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Intercambio cultural & Voluntariado - ACI-Costa Rica

La Asociacion Cultural de Intercambio de Costa Rica (ACI) is a non-profit NGO that promotes and coordinates intercultural programs and volunteering for youth from across the globe. With more than 45 years of experience in doing this, they are experts in mentoring volunteers in their intercultural experience and guiding them in their collaboration with social and ecological projects, allowing for them to gain new perspectives of the world and a better understanding of different cultures in the world. We believe that these activities contribute to greater solidarity and friendship between different societies in our ever-shrinking world, to a sustainable human development, as well as to a possibility for our participants to grow and develop into global citizens that are independent and multilingual, possessing intercultural understanding and open-mindedness.

The organization was founded in 1967 as ICYE Costa Rica. Back then the only programs that they managed were those of Long-Term Volunteering within the ICYE federation. Seven years later, in 1983, ICYE Costa Rica underwent some radical structural and regulatory changes and the name was changed to Asociaci¨Žn Cultural de Intercambio de Costa Rica (Cultural Exchange Association of Costa Rica) since it better reflected the philosophy and focus of the organization: the intercultural aspect of volunteering.

The goal of ACI-CR is to promote intercultural exchange, non-formal education and international volunteering as a means to create bonds and solidarity between people and cultures globally. They also see it as a way of working towards a more equal distribution of economic, social and cultural resources across the world. We believe that presence and contributions of the volunteers in their community work and development projects have impacts on many different levels across the global society: by the direct impact that the projects have on the local communities, and by the experiences gained, and passed on, by the participating volunteers.

Principles

- To promote fraternity among human beings.
- To work towards a sustainable human development.
- To encourage substantial changes in the relationships between human beings and the environment, promoting harmony between them.

Objectives

- To offer programs of international exchange and cultural activities. These programs are flexible, allowing the highest possible amount of young people of different social and economic backgrounds to enjoy the wide variety of experiences offered..
- To generate an intercultural learning process that encourages personal and social growth.
- To promote voluntary work in Costa Rica.
- To provide opportunities for young people to use their initiative and creativity to help others.
- To generate an intercultural learning process that encourages personal and social growth.
- To develop environmental education processes for children and adolescents, promoting awareness of the importance of their role within the community.
- To create a network with national and international organizations to facilitate the diversification of projects and programs, and thereby further the aims of voluntary work, intercultural learning, cultural exchange, international relations, and environmental education.
- To promote our organization, as a sponsor of voluntary work.