18%) 7. Volleybal l (12%) 8. Baseball (11%)

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Males: 1. Soccer (76%) 2. Basketball (32%) 3. Playground (27%) 4. Cycling (24%) 5. Recreation Center (24%) Female: 1. Football (50%) 2. Playground (32%) 3. Swimming pool (19% 4. Basketball (13%) 5. Volleyball (13%) Surveys from Parents We passed out surveys to more then 162 students at the Santa Elena High School and arranged to have surveys sent home with all 74 children at the Cerro Plano School. However, only 8 parents returned surveys to the high school and 28 to the Cerro Plano School. We obtained the collaboration and cooperation of the school Directors and their feedback and advice on how to illicit the best survey results with the students. For example, we initially had wanted to ask the High School teachers t o send both surveys home with the High School students. The High School Director told us it would be best if we could personally visit each classroom to present ourselves, and distribute and collect surveys immediately. Both the High School and the Element ary School Directors warned us that we probably were not going to receive many completed surveys back from the parents. The parents who returned surveys ranged in age from 25 54 years. The majority of parents who completed surveys were from Cerro Plano but other cities were also represented. After consulting with a native of the community, we used the word nios (kids) for surveys sent to parents of children at the Cerro Plano School, and the word Jovenes (youth) for surveys sent to parents of high school c hildren. Age # % Town # % 25 3 7.90% Santa Elena (1) 3 7.90% 29 1 2.60% Cerro Plano (2) 26 68.40% 30 2 5.30% Los Llanos (3) 3 7.90% 31 1 2.60% Caitas (7) 1 2.60% 32 4 10.50% Las Nubes (12) 1 2.60% 33 2 5.30% La Lindora (14) 2 5.30% 34 2 5.30% La Cruz (15) 2 5.30% 35 2 5.30% TOTAL 38 100.00% 36 2 5.30% 37 1 2.60% 38 5 13.20% 40 1 2.60% 41 1 2.60% 42 1 2.60% 45 2 5.30% 46 2 5.30% 47 1 2.60% 50 1 2.60% 52 1 2.60%

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54 1 2.60 Unknown 2 5.30 TOTAL 38 100.00 I. What do you do in your free time for fun? Parents listed walking, football, and spending time with family as the top answers for what they do in their free time; these answers are easy and existing things in the MVZ. Doing nothing and leaving town were listed as the top 4 and 6 answers and reflect how there is a lack of activities in the community and people prefer to leave for recreation. Spending time with family and talking on the phone are two forms of recreation that are solely social and were listed at the top 3 and 5 answers respectively. Total: 1. Walk (33%) 2. Soccer (20%) 3. Spend time with family (17%) 4. Nothing (14%) 5. Talk on the telephone (14%) 6. Leave town (11%) II. What recreational activities exist now for kids/youth in your town? Nothing and soccer were the top two answers for both the MVZ and for each pueblo as well. The #1 and # 2 answers of nothing to do and I do not know are similar responses related to not having many recreation options. Total: 1. Nothing (53%) 2. Soccer (39%) 3. ) 4. Studying (6%) What recreational activities exist now for kids/youth in the Monteverde Zone? Top three answers of nothing, soccer, and forests reflect what is available currently in the MVZ in regards to r ecreation. Total: 1. Nothing (50%) 2. Soccer (31%) 3. Forests (14%) 4. Volleyball (8%) 5. Religious Walks (5%)

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III. What activities do you wish children/youth could have, that they do not have now? The top three answers of parks, basketball, and playground were also part of the top five answers for Question #4, what pe ople would like to have at a recreation center. Total: 1. Parks (36%) 2. Basketball (25%) 3. Playground (17%) 4. Sports Center (14%) 5. Football (14%) 6. Gymnasium (14%) 7. Pool (14%) IV. If there was a recreation center, which three things would you most like it to have? Soccer was listed as the 2 nd existing soccer field in Santa Elena, people still would like to have more access to soccer. Swimming pool was listed as the 4 th highest response. Curr ently there are no swimming pools available for people to use in the community. Total: 1. Playground (39%) 2. Soccer (20%) 3. Basketball (20%) 4. Parks (20%) 5. Swimming Pool ( 20%) Discussion of Findings and Conclusion Phase II A similar needs assessment survey was done with 600 middle school children in Albuquerque, New Mexico using group facilitation to complete surveys asking three open ended questions, that like our survey elicited information on existing recreation, what children liked to do after school, and what p rograms/services children their age needed (Torma: 1998). An analogous response from the students in the Albuquerque Survey was that middle schools could serve as centers for community based planning and recreation, and that inadequate transportation can b e a hindrance to the use of recreation programs and facilities (Torma: 1998). While working with the Sustainable Futures Group, we focused on the idea of using the school as a recreation center and helped to support their work by sharing the results of our investigation with them. Secondly, our surveys (phase 2) and interviews (phase 1) mentioned numerous times the need for low cost recreation within the community, where people could easily walk without the need for costly transportation. Currently people i n the MVZ are carrying out forms of recreation that are available to them. When asked what they do in their free time and what there is to do in the area, their answers are similar due to limitation of

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recreation. Soccer, watching television and listening to music were listed as three of the top five answers for high schoolers in total and by sex when asked what they do in their free time. Watching television and listening to music are indoor activities and reflect how youth have to resort to activities tha t are simple and easy to access. As a result, students may not be receiving the proper amount of physical activity, especially considering they are offered gym class only once a week in the high school. A majority of the girls and boys activities were sede ntary, indoor activities. The top choice for girls was a sedentary, indoor activity (listening to music) and for boys was a physical, outdoor activity (soccer). Boys may be getting more physical activity than girls. Throughout our survey, soccer was mentio ned very often and ranked high especially among males among whom soccer is a popular national sport and pastime. Parents listed walking, football, and spending time with family as the top answers for what they do in their free time; these answers reflect w hat is currently available in the MVZ and have little costs attached Doing nothing and leaving town were listed as the top 4 and 6 answers and reflect how there is a lack of activities in the community and people prefer to leave for recreation. socialization with spending time with family and talking on the phone as two of the top five answers for what they do in their free time. When asked what there is to do in their free time, high schoolers listed soccer, nothing, and going to the plaza/center as three of the top five answers in total and also by sexes. Just like the high schoolers, nothing and football were the top two answers for the parents data. The response of nothing is alarming because it ref lects the lack of both mental and physical stimulation for people in the MVZ. The response is even more the accessibility or options of activitie s for females. Going to the plaza or center may be considered as increased delinquency (i.e. graffiti) in the MVZ recently as reported by numerous community members through interviews In asking the question of what activities you wish you could have, parks were ranked highest among all students with other recreational facilities including a cinema, gymnasium and sports center ranked in the top 5 responses. Girls ranked recreation cent ers such as parks, cinema and gymnasium highest and the only specific physical activity listed among the top responses was rollerblading. The top responses for boys were sports related including a sports center, basketball, and football. There is an overwh elming response for a sports center, where all the other youth activities that were ranked as highly desirable could be played. The area surrounding Cerro Plano bull ring would be very conducive to a multi sport as there is a floor already appropriate for basketball that just needs basketball hoops and correct markings, and a covered hall that could be appropriate for rollerblading if the floor was evened out. This same hall could be used as a smaller gymnasium for other sports. For the parents, the top thr ee activities that parents wished they could have and the three things they would want at a recreation center were the same: parks, basketball, and playground. These three answers are relatively inexpensive things to implement in the MVZ, because basketbal l courts already exist at the Salon in Cerro Plano and the Plaza in Santa Elena, and need minimal work to fix for playing. Parks and playgrounds are

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similar environments that can be collapsed into one facility. The MVZ is rich in natural landscaping and it would be possible to build a park by situating a few benches and building a jungle gym set of low cost naturally found materials. listed that was an indoor activity (toys cars, playing house), which the children already have. Football was listed as the top choice for males and females; there is a Soccer school already in existence for males and another team for females is being implemented now. There was a request for improving the soccer field. One possible way improvements could be completed is by making it a youth project where the youth that use the field could help maintain the field and fix it up on an annual basis. Once again, basketball and pla yground were both listed on the top five answers for males and females, which could be implemented in the MVZ, as mentioned above. Responses that could be difficult to implement here in MVZ are bicycling, due to the unpaved roads, high precipitation rates, and mountainous range. This may improve once the roads are paved in the MVZ. Also swimming may be difficult because currently no facilities exist in the community and swimming pools are expensive to maintain specifically a heated pool. One of the top fiv e answers was an indoor activity (recreation center). This would require a location that would be covered due to the weather difficulties here. Soccer was rated number one for all of the high schoolers in response to the question of what three things they would like in a recreation center. Among the high ranking sports amongst the high schoolers were soccer, rollerblading, basketball and volleyball. Soccer activities are already functioning, and basketball and volleyball could be implemented by adding nets and painting the playing grounds. There are various volleyball teams in existence for adults, but none for youth in this region currently. Other recreation that was highly desired was a gymnasium, swimming pool, and parks. These three activities could be i ncorporated into one location (a gymnasium) with an adjacent pool and a surrounding park. The only nonphysical activity rated highly among high school students was a cinema, which was rated as second overall and first among girls. Parents listed soccer as the 2 nd highest response in providing three things they would like to have at a Elena. The top answer requested was a playground where parents could watch their kids play and socialize with other people as they sit on benches. Our research seemed to spark interest within the community. For example, one of the researchers was approached by a local teenager who had seen her at the Santa Elena High School distributing questionnaires. He told the researcher he was a part of a group of males that are trying to put together an indoor soccer team, with the help of one of their High School teacher. He said they had two financial sponsors but were looking for two additional funders for their project to enable them to purchase indoor soccer balls, uniforms, and renovate/paint the existing cement court where they play at the High School. Their long term goal is to raise money to put walls around the court and a roof. The student asked the researcher to deliver a letter of request for sponsorship and list of names supporting the project to the Monteverde Institute. The researcher agreed to pass the letter on to the proper persons at the Monteverde Institute. Re commendations Phase II

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Youth Input Our research approach attempted to include youth as much as possible in data collection and recommendations because the project focus was aimed at youth. We recommend that teens also be included on future advisory panels for any recreation center or other youth activities because youth are the recipients of the programming. Designing recreational areas that are attractive to youth is essential to decrease the risk of them becoming involved in illegal or unhealthy behavior and to prevent sedentary behavior that lead to obesity. It is important to involve young people in the planning process of any recreation facility. Including youth in the planning of recreation areas helps them to become invested in the project. They will provide organizers with information about the type of activities youth are most interested in and will help increase participation (Gorski: 1993). A recreation area should provide access to many options that are of interest to both boys and girls (Hultsman : 1999). Ideas for a recreation center should also include melding of traditional recreation and non traditional recreation programs, and social work (i.e. fashion shows, concerts, sports, health fairs, job fairs, and counseling) (Gorski: 1993). According to our survey, it would be important for a recreation areas to include areas for socialization similar to the East Hampton Recreation Center in New York which has areas for socialization, a computer area, and a fitness and training area with a pool and gym (Michielli: 2000). Inexpensive Options There are several opportunities to increase access to recreation that require little effort from the community. For example, there is free space available to set up volleyball if a net, ball, and 2 posts can be obtai ned. Similarly, basketball courts exist in the area and only a pole and hoop are needed before these courts can be used. There are community buildings that could be used for classes, art, singing groups, or dancing. They only require one person to agree to organize the events. Playgrounds that are well planned can enhance psychomotor development. School playgrounds can combine a familiar play setting with a skill and fitness development, and encourage children to use and manipulate their bodies in different ways then they do when simply walking or playing small games (Karp: 1993). Playground equipment can be made inexpensively with resources found within the Monteverde Zone, for example a climbing set could have been made inexpensively with resources found w ithin the Monteverde Zone, for example a climbing set could have been made out of tree limb scraps and various sized pieces of chain (Deacove: 1992) Collaboration There is seldom funding available for projects on community recreation. Some possible sources of funds include governmental support or sponsorship from various businesses. Other groups implement a monthly fee for usage of a recreation center or specific program, and also offer a lower rate to those who may not afford the regular rate (Gorski: 1993 ). In addition to collaborating with groups to fund the project, collaboration is necessary for the planning of any project. Currently in the area there are several groups working on areas of youth and recreation. However, there is very little communicatio n and coordination between the groups. We

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recommend that the leading groups working on recreation in the community come together to share successes, strategies, and plans for future collaboration to ensure the youth of the area have access to a variety of options for recreation in the future. Future Research It was very difficult for us to obtain parental feedback and it might be recommended that more research be done on parental opinions on recreation, in the future. This would aid a stronger dimension to the research because the parents are the ones who can begin the community work to bring about possible renovations of existing recreational sites or develop new recreation sites. Since most of these recreation activities will require some sort of finances, it would be useful to research various options of community fundraising for development activities; in that regard the researcher would be able to give the community some feedback as to how to go about developing the project from a needs assessment to a p rogram in action. References Crouter, A., Tucker, J. (2001) Free time activity in middle childhood: Links with adjustment in early adolescence. Child Development 72: 1746 1779. Estroff Marano, H. (1999) The power of play. Psychology Today 32: 36. Goc Kar k, G., Depauw, K., Langendorfer, S. (1993) Using play structures to enhance health and skill related fitness. The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance 64: 83 89. Gorski, B. (1993) Kid tested, city approved. American City and County, 108: 5 6 61. Hamilton Brown, K. (1995) Alternatives through interagency collaboration. The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 66: 35 37. Hultsman, W. (1999) Promoting physical activity through parks and recreation: A focus on youth and adolescen ce. The Journal of Physical education, Recreation and Dance 70: 66 69. Orthner, D., Mancini J. (1990) Leisure impacts on family interaction and cohesion. Journal of Leisure Research, 22: 125 138. Roberts, P. (1995) Goofing off. Psychology Today, 28: 34 42 Scrimshaw, N. & G. Gleason, 1992. Rapid Assessment Procedures: Qualitative Methodologies for Planning and Evaluation of Health Related Programs. International Nutrition Foundation for Developing Countries, Boston, MA. needs assessment, Albuquerque. Planning, 64: 14 15. Waller, S., Suren, A. (1995) Recreation and military youth. The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 66: 46 47.


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Un estudio sobre la actividad de recreacin y oportunidades para la juventud en la zona de Monteverde.
3
In an open community meeting held Monday, July 1, 2002, members of the community in the Monteverde Zone (including Monteverde, Cerro Plano, Santa Elena, San Luis and Los Llanos), stressed that one of the major problems the community is facing is a lack of recreational activities for youth. They emphasized the fact that drugs and teenage pregnancies are an issue here in the Monteverde Zone, and it is their opinion that the lack of positive activities for youth has a direct correlation. The research team had been informed that lack of recreation and consequent alternative activities is a concern. To research the issue of lack of recreation, the research team used qualitative research methods to collect data. 25 structured interviews were conducted with area youth (ages 10-24) and adults (ages 25 and above), focusing on the towns of Cerro Plano and Santa Elena, but also including Monteverde and Los Llanos. Through the interviews information was compiled about what both youths and adults currently do in their free time for fun, and what they would like to have available for youth in the future. Informal conversations also took place addressing recreational activities for youth, as well as background research on a previous study conducted in 1996, addressing youth recreation, education and family life in the town of Monteverde. After compiling interviews, informal conversations and background information, it was necessary to analyze the findings. Lists and graphs with the most frequent responses of activities that both youths and adults do in their free time, what activities are now available for youth, what activities are most desired for youth in the future, where a new recreational area would best be physically located, if they would be willing to pay to use a recreational area, and ideas for new uses of the bullring in Cerro Plano, have been configured. The interviewees gave similar answers and suggestions, but also ranged in diversity, for the needs and wants of the community. After analysis and discussion of data, various recommendations for community action and further research are presented.
En una reunin abierta de la comunidad de la zona de Monteverde, (incluyendo a vecinos De Monteverde, Cerroplano, Santa Elena, San Luis y Los Llanos), realizada el 21 de julio del 2002, se expres que uno de los mayores problemas que enfrentaban era la falta de actividades recreacionales para la juventud. Enfatizaron que las drogas y los embarazos de adolescentes son preocupaciones de esta zona, y ellos son de la opinin que esto esta co-relacionado con la falta de recreacin. El equipo de investigacin fue informado que la falta de recreacin y las consecuentes actividades alternativas son una preocupacin. Para investigar el tema de la falta de recreacin, el equipo uso mtodos de investigacin cualitativa para recoger los datos. Se condujeron 25 entrevistas de jvenes (edades entre 10 y 24) y adultos {mayores a 25 aos) de la zona, con nfasis en los centros de Cerroplano y Santa Elena, pero incluyendo tambin el centro de Monteverde y Los Llanos. A travs de las entrevistas se recogi informacin sobre lo que en la actualidad hacen los jvenes y los adultos en su tiempo libre para divertirse, y los que les gustara tener disponible para los jvenes en el futuro. Conversaciones informales tambin se realizaron centrndose en las actividades recreacionales de los jvenes, tanto como una investigacin histrica de un estudio previo hecho en el ao 1996, sobre la recreacin, la educacin y el estilo de vida de la familia en Monteverde. Luego de recoger las entrevistas, las conversaciones informales y la informacin histrica, era necesario analizar los hallazgos. Se configuraron listas y grficos con las respuestas ms frecuentes de las actividades que tanto los jvenes como los adultos hacen en su tiempo libre, cuales actividades estn disponibles para los jvenes ahora, cuales serian las actividades deseadas para el futuro para los jvenes, a donde sera el mejor lugar para ubicar un rea recreacional, si estuviesen dispuesto a pagar por usar el rea de recreo y nuevas ideas para el uso del Redondel de Toros en Cerroplano. Las entrevistas dieron respuestas y sugerencias similares, pero variaron en diversidad, para las necesidades y los deseos de la comunidad. Despus del anlisis y la discusin de los datos, son presentadas varias recomendaciones para que la comunidad las lleve a cabo, adems de sugerencias para investigaciones adicionales.
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EN
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Leisure activities--Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone
Recreation--Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone
Youth--Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone
Community Health 2002
7 655
Books/Reports/Directories
720
Hayes, Allison
Adkins, Sarah
Hassan, Nihal
Scanned by Monteverde Institute
1 773
t Community Health
4 856
u http://digital.lib.usf.edu/?m38.14